Something came between Russia and the USA. When Russia had expressed its support to America in the struggle with the international terrorism last September, the decision seemed to be correct, even despite protests and displeasure in the society. Russia had no choice then. The sudden warming of the US-Russian relations produced a great effect against the background of the previous ten-year vague relations. The USA started promising every benefits to Russia for the support of the anti-terror campaign then: it was assistance in the WTO entry, writing off the debts that were due to the Paris Club of Creditors, cancellation of the discrimination laws and amendments that hampered good trade and economic partnership between the two countries, etc.
Dreams are always so sweet. The discernment came too late. First, the USA withdrew from the ABM Treaty of 1972. Russia seemed to be indignant for some time, but admitted the defeat after all. Vladimir Putin was to have pricked up the ears. The matter is, the USA withdrew from the Treaty probably to see Russia’s reaction to such an audacious deed. The USA succeeded then, and no great resistance arose, that made America more free and easy.
US’s next step was occupation of the former Soviet republics, that was performed without a shot. Under those conditions Russia understood perfectly well that its influence on the former Soviet republics had greatly reduced, that is why its protests were weak. When Americans obtained control over the region’s security, the Collective Security Treaty, as well as the Shanghai Five organization stopped their existence. Russia kept silent even then, although we were to have protested actively.
Russia is attempting to revive the CIS, that is, to tell the truth, already nonviable now. But to improve the situation Russia will have to offer equal partnership rights to the CIS members in all spheres, the economic one first of all. Russia has been always trying to regain control over the situation. The recent example of it was the idea to create a gas organization, similar to OPEC.
The relations between Russia and NATO are not clear; the painful START-2 talks can also be mentioned here. The vague situation about Georgia comes next. Much can be mentioned that is regarded as US’s merit, not Russia’s. We realize perfectly well what we have lost, but scarcely understand, what we have really obtained at that.
The other day Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov left for the USA for more explanations. This can be treated as Vladimir Putin’s last reserve. The minister often received criticism for his strict views as for the USA and NATO. Will he be able to defend Russia’s interests on the international scene? We have no more chances to retreat.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/03/15/38265.html