One of the most difficult tasks facing Russia and the United States is to give up the outdated Cold War stereotypes, the Russian presidential aide said in a RIA Novosti interview. Sergei Yastrzhembsky attended the fifth annual Russian Investment Symposium in Boston. Russia's image directly influences the level and quality of foreign investment in the national economy, noted Yastrzhembsky. In his opinion, the Western media are still viewing Russia through the prism of the Col War stereotypes. Today, this not only hampers investment but constitutes a huge obstacle on the way of the basically new level of confidence in the Russia-US relations triggered by the September 11 tragedy, he said. Russia's outdated image in the West is dragging us back and preventing this confidence from being turned into new practical achievements. Stereotypes, the presidential aide continued, can be traced in the public opinion of Russia and the United States, too. They were inherited from the Cold War times of Russia's isolation. And mentality is the hardest to change. According to Yastrzhembsky, it is already important that this issue is being mentioned at the gatherings of business circles, the political and scientific elites of Russia and the United States. Stereotypes with regard to Russia are being re-considered, he said referring to the change in the US opinion of the anti-terror operation in Chechnya. Ideally, said Yastrzhembsky, the ultimate task should be to achieve the same level of confidence between Russia and the United States as that between the two presidents.
Europe has recognised the need for negotiations with Russia to discuss the security system on the continent. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is going to Macedonia for meetings with colleagues within the OSCE