Opinion: Europe is too weak to be Russia's ally

'The US and Russian presidents have an opportunity to take a big step towards closer bilateral integration,' Sergei Karaganov, president of the Council for Foreign and Defence Policy, told a Rosbalt correspondent yesterday. He suggested that they may even 'discuss the possibility of an informal strategic alliance' when they meet at Camp David. In his opinion, both countries are ready for this.

'Most Russians are beginning to accept the importance of close strategic collaboration with the US,' the political scientist said. 'At the same time the US is starting to accept that it can not face the challenges in the Middle East alone. This became most apparent after the military operation in Iraq. In addition, the US has been disappointed by its former allies who are no longer capable of supporting the US in its bid to modernise the Middle East.'

Despite the fact that Russia is continuing to integrate with Europe Mr Karaganov believes Europe is incapable of being an effective ally for Russia. He called for a more pragmatic approach to foreign policy saying 'we must cooperate with the US as Europe is too weak now to bring us any serious political advantage.'

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