Washington Acknowledges Russia as Superpower
U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe held special hearings devoted to Russia on Thursday. The Commission came to a conclusion which is flattering to Russia: the latter is returning to the international arena as an influential political and economic power. At the same time, the Commission noted this process is accompanied by exacerbating differences between the U.S. and Russia. Moscow is really confident of its powers and does not intend to change its policy. Russian President Vladimir Putin said in Luxembourg on Thursday that the West “has few instruments of influence on Russia left”.
The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission) held special hearings devoted to Russia on Thursday. The chief speaker, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried, said: “Russia has restored its position of a large political and economic force recently.” At the same time, Washington acknowledges the consequences of that process, negative for it: “Russia’s strengthening has been accompanied by a cooldown in its relations with the U.S.”.
The U.S. is concerned about Moscow’s moratorium on the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, disagreements about deploying missile-defense elements in Eastern Europe and about the state of democracy in Russia.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to Western reporters in Luxembourg. He said that the West now “has very few instruments of influence on Russia, which became independent both militarily and economically.”
Apparently, both Washington and Moscow understand the current situation in their bilateral relations will remain unchanged for some time. Mikhail Margelov, chairman of the Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee of Russia, said the U.S.-Russia relations can be improved, but not with the current authorities. “A new cycle might begin only after 2008, when both the U.S. and Russia will have new presidents,” the Russian politician said.