СThe US is Fully Prepared to Fight Putin - to the Last UkrainianТ
It's West, Not Russia, That's Blocking Truth on MH17
Western media continous to spout stupidity on MH17. Christopher Black rebuffs it
Russia has shared its data. It's US intelligence agencies and the Dutch-led investigation that won't reveal any of its own
By Christopher Black
Russia Won't Take a Haircut on Its Ukraine Loan as West Wants
And why should it? The west continues to pretend that since private creditors are taking a haircut on their loans so should Russia - but Russia is not a private entity and meanwhile western institutions and states are refusing to take a haircut themselves
A reminder - by the terms of the agreement Russia could have called in the loan a year ago - but opted not to
Russia to Cooperate With UK, Germany in Space
Russia's space agency signs a number of agreements on cooperation with its German counterpart. Meanwhile a UK company may sell the guidance system for Russian satellites
'Old Guard' Pragmatists Oppose Western Policy on Ukraine
Ex-German chancellors Gerhard Schroeder and Helmut Schmidt and Henry Kissinger are the biggest names among them
By Dmitry Babich
Don't Get Too Attached to a Weak Ruble. The Dollar Is Coming Down
Dollar is over-valued and has to come down. Look for the market to wake up to that when the Fed doesn't raise interest rates as expected and inevitably sends the US currency tanking
Aside from helping the ruble in direct competition with the dollar, this will send commodities up - further boosting Russia's currency
By Marko Marjanović
Victoria Nuland: We do want to be able to communicate clearly with Russia
Pentagon's Mysterious 'Russia Threat'
Pentagon can't explain how or why Russia is a threat, it just knows it is. The concept is doing great to feed the US military machine but the Russians aren't standing by idly
By Pepe Escobar
Money Still Rules Ukraine
President Poroshenko talks big about reform Ч but heТs missing what may be his only chance to break the power of the oligarchs.
By Taras Kuzio
Rethink our Russian relationship
By Gary Hart
As an American with more than average interest and experience in Russia, it is a mystery to me why, unlike virtually every other country on earth, U.S. policy has tended to be so dependent on the personal relationship between the respective leaders.
This was especially true of Presidents Clinton, with the late Boris Yeltsin, and George W. Bush, with then-President Vladimir Putin ('I looked the man in the eye.'). This mystery of Russian relations is not totally confined to U.S. leaders: Remember Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's famous report to President George H.W. Bush on Mikhail Gorbachev as 'a man we can do business with.' A humorist might call it the vodka syndrome, except Clinton was never known as a drinker and, of course, the second President Bush had sworn off alcohol.
This is a cause for reflection, when the question is raised as to how the United States might go about organizing its Russian relationship if Vladimir Putin were to be driven to the sidelines by an emerging, though putative, Russian Spring. Recent weeks have witnessed virtually unprecedented (for Russia) mass rallies in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other cities of what journalists have described as emerging middle-class Russians.
Those of us who have a history of frequenting Russia and keeping in touch with developments there are increasingly asked about what this means, whether it will continue or go away, and who is behind it. None of these questions is authoritatively answerable, at least for the time being. Like much of the uprisings of 2011 in the Middle East and North Africa, the Russian movement includes a number of factions and profiles. Together with middle-class protesters who seem, at least for now, not to have a cohesive ideology, there are Russian nationalist and aging communists, disgruntled pensioners and groups flying the banners of disparate causes.
At a distance they seem united, for now, by an attitude toward Putin that ranges from mild distrust to outright antipathy, even hatred. And again, like the Arab Spring, no single leader or small coterie of leaders has emerged to champion the uprising and give it direction. You can't beat something with nothing, as the old saying goes. And the Arab Spring has given way to faction fighting, sectarian struggles, and citizen- versus-security-forces clashes. To be charitable, the hard work of democracy has begun : and without a Jefferson, Madison or Hamilton among them.
Those Russophiles among us, driven much less by dreamy nostalgia for Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky than by the certain realization that the United States and Russia have many more interests in common than we have differences, choose to believe that the incipient movement toward democracy embraces demands for multiple party elections; media freedom including protection from violence of reporters who uncover corruption; transparency in government operations; an end to cronyism; an independent and honest judicial system; and many of the other basic qualities and institutions normally characterizing democratic societies.
Even during the worst Cold War days, and certainly during the Gorbachev era of glasnost and perestroika, everyday Russians would tell Westerners: 'We simply want an ordinary life; we want to live like everyone else.' That could be this movement's anthem.
But if the Russophobes among us could let up for a time (and there are more of those in foreign policy circles than we would like to imagine), we might have a chance to institute a far-reaching bilateral policy emphasizing our mutual interests, minimizing our differences and seeking Russian support where it would be welcome and meaningful. That includes dealing with Iran and its nuclear potential; quarantining North Korea; managing the five Muslim republics on Russia's southern border; isolating and crushing terrorism; countering proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; stabilizing world energy distribution systems; and a host of similarly important problems.
This agenda, including lending moral support for the nominally democratic movement in the Russian streets, should operate regardless of whether Vladimir Putin is reelected Russia's president. Great powers, it has been said even before the arch-realist Henry Kissinger came along, do not have permanent friendships - they have permanent interests. In the great scheme of things, it matters less how Barack Obama (or for that matter, even Newt Gingrich) gets along with Putin or his successor and much more on whether we can identify and pursue, over several successive American administrations, those real and important permanent and mutual interests.
It is manifestly in the interest of the United States to do so. Years from now it will finally come to our understanding that our relationship with Russia is one of our most important.
Hart is president of Hart International, Ltd. and chairman of the American Security Project. He served in the U.S. Senate from 1975 until 1987.