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US-Russia Summit: Deepening Engagement

Published on: July 4th 2009 14:59:55
President Obama will travel to Moscow July 6-8 for his first U.S.- Russia summit in an attempt to “deepen engagement on reducing nuclear weapons, cooperate on non-proliferation, explore ways to cooperate on missile defense, address mutual threats and security challenges, and expand the ties between American and Russian society and business”. U.S.-Russian relations are currently in good shape, particularly in contrast to that of the Bush Administration, where tensions over the expansion of NATO and the establishment of two missile defense sites in Eastern Europe were high. The Administration, in an effort to “hit the reset button”, has been pursuing a constructive approach where Russia is concerned, and trying to make the best of its relations, even seeking points of possible cooperation. Apart from the public statements cited above, Obama intends to put a personal face on the bilateral relationship. As one administration official told us: “We are going to Moscow ready to start trading. We want their cooperation on Iran, the Middle East peace process, Afghanistan, and non-proliferation issues. They are looking for assurances regarding NATO expansion and missile defense sites. We are ready to “talk turkey.” While the Administration seeks to increase cooperation with Russia, strong suspicions of Russian intensions remain on Capitol Hill. The White House will need to keep congressional leadership informed and in agreement if the “reset button” is to be kept in the “on” position.

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