Will Barack Obama Alter American Policy Toward Russia?

Fyodor Lukyanov, writing in the Moscow Times, notes the current American presidential campaign has witnessed both Obama and McCain spouting anti-Russian rhetoric aimed at voters whose ancestors came from east European nations and who hate and fear Russia. “But,” he writes, “that does not mean the heated rhetoric the candidates use on the campaign trail will necessarily translate into actual foreign policy later.” He blames George Bush for developing a foreign policy based on an American right to do as it desired as a factor in creating tension between Russia and the United States. The building of missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic has frightened Russia and Bush’s encouragement of the Georgian invasion of South Ossetia led to the current anger between the nations.

Barack Obama has an opportunity to venture in new directions with Russia. An important first step would be to cancel the missile bases and sit down with Russian leaders in an effort to deal with issues such as Iranian development of nuclear power. A second step would be to encourage Georgia to work with South Ossetia by recognizing their right to autonomy. A third step would be to halt any further expansion of NATO eastward. Russia would then be prepared to cooperate with the EU and the United States on many foreign policy needs.

  • Constantine Shubitidze

    Unproffesional review. Lack of elementary knowledge in regard of separatist tensions in Georgian Republic. Naive. Need to analize basic motivational issues of russian influence groups acting in and around cremlin. Does not even cratch the surface. Rough. Approximate.

  • http://www.theimpudentobserver.com Fred Stopsky

    I believe the evidence is overwhelming that Georgia made the first moves in this situation. Of course, Russia wants influence in the area.
    You lack any knowledge of Russian history and therefore are unable to comprehend Russian thinking. Russia was twice invaded in the 20th century and during those invasions lost about 35 million people. Given such atrocious losses, why should anyone be surprised they fear having enemies on their borders.
    How about reading Russian history.