The United States will take the first attempt after the re-election of US President Barack Obama to lead the relations with Russia out of the deadlock, the Kommersant daily reported. The newspaper learnt that the US president will send his envoy to Moscow for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the end of January. This visit is aimed at spelling out the US position on the relations with Russia during Obama’s second presidential term and convincing the Kremlin of the fact that the resetting is not abandoned.
The newspaper noted that at the end of January right after Barack Obama’s inauguration US National Security Adviser Tom Donilon will arrive in Moscow with the special mission. Vladimir Putin is expected to meet with the US presidential envoy. The US envoy is to pass a message from the US president to the Russian leader.
A Kommersant source in the US diplomatic circles noted that Barack Obama assumes that the resetting should not be doomed, and despite the disagreements between the countries it is needed to try to find more points in common in order to reverse the current tendency towards the deterioration of Russian-US relations. Meanwhile, according the Kommersant source, the White House does not take the former Soviet republics as the top priorities of the US foreign policy, and it is planning to focus on Asia (the deterrence of China), the Middle East and Europe.
This US position is essentially alarming for the Kremlin, because the Russian top leadership does not conceal their concerns over the fact that the US will be ousting Russia from the former Soviet republics, which Russia considers as a sphere of its special interests. It was seen how this issue is sensitive for Moscow from the Russian irritated response to the December statement of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who pledged to counteract actively the process of re-Sovietization in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. In retaliation, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov even blamed Clinton for her incompetence. Vladimir Putin warned in his annual state-of-the-nation address to the Federal Assembly that Russia will not permit the foreign forces to encroach on its national interests.
Russian experts are sceptical about an opportunity for a breakthrough in bilateral nuclear relations. Over the bilateral disagreements on the missile defence Director of the Franklin Roosevelt Foundation of US Studies Yuri Rogulev believes that some agreements can be expected just in the issues related with Afghanistan and economy. “It is impossible to do without the participation of Russia, when such a large-scale event as the withdrawal of the troops is in view,” the expert stated. “Russian assistance in the restoration of Afghanistan is also needed after 2014. Obama is interested in building up cooperation in this sphere,” he said. The expert noted that economic cooperation can be prioritized as compared with the politics, as “not only Moscow, but also the US business is interested in this cooperation that the US president cannot but take into account.”