Tags: Bush | Arrives | Berlin | Historic | Trip

Bush Arrives in Berlin on Historic Trip

Wednesday, 22 May 2002 12:00 AM

The trip is filled with symbolism. Bush lands in this World War II capital of the Third Reich, nearly flattened by Russian artillery and Allied bombers and then divided in the Cold War between the West and East.

It was from Berlin that the Nazi armies were dispatched to conquer most of Europe before being defeated in 1945.

The president will meet German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in Berlin to discuss Russia's entry into NATO.

On Thursday, Bush was scheduled to travel to Moscow, where he was to sign an agreement Friday with Russian President Vladimir Putin to reduce each nation's strategic nuclear arsenal by two-thirds over the next decade.

From Moscow on Saturday, Bush will travel to St. Petersburg, which is not only Putin's birthplace, but the city that symbolizes the deep desire of Russians to be part of the world of Western Europe and not an isolated people on the edge of the tundra.

By late Sunday, the president will be in Paris for a meeting with French President Jacques Chirac.

On Monday, Memorial Day in the United States, Bush goes, as other presidents have, to the beaches of Normandy where thousands of young men died in 1944 to achieve the peace in Europe that may be now at hand. He will attend a service at St. Marie Eglise, the small town where U.S. paratroopers landed.

Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, said that in Berlin on Thursday, Bush will address the nature of this new peace in a speech to the Bundestag, Germany's elected legislature.

"The president is going to lay out the hopeful future that we and our trans-Atlantic allies ... now with a growing relationship with Russia, that hopeful future for bringing others into the community of democratic, market-oriented states," Rice said.

The core of the trip remains the signing of the arms agreement which Bush and Putin announced a little over a week ago. Under its terms, the United States and Russia will each reduce its stockpile of strategic nuclear warheads from about 6,000 each to some 1,700 to 2,200 over the next decade. Each nation can choose how to reduce its nuclear forces, perhaps by choosing air-launched missiles over submarines.

The Russians wanted the warheads dismantled, but the Bush administration held for simply placing many of them in a strategic reserve, where in the event of conflict they could be reconstituted as weapons. The Russians wanted a written agreement to solidify this pact, and that will be signed Friday in Moscow.

"I think it is good," Secretary of State Colin Powell told European reporters in a briefing at the State Department on Monday. "The reason the Russians wanted it -- and we agreed to it -- was as a symbol and as a sign of the closeness of our relationship and our willingness to be sensitive to their needs and their interests."

The agreement, he said, will have more permanency than an agreement between Putin and Bush. "They wanted something that was between two governments and ratified by two parliaments and something that would outlive the two presidents and show some predictability in the future," Powell said. The Russian Duma and the U.S. Senate must ratify the treaty. It is expected that the Senate will ratify it quickly.

But this trip for Bush is broader than the arms agreement. It is part of plan to re-integrate Russia into the West, heralding membership in the World Trade Organization and a new role in NATO. Putin has bet a lot of his national prestige and political future on pulling his country into the 21st century by opening greater commerce and integration with the West.

Next Tuesday, Bush is to be in Rome for a meeting with Pope John II, but also for an address to NATO at its first meeting with Russian officials. By the accident of timing as well as the skill of his foreign policy team, Bush is presiding over some astounding changes:

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

All rights reserved.

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Pre-2008
The trip is filled with symbolism. Bush lands in this World War II capital of the Third Reich, nearly flattened by Russian artillery and Allied bombers and then divided in the Cold War between the West and East. It was from Berlin that the Nazi armies were dispatched...
Bush,Arrives,Berlin,Historic,Trip
668
2002-00-22
Wednesday, 22 May 2002 12:00 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved