Tags: U.S.-Russian | Ties | Face | Challenge

U.S.-Russian Ties Face Challenge

Friday, 21 September 2001 12:00 AM

According to Sergei Rogov, the director of the influential Institute of the United States and Canada, Washington and Moscow were on the verge of forging a new partnership provided they have a common goal. However, such an opportunity could be wasted if the two countries pledged joint action only declaratively, Rogov argued during a news conference.

"In 1993, Russia and the United States had already announced (creation of a) strategic partnership. In reality, however, the realization of that partnership is possible only if there is a common foe. Today, there is one," added Rogov, apparently alluding to Afghanistan's Taliban regime.

At the same time, the U.S.-Russian partnership can survive only if conducted on the principle of equality, he said. According to Rogov, an equal partnership could, perhaps, suggest Russia "not to object to any kind of the use of force that the United States proposes."

"Russia should not react to American statements, but build up its own position," Rogov said.

Stressing Russia's readiness to forge strategic partnerships with its Western allies, Rogov recalled the Kremlin's proposal to build a joint European missile defense shield, as well as Moscow's statements about potentially applying for NATO membership.

Both attempts failed to yield a positive response in the West.

Nevertheless, Rogov said, if Washington and Moscow decided to create a strategic partnership, such irritants to bilateral relations as NATO's eastward expansion and the United States building a national missile defense would be marginalized in the light of the growing threat of international terrorism that would become the chief concern of such alliance.

The Russian scholar also tackled more concrete issues, such as a potential development of events in the Central Asian region should the United States launch strikes on Afghanistan' s Taliban regime, which the United States claims is hiding Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden is considered the prime suspect in the planning of last week's hijackings that resulted in attacks on New York and Washington and some 6,000 deaths.

"Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and other Central Asian states will have difficulty deciding to take part in U.S. retaliatory actions without Russia's support," said Rogov.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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According to Sergei Rogov, the director of the influential Institute of the United States and Canada, Washington and Moscow were on the verge of forging a new partnership provided they have a common goal. However, such an opportunity could be wasted if the two countries...
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2001-00-21
Friday, 21 September 2001 12:00 AM
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