Reset of the reset is not the most likely outcome of Barack Obama’s re-election

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Reset of the reset is not the most likely outcome of Barack Obama’s re-election
Published 8-11-2012, 05:40
"If Barack Obama would be more flexible as he promised on missile defense we will be ready for a compromise” says Eugeny Buzhinsky, Senior Vice President of the PIR centre (Russian Center for Political research) in an interview with the Voice of Russia.

Re-election of Barack Obama may not change very much in the overall foreign relations policy that he ensured for the last four years. But we might see a prospect reset of the reset in relations between the US and Russia. Is that possible?

Well, I don’t think that reset of the reset is the most likely outcome of Barack Obama’s reelection. What I expect is, well, first of all, for Russia as we speak about the foreign policy, is more predictable. We know Barack Obama, we know what he has been doing for the last four years. And of course we expect some positive steps on his part. Well as in arms control export I say that missile defense is the key issue in bilateral relations now, and it will be for the next years. If Barack Obama would be more flexible as he promised on missile defense we will be ready for a compromise. And this will become a real game changer.

Did you find it encouraging that in that brief moment when former-president Medvedev and president Obama were talking last year and the mic was on, and he did say "give me some time I can be more flexible after the election”. Did you see encouragement in that comment?

Yes, that what I wanted to say a minute ago. That we expect, and all export societies in Russia and in Russian military, all people who are engaged in the process of bilateral relations, of course all of them are expecting some flexibility on the US side, and the readiness for compromise. Because the compromise is possible, really.

What is your opinion about Romney’s phrase Russia is No 1 geopolitical enemy.

It is not a proper discussion. We have a lot of in common, for example Afghanistan.

Let’s talk about the Middle East right now. Obviously the US, Russia and China are not on the same sides all the time in the UN, when regarding such issues like Syria. And we are not certainly on the same side with Libya. Within the Syrian crisis, do you see any progress with the US and Russia can come closer together, and how to deal with this unfortunate situation there?

Well, speaking about the Middle East, and speaking about Syria, frankly I don’t understand the US position. Because I don’t see real alternative to Bashar Assad. The real alternative is Brother Muslims but not moderate ones or radical ones. I don’t think it is in interests of the United States to have Brother Muslims ruling all over the Middle East. So I do not expect, well I hope there will be some kind of compromise between Russia, the United States, China and European Union on Syria. But stubborn position that Bashar Assad should go, I don’t understand this.

Well, again. Giving the fact that at least in the UN there has been issues regarding voting in the Security Council, Russia and China being on one side of it, and US and Western allies on the other, do you see any breaking that or will it really stand from something happening on the ground in Syria. Whether that will influence the voter in the Security Council?

For the time being the in PACE between the Syrian forces as they call them freedom fighters in the United States or terrorists as the Syrian government call, well, I don’t expect any quick results and any quick compromise between members of the Security Council. I think that we will wait and see what’s happening in Syria.

How about new talks on reducing arms in US and Russia?

Well I am not a supporter of speedy resuming talks on further reductions. First of all let’s see how the new treaties being implemented. How warheads and missiles being reduced, really reduced. And then everything is possible. I think that the level of 1000 warheads is realistic one, but not today.

Do you think the reelection of Barak Obama sends any message to the world that the US will continue its foreign policy much differently from what we saw in the previous administration? As Barak Obama is very popular overseas among many citizens of different countries. Do you think we going to see a softer tone from Obama’s administration?

Well I don’t expect any softer tone or any softer position on the US side. I am waiting and I hope for a new US administration readiness for compromise. And compromise mainly on key issues in bilateral relations. I repeat that – missile defense is the key element of the whole complex of the bilateral relations.

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