A Possible Trap Awaits Obama in Moscow
Archived Articles 24 Jun 2009  EWR
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Lilia Shevtsova, Moscow Times

June 22 - State visits don't usually influence world politics. But the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama to Moscow on July 6 to 8 might become an exception. Obama has a unique chance to tell the world what U.S. policy toward Russia will be under his administration. He could provide an understanding of whether that strategy will be high-priority or pushed to the back burner. He could clear the air about his thinking about Russia's neighbors, the other former Soviet republics that Moscow views as its "areas of privileged interests." He could help Europe define its "Eastern dimension."

Taken together, Obama's insight on these issues could give us a clue as to what foreign policy his administration will chose -- that of the 20th century or, more likely, what philosopher Francis Fukuyama called "realistic Wilsonianism," a combination of pragmatism and values.

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