With the Fourth of July festivities behind him Barack Obama is now in Moscow. There will be no dearth of opinions and comments in the media during a slow news season as to the results of Obama’s meetings with his counterpart Medvedev and the man controlling all the strings, Putin.
Estonian parliamentarian Marko Mihkelson wrote a pithy summary on the eve of the Moscow summit. Mihkelson noted in a blog posting that the two sides hold adversarial positions while hoping for someone to push the reset button. All this is accompanied by gentle jabs to the ribs.
Mihkelson warns not to expect any fundamental breaks in policy. The global financial crisis may contribute to some agreement being reached on isolated issues. Mihkelson thinks this may happen when it comes to military agreements, be that a renewal of the START treaty or on Afghanistan and North Korea.
Yet there is no reason to expect Obama and Medvedev to reach a new relationship level. Mihkelson thinks that rather those analysts, especially in Russia, who see this summit as taking place in a Cold War atmosphere, are the ones who have it right.
How could it be otherwise, with Russian president Medvedev recently making repeated reference to the possibility of a new Cold War? Obama is faced with a serious test ion Moscow, not to slip in his stance of desiring Change into possible small and numerous diplomatic traps.
On Obama’s Moscow visit