Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Obama Meets With Putin
They only met for two hours but Pres. Obama emerged from his meeting with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin with a positive outlook, declaring that the two formed the basis of a "good relation."
This is good news indeed because the public statements of the two leaders in the past sometimes suggested a less than warm view of one another.
Make no mistake about it. The Obama administration needs Russia's cooperation in its goal of isolating Iran, which represents the single largest threat to world peace at this time. Russia has certain economic interests involving Iran that need to be addressed.
It was obvious following yesterday's meeting with Russian Pres. Dmitry Medvedev that he and Obama were able to come to terms on a number of issues, most notably a reduction in nuclear warheads and approval of U.S. flights through Russian airspace to resupply troops in Afghanistan. But the real power in Russia rests with Putin. So today's meeting was an important step toward forging a longer lasting working relationship between the two nations.
It probably came, however, at an expense. There has been no mention during this trip of human rights violations in Russia - a nation where political dissent is not just suppressed but where opposition journalists often suddenly find themselves dead.
My guest on yesterday's News Talk Online on Paltalk, Project for Nuclear Awareness Chair Craig Eisendrath suggested that's the likely trade off with Russia. The U.S. turns a blind eye to the human rights abuses in return for cooperation on nuclear disarmament, Afghanistan and Iran.