Saturday, April 04, 2009

Double Speak by President Obama on Russia and NATO

Obama: Russia has 'legit' Euro interests

Russia has legitimate interests in Europe but can't revert to "the old ways of doing business," U.S. President Barack Obama says.
President Obama, say what you mean and mean what you say.

It is important for NATO allies to engage Russia and to recognize that they have legitimate interests. In some case we have common interests, but we also have some core disagreements," Obama said.

Say what? What do you mean?

Obama also dismissed concerns of NATO encroaching on Russia's borders by courting nations such as Ukraine and Georgia, saying, "I think we should be in a dialogue with them about how we can maintain stability, while respecting the autonomy and independence of all countries in Europe -- west, east, central, wherever they are," RIA Novosti said.

Okay, Obama thinks countries like the Ukraine and Georgia should have their autonomy?

What about the Ukraine?

EU-Ukraine gas deal 'unfeasible': Gazprom

An EU-Ukraine plan to modernise gas pipelines in the ex-Soviet republic was crafted with no input from chief supplier Russia and is "unfeasible," Gazprom head Alexei Miller said Friday, Interfax reported.

Speaking at a meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Miller said he had talks with counterparts from E.ON Ruhrgaz AG of Germany, ENI of Italy and Gaz de France and said they too took a dim view of the EU-Ukraine deal.

"We have a united view -- this document was put together without participation of the main players in Europe's gas market; Russia, as supplier, and European firms that are the main consumers of Russian gas," Miller said.

He was referring to a declaration signed in Brussels on March 23 by Ukraine and the European Commission paving the way for badly-needed foreign investment in Ukraine's ageing gas pipeline infrastructure.

The deal was immediately attacked by Putin, who called it "unprofessional," and by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who said it raised "a number of questions, to say the least" and put talks with Ukraine on hold as a result.

Russia sits on the world's largest gas reserves and is the largest foreign supplier to the European Union.

But the reliability of Russian supply to Europe via Ukraine was called into question in January after Moscow accused Kiev of stealing gas and ordered a shut-off, cutting supplies to European states in the midst of a bitter winter.

Separately, Russia's European Union envoy Vladimir Chizhov said Moscow was still waiting for clarification of the Brussels declaration.

"Of course, it raised questions, which we are waiting to have clarified," Chizhov told reporters.

Meanwhile, Gazprom cut its gas production on March 31 by 30.5 percent compared with the average daily output for April of last year, Interfax reported.

The report quoted Miller as saying the company may have to review its investment startegy for 2009 in view of diminishing demand.

Any bets on who wins this argument between Putin and the E.U., namely France and Germany?

Again, Obama is all talk and no leadership. But that doesn't stop guys like Jake Tapper putting out B.S. headlines like this: President Obama Exercises Diplomacy, Helps Avert Mess (Again)

On the heels of his negotiations at the G-20 economic summit - where he negotiated a way out of a potential logjam spurred by a heated debate between France and China over tax havens - President Obama exercised his negotiating skills once again on this overseas trip, this time at the NATO Summit.

Tapper must of missed the headline on Gazprom, Putin and the E.U. So much for Obama the miracle maker's efforts on helping out on averting a mess.

And what about NATO?

Russia, Afghanistan vital to NATO future, alliance chief says

We need to succeed in Afghanistan,' since 'success in Afghanistan will have an impact on how NATO is perceived in the rest of the world,' de Hoop Scheffer told a group of students from around the world on the eve of a two-day NATO summit in France and Germany.

Succeeding in Afghanistan also means improving relations with the country's prickly neighbours, Pakistan and Iran, de Hoop Scheffer said.

NATO 'should not be involved in the Iranian nuclear dispute,' he said in response to a question.

'But Iran is an important neighbour of Afghanistan, and stability in Afghanistan depends to a large extent on stability in the region,' he said as he called for greater dialogue with Tehran.

In a speech titled NATO in 2020 - What Lies Ahead, the alliance head also underlined the importance of improving relations with Russia.

'We need to set our relationship with Russia back on track,' said de Hoop Scheffer, who will be stepping down from his post at the end of July.

'If we disagree, and we do disagree ... we both stand to lose. Russia needs NATO, and NATO needs Russia,' he said.

NATO suspended direct talks with Russia in the aftermath of Russia's invasion of Georgia in August, but in December decided to resume meetings of the so-called NATO-Russia Council. The first such meeting at level of foreign ministers was expected to take place before the summer.

Responding to a student from Georgia, the NATO chief said Russia's 'occupation' of the Georgian breakaway provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia represented 'a fundamental difference of opinion' between the alliance and the Kremlin.

NATO leaders agree to cooperate with Russia

Sound like Russia is going to change anytime soon? Shouldn't the headline be Russia agrees to cooperate with NATO?

All talk with Obama and NATO. Meanwhile as stated before, Obama wants to move military hardware through Russia into Afghanistan, and make concessions with Russia on Georgia.


Conservative Scalawag said...

We should walk away from both NATO and the UN,play hard ball with Russia. Then form a new alliance with Eastern Europe countries like Poland and Ukraine.

Tom said...

I agree, we should develop an alliance with the Ukraine.