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Obama Continues Cautious Rebuilding of U.S.-Russia Relations

By Ben Pershing
If you can tear yourself away from "The Michael Jackson Memorial Orgy of Excess" on every network today, you might just catch a few tidbits of news from President Obama's ongoing visit to Russia, where he is trying cautiously to build better relations between the two powers.

Obama continued that incremental effort today, speaking at a graduation ceremony at the New Economic School. "Let me be clear: America wants a strong, peaceful and prosperous Russia," he said, while also lightening the mood with references to Alexander Ovechkin and the chilly Moscow weather. As he did during his famed speech to the Muslim world in Cairo, Obama prefaced criticisms of his hosts with acknowledgements of his own country's flaws. "By no means is America perfect," he said, before emphasizing the corrective powers of democracy and free speech.

Yesterday's agreement
between Obama and Dimitry Medvedev on nuclear arms reductions got prominent play, leading many newspapers and even some TV networks that weren't already on full Jackson alert. But while coverage of the nuclear agreement itself was positive, most portrayals of the trip so far have been leavened with a dose of realism about what has and hasn't been accomplished. "The two sides took small steps toward scaling back their nuclear arsenals but left wide differences and lingering difficulties on other issues, such as Iran, missile defense, American military support to Russia's neighbors and human rights," the Los Angeles Times writes. Similarly, the Financial Times notes that while Obama and Medvedev "talked much about co-operating on Afghanistan, they barely said a word in public on Iran, where there are big gaps between their policies."

Continue reading at Political Browser »

By Ben Pershing  |  July 7, 2009; 8:41 AM ET
Categories:  The Rundown  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: POTUS Events: Speech in Russia
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Just for the record: Medvedev should be a single name in the text below in case no one has figured that out.

Posted by: danielhancock | July 7, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

The nuclear arms reduction agreement that the President made with Medvedev might have been meaningful if we were back in the days of the Cold War but it is largely symbolic in today's environment.

I get the feeling that the President is playing the foreign visit card too early and too often and is overplaying it at that particularly given all the problems he has to deal with at home.

Posted by: danielhancock | July 7, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Apparently Obama has told Russia's leaders they must "respect the sovereignty of their neighbours". Since when did the US dream up that concept? Isn't Cuba a neighbour that the US constantly interferes with? Isn't Canada interfered with by having the waters between Canadian islands invaded at will by US ships? Isn't Mexico interfered with by preventing the free transfer of people who want to work? Prevented by big fat US citizens with too much time on their hands trying to protect American workers from competition. Does the US believe in free trade or doesn't it? Does the US believe in other country's sovereignty or not? At least Russia practices what it preaches, but with the US it is a case of "Do what they tell you to do but do not follow their example for they do not practice what they preach". And Americans wonder why they are despised around much of the world. And that's before we consider supporting the most racist country on the planet with more outstanding UN resolutions against it than any other, the occupying regime in Palestine. Before Obama takes one more step abroad he should start practicing what he preaches and ensure every other US citizen does too. "Love one another",.... unless they are Spics, or Canadians, or any other number of other countries citizens. Just where does it say that in the good book that so many in the US laud to the heights in public and ignore to the depths in private when it comes time to stick an X on a piece of paper that just might cost them a few hundred extra dollars to look after their own poor in a decent health service rather than murdering foreigners by spending billions in "defence"? It wasn't always like this, once America was respected around the world.

Posted by: Proximaking | July 7, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, back at home, Obama has yet to dismantle the AMERICAN Gulag -- creeping fascism from within that makes a mockery of democracy and the rule of law:


See latest comments to "GESTAPO USA" at:

• When will Team Obama, mainstream media, wake up and smell the police state?

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 7, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Russian agencies, quoting the government's press service, said Putin treated Obama to black caviar with sour cream, smoked beluga with pancakes and tea made in the traditional Russian samovar, a big coal-fired kettle.

Posted by: xinunus | July 7, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse


Why isnt the media talking about Obama eating smoked BELUGA WHALE with pancakes with Putin on his trip?

If you have forgotten those are the cute white looking whales you see at all the zoo's in American.

Where is PETA on this one?

Posted by: xinunus | July 7, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Why isnt the media talking about Obama eating smoked BELUGA WHALE with pancakes with Putin on his trip?

If you have forgotten those are the cute white looking whales you see at all the zoo's in American.

Where is PETA on this one?

Posted by: xinunus | July 7, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

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