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- December 29, 2012 at 11:26 am #344976
Tit-for-tat moves between Russia and the US are plunging the two nations into a new Cold War, says Russia expert Stephen Cohen. Washington’s longtime policy towards Moscow is to blame for the growing tensions.
The ‘reset’ in relations between the United States and Russia is dead, as the Obama administration has never truly cooperated with Moscow, instead pushing the same policy Washington has been imposing on Russia for the past 20 years.
“That policy is advancing NATO toward Russia’s borders, building missile defense on Russia’s borders, interfering in Russia’s internal politics,” Stephen F. Cohen – professor of Russian Studies and History at New York University and Princeton University told RT.
RT: After the US Senate passed the controversial [Magnitsky] bill, Russia accused Washington of engaging in 'Cold War tactics'. Now that Moscow has retaliated, how would you describe the two countries' relations?
Stephen Cohen: Increasingly we are plunging into a new Cold War. But it’s not a surprise. The story of the orphans doesn’t begin with the Magnitsky Bill. Number of us in the United States have been warning since the 1990s – nearly 20 years – that unless Washington changed its policy, its kind of winner-take-all policy after the Cold War policy toward Moscow, that we would drift toward Cold War, not toward the partnership we all hoped for 20 years ago. This is just the last stage I wouldn’t say it’s inevitable. But even though the tragedy of those orphans already adopted in effect who now will not be able to join their families in America is foremost in our minds – especially on the Christmas Eve and the eve of the New Year.
A real honest, analytical approach by an American patriot – as I am – is that Washington bears a large part of responsibly because of the policies it pursued toward Moscow. And what we saw in the Russian Duma and in the Russian Higher House – the Federal Assembly – when virtually every deputy voted in favor of the ban on American adoption, which was just signed by Putin, is an outburst of pent-up of anti-American feeling in Moscow which has been caused not only, but in large measure by American policy.
RT: How much is this dispute actually just political saber-rattling and how will it actually impact the children?
SC: There is an old Russian saying – “Words are also deeds.” A lot of people in Moscow and in Washington- when they passed the Magnitsky Act and now the ban on adoption in Moscow – may have though that they werejust talking, showing off, playing grandstanding. But these words have consequences. They have backed, they have fueled this new Cold War atmosphere which is enveloping the relationship between our two countries. Each going to affect American relations with Russia regarding Afghanistan, regarding missile defense, regarding Syria, regarding Iran – these are very serious matters. The angrier people get, the more resentment people have on both sides, the worse is the situation.
For example, anti-Putin feeling in America is irrational, completely irrational. There has been a kind of demonization of Putin in America. Some of us tried to counter it by beginning a rational discourse about Putin as a leader. We are not pro-Putin, we just see him as a national leader who needs to be understood. But these events – the Magnitsky and the orphan act are going to make it impossible to have a discourse in America about Putin’s leadership in a way that would lead to any cooperation between Obama and Putin.
RT: With the US and Russia exchanging tit-for-tat actions, what possible further moves can we expect?
SC: There was some surprise in America because our legislature does not think about the consequences of what it does. Many people thought that the Russian reaction to the Magnitsky Bill would be for Moscow to start selling its dollars, for example, and try to harm the American economy or perhaps that Moscow would reduce its cooperation with the United States in supplying NATO troops fighting in Afghanistan. So many people were surprised that the orphan issue became the retaliation.
But there are two issues here that are interesting: In the beginning President Putin did not seem to favor the ban on American adoptions, but he signed the bill after it turned out that almost every member of this parliament favored it. It is also said that President Obama did not favor the Magnitsky Bill, but he signed it when it turned out that almost every member of Congress favored it. So it may be that we are exaggerating the power both of Putin and Obama.
RT: The reset button was pressed in 2009 – but how much has really changed in ties between Washington and Moscow?
SC: I see Obama’s reset is what we – the older generation – used to call when we were in a Cold War a ‘detente’ – meaning an attempt to reduce Cold War conflict by replacing it with cooperation. I think there was a lost opportunity. When Obama and then President Medvedev entered into the reset, Moscow wanted certain things from Washington and Washington wanted certain things from Moscow. Without going into the detail Washington got everything from Moscow it wanted and Moscow got nothing. So the reset has been dead for several months, maybe a year.
RT: During the US Presidential elections, Barack Obama had been accused by his Republican counterpart of being soft on Russia. Could the latest decision mean he's changing his stance?
SC: The Republicans said that because they were prepared to say anything negative they could think about Obama in order to defeat him. But he reality is that Obama has continued the policy toward Moscow begun by President Clinton, a Democrat, and continued by PresidentBush, a Republican. That policy is advancing NATO toward Russia’s borders, building missile defense on Russia’s borders, interfering in Russia’s internal politics, most recently the street demonstrations. This is the same policy that began 20 year ago with the Soviet Union.
The fundamental American policy toward Russia has not changed. So it’s ridiculous to call Obama ‘soft’ on Moscow. Just because two leaders get together as they always do and say ‘we are friends’ – it doesn’t mean anything. The reality is that the partnership we need between Washington and Moscow to make the world safer for all of us has not existed since the Soviet Union ended. And we may be farther from it today as a result partially of this orphan act than we have been in 20 years.December 29, 2012 at 12:34 pm #408263
Interesting. I have many friends back in the USA who are trash talking Russian simply because they've heard only about the adoption ban. They don't pay attention to politics anywhere to understand the real reasons behind it all. They just look at it as Russia being evil again. That's how the media has portrayed it in the US. Disgusts me. At least RT – most of the time – has no issue saying when Russia isn't so innocent, too.December 30, 2012 at 6:52 pm #408264
LUL it's foolish to think USA and Russia are rivals. While media tries to represent clash of US and Russia. In real world outside of fake media Russia and US are great friends. This adoption issue its a big joke. And the common people are divided in both countries by media once more. Other hand in real wordl; NATO logistics in the Afghan War;
There are several different routes included in the Northern Distribution Network. The most commonly used route, though also one of the longest, starts at the port of Riga, Latvia on the Baltic Sea, and continues for 3,212 miles (5,169 km) by train southwards through Russia, using railroads built by Russia in the 1980s for the Soviet war in Afghanistan.
In response to the increased risk of sending supplies through Pakistan, work began on the establishment of a Northern Distribution Network (NDN) through Russia and several Central Asian republics. Initial permission for the U.S. military to move troop supplies through the region was given on 20 January 2009, after a visit to the region by General Petraeus.
Now i ask Russian polititians; if they are for real and do really want to be counterweight to America then show your balls and try to ban this strategic line. But no i don't need their answer becouse it's clear they are in reality good friends with Amerikansky.
So no Lubomir there is no new Cold War on horizon but there is Afghan war and Russian state is taking part in it in logistical aspects.December 30, 2012 at 7:02 pm #408265
povhec got it right
only children in orphanages will be affected – more of them will rot in orphanages instead of having at least a chance to live better life. ok nice. those people in politics have again shown theyre just spineless, inhumane bastardsDecember 30, 2012 at 7:27 pm #408266
AnonymousQuote:So no Lubomir there is no new Cold War on horizon but there is Afghan war and Russian state is taking part in it in logistical aspects.
I m not claiming there is a new cold war on a horizon.December 30, 2012 at 7:37 pm #408267
AnonymousQuote:I m not claiming there is a new cold war on a horizon.
Ok no problem i just delivered my opinion.December 30, 2012 at 7:46 pm #408268
AnonymousQuote:Ok no problem i just delivered my opinion.
BTW, I think the best for Russia is to keep away from any kind of war. They need to populate the biggest teritory on the planet.December 30, 2012 at 7:50 pm #408269
AnonymousQuote:BTW, I think the best for Russia is to keep away from any kind of war. They need to populate the biggest teritory on the planet.
However when you see Russian attitude towards the land, rural one that is, i am pesimistic. Nobody wants to engage in farming there and they don't dare to take time and hard work to establish healthy countryside. Instead countryside is dying. So…. they best first fix such thing first instead of child adoptions. :December 30, 2012 at 8:37 pm #408270
AnonymousQuote:povhec got it right
only children in orphanages will be affected – more of them will rot in orphanages instead of having at least a chance to live better life. ok nice. those people in politics have again shown theyre just spineless, inhumane bastards
Actually, it's a known fact that Slavic children adopted by US couples have more problems than can be accounted for. Many are treated horribly by their adopted parents, their peers, and other adults. It's truly horrible. They are adopted into what SHOULD be families that love them to get them out of the orphanage but many times they are put into far worse situations.
As for America and Russia being friends or not… I wouldn't say they are "friends" but they aren't "enemies" either…December 30, 2012 at 8:57 pm #408271
this wasnt aimed at fixing adoptions but at flattering egos of russian parliament, putin and other "verchuška" elites. the fact that children are actually punished is only like "collateral damage" for them. there are hundreds of thousands of them in state care, most will end up at bottom of society after leaving orphanages.
this "law" basically stripped several thousands of children every year to get a chance to live a better life.
slavicmuse, can you link me any source describing massively bad treatment of children in usa? because apparently this isnt a known fact. it seems rather like an urban legend to me. i heard about 2 or 3 cases of child adopted from russia into usa dying (but what caused deaths? accidents?). however massive abandonment of children in russia IS a bad treatment. lack of funding for state-run care IS a bad treatment.
a child adopted to a richer country get substantially higher chance to have a better life.December 30, 2012 at 9:09 pm #408272
AnonymousQuote:Actually, it's a known fact that Slavic children adopted by US couples have more problems than can be acAs for America and Russia being friends or not… I wouldn't say they are "friends" but they aren't "enemies" either…
Russian and American common people. Definetly not but it apears on political scene they are definetly not hostile to each other. Act's like this when they baned child adoption to USA are more of "food for the masses" type. While major geopolitical deals seem to be quite different.January 1, 2013 at 4:03 pm #408273
AnonymousQuote:For example, anti-Putin feeling in America is irrational, completely irrational. There has been a kind of demonization of Putin in America. Some of us tried to counter it by beginning a rational discourse about Putin as a leader.
Nothing knew and nothing has changed. USA has always wanted to dictate and impose their policy towards others.January 1, 2013 at 6:29 pm #408274
Let's be honest, both nations are stirring up cold war ghosts to coverup failings in their domestic policies. It's easier to cause fear and hatred :instead of admitting that our countries have not dealt with economics correctly.
The USA can't get the two parties to agree on anything while the wages and living standards fall. Russia is a land of extreme natural wealth with a highly educated population. Yet, corruption and inefficiency are causing investment capital to leave the country.
TheJanuary 3, 2013 at 11:10 am #408275
Such titles usually increase newspaper circulation, fears of apocaliptic global war survive deeply in the human brain. Various communist and anti-globalists dream to destroy the United States as a global imperialist, while liberals are dreaming about gay pride parade of victory in the place of nuclearly destroyed "Russian government". Both kinds of people are pretty far from reality, any serious confrontation between USA and modern Russia is impossible, there is strong dependence of Russia's elite and economy on the U.S., Kremlin and Duma are not total idiots to get problem for their dollar deposites in Western banks and their own children, receiving education and permanent residence in the U.S. Any military embargo by the U.S. also does not improve the Russian electronics of the level from 1980s. The worst-case scenario – some American sanctions against the most obvious corrupt criminals from Moscow and helpless yelping in response.Quote:can you link me any source describing massively bad treatment of children in usa? because apparently this isnt a known fact. it seems rather like an urban legend to me. i heard about 2 or 3 cases of child adopted from russia into usa dying (but what caused deaths? accidents?). however massive abandonment of children in russia IS a bad treatment. lack of funding for state-run care IS a bad treatment.
However we don't have any reliable statistics about such crimes in Russia and I'm not tring to say that situation in America is worse.
a child adopted to a richer country get substantially higher chance to have a better life.
Not exactly. Perverts are still perverts even having huge money.January 3, 2013 at 12:24 pm #408276
i asked about massive abuse of russian children in usa. those statistics are "fueled" mostly by abuse in nigga families.
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