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NYT: Obama should review Polish & Czech plans

9.1.2009 - The New York Times
Given all he faces, Barack Obama may be tempted to put Russia on a back burner. We hope he does not.

Russian-American relations have disintegrated to a dangerous low, with the Kremlin increasingly acting to antagonize the United States. And America’s European allies have been in no mood to take their cue on Russia from Washington. A majority have resisted American efforts to quickly bring Georgia and Ukraine into NATO. The alliance, which cut formal ties with Russia after the Georgia-Russia war in August, has begun a “conditional and graduated re-engagement” with Moscow.

(...) (...)

Mr. Obama should signal to the Russians that he wants better relations. That would mean cutting back on belligerent talk and inviting the Russians to high-level consultations on areas in which the two countries can quickly achieve cooperation — say, on combating piracy. Mr. Obama should consider renewing the Start 1 treaty on reducing strategic nuclear forces, which expires in December 2009. He could tone down demands for NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine, especially since neither is ready, and review plans to station defensive missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic.


Source (American): Mr. Obama and Mr. Putin. The New York Times, 27.12.2008

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