Etiket arşivi: US-Russia relations

On US-Russia Relations and Iran

May 16, 2019

During his first visit to Moscow on 6-8 July 2009 President Obama tried to “reset” relations. Unfortunately for the international community this failed to materialize. The Arab Spring led to a new set of confrontations. Snowden affair became an irritant and led to the cancellation by Washington of an Obama-Putin summit that was to take place during the G-20 meeting in St. Petersburg on 5-6 September 2013. Yet a brief encounter of the two leaders there paved the way for the agreement on the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons only to be followed by the crisis in Ukraine. Okumaya devam et

President Trump’s Stormy Journey to Europe

July 16, 2018

After a confrontational NATO summit in Brussels where the primus inter pares target was Germany and a UK visit which was characterized by some observers as an “assault on diplomatic norms” President Trump met his Russian counterpart in Helsinki. He arrived in the Finnish capital leaving behind a week of controversy while the latter came from a successful World Cup which gave its host Russia added international visibility. At the beginning of the Helsinki meeting President Trump repeated his conviction that good relations between Washington and Moscow are good for both countries and the world. Okumaya devam et

Global Uncertainty and Turkey

June 3, 2018

At the opening session of the Munich Security Conference on February 16, 2018, NATO’s Secretary General Jean Stoltenberg underlined NATO’s past successes and then said:

“… But the paradox is that, throughout our history, people have questioned the transatlantic partnership, from the Suez Crisis to the Iraq War, from America’s Pivot to Asia, to perceived lack of support for Article 5, and unfair burden-sharing. All of this has fueled an impression of weakening transatlantic bond. But the reality is that the bond has proven to be resilient, because both Europe and North America benefit from the bond. What we see now is North Americans coming back to Europe, just as Europeans are stepping up their contributions to our shared security…” (emphasis added)

Since then, however: Okumaya devam et

Middle East’s Failures and External Meddling

July 31, 2017

On April 4, 2017, toxic substance spread after Syrian warplanes dropped bombs on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in the rebel-held Idlib province. The West and Russia offered conflicting explanations for the tragedy. Three days later, US cruise missiles struck Al Sharyat airfield.

Five days later, President Trump’s fire-breathing Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said, “In no way do we look at peace happening in that area with Iranian influence. In no way do we see peace in that area with Russia covering up for Assad. In no way do we see peace in that area with Assad as the head of the Syrian government.” Okumaya devam et

Moving Towards Post-ISIS Iraq and Syria

July 9, 2017

During his first visit to Moscow in July 2009 President Obama tried to “reset” US-Russia relations. It did not happen. The Arab Spring led to a new set of confrontations. Snowden affair became an irritant and lead to the cancellation by Washington of an Obama-Putin meeting that was to take place during the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg. Yet, their brief encounter there on September 5, 2013 led agreement on the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons only to be followed by the crisis in Ukraine. Okumaya devam et

Syrian Conflict: State of Tension and Confusion

April 13, 2017

According to the Trump administration, on April 4, toxic substance spread after Syrian warplanes dropped bombs on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in the rebel-held Idlib province. Scores of people lost their lives. Russia offered another explanation. It said that Syrian warplanes had struck an insurgent storehouse containing toxic substances to be used in chemical weapons. The next day, Turkey’s Health Ministry issued a statement saying that “according to the results of the first analysis, there were findings suggesting that the patients were exposed to chemical substance (sarin)”. The UN Security Council failed to agree on a resolution which would have paved the way for a full investigation. And on April 7, US cruise missiles struck Al Sharyat airfield. The Trump administration called the operation an “overwhelming success”. Russian military called the effectiveness of the strikes “extremely low”. Okumaya devam et

Russia’s Intervention in Syria (2)

October 22, 2015

Despite growing evidence of a build-up of military personnel and equipment around Latakia the scale of Russian military intervention in the Syrian conflict caught the West by surprise. Many analysts tend to see it as a new assertiveness on the part of Russia; President Putin flexing muscles, displaying power; Moscow striving to restore lost role in the Middle East; Russia trying to teach Americans a lesson. Some believe that the intervention aims at propping up the regime and if Putin had been eager for peace he would have exerted pressure on President Assad before the outbreak of full scale civil war. Others say this is an attempt to deflect attention from the Ukraine conflict and a mismanaged economy. A few want a robust reaction from the US and say that NATO being tested by Russia. Assad’s visit to Moscow will probably reinforce these assessments. There may be some truth in all that. But, a little more needs to be said to complete the picture. Okumaya devam et

The Unhappy Trajectory of US-Russia Relations

October 12, 2015
Only hours after having delivered clashing remarks, Presidents Obama and Putin met on the sidelines of the 70th United Nations General Assembly. This was on September 27 and their first meeting in two years. Within a span of two weeks, however, relations appear to be further strained as result of Russian intervention in Syria. For someone who has put faith in the wisdom of US-Russia cooperation this is a disappointment. Okumaya devam et

US-Russia Relations: Compartmentalization of Issues

23 July 2015

I have tried for long to underline the need for US-Russia cooperation in finding peaceful solutions to problems which top the international agenda, in particular in the Middle East. Ever since the Ukraine conflict became a major obstacle to such cooperation, I have expressed the view that “compartmentalization” of issues could help. Now, there seems to be a glimmer of hope in this direction with the finalization of the Iran nuclear deal. Okumaya devam et

US and Russia Need to Cooperate (2)

11 June 2015
Every time they meet, Secretary Kerry and Minister Lavrov raise hopes of cooperation between Washington and Moscow on international issues; they refer to their countries’ ability to “make a difference”, “make things happen”. This was again what they said in Sochi on 12 May 2015. What has followed inspires little optimism.

It may be worth remembering in this connection what Minister Lavrov said at the end of his introductory remarks during the joint press conference in Sochi:
“…Our president firmly emphasized that we are ready for as broad cooperation as possible and as close interaction as possible with the U.S.A. based on equal rights and mutual respect of interests and positions of each other…” Okumaya devam et