Monday, February 25, 2008

U.S.-Russia Relations After Kosovo

Some thoughts on where things might be headed, which I've published on Taki's Top Drawer.

I really do want to emphasize that I don't expect immediate reactions. But I do think that what is continuing to happen is the erosion of trust in the relationship--and a shift to where Moscow wants cash on the barrel head arrangements. This trend will accelerate, I believe, under Medvedev--because this has been the Gazprom strategy. No promises, no vague assurances--cash or deliverables on hand.

We will then have to evaluate whether Russian help in any given situation is worth the price.

On a separate note, the World Public Opinion/PIPA poll on Putin is out. What is most striking is the differences in assessments of Putin between citizens of G7 countries and other countries around the world. Putin seems to get much higher marks in countries aspiring to be part of the "World Without the West" (e.g. China, South Korea, Egypt). This mirrors a similar split in attitudes over Kosovo.

In the case of South Korea, it surely helps that Russia is basically in South Korea's corner in the Six-Party talks.
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