Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Russia's Irritants in Reserve
What does seem clear, however, is that one goal of Russian foreign policy is to begin to assemble and cultivate potential "irritants" to the United States to be deployed if and when Washington takes steps that Moscow perceives to be working against their interests, something Brooke Leonard notes at NI Online.
Of course, with Venezuela, the risk Russia runs is that it can in no way control Hugo Chavez. I don't know that Moscow is that interested in endorsing a new Latin American troika of Chavez, Evo Morales in Bolivia and Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua--not especially when there are new opportunities for expanded cooperation with Brazil. But at the same time, Chavez won't let Russia sit on the fence indefinitely (perhaps using the leverage of nationalization for future Russian energy projects?)
But this does seem to be an ongoing pattern for the future.
Talleyrand's aphorism seems apposite:
'It was worse than a crime, it was a mistake.'