Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Convincing Congressional Skeptics on Russia

Last week, I asked whether I had been wrong on the reset.

I listened to Undersecretary of State Bill Burns outline a broad and detailed agenda for keeping the positive momentum going in the U.S. - Russia relationship, and found it convincing--but the real question is, whether Congress will be convinced.

"Medvedev appears to believe that he can do business with Obama"

And Putin believed that he could do business with Dubya.

Putin was wrong. Dubya was fundamentally uninterested in doing business with Putin.

Medvedev is wrong about Obama. Obama is fundamentally constrained from doing business with Medvedev. He won't spend the domestic political capital needed to overcome Congressional opposition to reciprocating Russian gestures and concessions.

Fortunately for Russia, Medvedev hasn't given much. The Russian government appear to have learned from the experience of Gorbachev and Yeltsin.
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