Is there a move towards a change in the international system? First,US-Russian relations
The Summit meetting between President Obama and President Medvedev in Moscow has signalled a change in the relations between the US and Russia.But we are hesitant to see it as a move towards a change in the internatonal system;because we experienced such a good start before,just after the September 11 attacks on the US in 2001.At the time,US-RUssian relations took a big uplift,then slowly melted down to a point where relations came to a period of “dangerous rift”. President Obama is taking now a fresh start.We will see to what degree these relations can improve.We have to monitor the steps.
The important step was the determination shown by both Presidents when they met in London on April 1 and decided to”resetting” relations by creating a “Bilateral Presidential Commission”.The work of the Commission mly interested of anyade it possible to achieve many things during their summit meeting in Mocow.First was the signing of a Joint Understanding to guide the work of negotiators on a follow-on agreement to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty( START) to be signed before December.It will be recalled that START 1 which was signed in 1991 before the demise of the Soviet Union had foreseen the reduction of nuclear warheads from 10.000 to 6.000 in each country.In Moscow, also proliferation trends in North Korea and Iran were discussed.Second, both Prsidents mede commitments to deepen securrity cooperation,to work to defeat violent extremists and counter transnationl threats,including piracy and narcotics trafficking.They also decided that Russia would help transit ISAF related personel and material for Afghanistan.Political,military and economic cooperation was also taken up.
Of course,this is a good beginning. Let us see how the third interested party,Europe,evaluates this raprochement. Firstly, we have to look at how the improving relations beteen the US and Russia will affect European –Russian relations. It is well known that these relations have been tense because of the natural gas crisis, Kosovo nd South Caucasus. Also Russia objects to the advancement of the Euro-Atlantic structures to its “priviledged interests zone”. Both US and Europe are being criticised by Moscow over Georgia nd Ukraine.In the face of such a situation President Obama’s moderate stand on NATO’s enlargement and US antimissile depleyment in Europe is probably welcomed by Germany and France,but viewed with suspicion by the old communist countries of Europe.
China is the other party directly interested in changes in the US-Russian relations.We have to see what her reaction will be.Then, we may start making an overall judgment.We can only hope that such good signs in relations between major powers proliferate in the future so that stabiliity prevails on all corners of the World.