The crisis over Ukraine has all but frozen official communication between the United States and Russia. The Russian reaction to the political upheaval in Kiev — the absorption of Crimea, and the armed intervention in eastern Ukraine — and the American responses to those actions have brought about a near-complete breakdown in normal and regular dialogue between Washington and Moscow. Relations between the two capitals have descended into attempts by each side to pressure the other, tit-for-tat actions, shrill propaganda statements, and the steady diminution of engagement between the two governments and societies.
Reports from the NATO summit meeting that ended in Newport, Wales, on Friday indicate that the United States and its allies will respond to Russia’s intervention and violence in Ukraine with an escalation of their own — including further sanctions, enhanced military presence in front-line states, and possibly greater support for Ukraine’s armed forces.… Seguir leyendo »
With global warming rapidly melting Arctic sea ice and glaciers making valuable stores of energy and minerals more accessible, voices of doom are warning of inevitable competition and potential conflict — a new “Great Game” among the five Arctic coastal nations.
In fact, the Arctic states of North America, Europe and Russia, working with indigenous peoples and a number of non-Arctic states, already have taken steps to ensure just the opposite: that the Arctic remains a zone of cooperation, peace and stable, sustainable development.
The Arctic Council — the intergovernmental organization for the eight Arctic states: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States — has created a forum for cooperation and momentum toward a responsible approach to the region’s issues.… Seguir leyendo »
When we, former American ambassadors to Moscow and Russian or Soviet ambassadors to Washington, last came together in September 2008, the U.S.-Russia relationship had reached a post-Cold War low point. We urged immediate attention to setting a new course that would restore effective cooperation.
At a recent meeting, we concluded that the two-year reset of policy undertaken by the American and Russian governments has gone a great way toward a comprehensive revival of cooperation on security and economic issues and toward establishing a framework to manage working-level cooperation between the sides.
Our presidents have signed the New Start treaty, and the “123 agreement” on civilian nuclear cooperation has been resubmitted to the U.S.… Seguir leyendo »
Politically driven ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan has already claimed more than 100 lives and threatens to erase the country’s progress toward self-government following the April ouster of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.
It is an ominous sign that a society which had undertaken impressive reforms aimed at creating the region's first parliamentary democracy is now teetering on the brink of outright civil war and state failure.
With the violence around Osh continuing and a very real possibility that the conflict could expand to engulf parts of neighboring Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, NATO and the United States must immediately engage with regional partners to help restore security.… Seguir leyendo »