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  • WHEN PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA CANCELED HIS UPCOMING SEPTEMBER SUMMIT IN MOSCOW WITH RUSSIAN PRESIDENT

  • VLADIMIR PUTIN, MANY SAW THAT MOVE AS A MAJOR REBUKE.

  • WELL UP TO NOW, THE U.S. AND RUSSIA HAVE COOPERATED ON A RANGE OF ISSUES, BUT THERE HAD BEEN SOME

  • DISAGREEMENTS ON ISSUES INCLUDING THAT OF SYRIA.

  • FROM THE START OF HIS PRESIDENCY, WE ALL REMEMBER, PRESIDENT OBAMA MADE RESETTING RELATIONS WITH

  • RUSSIA HIGH PRIORITY. BUT AS VOA'S CORRESPONDENT IN MOSCOW JIM BROOKE TELLS ME, THE DISPUTE

  • OVER EDWARD SNOWDEN IS JUST ONE SIGN THAT HAS CHANGED.

  • PRESIDENT OBAMA'S DECISION TO CANCEL THIS PLANNED MEETING WITH PUTIN... WHAT DOES THAT

  • DO FOR THIS U.S. - RUSSIA RESET THAT HAS BEEN IN WORKS NOW FOR FEW YEARS?

  • WELL, THE RESET IS BASICALLY OVER. I THINK WE ARE ENTERING A PHASE OF U.S. - RUSSIA RELATIONS

  • WHERE THE U.S. - THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION - IS GOING TO DOWNGRADE THE RUSSIAN RELATIONSHIP

  • TO SECOND TIER OFFICIALS. IT WILL BE PURELY TRANSACTIONAL. THERE IS A FEELING THERE'S

  • NO SUCH THING AS GOOD WILL WITH THE KREMLIN. IF YOU WANT A DEAL YOU SIT DOWN, YOU NEGOTIATE

  • THE PRICE, YOU RENEGOTIATE THE PRICE AND YOU FINALLY COME TO THE PRICE. DON'T LOOK FOR

  • GOOD WILL FROM EITHER SIDE AND DON'T EXPECT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO BE INVOLVED

  • BECAUSE HE HAS 10 THOUSAND DAYS LEFT IN THE OFFICE, HE'S THINKING OF THIS LEGACY AND HE

  • DOESN'T WANT TO WASTE TIME, HE DOESN'T WANT MEETINGS FOR MEETINGS. AND I THINK THAT'S

  • WHY THE MEETING WAS CANCELLED YESTERDAY. THERE REALLY WAS NOTHING SUBSTANTIVE IT WAS COME

  • OUT OF IT.

  • JIM, HOW BADLY HAS THIS DISPUTE OVER EDWARD SNOWDEN DAMAGED THE U.S. - RUSSIA RELATIONSHIP?

  • ALEX, REALLY IT IS A STRAW THAT HAS BROKEN A CAMEL'S BACK I THINK. THERE ARE A LONG SUCCESSION

  • OF DISAGREEMENTS BETWEEN THE PUTIN GOVERNMENT AND THE WHITE HOUSE AND THIS IS A FINAL STRAW

  • I THINK. YOU HAVE TO GO BACK TO PUTIN'S BANNING AMERICAN PARENTS FROM ADOPTING RUSSIAN CHILDREN

  • BACK IN JANUARY. SINCE THEN, THERE HAVE BEEN A SERIES OF BAD INCIDENTS.

  • WHAT ARE SOME OF OTHER TENSIONS THAT WE'VE BEEN SEEING?

  • WELL, IN THE LAST FALL PUTIN KICKED OUT USAID, JUST UNILATERALLY ENDED THE AID PROGRAM WHICH

  • WAS WORKING QUITE WELL IN RUSSIA FOR 20 YEARS. THEY DECIDED TO PULL OUT OF THE NUNN-LUGAR

  • NUCLEAR THREAT REDUCTION PROGRAM. THEY BASICALLY MADE CLEAR THAT TWO AMERICA DEMOCRACY GROUPS

  • SHOULD LEAVE - NDI, NATIONAL DEMOCRACY INSTITUTE, AND THE INTERNATIONAL REPUBLICAN INSTITUTE.

  • AND THAN THERE WAS VERY SERIOUS CRACK DOWN ON HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS, ANTI-CORRUPTION GROUPS

  • INSIDE RUSSIA COUPLED WITH PUTTING THE MOST IMPORTANT OPPOSITION PEOPLE ON TRAIL. SOME

  • PEOPLE WERE GOING TO THE EXILE. THIS REAL CHANGE IN RUSSIA SINCE VLADIMIR PUTIN CAME

  • BACK TO THE KREMLIN IN MAY OF LAST YEAR, A GREAT CHANGE FOR THE NEGATIVE.

  • AND HOW DO YOU THINK RUSSIANS, JUST SORT OF THE GENERAL POPULATION, HOW THEY'VE BEEN RECEIVING

  • THIS SHIFT? ARE THEY ALIGNING WITH PUTIN ON THIS ANTI U.S. FRONT?

  • YES, ALEX, PUTIN IS REALLY DOING THIS TO BUILD UP DOMESTIC SUPPORT, TO CONSOLIDATE HIS DOMESTIC

  • BASE AND THIS BASE IN THIS CASE WOULD BE RURAL, SMALL TOWN BASE, DEPENDENT ON THE STATE TELEVISION,

  • NOT HAVING ACCESS TO THE INTERNET. NOW ABOUT A HALF THE COUNTRY HAS ACCESS TO INTERNET

  • AND THEY ARE MUCH MORE PLUGGED INTO MAINSTREAM THINKING AND THEY ARE NOT REALLY GOING ON

  • BOARD WITH THIS. YOU LOOK AT APPROVAL RATINGS OF THE U. S. THEY REALLY HAVEN'T GONE DOWN

  • MUCH, MAYBE 55 PERCENT OR SOMETHING, BUT PUTIN IS DOING THIS TO CREATE A FOREIGN ENEMY AND

  • TO TRY TO RALLY HIS DOMESTIC SUPPORT AROUND HIM. AND A LOT OF RUSSIANS THAT I SPEAK TO

  • ARE EMBARRASSED OR JUST TUNE HIM OUT.

  • WHAT WOULD IT TAKE TO REPAIR THE RELATIONSHIP?

  • IF SOMETHING HORRIBLE HAPPENED IN THE EASTERN PART OF RUSSIA WITH THEIR CHINESE FRIENDS,

  • ALL OF A SUDDEN THE KREMLIN WOULD REDISCOVER THEIR UTILITY OF GETTING ALONG WITH EUROPE

  • AND THE UNITED STATES. BUT THEY FEEL THEIR BACKS ARE PRETTY WELL COVERED OF THE CHINESE,

  • THEY DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THAT. I THINK AT SOME POINT MR.

  • PUTIN WILL LEAVE OFFICE, BUT THAT COULD NOT BE FOR 10 YEARS, SO LET'S NOT HOLD OUR BREATHS

  • ON THAT. IN THE WHITE HOUSE - DEMOCRAT, REPUBLICAN, I DON'T THINK IT REALLY MATTERS - PUTIN IS

  • A MAN WHO IS TRAUMATIZED BY THE COLLAPSES OF THE SOVIET UNION AND TOOK IT VERY MUCH

  • TO HEART AND DOES SINCERELY BELIEVE THAT THE WEST IS OUT TO ALL IS CHECK AND TO DIMINISH

  • RUSSIA. AND HE ALSO KEEPS A GRUDGE. IF YOU GO BACK TO YEAR 2000, LOOK AT THE PICTURE

  • OF G-8, HE'S THE LAST MAN STANDING. HE'S THE ONLY LEADER IN G-8 WHO IS STILL THE LEADER

  • SO HE WILL LECTURE PRESIDENT OBAMA ABOUT PRESIDENT BUSH. AND PRESIDENT OBAMA CAN SAY 'HEY THAT'S

  • WHY WHO IS ELECTED. I DON'T LIKE BUSH EITHER BUT WHY ARE WE WASTING OUR TIME WITH THIS

  • CONVERSATION?'

  • AND OUR THANKS AGAIN TO VOA'S CORRESPONDENT IN MOSCOW JIM BROOKE.

WHEN PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA CANCELED HIS UPCOMING SEPTEMBER SUMMIT IN MOSCOW WITH RUSSIAN PRESIDENT

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The Rocky Road Between Russia and the U.S. (VOA On Assignment Aug 16)

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    van posted on 2013/08/24
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