The White House administration cannot agree upon a uniform U.S. policy regarding Russia.
The course of action determined by Barrack Obama will come to a stand still thanks to the efforts of the White House team. Following Vice President Joe Biden’s criticism of Moscow’s foreign policy, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looks down upon Russia's attempts to exert influence over Eastern Europe. The White House is trying to determine its policies and smooth the rhetoric of its many voices, leaving the Kremlin trying to figure out exactly who determines Washington’s foreign policy.
After the much advertised "reset" of Russian-American relations, anti-Russian rhetoric is back in Washington.
At the end of last week, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's regular criticism of Moscow continued. During the visit to Georgia, the Russian error of August 2008 was mentioned again. Then, in The Wall Street Journal interview, Biden explained that the financial crisis will weaken Moscow and will compel it to make concessions to the West.
The White House administration later clarified the words of the country’s second-highest leader, saying that the V.P.’s underlined statements were interpreted incorrectly. "Working together to advance security and prosperity for the American and Russian people is the focus of our effort to reset relations. The president and vice president believe Russia will work with us not out of weakness, but out of national interest," declared official White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.
Following Biden, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed her discontent with the Kremlin’s foreign policy, rigidly paraphrasing Barack Obama’s previous statements and, in fact, repeating Dmitry Medvedev's recent words. “We are very clearly not saying that Russia can have a 21st century sphere of influence in Eastern Europe;” it is a "policy we reject," declared the head of American diplomatic efforts in an interview with NBC.
The Secretary of State declared, “We also are making it very clear that any nation in Eastern Europe that used to be part of the Soviet Union has a right now as a free, sovereign and independent nation to choose whatever alliance they wish to join... So if Ukraine and Georgia someday are eligible for and desire to join NATO, that should be up to them... And the Russians know that we have continuing questions about some of their policies and they have continuing questions about some of ours.”
Moscow is baffled by Washington’s inconsistent statements. “The question arises, who sets the foreign policy of the USA, the president or the respected members of his team? We have already gone through this in the past,” presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko was quoted by Interfax.
According to him, ”the Russian leadership is perplexed by the harsh criticism of Russia… at a time when the two countries are actively 'resetting' their relations.”
The second-highest executive official of the American administration is acting in accordance with Obama's approach to Russia and his vision of bilateral relations. “If this atmosphere is not agreeable to some office members and Obama’s administration members, let them say so. If they do not agree with the position of their own president, we should simply know that,” highlighted an assistant to the Head of State.
At the same time, Prihodko reminded us that the world's economic problems are connected to “adventuristic actions of U.S. economic institutes during George Bush Junior’s presidency.” Consequently, he believes that it is not right for the U.S. to blame Russia or “dump things from a sick head-on to a healthy one.”