While U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates claims Russian Prime Minister Putin had told him Iran was Russia’s greater threat, in a meeting with American security experts, Evgeny Zudin of the Russian Ministry of Defense gave detailed presentations on the Russian assessment of the Iranian and North Korean missile programs, and the degree to which Russia believes these programs constitute threats requiring missile defense responses. Evgeny Zudin said that for Russia, the bottom line is that, in essence, neither program constitutes a threat at the moment or in the near future.
The leaked State Department cables reveal the Kremlin’s pressure on various countries not to support international resolutions condemning the Soviet-engineered famine in Ukraine. See the U.S. Embassy Moscow cable on the visit to Russia of Israeli FM Lieberman and the visit to Bishkek of UK’s Prince Andrew.
by Ted Lipien
Opinia.US Truckee, CA, November 29, 2010 — Leaked secret State Department cables may help to resolve the mystery as to why President Obama chose September 17, 2009 to make his announcement on canceling President Bush’s missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic. The announcement pleased the Kremlin, which had been pushing for the cancellation of the planned system for years. But why the Obama White House made the announcement on September 17, the anniversary of the Soviet military invasion of Poland in 1939 under the secret terms of the Hitler-Stalin Pact, is still not clear.
Update: President Obama has so much invested in the “reset” of relations with Russia (read: Medvedev and Putin) that he can’t bring himself to condemn this public rebuke from the Kremlin and a flagrant challenge to him, U.S. laws and sovereignty.
Update: The results of the mid-term elections have shown that American voters have had a chance to evaluate President Obama and have strongly rejected his leadership. While economic and other domestic issues played a major role, it was also a vote of no confidence in his foreign policy.