World

Russian media predict big freeze in US ties

  • 8 August 2013
  • From the section World
Putin and Obama
Image caption The US has ''struck Russia off its priority list' according to one commentator

Several analysts in Russian newspapers see the decision by US President Barack Obama to cancel his visit to Moscow next month as a sign that ties between the White House and the Kremlin are set to deteriorate further.

Some say that Russia's decision to grant temporary asylum to the fugitive US intelligence analyst Edward Snowden is the reason for the crisis in bilateral relations. Others, however, point to stalled negotiations on nuclear arms reduction and the lack of progress on other important issues for the past several years.

According to one commentator, problems between Washington and Moscow have now become ''strategic and long-term'', while another writes that the US has ''struck Russia off its priority list''.

Dariya Tsilyurik in daily Nezavisimaya Gazeta

The cooling of Russian-US relations will set back the solution of important issues until a new ''window of opportunity'' opens, which will not happen for at least one or two years.

Aleksey Gordeyev in weekly Zavtra

In any complex and unstable system there are special phases known as ''bifurcation points''. When they pass through them, systems can no longer return to their previous state. The ''Snowden case'', or rather the decision by the Kremlin to grant the ''fugitive from the Matrix'' temporary one-year asylum, became such a "bifurcation point" for Russian-US relations.

Yevgeniy Shestakov in Rossiyskaya Gazeta

After President Obama publicly said that the issue of Snowden's extradition was extremely important and fundamental, it became impossible to reduce the scale of this problem between Russia and the USA. Figuratively speaking, the head of the White House has climbed up a high fence from which he can no longer jump down.

Maksim Minayev in daily Izvestiya

This is an asymmetrical reaction on the part of Obama that casts doubt on the ''reset'' (of US-Russian relations).

Varvara Onishchenko in Komsomolskaya Pravda

Apparently, hawks in the Congress have yet again put pressure on the president… So, are we in for another cooling period? The meeting of US and Russian foreign and defence ministers, that will take place at the end of this week, will show whether this is the case.

Ivan Safronov in daily Kommersant

The White House decision was prompted not only by ''the Snowden case'', but also by Washington's understanding that it would be impossible to reach a breakthrough on issues considered to be important by the US president - the reduction of nuclear arsenals, and missile defence. According to experts, this is not only an indication of a new cooling of relations between the two countries, but also shows that guiding lines in US foreign policy have changed. The country has in fact struck Russia off its priority list.

Nikolay Zlobin in business daily Vedomosti

The meeting (with Russian President Vladimir Putin) would have been meaningless anyway, as no progress has been achieved on any issue (in bilateral relations). Moreover, Obama coming to Moscow would make him appear weak in the eyes of opposition Republicans who have heavily criticised him over Snowden.

Mariya Lipman in Vedodmosti

Even in 2008, during the war with Georgia, there were problems in (US-Russian) relations. Now these problems have become strategic and of a long-term character.

Aleksey Mukhin Novyye Izvestiya

Small conflicts should not prevent political decisions from being taken and the US president understands this very well… Both sides are interested in holding a separate meeting of their presidents and the situation with Snowden is not an obstacle but yet another topic for discussion.

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