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Washington Pleased by Putin Remarks
WASHINGTON--Positive comments by acting Russian President Vladimir Putin about the possibility of Russia joining NATO indicate a renewed willingness in Moscow to improve relations with the western alliance, the State Department said Monday. "The United States is certainly prepared to work with Russia and our allies in pursuing closer cooperation," spokesman James Foley said. Asked whether Russia could join NATO, Putin told British Broadcasting Corp. interviewer Sir David Frost: "I don't see why not. I wouldn't rule out such a possibility." He conditioned such a step on Russian views being taken into account as an equal partner. The interview was broadcast Sunday and picked up by Russia's main networks. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has said NATO could expand to include Russia, but other U.S. politicians strongly resist the idea. Foley said Putin's answer showed a renewed willingness to work again with the alliance in the spirit of agreements reached between NATO and Russia in recent years. "So we welcome acting President Putin's determination to establish good relations with the West. And we see his statement in that light," he said. He also noted that Putin made clear that the question of membership in NATO is not currently on Russia's agenda.
-- cin (email@example.com), March 06, 2000
-reposted from an earlier thread-
Organized crime has taken over every facet of life in Russia. Structured very much after our American Mafia, there are many crime familys that have permeated every level of government and military service. You can rest assured that the Russian Mafia is orchestrating the war on the Chechnya Republic. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING happens in Russia that they are not managing. Unlike our own Mafia, the Russian version is out in the open and in TOTAL control. They are vicious beyond your worst nightmare and have a take no un- tortured prisoners policy. Without the Mafia, Russia has no economy or organized infrastructure. They are determined to give a lasting lesson by removing the Chechnya people from the face of the earth.
-- Sifting (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 06, 2000.
This appeared in an earlier thread today and Mr. Sifting has hit the nail square on the head, IMHO.
-- Ra (email@example.com), March 06, 2000.
Unless we are in a state of war with Russia, *of course* it is only diplomatic to make statements welcoming any words that we want to hear or gestures that seem unthreatening. It is better than spitting in his eye.
The "big idea" of the past decade was to form a cheering section for Russian democracy even when Boris Yeltsin was running Russia by decree. Somehow, it was believed that if we praised them extravagently for doing the right thing, even though they weren't doing it, that it would lead them to start doing it.
Yes. I *know* this makes no sense. It is like trying to cast a spell over them. This sort of magical thinking is a symptom of the stakes being high and control over the outcome low.
-- Brian McLaughlin (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 07, 2000.