Joseph Biden started “singing” Mikhail Saakashvili’s song27.07.2009 | 22:48
The Wall Street Journal has distinguished itself twice recently. First, the Georgian president admitted in its columns that Georgia's hope to join NATO has been frustrated after the August war in South Ossetia, where Russia had fought the good fight. Then, he took back his words. However, as they say, the pen is mightier that the sword. Now, it was the US Vice President Joe Biden's turn to share his opinion of the current situation in the world with the newspaper. The new American oracle has foretold that Russia's economy decline will press Moscow towards making concessions to the West in respect of the key issues of national safety.
The interview given by the American vice president was the harshest statement in respect of Russia since the new democratic administration has occupied the White House.
On the one hand, Biden has indeed deserved the name of the most "hawk-like" one of all of the "democratic hawks"; but, on the other hand, he has once again confirmed the proverbial wisdom: who keeps company with the wolf, will learn to howl. His remarks as to Russia being close to agony are reflecting the position of the Georgian President Saakashvili, who, for some reasons, believes that Russia is living its last days, while Georgia is rising from its knees under the aegis of the American democracy.
This speech followed by several glasses of Khvanchkara obviously caused incomprehensible transformation in Joseph Biden's mind, for he announced to The Wall Street Journal that Russia is currently in the worst state it had been within the last 40 years. Its economy is "fading", which is going to make the country more amenable to the West, considering the fact that its political initiatives in respect of neighboring countries have failed. The US vice president is sure that Moscow's "rowdy" policy in respect of its neighbors is counter-productive.
It is difficult to say what the recent visitor meant by this; still, this time, his "awkward statements obviously reflected the opinion that is popular among the American administration", - Fabricio Dragosey is commenting Biden's words in Corriere della Sera.
This opinion is obviously wrong. It is the same "historic" mistake made by Hitler and Napoleon who believed Russia to be a week rival. The author of the article in Corriere della Sera reminds of the fact that at the beginning of 1990s, Europe and America disregarded Moscow, while Russia rose again, primarily due to oil and gas.
Following Saakashvili, Biden thinks that the construction of Nabucco will lead to the decline of the Russian pipelines. Besides having called Nabucco an oil pipeline, as Fabricio Dragosey points out, Biden did not consider the fact that, with the forecasted growth of energy resources consumption by the European countries, the Russian pipelines will again become the basic oil and gas carriers to Europe.
The fact that the elderly politician Biden got mixed over the notions of an oil pipeline and a gas pipeline is half the tragedy. But the absolute contradiction between his words and Barack Obama's main statements speaks of the fact that the American policy has suddenly got confused. Assistant to the Russian President Sergey Prihodko ironically asked who, in fact, is defining the US policy in respect of Russia: President Obama with his declarations about the "reload" of bilateral relations, or his subordinates. "If they do not agree with their president's line of policy, we would just like to be aware of the fact". In this case, Biden has obviously done Obama an ill service.
However, Biden's speech was followed by the State Secretary Hillary Clinton. Perhaps, she tried to soften Biden's "hawk-like squawk".
Thus, Mrs. Clinton admitted that the US President Barack Obama's administration is considering Russia to be "an important player" and she even ranged it among the Great Powers. She said that the White House would like it to be a strong and wealthy country. However, she added that, by "reloading" relationship with Russia, "we do not mean that in XXI century, Russia can have a sphere of influence in the Eastern Europe". "This is the position and the policy we reject", - head of the American diplomacy stated in her interview to NBC. The State Secretary also underlined that any country in the Eastern Europe, being a free, independent and sovereign country, has the right to choose an alliance to join. "If Ukraine and Georgia ever get a chance to join NATO, it will be up to them".
Commenting upon Ukraine and Georgia's intention to become members of NATO, President of Russia Dmitri Medvedev stated: "We do not think it right to draw this or that state into some military and political alliances against their people's will". Thus, in case of Ukraine, Medvedev thinks it expedient to hold a referendum on the issue of joining NATO. "As to Georgia, this is the question to be put to the alliance itself: why do they need a country that is having so many problems?" - the Russian president pointed out.
The White House head's closest associates have shown by their statements that, while talking about "multi-partner relationship", America would still prefer to have a week Russia of Gorbachev's and Eltsin's times, meekly following Washington's waterway.