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Trust us, folks, he’s not as craven as he seems

In this editorial, the Washington Post assures its readers that, in seeking to “reset” U.S. relations with Russia, President Obama is not simply going to capitulate across-the-board to Russian demands. At one level, it’s remarkable that the Post would see the need to write such an editorial. But that doesn’t mean the Post is wrong to perceive that need.

The Post cites Obama’s statement that even as the U.S. seeks to reset relations with Rusia, “we are going to continue to abide by the central belief that countries who seek. . .to join NATO are able to join NATO.” From these words, the Post concludes:

The administration believes. . .that it can develop constructive relations with Russia without sacrificing the interests of Russia’s neighbors. Whether such a reset will be acceptable to Mr. Medvedev or to Russia’s de facto top ruler, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, remains to be seen.

For me, what remains to be seen is Obama’s response when Putin makes it clear that good relations with Russia are not possible without sacrificing the interests of Russia’s neighbors. That response, I suspect, will not be a happy one for Russia’s neighbors.

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