Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Stick a Fork in it...

Done deal. There will be a new START treaty that limits nuclear weapons and delivery systems. This should not be downplayed. Both the US and Russia wanted and needed it. It is a big deal in Russia. Russia will resume military contact with the US, including a visit by Russian cadets to West Point and 4500 military flights over Russian territory will be permitted to transit for the Afghan war.

So. What's left. No overt compromise on Eastern Europe or other areas in Russia's "near abroad". Not a lot left. I disagree with Drezner that the US has a market in Russia. It is limited, temporary and does not recognize the geopolitical imperatives of both - which are not subject to many areas of compromise. Drezner believes that Russia is a useful market for the US. This is plain crap. Period. There is nothing in Russia that is other than marginally open to the US producer. Nothing. Russia produces nothing other than energy that anyone else wants. The Russian environment is simply not suitable for US producers. But you need to live there to understand that, frankly.

So, what comes out of Moscow is what was generally expected. And a new nuclear treaty is nothing to sneeze at. Don't expect much more and thankfully, don't expect a US compromise on Eastern Europe. The US should understand that Russia is not a friend. It is not a democracy by any definition and it is not China.

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