Sunday, July 26, 2009

Biden's comments anger Kremlin

The Press-Enterprise, the local paper I subscribe to, has a section called “In Brief.” The say the information the various brief articles contained are from “News Services.”

I’ll further abbreviate what it says and comment bellow:

“. . . Vice President Joe Biden made blistering criticism of Russia’s failing economy, loss of face and a leadership that is ‘clinging to something in the past’. . .”

“Biden said flatly that the Obama administration would make no deals and accept no compromises with the Kremlin in exchange for better relations. Russia itself, he said, should find it in its own interest to repair relations.

“The Kremlin immediately demanded a clarification of the administration’s intentions toward Russia.”


Peter Spiegel, working in Moscow for The Wall Street Journal seems to be referring to the same Biden speech the “In Brief” article is: ( ) However, if this is indeed the occasion of the “In Brief” article, Spiegel puts a different spin on it. He entitles his article “Biden says Weakened Russia will bend to U.S.” Spiegel presents Biden as speaking reflectively about the state of Russia. Russia could still take offense at the idea that it will bend to the U.S., but the “In Brief” article has Biden speaking directly to Russia – at least that’s the way I would read it – almost an ultimatum: leave Ukraine and Georgia alone or else! Of course the words are ambiguous and can be clarified should Biden, or more probably Obama, want to -- in such a way that the ultimatum is removed. That is, if “In Brief” has the correct interpretation and not Spiegel – and if the writers heard the same thing . . .

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