Crude Comments From Europe’s Top Diplomat Point to Bigger Problems
In this issue: An article on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Europe, by a major European newspaper; an article about a major meeting between European governments and Russia, by a U.K. major newspaper; and a commentary by a senior European diplomat on the U.S. and Russia’s trade relationship.
In Europe, the news from Russia and the U.S. continues to dominate many pages of national newspapers but few newspapers would claim to write “the most important” article on the relationship between Russia and the U.S.
One reason is that most of the countries now involved in discussions are not so dominant in the continent as the U.S. is. Another reason is that Russia and the U.S. are still a good deal less powerful than they were not too long ago. Still another reason is that Europeans are not much more ready to look squarely at the two countries’ problems simultaneously than are U.S. citizens.
However, that’s a problem that one European newspaper is hoping to remedy. The publication of “Russia And The United States: The End Of A Golden Age?” in the July 1 edition of the British daily newspaper The Observer (which generally doesn’t have anything that can compete with U.S. publications for space on its front page), comes only three months after Europe’s current or former top Russian diplomat described the U.S. as Russia’s main enemy. Last November, in his talk to the annual meeting of the Council of Europe, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told the meeting:
“To the present day, the U.S. is Russia’s enemy.”
The Russian diplomat’s remarks prompted protests from the United States and the U.S. Congress. At the time, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said that they were “a reminder that the U.S. government will continue to take steps to defend its national security interests from threats at home and abroad.”
Ryabkov continued: “I expect the