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Subject: Putin's Dangerous Navigation
Ferro    5/29/2002 3:24:15 AM
Privet Ribyata! Putin finally decided to ally with West. Does this bring longterm benefit to Mother Russia? Or will Russia be an appendage to Nato? How will this effect the relationship with Chinese? Ferro
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pfd    RE:Putin's Dangerous Navigation   5/29/2002 10:48:36 AM
put some more velcro on this....nothing to argue for or against
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bsl    RE:Putin's Dangerous Navigation   5/29/2002 9:27:28 PM
Ferro, I hypothesize two factors in Putin's thinking: 1)Russia is weak and will be weak for some time to come, and 2)Russia faces real dangers, in the medium run, from, potentially, China and the Islamic world. OTOH, in the short and medium term, Russia faces less danger from Europe and America than at any time in the past. To the contrary, Europe and America are potential markets AND allies. And, there are no substitutes for them as either, in the near term. However, the potential of Europea and America is not symmetrical in these roles. Europe may be an excellent potential market for Russia - especially for the petroleum coming on line - but, at present, Europe is militarily weak, and is so because of political processes which do not seem ready to change. Thus, Europe, in the short term, is not valuable as a military ally. It's nice to tie Europe up as an ally, to preclude a hostile stance emerging, but not much positive benefit on the military side, now. America, otoh, is valuable for BOTH economic and military reasons. Thus, to the extent that Russia is looking for security guarantess - real guarantess, that is, and not just documents - America is the obvious strategic ally. And, since Russia and America seem to have a common set of potential adversaries in China and the Islamic world, there is specfic strategic sense in an alliance. There isn't identity of enemies between Russia and America, and the distinctions might cause serious problems. But, there is enough overlap to make strategic sense. Indeed, in the longer run, it may be appealing to expand strategic cooperation to include India, from both the Russian and American point of view. IOW, while Russia will almost surely be looking to deepen and expand economic relations with Europe, military cooperation is more problematic. Russia will certainly be interested in generally friendly relations. But, as long as European military potential remains so limited, Russia will probably look more to neutralize NATO's potential to act against Russia than in any real, active military alliance.
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pfd    RE:Putin's Dangerous Navigation   5/31/2002 4:46:44 PM
I don't see much import in military problems except for the hang-over left over from the Cold War (tons of germs, gas and bargain nukes). The main problem is to make the economy grow and to create a social infrastucture that won't fall down. Hopefully that social system can help nourish an economy that isn't hand to mouth/slash and burn. It's frontier times all over for the Russians. They are starting the game from scratch and worse-forced to do so in public.
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