Russia: May 15, 2003

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America's quick victory over Iraq left Russia bitter about not being a superpower anymore. Russian generals saw once more how far their armed forces had fallen behind those of America, and Russian diplomats were reminded of how impotent Russian protests were in stopping the war. And then there's the money. Russia had bet on Saddam staying in power, and had recently signed oil development contracts worth billions. Russia is insisting that the embargo on Iraq remain in place, even though Saddam is gone, until some sort of deal is worked out to insure that Russia's oil contracts are honored or that Russia receives "compensation" (a payoff) for their cancellation. Russia may no longer be a superpower, but it still knows how to act like one. 

 

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