Rice and Putin Agree to Disagree

Condoleeza Rice, the U.S. Secretary of State arrived in Moscow ahead of the G8 Summit in Germany in June of this year to try and heal the increasing rift between Russia and America, which is being dubbed by some in the media as a Second Cold War.

The two powerful nations have had a lot to disgree on recently, but no issue has rubbed the Russians up the wrong way more than the US proposed missile defence bases which it plans to set up in Poland and the Czech Republic - old Soviet satellites who have little lost love for their Eastern neighbour. Whilst America continues to insist that the bases are for security purposes, Russia resents such military activity close to their own turf - with Putin even accusing America's assumption that the international rules don't govern them as similar to the approach that the Third Reich held.

And whilst Russia can maintain the moral highground on this issue, America is concerned (along with the rest of the Western World) by the bullying tactics it continues to use to resolve arguments with it's smaller neighbours - particularly in regard to energy, which the Kremlin uses as a trump card to punish countries that fail to comply with its wishes (recently Estonia, Georgia and Ukraine have been terrorised by cutbacks or ridiculous price rises in gas and oil supplies). On top of this, far from becoming more democratic, Russia under Putin is becoming less democratic everyday, with limited freedom of press, risk of death for outspoken journalists, a terrible record on human rights (particularly in the army) and underhand political tactics used to make a farce out of any 'free elections'.

Needless to say both countries are too used to having their own way to even consider changing their stance, but in a mutual PR exercise both have agreed to tone down their levels of criticism of one another to the international media.


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