Russian political analysts differ on the future of Russian-
American relations after the re-election of Barack Obama but agree
that on the issue of missile defence one should not expect a radical
breakthrough and it is likely that the deployment of missile defence
elements in Europe will be a bargaining chip for Russia and the USA.
Director of the Institute of USA and Canada Studies Sergey Rogov expects that the Obama Administration will put forward a new agenda for relations with Russia in early 2013.
"The agenda will include issues related to cooperation on Afghanistan, as US forces will be withdrawn from Afghanistan in 2014. I think that more substantial proposals for deeper cuts in nuclear weapons will be put forward," Rogov said.
He said that Washington could offer an option of reducing the nuclear arsenals to 1,000 warheads.
"The Americans will seek to limit not only strategic nuclear weapons but also tactical," Rogov said.
According to the expert, Moscow will try to link the issue of nuclear arms reduction with the problem of missile defence.
"I think that next year we will have a serious talk with the Americans on the further reduction of nuclear weapons and missile defence. And if we can reach a compromise on missile defence, maybe already in 2014 there will be new legal and political arrangements," Rogov said.
Rogov said the USA might adopt the Magnitsky [Magnitskiy] Act without repealing the Jackson-Vanik amendment.
"I think that in a few weeks there may be a situation where the House of Representatives passes the Magnitsky law and keeps the Jackson-Vanik amendment. Of course, this will lead to rather serious consequences," Rogov said at a news conference in Moscow on 7 November.
The Obama administration will continue to criticize internal political processes in Russia, Rogov said.
"I think that the Obama administration is well aware that the USA has little influence on political processes in Russia and China. They will criticize us in public, and this will cause a corresponding reaction from our side," Rogov said.
According to Rogov, Obama's victory "means the continuity of the policy".
The USA is not planning a ground attack on Iran after the re- election of Barack Obama, Rogov said.
"The USA will not conduct a ground war in Iran. There might be a question of missile strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities," he said.
Speaking about the situation in Syria, the Russian expert said the current developments might play a restraining role for Israel.
"It is possible that the USA might support Turkey and declare a no-flight zone near the Syrian-Turkish border," he said.
"Obama's re-election will benefit the relationship between Russia and the USA. Last year he was somewhat restricted in the development of relations with Moscow since he was subjected to harsh criticism by conservative forces who blamed Obama for his policy of improving relations with Russia," director of the Institute of Political Studies Sergey Markov told Interfax.
According to the analyst, Obama was restricted by the election campaign; however, in informal situations he showed he was willing to improve Russian-American relations.
"The neo-cons persuaded Mitt Romney to say that Russia was the USA's major geopolitical enemy. This criticism prevented Obama from
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