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    EXPERT: U.S. ELECTIONS UNLIKELY TO CAUSE SUBSTANTIAL CHANGE IN POLICY TOWARD RUSSIA

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    MOSCOW, October 30 (RIA Novosti) - U.S. policy toward Russia is hardly to undergo any substantial change after the forthcoming presidential elections but certain shades can alter rather notably, said Sergei Rogov, director of the Institute for U.S. and Canadian Studies, the Russian Academy of Sciences.

    Commenting on U.S. polls to be staged on November 2, the Russian expert said that George Bush's victory would mean the continuity of Russian-U.S. policies. Though Bush's second term can be different from the previous one, like it was with Reagan, the more so as Bush is to have another team, added Mr. Rogov.

    In his opinion, John Kerry's victory is likely to cause initial cooling off as Washington is certain to be paralyzed by the first six months of government reshuffles, to say nothing of quite a number of people in Kerry's entourage who have recently come up with harsh statements against Russia.

    Then, said the expert, interstate relations are to improve since Kerry is critical of Bush on many points of foreign politics that are equally inadmissible for Russia-namely, unilateral use of American military force, activities without any consent from the U.S. Security Council and against international law, negligence of international obligations, the U.S. withdrawal from the ABM Treaty and refusal from ratifying the nuclear test ban treaty.

    Sergei Rogov assumed that John Kerry might give arms control a new lease on life. "It is important that Kerry censures the deployment of the anti-missile defense system, the development of new small-size nuclear charges, and welcomes the ratification of the universal nuclear test ban and continued talks with North Korea," said Mr. Rogov.

    Thus, Russia might benefit more from partnership with Kerry than with Bush, he continued.

    Rogov qualified Russian-U.S. relations as those with a wide potential. Russia and the United States have declared a policy toward the establishment of strategic partnership, which has been for the time being based only on good personal relations between the presidents.

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