Russia-US relations expected to take a new turn
Some experts believe that the US President`s decision to host the G8 summit on May 18-19 at his Camp David retreat instead of Chicago, demonstrates his intention to bring US-Russian relations to a new level.
Barack Obama has decided on different venues for the G8 summit and another high-profile meeting of NATO leaders and partners scheduled for May 20-21. In this case, the departure of Russia`s newly-elected president Vladimir Putin from Chicago won`t be interpreted as a walkout.
A NATO summit was scheduled to take place shortly after the G8 meeting in Chicago. But Mr. Putin said he won`t be attending a NATO meeting this time due to remaining differences with the US on missile defense. By changing the place of meeting, Obama has confirmed his intention to build up new relations with Moscow on the sidelines of the G8 summit, political analyst Alexei Arbatov says…
"Apparently, chances are quite low for the two countries to agree on missile defense in the near future, that is why Vladimir Putin won`t attend a NATO meeting. But the fact that he will go to Camp David proves that Obama wants to turn over a new leaf in US-Russia relations."
Mr. Arbatov believes that the US leader`s decision can be viewed as a signal to Russia “to forget old offenses and misunderstandings, which have been clouding political cooperation between the two countries” and outline ways to further cooperation. It is worth mentioning that Putin’s inauguration will be over by the time the G8 summit at Camp David begins.
State Duma deputy Dmitry Vyatkin believes that the meeting between Putin and Obama won`t be just an exchange of opinions but a real attempt to bring their positions closer.
"The US hardly wants to be alone while dealing with the Syrian crisis and the situation in Iran. Moscow and Washington should specify their positions on the Middle East crisis, and on Syria and Iran."
Experts agree that there is a certain pre-election subtext about the meeting. In the US, the ‘reset’ in relations with Moscow is attributed to Obama, and now that the presidential race is in full swing, he wants to make it clear that despite some failures, relations with Russia are growing, with evident prospects for all differences to be resolved in due time.
Now as he prepares to leave his post of prime minister, Mr. Putin is going to attend the summit at Camp David as Russia`s new leader, who is in charge of shaping the country’s foreign policy.