A Diplomatic Dance of Deception

NM413600_a_306869c[1]By: Zine Larbaoui, TLB Contributor

While the Western media described the cancellation of the Obama-Putin summit as the most serious diplomatic crisis since the end of the Cold War and applauded the resolve of the White House, the Chinese press saw a sign of weakness on the part of the United States against Russia. This case really does not matter. It is media posturing and will have no impact on peace in the Middle East.

Wednesday morning, the White House announced that President Barack Obama canceled his trip to Russia and any bilateral meeting with President Putin. He will attend the G20, on the 5th and 6th September in St. Petersburg, but only to participate in this international summit, without ad hoc meeting with his Russian counterpart. This is the first time since the Cold War, Washington expressed its displeasure with Moscow.

According to the U.S. press, the two presidents are now so far from each other on most issues, they would have nothing to say. Commentators put asylum granted to the ex-NSA consultant Edward Snowden as the straw that broke the camel’s back. “Coincidentally”, the announcement of the White House follows an editorial in the New York Times, a “perfectly independent news source”, of course, specifically calling for the one on one boycott in response to the Snowden problem. The newspaper decries “provocative decision” by the Russian authorities, granting asylum to an individual who is not being prosecuted for his “race, ethnicity, religion, membership in a particular social group or political opinion, or beliefs” but for “endangering state security”. In fact, the reason for this cancellation is so highly ridiculous that it would mean that Washington can punish Moscow for defending itself against the spying it is subject to and so is rest of the world.

The summit was to be devoted to military relations between the two countries: reducing arsenals and “anti-missile shield.” The two great powers have failed to significantly reduce their nuclear arsenals and retain the ability to blow the planet several times over. Despite budget cuts, the U.S. reluctance to destroy some of their stock, while Russia, whose conventional army is much less supplied than its U.S. counterpart considers arming itself as a whole and refuses to separate negotiations on nuclear disarmament and the conventional side. Concerning the “missile defense”, Moscow rejects and denounces its misleading name and considers it an offensive weapon system directed against Russia. Vladimir Putin proposed that the “shield” be placed under both command and protects the two superpowers and their allies some crazy dictators. Obama replied, “No! “. Then Vladimir Putin demanded reassurances that the deployment of the “shield” would not be used against Russia. Again, Obama replied, “No! “.

Putins rageOn the Russian side, there is little doubt that Barack Obama would look awkward at the summit, following his being particularly ill at ease with his Russian counterpart in a previous meeting. In imposing drastic budget cuts to the Pentagon, he can do no more. Rather than admit his weakness, he is using the Snowden affair as an excuse to not attend a one on one meeting.

Beijing officials meanwhile said in an editorial of The Global Times, China’s equivalent of the New York Times, that Russia emerged victorious in the Snowden match against the United States, the latter having no significant leverage against Russia. However, this cancellation will have no effect on peace in the Middle East.

Please refer the provided link for more information : Snowden affair not a cause of chilly US-Russia relations: experts  at: http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/802931.shtml#.Ugp_hG1cX0c

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