Space For You

Less than one and a half months before the Russian Federation held its presidential election and Vladimir Putin won more than 64 percent of the votes. The popularity of the current prime minister well indicates that the Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov obtained only 17.19 percent and the independent candidate Mikhail Prokhorov came in third with 7.82 percent of the votes. Putin’s return was never in doubt, who previously promised to increase defense spending and modernize Russia’s military. Therefore Moscow is planning to spend about $775 billion by 2022 for new and more professional armaments. He said the military investments are response to the U.S. missile defense shield.

The differences between two countries over this issue is not new; it began under the Bush administration. According to the previous U.S. government, the shield in Poland and Czech Republic was intended to provide protection from the potential missile threat posed by countries like Iran. In spite of this reasons Russia considered the plan a threat to its nuclear forces and national sovereignty and decided to develop an anti-missile system near the Polish border. President Obama later withdrew the plan of the shield system. The next sign of the warming in relations was in 2010, when Russia and the United States signed off the new nuclear arms treaty, which replaced the expired Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.  Although the difference remains between Moscow and Washington over U.S. plans for a missile defense shield; there are signs that Russia has a greater willingness to apply pressure on Iran due to the country’s nuclear program.

Now the issue is the lime light again. Two weeks ago the world leaders met in Seoul for an international nuclear security summit to discuss how to secure the world’s nuclear material and prevent nuclear terrorism. In South Korea the top officials from fifty-four countries vowed to continue the nuclear disarmament, but support the peaceful uses of the nuclear energy. U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev also attended and met during the summit. The two leaders had a private conversion while their microphones were still on, which recorded their talk.  Obama ultimately asked for more space on the issue of the planned defense shield.

 Source: RIA Novosti

The recorded remarks according to ABC News is as follows:

“On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space,” Obama told the outgoing Russian President

“Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you,” Mr. Medvedev replied “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility,” said the US President

“I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.” responded Medvedev

After the talk was slipped out, Republicans didn’t waste time to criticize Barack Obama. The Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney even called Russia the number one “geopolitical foe” of the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who saved the U. S. President and pointed out that Russia has been an ally in solving the current international problems.

Medvedev responded similarly: “I recommend that all US presidential candidates…do at least two things: that they use their head and consult their reason when they formulate their positions, and that they check the time – it is now 2012, not the mid-1970s.”

By  Crystal Blankenbaker, Irina Czakó, Ksenia Solovyova


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