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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Annals of Cold War II: No Trade Deal For Neo-Soviet Union

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and Russia are unlikely to reach a long-sought trade deal by the time Moscow hosts a summit meeting of leading world powers in mid-July, a top Republican senator said on Wednesday.

"I don't think it's possible," Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, told reporters after a committee meeting. Differences, including on the political front, are too big to be resolved by the July 15-17 G8 summit in St. Petersburg, he said.

Russia has been negotiating to join the World Trade Organization for more than a decade. Its biggest remaining hurdle is a bilateral accession deal with the United States.

Earlier this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin complained Washington was stalling Russia's entry -- a charge U.S. official have denied. Meanwhile, the United States has raised concerns that Russia is backsliding on democratic reforms and moving toward authoritarianism.

"There's also the political issue of what the president sees in Putin's heart. He sees a good heart," Grassley said, referring to statement Bush made in November 2001. "I look in that heart and I see the old Soviet regime."

Still, Blake Marshall, executive vice president of the U.S.-Russia Business Council, said the two sides could reach a deal soon, if not by the G8 summit.

"My guess is we are getting close, and so if for some reason it doesn't materialize by mid-July it shouldn't be too terribly long after," Marshall said.

Negotiators have made progress recently on agricultural concerns, but some big issues remain, he said.


Anonymous said...

Senator Grassley is one of the most well-respected, thoughtful and senior members of the body. If he's talking about the Neo-Soviet Union, La Russophobe is clearly on the right track. Russia has in fact alienated the world with its crazed policies and is hurtling down the road to self-destruction.

Anonymous said...

It's just another way by the Senator to get into headlines. If I were him, I would concentrate more on why leaders of the country which provided most of 9-11 terrorists are walking hand in hand with Bush, like Rostova and Rzhevskiy on a date?

As for WTO, it's simply negotiantions, and such comments by the senator or his Russian counterparts are to pressure the other side to make concessions, that's it!

As it was said, "the caravan is moving and the dogs are barking at it."

La Russophobe said...

ANONYMOUS: Wow, you really love America. I'm sure your advice was sincerely intended to improve the quality of life for Americans, wasn't it?

Are you suggesting that Grassley is wrong, and that a deal will be struck before the G-8 meeting as Russia has been begging for, or are you too cowardly to say?

You really are a classic Russophile, lost in a world of dreams and illusions. Russia has provoked the U.S. by supplying U.S. secrets to Iraq and supporting U.S. enemies Hamas and Iran. Cold War II is coming, and Russia will meet an even worse fate than the USSR because Russia is a far weaker foe. You can imagine all you like that it isn't happening, but one day you will awake from your dream to find a very harsh reality, just as the USSR did not so very long ago.

Anonymous said...

"Cold War II is coming"

Russians are coming! Russians are coming! Jump!

"Russia has provoked the U.S. by supplying U.S. secrets to Iraq"

Please give us prove... Not even Condi or Bush were able to prove it, just bunch of vague, baseless lies.... Just like your blog...

How come no one supplied any proof that it happened? Just some statements like, I heard there that it could have, would have happened... and that's it...