Looks like Russia May Be Having Second Thoughts….
By: Rebecca Figone
According to an article on The Cable: Foreign Policy, Russia may not have a warm, cozy feeling for America, if our Congress votes on Russian human rights. It seems that the “Reset” button was only good for so long.
From The Cable: Foreign Policy: “Russia has threatened the Obama administration that it will end cooperation on Iran and prevent the transfer of material to Afghanistan if Congress passes a law criticizing Russian human rights practices.
The White House argues that the U.S.-Russian “reset” of relations has had three positive results: the New START nuclear reductions treaty, Moscow’s cooperation in sanctioning Iran, and approval (for a price) for U.S. military goods to transit Russian territory on the way to Afghanistan. But Russia is now using two of those three points as leverage to pressure the administration to get Congress not to pass a bill that would ban visas for Russian officials implicated in human rights crimes.
The legislation, called the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2011, is named after the anti-corruption lawyer who was tortured and died in a Russian prison in 2009. The bill targets his captors, as well as any other Russian officials “responsible for extrajudicial killings, torture, or other gross violations of human rights.”
The administration admitted the Russian threats in its official comments on the bill, obtained by the The Cable.” (There is much more to this story, please continue reading it here.)
While it remains to be seen what will happen with this, the old adage of keep your friends close and your enemies closer comes to mind. Our situation is such that we have never been friends with Russia until the Obama Administration, and to me, this situation of resetting our relationship with Russia, has been highly and overtly questionable from the moment it ensued. Time will tell us what we need to know, to be sure.