Obama and Putin agree: 'reset' was 'successful'

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

When President Obama congratulated Vladimir Putin today for winning the Russian presidential election, the two leaders discussed how the "reset" between the United States and Russia has been "succcesful" -- but did not, apparently, discuss the rampant election fraud reported to have compromised the Russian presidential race.

"President Obama and President-Elect Putin agreed that the successful reset in relations should be built upon during the coming years," the White House Press Office announced in a readout of the call. "President Obama and President-Elect Putin agreed to continue discussions on areas where the United States and Russia have differed, including Syria and missile defense." The heads of state "agreed to continue their efforts to find common ground and remove obstacles to better relations."

The "reset" has certainly gone well for Putin. The United States agreed not to put missile defense systems in Poland, while the new START treaty "would require the United States to reduce its nuclear stockpile, [but] it would allow Russia to actually expand its arsenal."

With respect to Syria, Russia has provided the dictator with weaponry that makes it dangerous for the United States to implement a no-fly zone to prevent Bashar al-Assad from bombing his own people. And, Russia has sold Assad anti-ship cruise missiles. "These arms will make it possible to defend Syria's entire coastline against a potential attack from the sea," a source told the Associated Press

As for the Russian election fraud, the White House readout of the call contains no indication that Obama discussed election fraud.

The State Department did not congratulate Putin in a statement on the election, beyond saying the United States "look[ed] forward to working with the President-elect after the results are certified and he is sworn in," as spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said. "We urge the Russian Government to conduct an independent, credible investigation of all reported electoral violations," she also said.




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