THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
DISSECTING RUSSIAN-US RELATIONS

What about trade?

July 13, 2009
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RE: “OBAMA and Medvedev pledge to scale back nuclear arsenals’’ (Page A1, July 7). It has been almost 20 years since the end of the Cold War yet the agenda of the US-Russia summit remains unchanged. In the middle of a global economic crisis, the two leaders discussed many important military matters, but neither broached the subject of the economy. Presidents Obama and Medvedev have signed no fewer than six different documents, none of which addressed economic cooperation and development. No trade agreements or investment initiatives were even discussed.

Unsurprisingly, US-Russia trade relations are much worse than US relations with other, less-developed countries. For their next meeting, Obama and Medvedev should make time to consider worthy economic initiatives like reducing trade barriers and eliminating visas to encourage tourism in both countries. It’s time to change the tone of negotiations and turn our backs on our Cold War past.

TATIANA KRYZHANOVSKAYA
Washington, D.C.

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