Russia Feels the Obama Effect

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Even amid the general euphoria last Election Day at the gaining of America’s highest office by an African-American, there was still a sprinkle of rain on that parade. (Here at €S we are always on the look-out for the rain on the parade!) Do you remember? It was right on November 5, the day after, that Russian President Dmitri Medvedev offered his own form of congratulations by announcing that Russia intended to deploy short-range missiles (presumably nuclear-capable) to Kaliningrad, that little piece of Russia lying on the Baltic Sea, to the West of Lithuania – and just to the North of Poland, where the US still has signed a treaty paving the way for it to install an anti-missile system, controlled by radar itself stationed within the Czech Republic. Russia has always been sore about that anti-missile system, apparently fearing that it is aimed against itself some way and/or that the deployment would hinder her own capability to sway/intimidate her former satellite states in Eastern Europe, so that this deployment to the Kaliningrad enclave threatened to become the start of a Cold War-like missiles confrontation.

Now a somewhat more reassuring word comes from Germany’s paper-of-record, the FAZ: Russia stops rocket-deployment in Kaliningrad. The article cites the Russian news-agency Interfax as quoting a unnamed member of the Russian General Staff to the effect that this step was taken “since the new American government seemingly is distancing itself from forcing through the setting-up of parts of the planned anti-missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.” (more…)

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