Resetting Russian reset, and the rest of Obama’s foreign policy

Washington Post

While the president and new Secretary of State John Kerry are resetting reset, they would be wise to take a look at Freedom House’s new report on Russia. It is a sober assessment of Vladimir Putin’s Russia and where U.S. policy should go from here.

Authors David Kramer and Susan Corke explain:

Over the past year, driven by a fear that the democratic spirit of the Arab awakening would creep toward Russia, Putin and his adherents have launched a series of initiatives designed to close down civil society and eliminate any and all potential threats to his grip on power. New legislation has been crafted to increase criminal penalties for opposition protesters, censor and control the internet, taint nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that receive overseas funding as “foreign agents,” prohibit U.S. funding of Russian NGOs involved in “political activities,” drastically expand the definition of treason, and recriminalize libel and slander. Arrests, arbitrary detentions, and home raids targeting opposition figures are occurring on a level not seen since Soviet times. One opposition figure was even kidnapped from Kyiv, where he was seeking asylum, and brought back to Russia to be prosecuted based on a coerced confession. A Putin critic living in Britain, Aleksandr Perepilichny, died under mysterious circumstances last November, recalling the poisoning death of Aleksandr Litvinenko in 2006. Also during 2012, the Russian government forced the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) out of the country; the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute soon followed. The legal and practical space for civil society and political opposition in Russia is closing quickly.
They remind us that “Putinism is rooted in corruption. The regime uses the pliant legal system as an instrument to suppress all forms of opposition and protect the corrupt division of economic resources among loyalists. The most senior officials and business magnates are given control over valuable sectors of the economy, especially extractive industries. Such short-sighted perversion of economic forces almost ensures the system’s decline, preventing competition.”

Rather than ignore Russia, as the administration is hinting it may do, the authors propose a series of smart readjustments in U.S. policy:
Actively challenge—rhetorically and through policy decisions—the authoritarian actions of the Putin regime, and do so at the highest levels of the U.S. government, starting with President Obama.

Abandon talk of seeking “win-win” cooperation, since Putin views power relations in zero-sum terms and will not pursue such mutual benefits in good faith

Implement aggressively and fairly the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act to deny those Russian officials involved in human rights abuses the privileges of U.S. travel and banking services.

Restore the notion of “linkage” as a policy tool to make clear that human rights and democracy are part of and will affect the broader bilateral relationship. payday loan срочный займ female wrestling www.zp-pdl.com https://zp-pdl.com/how-to-get-fast-payday-loan-online.php онлайн займ

займ на карту мгновенно без отказа credit-n.ru займ на кредитную карту мгновенно
кредит онлайн на карту под 0 credit-n.ru круглосуточный кредит онлайн
онлайн кредит на киви кошелёк credit-n.ru займ на киви кошелек без отказов мгновенно
мгновенный кредит на карту онлайн credit-n.ru беспроцентный займ онлайн на карту

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Buzz
  • LinkedIn
  • del.icio.us
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • FriendFeed
  • NewsVine
  • Digg

Place your comment

Please fill your data and comment below.

Your comment