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US, Russia may control rift

By Chen Xiangyang | China Daily | Updated: 2013-08-14 07:55

US-Russia relations have reached a new low with US President Barack Obama canceling his meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. US-Russia ties were floundering even before former National Security Agency operative Edward Snowden sought asylum in Russia. Moscow's decision on Aug 1 to grant asylum to Snowden for one year worsened an already imperfect relationship, with Obama saying he was "disappointed" by Moscow's "Cold War" mentality at times.

Obama decided to cancel the presidential meeting scheduled for September in St Petersburg, where the two leaders will attend the G20 summit. And with no solution to the differences between the US and Russia in sight, Moscow is likely to remain locked in an all-round competition with Washington.

In military security, Russia believes in a nuclear equilibrium and strategic balance with the US, while the US has been trying to prove its superiority over Russia. Politically, the US seems keen to interfere in Russia's internal affairs, which Russia is resolutely opposed to. The two sides disagree on a range of issues like the Syrian crisis, human rights, arms control and cybersecurity. In the fields of finance, trade and energy, Russia does not want the hegemony of the dollar to continue, and advocates reform of the international monetary system and safeguards for its energy interests.

The US-Russia conflict has intensified because the "structural contradictions" between them are deep-rooted and complex. The US is bent on establishing a unipolar world, while Russia is committed to helping build a multipolar international order. Moreover, Washington sees itself as the victor and Russia as the vanquished of the Cold War. Such an attitude toward and disregard for Russia are too much for the Russian leadership to digest.

The US regards the Russian leadership as "authoritarian" and is loath to see Putin back as president. And true to its history of interfering in other countries' affairs, the US continues to back the Russian "opposition" in the hope of instigating a "color revolution" in the country.


US, Russia may control rift

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