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7 Sep, 2010 05:54

If willing, Russia can exert enormous influence – analyst

Given Russia’s interest in global co-operation, it could make an important player in the geopolitical arena, says Angela Stent, professor and director of Center for Eurasian Studies at Georgetown University.

I think some of the things we have seen more recently in US-Russian relations and then vis-à-vis Iran and Afghanistan and the agreement between the US and Russia for the transport shows that when Russia co-operates and wants to be part of the solution to these issues, it can exercise an enormous amount of influence,” Stent said, adding that it is with this intent – of securing Russia’s co-operation on these issues – that the US has moved forward with the “reset” agreement.

However Stent, who had written a book suggesting the US and Europe devise a new formula for their relations with Russia, said it is not until recently that the two have begun to co-ordinate their policies toward Russia.

The US and Europe have had different views about how to deal with Russia, about how to prioritize their relationship with Russia over the relations with the other post-Soviet states,” Stent said. “I think since the Obama administration has come into office, American and European views about their priorities with Russia have become more aligned.”