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11 May, 2010 15:34

Russia-US nuclear deal revival “a sign of prevailing pragmatism”

Reviving the Russia-US civilian nuclear energy deal was possible because of the strong, personal relationship between Presidents Obama and Medvedev, says Yury Lipatov, the head of Russia's parliamentary Energy Committee.

“Over the last two years, we have indeed seen a 'reset' going on in relations between Russia and America. First of all, it's the personal contact between the two presidents. It is pleasing to hear the presidents of the Russian Federation and the US express their good impressions of each other in their interviews. There is no doubt that countries are only friends when their leaders are friends.”

The latest development is a sign that pragmatism has prevailed, notes Yury Lipatov.

“There is no doubt that Congress will pass this document, because it meets the interests of the two states. It concerns new, state-of-the-art technologies that are being developed independently in the US and in the Russian Federation. There are innovations on both sides. The mutual trust and cooperation in this area are beneficial to the relations between Russia and the US and for the entire global community as well.”

Commenting on the possibility of Iran being the bargaining chip in talks between the two countries, Viktor Mizin, a political analyst from Moscow State University of International Relations, believes “Russia is not the country with which you can try to conclude any kind of trade-offs or shove bargaining chips on the table. It was stated many times by President Dmitry Medvedev.”

“It is another story that the Obama administration is now deeply in lack of any inventive approaches to Iran and other thorny issues like Afghanistan. It needs Russia as a powerful ally. And I think Russia is in a unique position being the member of a 3+3 group and also having good relations with Iran,” Mizin adds.

But Sergey Utkin from the Institute of World Economy and International Relations believes Russia has already provided an appropriate amount of support in respect to the Iran issue.

They are moving together toward some sort of ‘smarter sanctions,’ as Mr. Medvedev puts it,” said Utkin. “And actually, you may see this agreement as a sign showing that Russia’s current position on Iran is good for the U.S. It is good enough for the U.S.”