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25 Jun, 2009 01:50

US Congress wants to be “best friends” with Russia

With just two weeks to go before President Obama's visit to Moscow, nuclear disarmament is the hot topic in the US Congress, as Russia and America have only six months left to reach a compromise on a new weapons treaty.

With the clock ticking, both Republicans and Democrats are stretching out their hands in friendship. It seems that members of both parties want to make amends with Russia before the deadline passes.

“I think we can become allies,” said Democratic Rep. Diane E. Watson.

“Let’s reach out to each other, let’s forget the last ten years, and hopefully we can build a better world by being best friends,” agreed Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher.

But discussion about nuclear weapons inevitably raises other issues. Any talk of Russian and American nuclear disarmament almost always leads to questions about what to do with America’s proposed defense shield in Eastern Europe.

So perhaps before the US and Russia become “best friends”, they should first determine what to do with those ABMs.

So what gives in this nuclear dilemma?

“It’s essential that we use the nuclear shield as a bargaining position,” is how Rep. Diane E. Watson sees it.

But this is not some kind of bazaar, and even US officials seem to understand that Russia will not be simply bought out on the proposed defense shield in Eastern Europe.

“For us to try to go on and build something on our own – I could understand why Russia would look at that as something that could be threatening,” admits Rep. Dana Rohrabacher.

So what is the next step?

“Let’s scrap the current idea and get together and have an agreement to reduce the number of nuclear weapons and then build – the US and Russia together – a missile defense system that serves the cause of peace,” Rep. Dana Rohrabacher proposes.

Serving the cause of peace by reducing the world’s nuclear stockpiles? Now that’s the basis for a friendship that will truly last.

More on the story: Will Obama become Russia's disappointment of the century during his visit to Moscow?