As diplomatic gaffes go, it will be hard to surpass Hillary Clinton presenting Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, with a “Re-set” button. This was meant to signify a fresh start in US-Russian relations. But unfortunately the Russian words next to the button actually translated as “Self-Destruct” – which more or less confirms the most paranoid Russian views of what the Americans have in mind for them.
Still – translation problems aside – America’s intent is clear. The Obama administration wants a new and better relationship with Russia. They want Russian help on all sorts of tricky issues, in particular Iran. If at all possible, the Americans want to cool down old arguments over issues like missile defence – and Georgia. Read more