News / USA

Obama's NATO Nominee Says US-Russia 'Reset' Stalled

U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove testifies before Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on his nomination to be NATO commander, Capitol Hill, Washington, April 11, 2013.U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove testifies before Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on his nomination to be NATO commander, Capitol Hill, Washington, April 11, 2013.
x
U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove testifies before Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on his nomination to be NATO commander, Capitol Hill, Washington, April 11, 2013.
U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove testifies before Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on his nomination to be NATO commander, Capitol Hill, Washington, April 11, 2013.
Reuters
President Barack Obama's nominee to become NATO's supreme allied commander said on Thursday the so-called reset in U.S. ties with Russia was now on pause and predicted that Moscow would be the "primary actor of regional concern" through 2020.
 
Relations between the former Cold War foes, badly damaged by Russia's 2008 war with pro-Western Georgia, had improved during Obama's first term and Obama signed a nuclear arms treaty with then-President Dmitry Medvedev in 2010.
 
But ties have soured since Vladimir Putin returned to Russia's presidency in May, and Washington and Moscow have been at odds over issues ranging from Syria to human rights.
 
Eight former U.S. and Russian ambassadors urged swift action to improve relations in a joint statement released on April 2, noting a growing trend toward issues that divide the two nations.
 
U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, in written testimony, said Russia remained an aspirational superpower but noted that it remained hindered by what he called "endemic deficiencies."
 
"Russia will remain the primary actor of regional concern through 2020 by virtue of its geographic position, natural resource wealth, military forces, and desire for regional influence," Breedlove said. "The U.S. and NATO will need to continue to assure our allies and partners, who live in the Russian self-declared sphere of privileged influence, of our resolve."
 
Disagreements between the two veto-wielding members of the U.N. Security Council over the conflict in Syria, where more than 70,000 people have been killed in two years, have been a factor frustrating hopes for a solution there.
 
Putin, who accuses the United States of using human rights as a geopolitical tool, was angered by a U.S. law adopted in December to punish Russians deemed rights abusers by barring them from the United States and freezing their assets there.
 
Russia responded with similar measures and also banned U.S. couples from adopting Russian-born children. Moscow ejected the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in October and has clamped down on foreign-funded advocacy groups.
 
"I have described the reset as sort of on pause," Breedlove said. "We had made some progress. There were some political changes in Russia and we are now sort of very much slowed down."
 
At the same time, Breedlove said it was important that the United States keep engaging with Russia and stop treating it like an enemy. He noted how helpful Moscow had been in counter-piracy efforts.
 
"I think that Russia still has deep influence in Europe and we need to try to find out how to work with them," he said.
 
Last month, Russian and U.S. defense chiefs signaled their intention to reconvene long-stalled missile defense talks following a change in missile defense plans for Europe that has been met cautiously by Moscow.
 
Russia has announced that Tom Donilon, White House national security adviser, will visit Moscow next week for talks, including on U.S. missile defense plans.
 
Breedlove was testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee. He needs Senate approval to replace Admiral James Stavridis, who is stepping down after nearly four years as NATO's supreme allied commander, Europe, and head of the U.S. military's European Command.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs