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

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid