Just look at the size of these smiles at the Kremlin, in these pictures lifted from China News (Xinhua English version). The atmosphere is positively flirtatious.
So what’s on the menu? Trips to the Bolshoi, guided tours of the Kremlin and sumptuous dinners no doubt, as Robert Gates and Condy Rice sniff out what might be on the table for them, in this recent unfreezing of Russo-American relations.
From China News –
Gates, who showed his broken arm and joked that the injury will make himself an easy negotiator, said the two states could build up the consent they already had and seek consent in issues where differences remain.
The top U.S. diplomat and defense official arrived in Moscow Monday and are expected to talk with their Russian counterparts under a two-plus-two framework in a meeting slated for Tuesday.
The talks are expected to focus on an array of issues such as U.S. plans to deploy a third anti-missile system in Central Europe, Russia’s postponing of its obligations in an arms control treaty, as well as Kosovo and other regional and international issues, Kremlin sources said.
Mmmm. Looks like some concessions to the Serbs are about to be made, I would fathom.
Someone in Russia seems to have persuaded Putin that he has more to gain by playing with the Americans rather than playing against them, as he has been doing. Maybe that nice Mr Medvedev has got a little bit to do with it. I didn’t think people could smile that big in Russia. Russian leaders always seemed such a miserable lot, apart from when they’d been at the vodka. Putin and Medvedev look completely sober, grinning like Cheshire cats.
I suppose it feels good to be winning back some of their lost international kudos, and putting one over on those who underestimated them. One can only imagine that such radiant smiles in Moscow must be inducing feelings of unease, puzzlement and distress in Paris, Berlin and Brussels.