Analysis: Soul-Searching in Kennebunkport
Council on Foreign Relations
June 29, 2007
Prepared by: Lionel Beehner
Given the litany of grievances, experts are not optimistic anything of substance will emerge out of the Kennebunkport meeting. Putin’s counteroffer to stage a missile system in Azerbaijan as opposed to Poland and the Czech Republic drew a lukewarm reaction from U.S. defense officials. Bush will also try to enlist Putin’s support for stricter sanctions against Iran, but Steven Pifer of the Center for Strategic and International Studies is doubtful (PDF) because “the Russians have a very different set of geopolitical and economic interests in Iran.” Finally, on Kosovo the two sides have also grown further apart, as the Kremlin digs in its heels in opposition to a UN Security Council resolution (AP) that offers phased-in independence for the Serbian province. “Domestically [Putin] cannot make a concession on Kosovo for fear of appearing weak and inconsistent,” (RussiaProfile.org) writes analyst Vladimir Frolov.
With all this in mind, some experts say the Kennebunkport summit is meant primarily to cement the outgoing presidents’ legacies.
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