Home International Russia hopes ties with U.S. at UN improve under Obama-interview

Russia hopes ties with U.S. at UN improve under Obama-interview

By RIA Novosti,

UN : Russia hopes its contacts with the U.S. at the United Nations will improve under Barack Obama’s administration, Russia’s ambassador to the UN said in an interview published on Monday.

Russia and the United States have clashed in the UN Security Council over a host of issues in recent years, including the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Kosovo’s independence and most recently over Russia’s five-day war with Washington’s ally Georgia.

In an interview with popular daily Nezavisimaya Gazeta and RIA Novosti, Vitaly Churkin also said the U.S. delegation had failed to back Russian-proposed draft resolutions against an arms race in outer space and modern forms of racism and the glorification of Nazism.

Churkin said President Barack Obama was more reluctant to pursue the national missile defense system, which apart from new missile bases in Central Europe includes the placement of some components in space, saying the issue needed more analysis.

Debate on neo-Nazism, which Churkin said had increasingly been demonstrated by authorities in ex-Soviet Ukraine, Latvia and Estonia in their policies toward ethnic Russians and WWII veterans who fought on the Nazis’ side, would gain momentum this year, which marks 70 years since World War II broke out.

“We would like to hope that we will be able to have more useful cooperation with our American colleagues under the new U.S. administration on an entire spectrum of problems discussed by the Security Council and other UN bodies,” Churkin said.

Churkin said he had met the new U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice: “We had an in-depth conversation, which made a very favorable impression on me.”

Speaking about Georgia, with which Russia has had no diplomatic relations since the August conflict, Churkin said Russian diplomats were ready to meet with Georgian colleagues should Tbilisi propose a meeting.

Western nations and international organizations have fiercely criticized Russia for what they called an excessive use of force against Georgia, after its offensive on breakaway South Ossetia, and for the recognition of South Ossetia and the other separatist region Abkhazia, but stopped short of imposing any sanctions.