ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Russian Response to US Missiles

Russian president Putin has presented himself as a champion of Asian causes and a firm opponent of the US missile programme. He has not only won China and North Korea to his side, but also weakened Japan's support to the US missile programme.

The Soviet Union is an Asian as well as European country, and it wants to see that the huge Asia-Pacific region, the area where world politics will most likely focus next century, has everything it needs to improve the situation in it, and that due account is taken of the interests of all the states and of a balance between them. We are against this region being somebody’s domain.” In this statement by Mikhail Gorbachev, made some 13 years ago, if the words Russian Federation are substituted for the Soviet Union, the reason for Russia’s continuing interest in Asia can be seen.

It is against this background that the recent deft moves by Vladimir Putin, the Russian president have to be seen. In preparing for his debut in the G-8 summit in Okinawa, he was able to anticipate that the summit would be more political than economic. He played his cards well and emerged winner. A confident Putin appeared at the summit as the champion of Asian causes in the new international political context created by the ambitious missile policy of the US. In a way he decided the political agenda of the summit. The rest of G-8 realised that they were no longer dealing with a wobbly Yeltsin unsure of himself and of Russia’s role in the world.

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