Russia-U.S. reset mission accomplished, major disagreements remain - Pushkov

The Russia-U.S. reset has failed to rid bilateral relations of major disagreements. U.S. meddling in Russian affairs is also an impediment, State Duma International Affairs Committee Chairman Alexei Pushkov told a Wednesday press conference at Interfax.

"In fact, the reset has accomplished its mission: the atmosphere [of Russia-U.S. relations] is changed and cooperation areas are defined. But it has failed to rid of major disagreements, primarily with regard to missile defense," he said.

"After three years of being polite about Russian domestic policy issues, the United States gave way and Hillary Clinton spoke harshly about the Russian parliamentary election in December 2011," he said.

Then Russia accused the United States of backing the extra-systemic opposition, Pushkov said.

"Following a period of reciprocal coolness we are back to the rather callused argument about Russian domestic policy matters," he said. "This does not help our relations with the United States. I think the reset did not work in this context after all. Russian domestic policy matters are the primary subject again."

According to Pushkov, U.S. President Barack Obama will hardly come to Russia before the G20 summit because there is no serious agenda to discuss.

"A lot will depend on our ability to find an important cooperation area: that is essential for the success of the first meeting of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama. It was planned that Obama would come to Russia before the summer holiday, some time in June, but that is a big question now."

"Meetings of the leaders of two major countries should center on some large initiatives. There are no such now. If they are not suggested, Obama will most probably come to Russia only in September to attend the G20 summit. If we think of something, there will be a chance for his earlier arrival but the agenda has not been specified by now. The need for a new agenda is rather obvious," Pushkov said.

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