USA / Russland

U.S., Rus­sia Resume Mil­i­tary Rela­tions

WASHINGTON, July 6, 2009 – The Unit­ed States and Rus­sia today agreed to resume bilat­er­al mil­i­tary coop­er­a­tion, which has been on hold since the con­flict between Rus­sia and Geor­gia erupt­ed in August.

In a strate­gic frame­work agree­ment signed by Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his Russ­ian coun­ter­part, the two coun­tries pledged to engage in a range of mil­i­tary-to-mil­i­tary exchanges and also to restore a joint com­mis­sion on pris­on­ers of war and ser­vice­mem­bers miss­ing in action.

This pro­vides a frame­work for improved coop­er­a­tion and inter­op­er­abil­i­ty between our armed forces, so that we can bet­ter address the threats that we face, from ter­ror­ism to pira­cy,” Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma said dur­ing a news con­fer­ence in Moscow today.

We’ve also agreed to restore a joint com­mis­sion on pris­on­ers of war and miss­ing in action, which will allow our gov­ern­ments to coop­er­ate in our unwa­ver­ing com­mit­ment to our miss­ing ser­vice­men and ‑women,” he added.

  • The frame­work of under­stand­ing signed today by Mullen and Russ­ian Gen. Niko­lai Makarov, chief of the Gen­er­al Staff, entails the fol­low­ing U.S.-Russian mil­i­tary-to-mil­i­tary oper­a­tions:
  • Con­duct­ing near­ly 20 exchanges and oper­a­tional events before the end of 2009, includ­ing a strate­gic dis­cus­sion between the U.S. Joint Staff and the Russ­ian Gen­er­al Staff;
  • Ori­en­ta­tion for Russ­ian mil­i­tary cadets at the U.S. Mil­i­tary Acad­e­my at West Point, N.Y.;
  • Plan­ning for a joint exer­cise to respond to a hijacked air­craft in nation­al and inter­na­tion­al air­space;
  • Vis­it­ing of the fac­ul­ty of the Russ­ian Com­bined Arms Acad­e­my to the U.S. Army Com­bined Arms Cen­ter at Fort Leav­en­worth, Kan.; and
  • A naval war game con­duct­ed by the Kuznetsov Naval Acad­e­my and the U.S. Naval War Col­lege.

Addi­tion­al­ly, U.S. Euro­pean Com­mand and the Russ­ian Defense Min­istry have agreed to meet to plan a robust and more ambi­tious work plan for 2010.

As glob­al pow­ers, the Unit­ed States and Rus­sia have a spe­cial respon­si­bil­i­ty for ensur­ing peace and sta­bil­i­ty in the world,” a White House state­ment reads. “Re-estab­lish­ing our mil­i­tary-to-mil­i­tary bonds will enhance trans­paren­cy, estab­lish clear paths of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and focus our col­lec­tive efforts on today’s glob­al strate­gic chal­lenges.”

Fol­low­ing their meet­ing, Oba­ma told reporters that he and Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Dmitri Medvedev held frank dis­cus­sions, which includ­ed top­ics where the two lead­ers’ views part.

For instance, we had a frank dis­cus­sion on Geor­gia, and I reit­er­at­ed my firm belief that Georgia’s sov­er­eign­ty and ter­ri­to­r­i­al integri­ty must be respect­ed,” Oba­ma said, allud­ing to Moscow’s inva­sion of Geor­gia in August, which drew rebukes from the Unit­ed States and NATO. “Yet even as we work through our dis­agree­ments on Georgia’s bor­ders, we do agree that no one has an inter­est in renewed mil­i­tary con­flict.”

Both lead­ers also are com­mit­ted to leav­ing behind the sus­pi­cion and rival­ry of the past to advance the coun­tries’ mutu­al inter­ests, Oba­ma said.

Today, we’ve made mean­ing­ful progress in demon­strat­ing through deeds and words what a more con­struc­tive U.S.-Russian rela­tion­ship can look like in the 21st cen­tu­ry,” he said.

By John J. Kruzel
Amer­i­can Forces Press Ser­vice