Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Senator Collins will be blogging during her fact-finding mission to Russia, Poland, and the Czech Republic with Senator Carl Levin, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee:
The American Ambassador hosted our Senate Delegation and four Russians for dinner tonight at the historic Spaso House, the ornate residence of American ambassadors since the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries in 1933.
The Russian guests included two foreign policy and security experts, a newspaper editor, and a nuclear physicist who is an expert on nonproliferation. This was our opportunity to talk with Russians who are not part of the government yet know a great deal about foreign and defense policy.
Although they personally seemed to be pro-American, they described a troubling surge of anti-Americanism which they blamed on a host of issues ranging from the proposed expansion of NATO to include Ukraine and Georgia to the American reaction favoring Georgia in the war with Russia to the Bush Administration's plan for ballistic missile defense installations in Poland and the Czech Republic.
At the heart of this long list of grievances, however, seems to be Russia's resentment that it no longer has the special superpower relationship with the United States that it once had.