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November 5th, 2008
03:16 PM ET

Kremlin congratulates Obama

Matthew Chance
CNN Senior International Correspondent, Moscow

A simple congratulations would have been sufficient. It was enough for the Chinese president, the British prime minister, the German chancellor. But the Kremlin just couldn't resist.

In his first state of the nation speech - timed to coincide with the US presidential election result - Russia's own youthful president launched what can only be described as a scathing attack on American policy.

Dmitry Medvedev blamed Washington for the global financial crisis, the recent war in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, and for provoking Moscow over missile defense in eastern Europe.

None of it was particularly new (though the announcement that short range missiles would be deployed in a Russian enclave in europe was a little disturbing), but the timing of this latest tirade was, at the very least, provocative.


So why is the Kremlin so bent on confronting America, even at this time of national celebration?

It may be testing the nerve of the new president-elect; or raising the stakes ahead of future negotiations. Who knows?

Suffice to say the current Russian leadership is no friend of America. It's Cold War-style rhetoric has left us in little doubt of that.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Matthew Chance • Raw Politics
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    Don't make the mistake of thinking or acting like Russia doesn't matter. It does. We all made the same mistake of thinking Germany didn't matter after their defeat in World War I; and what did we get – Hitler and WW2. With Putin as the power behind the throne the KGB is alive and well and just waiting to get Russia back in the "game". If we ignore them it will be at our own peril.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    November 5, 2008 at 8:24 pm |
  2. Angel Almodovar

    well, lets see if Obama is going to meet without preconditions..

    November 5, 2008 at 8:08 pm |
  3. Max

    People EXPECT all kinds of FLOWERY language from RUSSIA????

    Did you NOTICE that RUSSIANS aren't EXACTLY beaming most of the time????

    November 5, 2008 at 7:32 pm |
  4. jim

    The Russians did this knowing full well that Barack Obama is a wimp. They will confront him in his term as president because they perceive him as another Jimmy Carter. Jimmy carter allowed terrorists to take over Iran and hold American hostages for over 400 days. Russia and other terrorists nations can confront us and Obama will do nothing. Pathetic

    November 5, 2008 at 7:29 pm |
  5. javier

    Medvedev is just reaching out to be loved.

    November 5, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  6. Melissa, Los Angeles

    You've neglected to add that Russia is in the process of moving missiles closer to Poland in response to our recent presence of missiles in the area. They are mirroring what we're doing so yes it's good ol' Bush stirring up the rest of the world.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  7. James in Nebraska

    Yes John, Obama's use of peace is pathetic. We should blow up every country that disagrees with us. Even better lets get into a fight with a country that has nukes and we can throw them at each other.

    But seriously...back on topic and away from the sarcasm...

    As for Russia, eh, ignore them. I agree with Cindy in the fact that they are trying to act like they matter once again. America just seems to be damned if we do damned if we don't anyway. We will be loved for one thing and then hated for the same thing at a later time.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  8. Terry

    Hey. Why shouldn't we expect ramifications from the irresponsible actions of Cheney-Bush. They set back our relations with Russia 30 years by trying to surround them with military installations and acquiring new client states from the pool of former soviet republics.
    Bush turned up the gas and Obama has to take the heat. Shove that wimp crap and get real.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  9. Joy, Fort Gordon, Georgia

    It is the same tactics they have used since the end of WWII, lets not forgot the leaders currently in Russia want power above all else at any cost. They want to intimidate all Americans whether Democrat or Republican and return to the Cold War Era. Lets get serious here they do not care who won, they just want a war of words, that they hope will lead to a military stance something that they have been preparing for and are publicly asking for. Should we play into their hands or stand by our new President as every American did for each of our Cold War president regardless of their political affiliation, Are we not Americans first and foremost.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  10. Eugenia-San Francisco, Ca

    Grigory Karasin, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister

    "The news we are receiving on the results of the American presidential election shows that everyone has the right to hope for a freshening of U.S. approaches to all the most complex issues, including foreign policy and therefore relations with the Russian Federation as well."

    November 5, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  11. Alex

    What else can you expect from a bunch of Communist has beens. You might note that the average Russian citizens has a very different view.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  12. Anthony

    In case anyone is wondering, Medvedev's address would have been the same if John McCain had been elected. The only difference is that Obama's response will be steady and appropriate.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  13. john

    I think we are in for more of this Obama is a wimp

    November 5, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  14. Cindy

    I knew someone would would put out a scathing remark after our elections. Russia is just trying to act like they matter once again! We should just ignore them and let them slither away.

    Cindy...Ga.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:27 pm |