Bush, Putin, and Europe

It seems Bush did not stumble into the mess with Russia that so many insisted was inevitable. From the Washington Times: President ‘proven right’ on trust in Putin.

When Mr. Bush said he would withdraw unilaterally from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which the United States and the Soviet Union signed in 1972, Democrats warned it would spark a new arms race. Instead, the two leaders tomorrow will sign the Treaty of Moscow, which slashes both nuclear arsenals by two-thirds.

Then there’s the European response to this success, which is highlighted in the Financial Time’s Links with Putin leave Europe out in the cold:

But collectively, America’s European Union allies are in a grumpy mood, not only because of Washington’s growing unilateralist stance on trade, global warming and other foreign policy issues, over which former President Bill Clinton was just as unilateralist.

Rather, it is Washington’s very success with Moscow that is causing the unhappiness.

“The Europeans feel excluded from the partnership that Bush and [President Vladimir] Putin have forged,” said a European ambassador. “Europe has no relations with Putin. It is the personal, bilateral ties, particularly with [German Chancellor Gerhard] Schröder and [UK prime minister Tony] Blair that count, because we have no integrated foreign policy, let alone a policy towards Russia.”