Thursday 27th of February 2020

dancing with bears .....

dancing with bears .....

Although Putin stressed continuity in foreign policy in his statements, Merkel's meeting later with Medvedev had a somewhat different character. The two met at his government residence, located near Putin's and bearing the German name of Mayendorf, or 'May Village.' 

While the two did refer to Putin's comments - Merkel quipping that she hoped Medvedev's manner would not be more difficult and Medvedev sticking to the continuity message - the talks with the president-elect were low-key. 

German media reported a playful exchange centering on the root of Medvedev's surname - the Russian word for 'bear' - with Merkel mentioning Knut, a polar bear cub in the Berlin zoo that has been hugely popular. Medvedev, in turn, talked about a teddy bear his father once brought him home from a trip to Berlin. 

Merkel admitted that this might not be a standard topic of discussion between strategic partners before taking off from Vnukovo Airport Saturday afternoon, but added, 'We need to get to know each other first,' the German daily Suddeutsche Zeitung reported. 

Merkel Told Not To Expect Changes 

meanwhile, in the land of the gas-price rising...

I saw it coming as soon as Tim Russert cornered Senator Hillary Clinton into naming President Vladimir Putin's heir. She dodged, ducked and plunged into the now famous: 'Um, Med-medvedova, whatever.' 

Nobody thought the worse of her. In fact, it drew one of the few sympathetic murmurs in the debate. Russian names are just not something most Americans can do. And if the blogs and online pronunciation guides I've checked are any indication, they never will.

Dmitry Whatever 

plus, the US still at it with its umbraging umbrella... 

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates will visit Russia later this month for talks with their Russian counterparts, Interfax reported Tuesday. 

Rice and Gates will discuss the Pentagon's missile-defense plans with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, following up on similar talks the officials held in October, Interfax reported, citing an anonymous source in the Russian government. 

Washington has angered Moscow with its proposal to install 10 missile interceptors in Poland and a missile-tracking radar site in the Czech Republic, which Moscow believes are targeted against the Russian nuclear arsenal. U.S. officials say the missile shield is designed to prevent an attack from 'rogue' states, especially Iran. 

Spokesmen for the U.S. Embassy and the Foreign Ministry could not confirm whether Rice and Gates were coming. 

Exact dates are still being worked out, but the talks are tentatively scheduled for March, the Interfax source said. 

Besides missile defense, other topics on the table will include the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, START I and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the news agency reported. 

Rice And Gates Will Fly In For Talks