Cold friendship

It has been almost 20 years since the end of the Cold War yet the agenda of the U.S.-Russia summit remains unchanged. In the middle of a global economic crisis, the two leaders discussed many important military matters, but neither broached the subject of the economy. Presidents Obama and Medvedev have signed no less than six different documents, none of which addressed economic cooperation and development. No trade agreements or investment initiatives were even discussed.

Unsurprisingly, U.S.-Russia trade relations are much worse than U.S. relations with other, less developed countries. For their next meeting, Presidents Obama and Medvedev should make time to consider worthy economic initiatives like reducing trade barriers and eliminating visas to encourage tourism in both countries. It’s time to change the tone of negotiations and turn our backs on our Cold War past.