The long awaited response by the secretary of state to cold exchanges between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US Vice President Dick Cheney has come.
No 'new Cold War', Condi RIce emphatically exclaims.
Rice, who sees Putin on Tuesday, said Washington was committed to working through those differences, notably over U.S. plans for a missile defense system in Europe, Russia's threat to suspend a major military treaty and Moscow's opposition to a U.N. plan for Kosovo independence.
There is also growing U.S. concern about Moscow's treatment of its former Soviet state neighbors and steps Putin has taken to consolidate power in the Kremlin are seen as democratic backsliding as Russia prepares for presidential and parliamentary elections next year.
She said she would use her meetings in Moscow to impress on Putin and other top Russian officials the need for a missile defense to counter threats from Iran and North Korea and the genuine U.S. desire to work with Russia in building the system transparently.
The missile defense matter is of issue as America charges forward with a new anti-missile defense system that is making many countries feel uncomfortable. Putin has already said how dominant the US is and how it presses for unipolarity in the global politik, and the perceived hegemony around the missile defense system is proof of that.
Russia is asserting power on international stage because of its energy resources. It is a key state geopolitically and influential actor in issues like North Korea and Iran. It is also giving nuclear material to some of the worst nations on the planet, including Myanmar (aka Burma).