Friday, July 1, 2011

Clinton on the relationship with Russia

A couple of days ago, I saw this interview on Russia's 24/7 news channel. The interview wasn't too long, but she also touched upon public diplomacy among several other issues.

After a long search, I finally found the video online:

Хиллари Клинтон: США и России надо углублять отношения

Apparently, Russia Beyond the Headlines even featured the translated transcript of the interview. Here is what she said on public diplomacy:

Q: You are the coordinator from the American side of the Presidential Medvedev-Obama Commission. Do you think it’s effective enough, and what do we have to do to improve it perhaps?
H.C.: I think the commission that our two presidents established has been very important because it provided an organizing mechanism for our governments and for our citizens to find ways to cooperate. So look at what we’re doing, of course, in the media, as you are one of the leaders of. But on energy efficiency and renewable energy, on nuclear security, how we protect nuclear power plants, especially after what happened in Japan. On sports exchanges – there were a group of young Russian basketball players who came and played basketball with President Obama on the White House court. So I think what we’re doing is building these connections.
In international politics, countries have to work hard to find ways of cooperating, and we have done that on this New START Treaty, on Iran’s nuclear threat, on Afghanistan, on counternarcotics, on counterterrorism. We have a very important and growing set of activities between our two governments, and then the commission takes that and then adds onto it cultural exchanges, artistic exchanges. We’re going to have a year-long exchange of cultural programming coming to Russia – the seasons of America, everything from ballet to jazz to hip-hop. So this commission that Foreign Minister Lavrov and I co-chair for our presidents, I think, has made a lot of progress.

Clinton seemed to be in great mood and her constant laughter did demonstrate confidence and ease. She didn't even shy away from more personal questions and took the opportunity to reiterate, yet again, that she is not eyeing the position of the U.S. President.

I do recommend watching the video (even if you don't understand Russian) and/or reading the transcript. Clinton sounds very positive and enthusiastic about it all.

Perhaps too positive for a diplomat?

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