Those who have not seen the New York Times editorial page today may be interested in the paper’s editorial on Russia’s elections, “Putin’s Mini-Me (Or Not?).” Broadly speaking, the Times editors express concern over Russian democracy and wonder whether Putin’s successor Dmitry Medvedev will follow through on rhetorical suggestions that he might take a softer line both inside and outside Russia. For readers of The New Nixon Blog, however, the penultimate paragraph may be the most notable:
The United States and its allies need Russia as a partner to address many international challenges, including Iran, Kosovo and arms control. They must deal pragmatically with the realities of Russian power, as the administrations of Richard Nixon and George H.W. Bush once did.
The editors qualify this by following it with a couple of sentences arguing that the U.S. must also continue to press for greater freedom in Russia, including at the G-8 meeting later this year. Needless to say, this is no less true than the first half of the paragraph–the hard part is in finding the right balance between these two goals.