Final Word from Thursday, May 16, 2002

One day after Nato approved a pact with Russia on terrorism, arms control and international crisis management, former U.S. Ambassador to Moscow Thomas Pickering encouraged the Czechs to support those in Russia who want to reform the country and bring it closer to the West. Speaking in Prague to the American Chamber of Commerce, he said the CR and its partners need to avoid allowing those in Russia who aren't reform-minded to drive a wedge between the U.S. and Europe. We need to remember the importance of Russia to Europe in terms of oil and gas, he added. Pickering, a senior vice president for Boeing, indirectly said the CR is a part of the West now and shouldn't look back. Asked if Czechs should revert to studying Russian or whether English and German will suffice, he essentially said the CR needs some Russian experts but not very many.


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