During a visit to Moscow this week aimed at improving ties with the Russian government, President Barack Obama warned the nation not to interfere in neighboring states and to get past its “old ways of thinking.”
Obama declared the “days when empires could treat sovereign states as pieces on a chessboard are over.” The United States currently has hundreds of military bases across the planet, and is engaged in massive wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Obama also warned the Russian government that the US would not tolerate “another Russian invasion of Georgia.” Russia fought a brief war with Georgia in August after the Georgian military shelled the capital city of the breakaway South Ossetian province, killing Russian soldiers in the process. The war ended with the destruction of much of Georgia’s military and the declaration of independence by both South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Russian troops remain in both nations as Georgia has threatened to reclaim them by any means possible.
Though President Obama has said the trip was aimed at “reseting” tense US-Russian relations, he appears to have spent much of his time publicly chastizing the Russian government and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in particular. It is unsurprising, then, that little has been accomplished during the trip, other than a handful of soundbites.