Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was left trying to do some diplomatic clean-up work today, as she publicly declared that Russia remains a “Great Power” and is still respected by the United States. The comments come just one day after an interview with Vice President Joe Biden featured what is being called a “diatribe” against Russia’s standing in the world.
In the interview, Biden mocked Russia’s “withering economy” and predicted the impending collapse of its banking sector, as well as claiming the nation was struggled to come to grips with its loss of empire and “clinging to something in the past.”
Biden also claimed that Russia could not sustain its current level of influence in neighboring states and insisted that it was only interested in nuclear disarmament because it couldn’t afford its arsenal. Mysteriously given the tone of most of his comments, Biden then said it was important that the US not “embarrass” Russia over its weakness.
Russian officials termed Biden’s comments “perplexing” in light of recent US diplomatic overtures and pressed the administration to clarify them. Secretary Clinton appeared to be attempting to do that with today’s comments praising Russia’s standing in the world, but the stark differences between the two interviews may spark more questions about US policy toward Russia than they answer