Beware of Deals with Putin?

By Jennifer Parker

Mar 5, 2009 9:27am

In today’s Wall Street Journal op-ed " Beware of Doing Deals with Putin", Garry Kasparov, a WSJ contributing editor and leader of The Other Russia Coalition, warns against an Obama administration reset of policy toward Russia.

"Vladimir Putin’s regime is fighting for its political life. That’s the good news. But the bad news is that the Obama administration is sending out mixed messages that may help the Russian autocratic regime survive," Kasparov writes.

At issue is a "secret" letter President Barack Obama sent to Medvedev recently, proffering a deal for the U.S. to "back off deploying a new missile defense system in Eastern Europe" in exchange for Moscow’s help in stopping Iran from "developing long-range weapons."

Kasparov argues Putin "will not be around that much longer."

"The West must not be tempted by a desire to maintain comfortable relations with the current government in charge of Russia," he writes.

But is the Putin regime as weak as he says?

Can Obama really split Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Putin, Russia’s prime minister?

–George Stephanopoulos

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