Remember that international firestorm after the Tennessee mom sent her adopted 7-year-old back to Russia? Today the US and Russia announced a draft agreement has almost completed in creating a "legally binding bilateral agreement on cooperation in the field of intercountry adoption."
Leaders agreed to resume millions in poultry exports from the US to Russia, suspended last year during the H1N1 scare.
Russia was the largest export market for US poultry — exports were valued at $767 million in 2009 — so for farmers and ranchers this is a big deal.
3. US PUSHING FOR RUSSIA TO JOIN WTO
US and Russian leaders commited today to take “the most vigorous possible efforts in the coming months – bilaterally and with other Members of the WTO – to build and sustain the momentum towards completing the remaining steps in this process.”
Assuming agreements on how the WTO will regard Russia’s state-owned enterprises, “and provided that Russia fully implements the mutually agreed upon action plan for bringing Russian legislation into compliance with WTO requirements, we aim to settle these issues by September 30.”
The official joint communiqué is kind of soft in terms of an action plan, but the fact that there’s a joint statement about a country of real contention is not insignificant.
More significant, I think: Medvedev’s stark warning that “radical elements may rise to power in that country” and President Obama’s suggestion that some sort of international troop presence may be required.
“One of the things that we discussed is creating a mechanism so that the international community can ensure that we have a peaceful resolution of the situation there," President Obama said, "and that any actions that are taken to protect civilians are done so not under the flag of any particular country, but that the international community is stepping in. And so our teams will be in continuing discussions in the weeks ahead as we monitor the situation as it unfolds.”
Trade with Russia has been rather lopsided so President Obama was particularly excited to announce, at the US Chamber of Commerce today, "that Boeing and Russian Technologies are moving forward with a $4 billion deal on 50 Boeing 737s. This is a win for Russia, creating a long-term market for its raw materials and resulting in modern airplanes for Russia's travelers. It's obviously a win for the United States, because this partnership could add up to 44,000 new jobs in the American aerospace industry. This reflects my administration's National Export Initiative, and it's a perfect example of the shared prosperity and the high-tech jobs that we can create together.”
- Jake Tapper