Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday that the 2009 “reset” with Moscow “worked,” a claim seemingly divorced from all reality considering Russia's involvement in the violence in Ukraine and Syria.
“The reset worked,” Clinton said during an NPR interview. “It was an effort to try to obtain Russian cooperation on key objectives while Medvedev was president, and of course [Russian President Vladimir Putin] still pulled the strings but he gave Medvedev a certain amount of independence to negotiate, number one, a new arms control treaty which was absolutely necessary.
“We brought Russia around to understanding why we thought there needed to be international sanctions against Iran,” she added.
So the "reset" was a success -- so long as Putin wasn't in control. And okay, maybe it had a really short shelf life. And maybe its scope was extremely limited. That's not much of a "reset."
Add that to the growing list of disasters in what has already been a gaffe-filled book tour for the former secretary of State.
Meanwhile, half a world away, investigators are still combing through the wreckage of a Malaysian passenger jet that was downed last week over Ukraine by a surface-to-air missile that may or may not be directly linked to Moscow.
“I’ll never forget the meeting that we had, the president and I and just one other person on our side and Medvedev and two on his side, where we told him that we had evidence, conclusive evidence, about Iran building an underground facility, at a place called Fordow,” Clinton continued.
“The Russians were shocked because they thought they knew what was going on in Iran. So we brought them to the table at the security council, we got those tough sanctions, and we eventually were able to get to the negotiations that are going on now with the hope that something real can come out of them,” she added.
But the rest of the world simply doesn't see it the way Clinton does. The rest of the world sees the so-called “reset” as one thing: An abject failure.
Indeed, between Russia's annexing of Crimea and its increasingly hostile actions against Ukraine, it's clear that Putin has little regard for the White House. We're not the only ones who see it that way:
And Russia's hostile behavior continues unchecked, the latest provocation involving volleys of artillery hurled from Russian territory at Ukrainian military sites.
"We have new evidence that the Russians intend to deliver heavier and more powerful multiple rocket launchers to separatist forces in Ukraine and have evidence that Russia is firing artillery from within Russian to attack Ukrainian military positions," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Thursday.
The Associated Press recognizes the growing threat and the divide between the east and west: "The allegations come amid an increasingly bitter war of words between Washington and Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine and conflicting claims over the downing of a Malaysian passenger jet over eastern Ukraine last week. The U.S. has repeatedly accused Russia of stoking the Ukraine rebellion and has said it believes separatists shot down the Malaysian plane, killing nearly 300 people, with a Russian provided surface-to-air missile."
In short, the “reset” didn't take. In fact, relations between Russia and the U.S. are at the lowest that they've been since the Cold War. So, in that sense, one could say things have been “reset,” but we're not sure if this is the direction that Hillary Clinton and State had in mind back in 2009.