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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Politicians Welcome Bush Win

Politicians said Thursday the election of George W. Bush could promote better ties, and political experts suggested a Republican administration would be to Russia's advantage.

Some officials said it would be easier for Moscow to deal with a Republican administration not subject to second-guessing from a hostile right-wing Congress.

"Our relations will become more clear now. The Democrats left much shrouded in fog. Sometimes Russia was a friend, sometimes it represented a threat," said Gennady Seleznyov, Communist speaker of the State Duma. "Under the Republicans, this won't happen. We know which aspects of foreign policy suit them and which ones don't."

Boris Gryzlov, parliamentary leader of the pro-Putin Unity party, which sent a delegation to the Republicans' convention, hailed Bush's victory as the start of a new era of pragmatism.

"We believe it highly symbolic that [the 20th century] ends with the coming to power in the United States and Russia of realists representing a new generation of politicians," he said in a written statement. "This allows us to look forward with optimism to both our bilateral relations and other developments in the world."

For much of the 1990s, ties between Moscow and Washington were dominated by cheery summits between presidents Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin.

But disagreements over arms control, NATO, Kosovo, Iraq and Chechnya have made relations frostier.

Bush has pledged a tougher line on arms control, threatening to withdraw from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty if Russia does not agree to amend it to allow the United States to deploy an anti-missile shield.

Sergei Rogov, Director of Russia's U.S.A. and Canada Institute, said the Republicans would adopt tougher stands, but this would not necessarily be to Moscow's detriment.

"I think it is possible to do business with a Republican administration. Unlike the Democrats they can deliver. A lot depends on their — and our — ability to compromise."

Ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky predicted confrontation would be undiminished with the new administration.

"Nothing will change, not a single centimeter, not an iota. We are rivals, enemies," he said.

"We are getting ready for a war of mutual destruction. This will go on for 10 years."