July 26th, 2009
10:05 AM ET
12 years ago

Clinton: No Soviet-style power for Russia

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Sunday the United States rejects any desire by Russia to exert its influence over Eastern Europe similarly to the Soviet Union of the past.

Responding to reported comments by Vice President Joe Biden that Russia was "clinging to something in the past that is not sustainable," Clinton told the NBC program "Meet the Press" that the United States wants Russia to play a positive role in international relations.

"We view Russia as a great power," Clinton said. "Every country faces challenges. We have challenges, Russia has challenges."

However, she said, the old ways are over.

"We are very clearly not saying that Russia can have a 21st century sphere of influence in Eastern Europe," Clinton said, calling that a "policy we reject."

Every Eastern European country has the right to join any alliance it wants, she said, referring to Russia's objections to former satellites such as Georgia trying to join NATO.

The Wall Street Journal quoted Biden on Saturday as saying Russia has problems that prevent if from exerting the influence it seeks.

"They have a shrinking population base, they have a withering economy, they have a banking sector and structure that is not likely to be able to withstand the next 15 years, they're in a situation where the world is changing before them and they're clinging to something in the past that is not sustainable," Biden said, according to the report.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Joe Biden • Russia
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. phoenix86

    Another empty threat from Obama and Clinton. If we won't stand up to North Korea, who do they think believes that the US will do anything with respect to Russia.

    This adminstration is beyond pathetic.

    July 26, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  2. Peter E

    At the end of the Cold War the Soviets actually withdrew their troops from Eastern Europe. NATO? They kept their troops AND expanded to further countries. It is NOT Russia who keeps fighting the Cold War. It is NATO who needs to finally get over it.

    July 26, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  3. makesUwonder

    "However, she said, the old ways are over."..................well, that's pretty obvious. Now our President bows to Kings and goes around the world and apologizes. The "old ways" are gone as far as this administration is concerned, but the "old ways" aren't gone when it comes to other countries wanting to destroy this country. Sadly, this administration hasn't figured that out.

    July 26, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  4. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Does it really matter what Russia or the US do in their 'sphere of influence' piss fight? We are all in the pockets of the Chinese anyway. 'Lone superpower' my bottom! China is already taking over the economy of the world.

    July 26, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  5. Larry

    I guess somewhere in the past the United States decided it was in charge of the world, and everyone has to do as we tell them.

    We don't tell other countries how to conduct themselves. It's offensive. How does our government think we'd like it if China starts telling us how to conduct policy.

    Empty threats don't work, mutual respect goes a long way.

    July 26, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  6. RR

    Russia is building military bases in Georgia, Putin decides who can and can't run for office, and Clinton and Obama just smile and pretend all is well!

    July 26, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  7. Mark,B'ham,Al.

    The USA could not stop Russia if it wanted too, with the drawdown and the democrats not getting to use their "Peace Dividend" to create more social welfare programs we know they will not stand up to Russia as they are not standing up to Iran or North Korea.

    July 26, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  8. TRUTH

    Cinton will be a great pres 2016

    July 26, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  9. Can you stand the TRUTH?

    Funny how everyone wants to ridicule Russia when prophecy says it will be them that comes to Americas aide when WWIII goes down to help in overcoming the muslims who will by that time just about conquered the world. BEWARE OF OBAMA AND THE MUSLIM NATIONS IT IS WRITTEN.

    July 26, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  10. Osagie Guobadia, Nigeria

    Callenging Russia on every major issue is not the answer to Putin,s stand on Georgia. Obama should be firm enough to let Putin know that Russia is not Soviet Union. The greater threat to Russia is China in the Caucauses

    July 26, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  11. martin in nj

    There's a big difference between standing up to someone and bombing them. There's also nothing wrong respecting the leaders of other countries as equals. Besides, I remember a certain former US president kissing and holding hands with Saudi leaders. What's more is, entire countries aren't out to destroy the US. It's a small number of fanatical nuts who want to do us harm. Most of the rest of our perceived enemies only want to govern themselves without constant meddling from us or permanent military installations. The US has military bases in more countries than anyone else.

    July 26, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  12. Palin Power

    We need Sarah Palin as president right now for she will stand up to Russia, Iran, North Korea and China and humiliate their leaders with her superior intellect and by exposing their female private parts for the whole world to see.

    July 26, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  13. Zero.

    But not because of the USA. More to do with Europe. Russia is finished, just like the USA is. The balance of power, and the times are changing.

    July 26, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  14. Nevada Joe

    Bush decided he was going to rule the world, he was going to be THE KING..and every one bowed to him...Well Russia did not and Russia has every right to do what is right or Russia.

    July 26, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |