Russia is cooperating with the US to help their econ.
Leverette and Leverette 6/27 (Flynt and Hilary Mann, Flynt is an expert on the Middle East and Persian Gulf, global energy issues, and international political economy, Hilary Mann is a CEO of Strategic Energy and Global Analysis “Medvedev Meets Obama: Russia-Iran Relations Should Be Re-Examined”, June 27, 2010, Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran, http://www.campaigniran.org/casmii/index.php?q=node/10442)
Kayhan focuses on the different perspectives of President Medvedev and his advisers, on the one hand, and elements in Russia’s national security apparatus (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense, the National Security Council) and Putin, on the other, regarding relations with Iran. In his view, Medvedevand elites around him believe that an essential condition for maintaining power is the success of Russia’s economy. This requires closer relations with the United States and the West, which incentivizes Russian leaders to accept at least some of the demands that Washington and its allies have put to Moscow, including with regard to Iran’s nuclear program. By drawing closer to the West, these leaders can improve Russia’s “economic and strategic reach” to the world. This line of analysis certainly seems plausible, particularly in the wake of the global financial crisis. Just this week, Igor Sechin—Putin’s former right-hand man at the Kremlin, chairman of Rosneft, and a leading figure among the siloviki (former Soviet intelligence officers who assumed a dominant role in the reassertion of state influence over Russia’s economy during Putin’s presidency) told The Financial Times that “the [global financial] crisis exposed the vulnerabilities of the Russian economy in its dependence on certain types of raw materials. This cannot help but concern us”. Last month, we met with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov—a close Putin ally—during his visit to Washington; among other things, Ivanov was clearly pleased by the Obama Administration’s decision to revive the “123” nuclear cooperation agreement with Russia, which could set up Russia for significant new international business opportunities in the civil nuclear arena. (This agreement had been concluded while George W. Bush was in the White House, but then mothballed after Russia sent troops into Georgia.) In a special supplement to The Washington Post prepared by Rossiyskaya Gazeta and published today, the strategic context for Medvedev’s trip to the United States this week is described very candidly: “It is unusual for Medvedev to make the nation’s capital his second stop on a trip. His first stop this week is San Francisco, and more precisely, Silicon Valley. Medvedev is to meet with leading American entrepreneurs interested in opening or expanding business with Russia. And for the first time in this relationship, we may see a focus on technological cooperation rather than investment in oil and gas. His travel plans reflect the essence of his main agenda, namely innovative and technological breakthroughs for the Russian economy and reduced dependence on fossil fuel, in order to catch up with the developed world. There are no significant obstacles for such an agenda. First, the current U.S. administration declares a “pragmatic” approach in world affairs. This means it is no longer a priority to irritate Moscow over sensitive issues, such as human rights or democratic values, which were among the favorite topics of the previous administration. Second, Obama’s administration pays less attention to the post-Soviet neighbors…A change in focus on these issues has helped the United States create a more workable relationship with Russia and eliminate the excessive passion that characterized the previous decade…the greatest evidence for this approach was demonstrated very recently when the United Nations Security Council voted for a new resolution enacting tougher sanctions against Iran, which the United States had long discussed with China and Russia. Russia may now expect something in return and, considering Medvedev’s agenda, this might be an appeal for better economic cooperation, particularly in technologies.”
Low – climate change
Climate change hurts the Russian agriculture industry.
Arutunyan 7/15 (Anna, editor of The Moscow News, graduate of NYU, “Extreme Weather Woes”, July 15, 2010, The Moscow News, http://www.mn.ru/news/20100715/187933018.html)
Environmentalists and farmers are wondering if deep freezes, droughts and sudden changes in temperatures might become the norm for Russia amid global climate change – and how they will transform the economy. “This is unprecedented, and it’s not even the end of it. Even in northern regions like Karelia we are seeing 30+ temperatures keep for weeks,” Igor Podgorny, an official at Greenpeace, told The Moscow News. “And we can’t deny that global warming had something to do with it. It’s not just getting warmer. There’s more variation in the weather.” Though the year started out with an abnormally cold winter, summer is taking its due with a vengeance – much as climatologists predicted would be the case when asked about the deep freeze in February. Now dry, sweltering weather has held in much of Russia since mid June, in what has been labelled the most persistent drought in nearly 40 years, while temperatures have repeatedly broken records over the last few weeks. With air conditioners getting hard to come by (one model that cost 16,000 roubles last week was selling for 20,000 roubles by Monday at a Moscow store), Russia’s chief sanitation official Gennady Onishchenko suggested siestas - but rushed to correct himself that he only meant a longer lunch break when employees could cool off. The heat has been igniting the peat in the Moscow region, meanwhile, with Emergency Ministry officials liquidating 30 major fires just on Wednesday alone. “Even in 1972, when the peat bog fire situation was critical, the weather was better than this,” RIA Novosti quoted Emergency Ministry regional head Alexander Katz as saying. Even the changing of the guard in the Kremlin has been canceled for Saturday. Crops failing Worse still, the heat wave has ravaged Russia’s already struggling agriculture sector. “Maybe we can adapt to all this somehow, but if planted crops first freeze and then are wiped out by the draught – like this year and last year – this can’t lead to anything good,” Podgorny said. “The occasional remarks that global warming could actually be good for Russia’s agriculture don’t make any sense in light of all this.” Indeed, farmers are struggling to adapt to weather anomalies that have become the norm over the last several years, “The climate is changing. Two years in a row of draught. This year some farms have been planting more legumes because they’re more resilient,” said Vyacheslav Telegin, chairman of the Farmers’ and Agricultural Coop Association. “Those who grow livestock feed and grain have been hardest hit. Modern irrigation methods aren’t very widespread in the areas affected by the draught.” Farmers will be forced to look to new crops that can withstand draught, or search for new professions altogether, he said. And though the government has stepped in to aid insured farmers who have lost their crop, Telegin thinks those measures aren’t sufficient. “Insurance doesn’t nearly account for the losses in a draught.”