Saturday, May 26, 2007

America/Russia's Cold Peace

The President of the American University in Moscow, Dr. Edward Lozansky argues that Russia is a still a democracy:

• Foreign investment in Russia, including $11 billion by
American companies, nearly doubled in 2006 to $28.4 billion.

• U.S. exports to Russia climbed by 20 percent last year to
$4.7 billion. Russian exports to the United States totaled $19 billion in 2006,
a 30 percent increase from the year before.

• American business of every sort -- from candy to cars -- now
operate in Russia. Among the pioneering companies: Coca-Cola, Alcoa, Boeing,
Proctor & Gamble, Ford, and General Motors. Some business alliances even
extend to outer space.

• American businesses in Russia are making money at an
astonishing pace. Two-thirds of U.S. companies in Russia are meeting current
sales targets and 97 percent expect continued sales growth during the next three

And: someone who lived and suffered under a communist dictatorship
and who spends these days a good portion of the year in Russia, I assure you
that this country is far freer than at any time in its history. I see freedoms
today that were unthinkable in Soviet times: freedom to travel, start a
business, join a political party of your choice and practice one's faith.

This is somewhat encouraging considering all the recent doom and gloom stories about a new Cold War. May be hope for Russia yet!