US - Russia
Chronology from Oct 2006 to Dec 2006
: UN Security Council unanimously passes Resolution 1737 to impose sanctions on Iran to curtail its nuclear program.
: Royal Dutch Shell, Mitsui & Co., and Mitsubishi Corp. (Mitsubishi) – the managing partners of the Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project – agree to the transfer of a majority of their shares to Russia’s state-run monopoly Gazprom, at a price of $7.45 billion. The impending deal has attracted international attention for months due to the heavy-handed tactics of the Russian government.
: In a telephone interview with the Russian daily Izvestia, Congressman Tom Lantos claims that Russia was better off in the Yeltsin era.
: Six-Party Talks held in Beijing.
: Japanese Foreign Minister Aso Taro floats a proposal for dividing the disputed Northern Territories into two equal parts, giving Japan control of three islands and part of the fourth island. The Russian reaction is expectedly cool. The Japanese press and the government subsequently dismiss his proposal off-hand.
: NATO summit convenes in Riga, Latvia. It is the first NATO summit held on the territory of the former Soviet Union. In Riga, U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar urges the organization to take up the issue of the energy security of the member states.
: Citing Litvinenko’s death, a member of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board writes, “It’s time we start thinking of Vladimir Putin’s Russia as an enemy of the United States.”
: Former Federal Security Service (FSB) Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Litvinenko dies in London from radiation poisoning. A relative unknown before his death, Litvinenko’s death attracts enormous attention in the international press, as a so-called example of the growing authoritarianism in Putin’s Russia.
: Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns says President Bush will propose at the upcoming Riga NATO Summit a partnership program for Japan, South Korea, and Australia.
: Presidents Bush and Putin meet in Vietnam on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Hanoi. A deal on Russia’s WTO accession is signed, and the two leaders discuss the nuclear crises in Iran and North Korea. U.S. sanctions against the Russian aircraft maker Sukhoi are lifted.
: Air Force One makes a stop in Moscow on the way to Vietnam for a brief luncheon tête-à-tête between Bush and Putin. Iran and WTO are the focus of the talks.
: U.S. and Russian negotiators in Moscow reportedly strike an early deal on Russia’s WTO accession. The details of the agreement are to be announced later in the month in Hanoi at the APEC summit.
: U.S. midterm elections result in a drubbing of the Bush administration.
: The leaders of 13 large U.S. firms address a letter to Presidents Bush and Vladimir Putin with the request that Russia’s accession to the WTO be expedited. This is done under the initiative of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia.
: NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer visits Moscow to discuss conventional forces levels in Europe.
: Speaking at the U.S.-Russia Business Council in Washington, Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez expresses concern about Russia’s investment climate in the wake of stories about “soft nationalization” in the Russian energy industry.
: Russia’s Foreign Ministry warns the Polish government about hosting a NATO- or U.S.-administered missile defense system on its territory, saying that it would undermine security and stability in the region.
: The Georgian government frees four Russian soldiers accused of spying. The Russian government maintains a blockade of Georgia, while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov blames the U.S. and NATO for inspiring the crisis.