Russians hope for better ties to U.S.

Dec. 4, 2006 at 12:42 PM
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MOSCOW, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Russian diplomats Monday expressed the hope for increased cooperation with the United States at the United Nations.

They were reacting to the resignation of U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton earlier Monday, Bolton resigned after it became clear that the incoming Democratic-controlled Senate in the 110th Congress would not vote to confirm his appointment as ambassador. Bolton will therefore leave the U.N. on Dec. 31.

"We would like to express the hope that his successor will be able to overcome an excessively tough approach and preserve and develop the positive experience of our cooperation," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement reported by the RIA Novosti news agency.

The ministry said Bolton "has been a strong professional, although his approach was fairly tough in some issues, including U.N. reform."

"Since taking office in August 2005, Bolton, known as an uncompromising and outspoken figure, has pushed for faster reform at the U.N. including in the management structure and fund allocation," RIA Novosti said.

"But we cooperated with him successfully on an entire range of problems," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Bolton's tenure of office was continually mired in domestic political controversy in the United States. U.S. President George W. Bush pushed ahead with naming Bolton to the U.N. post even after the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate in the 109th Congress refused to confirm him. The president then used his power to appoint Bolton anyway on an interim basis. Bush had hoped to present Bolton again for full confirmation if the GOP held on to control of the Senate in the Nov. 7 midterm congressional elections. But instead, the Republicans lost several Senate seats and the Democrats, who opposed Bolton's confrontational approach to major issues, took control.

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