(Rossiiskaya Gazeta, January 15. Abridged.)

While greeting in words the turn of Russia towards democracy and a market economy, the United States actively contributes to this process for the most part only with respect to the dismantling of the military potential of the former USSR. At the same time it rigidly opposes the appearance of Russia in world markets with competitive products in order to accelerate the degradation of its scientific and technological potential and condemn it to the role of a "banana republic without bananas." This explains the hysterical objections of Washington to any valuable deals for Russia, ranging from the intention to sell India civilian-purpose rocket boosters to the present fuss about the supply to Cyprus of Russian C-300 anti-missile complexes which are a purely defensive weapon. Here an unprecedented pressure is being put on the buyer countries to prevent a deal legal in all respects.

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Washington's aspirations to combine the roles of a global policeman, prosecutor and bailiff are not the best substitution for the struggle of the two superpowers, now a thing of the past. Therefore the intention to sign during the forthcoming meeting between Yeltsin and Jiang Zemin in Moscow an unprecedented document: a joint declaration which would declare as the common task of Russia and China on the international scene the formation of a multipolar world without those leading and led appears to be very justified. Such a world, based on genuine equality and a balance of interests, is a worthy aim for strategic interaction between Russia and China in the 21st century.