But after the venting and the fun, both sides are pulling back to more reasoned positions. The changed tone reflects a mutual desire not to let the Snowden affair spoil the chances of the US and Russia pursuing more long-term and consequential mutual interests, including a political solution in Syria and continued cooperation on nuclear issues.
Secretary Kerry toned down his words, saying the US is not looking for a “confrontation” with Russia or any other country, and Mr. Putin said he did not wish to see the Snowden tempest “affect in any way the businesslike character of our relations with the United States.”
Even as Snowden reportedly remained at Moscow’s airport Wednesday – speculation bubbled that he might take Thursday’s scheduled Moscow-to-Havana flight before continuing to Ecuador, a country he has petitioned for asylum – some officials and US-Russia experts said they expect relations between the two powers to simmer down to where they were before the Snowden affair.
In other words, functioning and respectful, if not exactly warm or characterized by a long list of common perspectives.