After the scandalous statement by US President Joe Biden against Russian President Vladimir Putin, conciliatory telephone conversations, then another package of sanctions, then attempts to escalate in Ukraine, and then conciliatory assessments after the climate summit, some experts said that the White House administration was inconsistent with Russia.
However, this is not quite true. If you look at Russian-American relations in retrospect, the picture of the US policy is very clear, from which one can predict the further development of interstate relations between the Russian Federation and the United States.
After the victory in the Cold War over the USSR, the US elites did not begin to finish off Russia, believing that it would never recover. Many of us have already forgotten that in 1999 Russia asked the United States for food aid. However, Vladimir Putin, who came to power in 2000, seven years later at the Munich conference announced to the West that he would have to reckon with Russia on the world stage. Then few people believed in Putin, and therefore in 2008 the West did not curb Mikhail Saakashvili in his “adventure” with South Ossetia, and Russia had to force Georgia to peace.
Assessing the situation, in 2009 US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered Russia “a reboot” instead of restarting relations. The United States was not going to take into account Russian interests, Russia was simply offered to integrate into the “Western world” as a junior. In 2011, Russia even allowed the transit of NATO goods to Afghanistan through its territory, and in the same year, the West destroyed the statehood in Libya.
However, in 2012, Vladimir Putin became president of the Russian Federation again, and the sanctions in the form of the Jackson-Vanik amendment were replaced by the Magnitsky Act, which marked a new stage in the Cold War. Since then, the situation has only worsened.
2014 became a key year, when representatives of the West did not fulfill their obligations on February 21 to the President of Ukraine Yanukovych, and everything ended in a coup d’etat. Then Russia had to write its own rules of the geopolitical game and annex Crimea.
In early 2015, US President Barack Obama, anticipating victory in a new Cold War, declared that Russia was isolated and its economy was torn to shreds. However, in the same year, contrary to the interests of the West, Russia entered Syria in order to save its statehood, and it completely succeeded, despite the defeatist forecasts of even some part of the patriotic wing of the Russian public.
In 2016, the United States took unprecedented measures to expel Russian diplomats and violate the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which resulted in the arrest of Russian property in the United States. In the same year, Donald Trump won the presidential elections in the United States.
His position on Russia was fundamentally different from previous presidents. As a former businessman, he had nothing to share with Russia in the field of geoeconomics, and he hoped to win her over to his side in the confrontation with China. However, Trump was unable to cope with the “deep state”, which dragged him on the previous track of confrontation with Russia, and he had to introduce new packages of sanctions against our country.
This deepest state has not stopped waging the Cold War behind the back of the Trump administration. The then US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo swore to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that neither he, nor President Trump had anything to do with the State Department’s refusals to issue visas to part of the Russian delegation to the UN General Assembly. It seems that looking at the political pressure that was exerted on Trump within the United States, Lavrov had every reason to believe Pompeo.
It is with such a background of relations that we came to 2021, when the American elites appointed Joe Biden as President of the United States. For an objective understanding of the situation, one should get rid of the value judgments of Biden’s personality and the references of some experts to his age. The president’s possible mental illness has nothing to do with the foreign policy decisions made in Washington.
With Biden, the same Obama-Clinton team that took part in the coup d’etat in Ukraine and whose relations with Russia ended in 2016 with the expulsion of diplomats, came to the White House. Therefore, no one should have been surprised that Biden’s statements had a prohibitively confrontational tone in relation to Russia, moreover, for his domestic political weight, he needed to humiliate Putin in spite of Trump’s flattering statements regarding the Russian president.
Unlike the Republican Party, the US Democratic Party again puts the ideological component at the head of international relations. Through Biden, the battle between autocracy and democracy in the world has already been proclaimed. Also comparing Xi Jinping to Putin, Biden stated their belief that “autocracy is capable of what democracy in an ever-complicating world is not capable of”.
Again, the struggle of, if not ideological, then political models comes to the fore, because the example of the success of the model pulls other states with their resources to it, and such a failure puts an end to the process of globalization launched by the West.
The competition of models prevents the US ruling elite from complying with the conditions of the “Kissinger triangle”, where the US relations with Russia or China should be better than between them. They themselves put Xi Jinping and Putin on the same scale.
Unfortunately, contrary to the “Duel of three persons” from the theory of games, the United States by inertia goes to confrontation with Russia. This is due to the fact that this topic has long been developed among the American elites and in the American media. In addition, the United States does not have a geoeconomic dependence on Russia, in contrast to close economic ties with China.
Of course, the goal is not to physically destroy Russia. Russia is already ahead of the United States in some advanced weapons. Therefore, aggressive statements by the White House alternate with calls for “stable and predictable relations with Russia, consistent with the interests of the United States” and the holding of bilateral meetings.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki, in response to a journalist’s question – “Will Putin’s refusal from the summit be seen as a weakness of the Biden administration?”, Replied that Biden “believes that Russia is in many respects outside the world community at the moment”, now it is excluded from the G8 and the summit is a kind of bridge back, in this regard, Russia will accept the proposal.
There is no need to pin great hopes on the Russia-US summit. The United States has long been accustomed to isolating issues that interest only them from the general agenda, ignoring the position of the other side on other issues. It is in the tradition of Russian diplomacy to negotiate in the context of the entire group of interests that affect the relationship between the two countries.
For example, you can see the American, expert journal on international relations “Foreign Affairs”. Against the background of the aggravation of the situation in Ukraine, after the conciliatory telephone conversation between Biden and Putin and the subsequent new package of sanctions for Russia, the “In the spotlight” section of this magazine was devoted not to Ukraine, not to US-Russian relations, or even to the climate summit, but to the situation in Afghanistan.
The fact is that the United States refused to withdraw its troops before May 1, as provided for by the agreement with the Taliban, and postponed the date to September 11. In response, the Taliban (an organization banned in Russia) promised to turn Afghanistan into a nightmare for the US military. Perhaps that is why US Secretary of State Blinkin announced the possible holding of a Russia-US summit in a few weeks. After all, although the Taliban is considered a banned organization in the Russian Federation, close contact is maintained with them, the last meeting was in Moscow on January 12. The United States certainly hopes that Russia will be able to exert its influence to relieve tensions in Afghanistan.
In addition, in my opinion, the story with the explosions of warehouses in the Czech Republic, allegedly carried out by the GRUs’ Petrov and Bashirov, and the subsequent expulsion of diplomats, is also a US game to weaken Russia’s negotiating positions before the summit.
“Washington is behind the information campaign of the Czech Republic against Russia, all this is being done to distract from the problems accumulated in Western countries”.
“Russia is that tried-and-true instrument, that thesis put into circulation, so to speak, that is used in such cases. Of course, the United States is behind this, of course. The country that leads everything in NATO, the country that sets the tone for this western mainstream”, – said Maria Zakharova, spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Here it is necessary to note a fundamental moment in the practice of international relations – already such a country as the Czech Republic accuses Russia of a crime without presenting evidence, and then seeks support from the world community. It finds him – Poland, Slovakia and the Baltic countries have joined the expulsion of Russian diplomats, and it doesn’t matter whether this action was at the command of the United States or was done reflexively.
In front of Russia in the international arena, they are preparing to pull the “iron curtain” with all its attributes, since the proposal of the ex-President of Estonia to ban Russians from entering Europe received such great informational support.
Russia did not postpone retaliatory actions, and Putin signed a decree “On the application of measures of influence (counteraction) on unfriendly actions of foreign states” so that those wishing to join the aforementioned countries knew in advance about the consequences.
However, the wave should expect new provocations, even in the Ukrainian direction.
“Russia is the aggressor in this situation. We have not seen any signs that Ukraine is engaging in provocations or provoking tensions. What we saw was a Russian disinformation campaign designed to falsely accuse Ukraine of actions actually committed by the Kremlin”, – said State Department spokesman Ned Price.
The team returned to the White House with the consciousness of the victors in the Cold War, they are not ready to make concessions to those whom they supposedly defeated, so they will continue to put pressure on Russia, both from the outside and from the inside, with the help of the liberal opposition.
Many have compared the current situation to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. However, in 1961, the United States deployed its medium-range missiles in Turkey, close to the USSR. The deployment of Soviet missiles in Cuba was only a response.
Therefore, it is more logical to compare the current exacerbation with 1961, and Russia has not yet made its retaliatory move. Apparently, only Russia’s retaliatory actions, directly endangering the United States or its military, are capable of knocking down arrogance from the “winners” in the Cold War.
In part, Russia has already done this. Who knows how events in Ukraine would have developed if Russia in 2015 had not shifted the focus of the Americans’ attention to Syria, moving them onto the battlefield and forcing them to act more carefully. Perhaps that is why the Obama administration then refused to supply lethal weapons to Ukraine.
It is in our interests that the current crisis remains in history, like the Afghan, Syrian or even Venezuelan. Otherwise, the United States will somehow drag Russia into the European conflict with the subsequent political isolation of our country.
Oleg Ladogin, RusstratThe State Department wanted to talk with the ex-President of Moldova