The final push Putin: what 2017 has changed in the history of Russia

That brings me to the end of 2017 point in time, which is in contrast to the seventeenth, century ago brought our country a great shock and a great surprise. We showed the world our brand valiant hussar prowess, and our brand ability to get into a political trap of their own making.


photo: kremlin.ru

In foreign policy, in 2017 we won a victory where, according to most experts, it was impossible in principle. For powers not of this region, the middle East has long been considered the “graveyard of ambition” and “quicksand” of world politics. Based on the results of his two-year military campaign in Syria, Russia can currently safely say that doesn’t apply to us. We — “animals” entirely different breed! But at the same time, we have to admit and a few much less pleasant circumstances.

New 2017 we met in my confidence in the American White house will soon settle an ally of Russia, which will help us — of course, not free — to dig numerous foreign debris in the Western direction. Today this confidence came the belief: trump is not the solution to our problems, trump is their very serious part. Such a turn of events puts Putin in front of a very painful choice. If we continue the present course and not take any drastic measures in the coming years around the Russia even more closed ring of enemies.

But what should be the radical foreign policy steps of Putin? Not exactly a new security actions in different parts of the world. Putin now needs extended in time “decisive breakthrough” fundamentally different, and perhaps more difficult kind. Russia in the coming years needed a daring diplomatic initiative, able to “break the back” of the current dangerous trends in our relations with the West and Ukraine. That will appear whether such initiatives or not, depends on in what status Russia will approach the next presidential election in 2024 and our long term future as a great power.

Arab gambit

“Small children! No way do not go to Africa, to Africa to walk!” — in relation to the superiors of the American adult uncles in suits the modern political equivalent of Africa is, of course, the middle East. Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush — all the presidents of the United States, the middle East or recessed with the head, or put on the brink of complete loss of reputation.

Career of Nixon suffered in 1973 because of the Arab oil embargo, which resulted in American gas stations for a time gone diesel, and the dollar went into a loop of inflation. For Carter and Reagan as a “country block” was made by Iran. First fail at the junction of the 70-ies and 80-ies of the release taken in hostages in Teheran employees of the American Embassy, and therefore could not be re-elected to the presidency. And the second was forced in 1986 to appear before the country in the image of the suffering from memory loss of senile, which is deceived by his subordinates. Only solemn assurances from Reagan that he either did not know or doesn’t remember, saved him from almost certain impeachment because of the scandal caused by the illegal supply of American weapons to Iran. About the younger Bush can do for a long time not apply: failure of his Iraq adventure of 2003 have not faded from memory.

But who are we to tell the Americans for their failures in the middle East? “Track record” of many of the Kremlin Putin’s predecessors in this region of the world is no better than many of the “accomplishments” of Reagan or Bush. For example, in the era of Khrushchev, Brezhnev, we vbuhali in Egypt billions of rubles in the form of “free brotherly aid” and received it in 1972 “gratitude” in the form of requirements urgently removed from this country suddenly became unnecessary our military advisers. More recently, utters a heartfelt speech about his undying devotion to the ideals of the Egyptian-Soviet friendship President Anwar Sadat decided to change the record and threw himself into the American embrace. At the same we Brezhnev in 1979 sent its troops to Afghanistan and thus caused the fire of a significant part of the Islamic world, headed by Saudi Arabia.

Of the Kremlin’s policy towards Syria in the Soviet era and not at all painful to talk about. Here’s how this relationship recalled in his memoirs, our famous diplomat Oleg grinevsky: “a Lot of the confusion in Soviet-Syrian relations have brought vigorous energy of Nuritdin of Akramovich Mukhitdinov, the Soviet Ambassador in Damascus from 1968 to 1977…. His post, he was considered as something close to the position of Secretary of the party: whatever happens in Syria, the Ambassador… So happen there could only good. From Damascus came the dispatches, a report on the latest successes of Syria in the development of industry, agriculture, culture… And after these torrent — the constant requests: to give Syria another loan of several hundred million roubles to supply military equipment, agricultural machinery; any other assistance on the most favorable terms, and virtually free of charge, as a country fighting against imperialism.”

Needless to say that usually such requests are met and that there is no real benefit to our country is not brought? Our policy in the middle East very heavy heredity. And it only adds to the impression of the outcome of the two-year military campaign in Syria. The Russian armed forces went to Syria, met that goal and gone from Syria (or almost gone). As I have often written, usually in the middle East fails to act on the principle “I want to be friends with everyone.” If you interact with Iran, you become the enemy of Saudi Arabia. If you are a friend of Israel, you can’t be friends with many Arab States.

But now in the middle East is not exactly normal times, at least, against Russia. We interact with a small, but disproportionately influential Emirate of Qatar and those of neighboring Arab States who seek to strangle it with economic blockade. We have a working relationship with Iran and its worst enemy — Saudi Arabia. We have good relations with Israel and those Nations and forces that do not recognize its right to exist. In 2017, Russia was in the center of the labyrinth of middle East politics. And it gives Moscow additional leverage on the world stage. And this gives us good reason to be constantly on the alert.

In the middle East, nothing is final. Remember U.S. President Jimmy Carter — the same man whose career was ruined American foreign policy failures in Iran? Now, Carter’s career as an active political player in the middle East began with sensational success. In 1978, the President of the United States to convince the leaders of Israel and Egypt — those countries that since 1948, four times fiercely fought with each other — to make peace and restore diplomatic relations. After that, Carter apparently thinks that now it is any middle Eastern “reckless” — and quickly became convinced that it is not so. Russia has neither the moral nor political right to commit a similar error.

We must not forget: in the middle East, we have no friends, only partners who seek to use Russia in their interests. Why, for example, our traditional opponent of Saudi Arabia has now gone on rapprochement with Moscow? The reasons, I think, two. The Saudis seek to prevent our excessive rapprochement with Iran. And the Saudis thus send a signal to its traditional political partner in the United States. They say, do not think that we are doomed to the role of your “little brother”! However, to treat such blackmail America too seriously not worth it. The volume of contracts that we have promised the Saudis during his recent historic visit of the king of this country in Moscow is about 3 billion dollars. But the amount of agreements that were agreed during the may visit trump in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, close to 280 billion dollars. Delicate difference, isn’t it?

And finally, the most important thing we should remember every minute and every second. Success in the middle East in any way can not be considered as compensation for the lack of important breakthroughs in our relations with the West and Ukraine. And in 2017, Russia not only had no progress. In this area there was a significant regression.


photo: kremlin.ru

America is preparing for revenge

At the end of this fall I was a member of the chamber, but at the same time a representative international conference in London. Before I left for the British capital are welcome, the conference organizers sent me a long list of famous former Ministers. Like, do you want to meet with them on a complementary basis? Of course, I readily agreed, but asked that the number of such meetings did not exceed three. I didn’t want to spend all your time in London for political talks. However, as it turned out shortly after arriving on the banks of the Thames, I had no reason to worry. The topic of additional meetings is no longer rising. From this you can draw only one conclusion: none of interesting to me retired Ministers did not want to meet with me. Perhaps the reason is that my modest person is not called, none of them are counter-interest. But for all the realism my self-esteem I suspect the reason is yet another.

Speaking in December 1962 at a leading us military Academy West point, former United States Secretary of state Dean Acheson said: “Britain has lost an Empire and not yet found a new proper role”. Being a fan of British political history I have with this statement strongly disagree. I believe that Britain has long found for itself a new role — at the very moment when, soon after the Second world war she was rapidly losing its vast colonial Empire. But is this role to be a faithful squire of the United States or, as said by the British, to take America’s “special relationship”.

That happened to me in London, is a reflection of contemporary American political realities. But the reality these are as follows: almost all the visitors from Russia in American political circles today shy away from like the plague. You think I exaggerate? If Yes, ask the former Russian Ambassador to US Kislyak, a talented diplomat, who was declared “the villain-spy” only because he was doing his job. Or ask the current Ambassador of Russia in America Antonov, who, despite all his efforts have so thoroughly failed to meet with any of the several hundred members of the us Congress.

Nothing of what I wrote in the previous paragraph, of course, is not news to the Russian leadership. At some point 2017 Putin, told me several informed interlocutors, clearly formulated thesis with Washington in its current state agree on anything is impossible. With this assessment now, sadly, it is difficult to argue. But at the same time we must not become its prisoner and hostage. The feeling of hopelessness and hopelessness is a bad Advisor on foreign policy issues (in the political way, too).

We need to calculate the options, to think about our relationship with America tomorrow, the day after tomorrow and even the next day. And the first step towards such analysis would be an attempt to understand what happened in our relations with America yesterday and the day before. Thesis is the most badass functionaries of the Democratic party, “trump is a pocket of President Putin” — this, of course, nonsense SIV donkey (for those who don’t appreciate the direction of flight of my imagination, let me explain: since the late nineteenth century, the donkey is the unofficial symbol of the American Democrats). But did Russia attempt to influence U.S. political processes?

If not taken, why are all the American political elite believes that such attempts have taken place? Americans themselves hypnotised? Americans something imagined? It is possible, of course. But let’s for the sake of interest in purely theoretical terms, consider a completely different option. If Russia really tried to different ways to have an impact on inter-political processes, the fact of such attempts, I do not see anything criminal. America every day, openly or covertly interfere in the internal Affairs of other States. Why, then, other States have no right to try to repay America in the same coin? The answer to this question is obvious. But what is not obvious, so it applied the policy conclusions that derive directly from this response.


photo: kremlin.ru

In addition to the categories “fair” and “unfair,” there is another category of “work” and “doesn’t work”. If we do anything in terms of the impact on inter-political game, it clearly hasn’t worked and even turned out to be counterproductive. To be honest, even when discussing similar topics in a hypothetical way, I feel not very comfortable. But it is better to feel uncomfortable than to feel stupid. To avoid a detailed discussion of the presence or absence of Russian influence on American elections still fail. Now in the U.S. many authorities are occupied with attempts under the microscope to find “Russian trace” in American politics. Sooner or later, all these instances should present the public with its conclusions and findings on which those conclusions are based.

Russia — or rather its political leadership needs to approach this moment of “putting some cards on the table” very well prepared. Not because we owe something to justify to Americans. Don’t have to. The Kremlin needs to prepare well because the findings of numerous investigators (as quoted and unquoted) will have inevitable consequences — and within the Americas and beyond, especially for those limits that are within one-sixth of the land. Yes, Yes, I’m suggesting that is a possible further deterioration in Russian-American relations and very likely further escalation of the sanctions war between our countries.

To think about such a thing unpleasant, but necessary. And here are my preliminary conclusions about what has actually happened. I suspect that the naivety and political incompetence of the team of scientists have superimposed on our lack of understanding how America really works the internal political mechanisms. I believe that we have not shown sufficient caution and in the end thanks to the accurate work of our opponents turned against us. I hope that his suspicions I’m wrong. But even if it is so, the Kremlin still have a good reason to rethink our policy on the American direction.

The Ukrainian impasse: is there a way out?

How many people in Russia have ever heard about Australian politics, lawyer and diplomat named sir Owen Dixon? I think that even among specialists on the foreign policy of such units. Meanwhile, at least one episode of the biography of this man we should see. In 1950, the Supreme court justice of Australia sir Owen Dixon has agreed to take the position of UN mediator for the conflict resolution between India and Pakistan over the disputed region of Kashmir. As described by historians, after working several months, Dixon came close to a compromise acceptable to all. But when one of the parties once again attempted to renegotiate the agreements already reached, Dixon lost patience, announced his mission failed and left the ranks of officials of the United Nations. Over the past decade to replace Dixon in the role of mediator between India and Pakistan have tried many. But anybody and close could not approach to repeat it “almost success”.

Why do I think this story is interesting for the people of Russia? I think that between Russia and Ukraine is currently playing a scenario of relationship between India and Pakistan. Judge for yourself: before 1947, both areas quite a peacefully coexisted within a single state entity — British India. But after the two countries gained independence and are unable to quickly resolve their dispute over the affiliation of the region of Kashmir, the raison d’être of the Pakistani state was the confrontation between India. In order to annoy a neighbor and to have the opportunity to threaten him, Pakistan has created its own atomic bomb. Pakistan periodically joins with India in direct military confrontations, smuggling across the border of the group of saboteurs-terrorists, strongly spoils new Delhi life in the international arena.

Its own nuclear bomb Ukraine, of course, not be built. But all other attributes “pakistanization” of Ukrainian politics, unfortunately, is obvious. And for Russia this situation is quite unfavorable. Ukraine — a country of nearly forty million people. We just do not want the neighbor of this size, designed to constantly different ways to do different shit. With this in mind, I think, to argue does not want one. The differences appear when it comes about what Russia could do about it. The status of the Crimea discussion, of course, not be. Real space in Russia is only in respect of Donbass — a territory whose secession from Ukraine Moscow has never officially recognized.

Sometimes I hear from different friends of their opinion: Russia is the freezing of the current situation in the Donbass. That way we retain in his hands the lever of influence on Ukraine. But I hold a fundamentally different position: the current situation in the Donbass is beneficial for many, but not for Russia. That’s what I said recently, the famous retired Russian diplomat: “the longer in the Donbass remains the current status quo, the more “solidified” system of the ruling clans, whose interests are closely intertwined with the interests of different groups within Russia. Warlords — and in the Donbass, as you know, the rules they behave in the world about the same way. It is known for example that some elements within the Palestinian movement actually do not want an independent Palestinian state. In the situation of permanent conflict with Israel, they live happily ever after. And in our own state with a clearly defined status, they would have to do something and to build something”.

And that’s what I heard from the mouth of the current senior Russian foreign policy official: “to me a growing conviction that Poroshenko categorically does not want the settlement in the Donbass. He is the freezing of the current situation in the region for the period of his presidency. To really settle the conflict in Donbas, the official Kiev should go for reciprocal concessions. Poroshenko is afraid that if he does, the extreme nationalist elements within Ukraine will destroy you.”

What follows from this? Not, of course, that Moscow must “pass Donbass”. The return of Donetsk and Lugansk in the Ukraine by the “method of the battalion “Aydar” — nationalists go to the Donbass and kill everyone who resisted them — is Russia’s (and its leadership, and its population) is absolutely unthinkable and unacceptable prospect. Donbass to return in the Ukraine only as a region with special status and broad internal autonomy, as a territory under international control according to the type of Bosnia after the civil war in the former Yugoslavia. How this can be achieved if official Kiev does not want to hear about something like that? To be honest, I don’t know. But I do know something else. Restoring at least some semblance of normality in Russian-Ukrainian relations depends on whether Putin will find in the coming years, a solution to the problem of Donbass or not.

The main function of foreign policy is to ensure the security of the state and to create optimal conditions for its stable of internal development. Unfortunately, the current international position of Russia does not create optimal conditions for the rapid growth of our economy, improve our social sphere and all other spheres of life too. Task Putin during his presidential term, should be the elimination of this imbalance. It is in this — although not only — should be “last decisive jerk of GDP.”

Held a hundred years ago, the post of Prime Minister of great Britain David Lloyd George once said: “it’s Amazing how smart a politician is ten years after when I had to be smart.” Unfortunately, many of the current or former member of the Russian servants of the people belong to the brilliantly described by Lloyd George to the category of statesmen. Vladimir Putin has no right to join them.

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