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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Trump is able to use the “Crimean issue” to trade with Russia

Can Donald trump, as President, to recognize the Russian Crimea? Actually this is not anything particularly surprising – the question of recognition or non-recognition is only one element of American geopolitical strategy, and therefore can be used at the right time in the game with Russia.

Statements of Donald trump about the Crimea (in particular, the possibility of its recognition of Russian), of course, provoked a strong reaction not only in Ukraine but also in the United States.

“The recognition of Russian Crimea, and the lifting of sanctions are considered trump as a “good card” in the game with Putin”

But if political opponents use these words trump in order to make him the “Kremlin candidate”, that in Russia many people do not believe in the possibility of such a radical change of American policy in case of victory of non-system candidate. Meanwhile, the script for the recognition of Russian Crimea from the United States relates to the field of practical politics – and therefore, it is possible. “Crimean issue” in U.S.-Russian relations is not an independent character, and is derived from the General strategy of the USA against Russia.

There are several variants of this strategy in the short to medium term – and of several of them logically follows the recognition of the Crimea. Moreover, there is not a single realistic strategy that would put a goal to the rejection of the Crimea from Russia. Everything that is said about “the struggle for the return of Crimea to Ukraine”, is a pure propaganda, not practical policy.

Naturally, States will always consider the possibility of provoking internal contradictions in Russia and the use of internal turmoil for the collapse of our state or reduce its size. And in the implementation of such a scenario is really the Crimea may again cease to be Russian.

But the turmoil and disintegration of the country can lead still primarily domestic factors. So the role of the U.S. in any case, can only be ancillary and it is clear that none of the major Anglo-Saxon strategists did not consider now the variant of self-destruction of Russia as something real (though a few years ago all sorts of close to CIA think-tanks and amused its customers such predictions).

Moreover, the US is now starting to fall into the other extreme. If they had underestimated Russia (which was good for us, especially in 2014 – otherwise, Washington would not have dared to strategically disadvantageous to him the operation “isolation of Moscow”), there’s now a chance that some strategists may believe in their own propaganda about the “Russian threat to Europe.”

And yet the determining factor in the Russian policy of Washington is now a struggle between the desire to deter Russia and at the same time not to provoke her to be tough opposition, that is to negotiate where possible. If Clinton wins, this policy will remain the same. On the one hand Washington will put pressure through sanctions and the pulling of Ukraine and another attempt to delineate spheres of influence in the middle East and other regions. There is no recognition of the Crimea with this strategy, of course, will not – fight for soft, gradual atlantization Ukraine will continue. It is highly unlikely that even if Clinton will form a hawkish administration, Washington decides to worsening Ukrainian conflict, and in that way increase the risk of “losing” Crimea and the Donbass and the whole Ukraine.

But for the scenario “soft digestion Ukraine” we need two conditions. First, victory for Clinton in November, and secondly, the preservation of relative stability and power of Pro-Western elites in Ukraine in the medium term (at least until the end of the decade). Even if Clinton comes to power, but in Ukraine, will begin a new phase of power struggle and disintegration, the intervention of Washington will have its limits. The United States will not fight for Ukraine – that is, in the event of coming to power in Kiev neutral or even Pro-Russian forces, the Americans are willing to accept (of course, not out loud) with the loss of control over the “square”.

Moreover, if the “Ukrainian card” will help strengthen control over the European Union, to push after the Transatlantic partnership and securely to alienate Germany from Russia. Pro-Russian Ukraine in exchange for building a defensive redoubt from the Baltic to the Black sea and anti-Russian sentiments in Europe – quite acceptable for Washington combination. In this case, that is the turn of Ukraine towards Russia, joining the Eurasian Union – the Crimean issue would become for USA no relevance. It will be possible to accuse Russia of annexing a European country, “and not a Peninsula.

But if the power comes, not Clinton, and trump – and now it seems much more likely – then there are what is called options.

Trump can go on a “Grand bargain” with Russia – if he really tries new way to position the U.S. on the world stage. The Crimea, by and large, and so has already played Washington to the maximum. European sanctions, the main thing was for the U.S. to put pressure on Russia, next year it will be impossible to extend. Europe is ready to forget not only the Crimea, but the Donbass already – if only to weaken the American stranglehold and restore a working relationship with Russia.

Everything on the United States may be with the “Crimean issue”, belongs completely to the sphere of propaganda and diplomatic games – that is, has no direct and significant geopolitical benefits. Of course, you can not decades, to recognize the occurrence of Crimea to Russia and keep the us sanctions (which, in contrast to Europe, for Russia is not of fundamental importance), cheer up of the rulers of Kiev and to protest: but as an instrument of pressure on Russia in the Crimea will be inefficient. Yes, and how long you can use it? After all, to rely on the existence in the current form of Ukraine in the next ten years wouldn’t and Zbigniew Brzezinski. Before Crimea there.

Well, do not recognize the United States the entry of Baltic States into the USSR in 1940 – so what? How does it affect relations between Washington and Moscow? No – and neither of which “the return of the independence of the Baltic States” could not be considered, if not the Soviet Union collapsed.

Trump says plainly that he is for good relations with Russia and cooperation with it where it is beneficial. And, of course, he understands that no normal relations are impossible in the presence of sanctions and demands to “return the Crimea to Ukraine.” Trump understands that Ukraine is in a zone of Russia’s vital interests (the same thing he said about the Baltic States) and is ready to negotiate about it.

If trump won’t kill after a victory in the presidential election, he at least tries to build a new relationship with Russia. And, of course, the recognition of Russian Crimea, and the lifting of sanctions are considered by him as good cards on hand. Trump at least try to use them in the game with Putin. When it does this, its directness and geopolitical inexperience, might openly offer to exchange: be willing to receive in response to a change in the Russian position on Iran or something like that. No matter what Russia does not need Putin will not go for it. Himself a pragmatic approach trump to solving minor (and Crimea is not really even in the top ten important us-Russian problems), it will be welcome.

For all his desire trump will not be able to completely remove the Crimean question from the us-Russian relations sanctions were imposed by Congress, which in the foreseeable future will not go to their complete abolition. But as the President of trump can recognize the Russian Crimea de facto (and de jure) that will be an important step for return to a healthier atmosphere in U.S.-Russian relations.

In the end, for Russia does not matter what you think about the Crimea by foreign powers – the sanctions is the problem of those who introduced them. But the US wants and that’s evident in the actions of the current administration – to leave the failed policy of blockade of Russia, to agree on certain political issues. Trump, who comes to power in opposition to himself the entire Washington establishment, it will be easier to make a symbolic gesture in the direction of Putin, go for something that now seems impossible. Including to recognize the Russian Crimea and visit Sevastopol.

In the early 70s, Richard Nixon was headed to Beijing, Henry Kissinger, and after a few months he flew to Mao – although the United States more than two decades, does not recognize China as such (assuming “China” fled to Taiwan government, overthrown by the Communists). Trump is similar to Nixon – at least that challenges the elite and wants to change the world order. And the fact that he also listens to Henry Kissinger.

* Organization in respect of which the court accepted entered into legal force decision on liquidation or ban the activities on the grounds stipulated by the Federal law “On countering extremist activity”

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