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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Kremlin will have to answer the call of the White house

Кремлю предстоит ответить на вызов Белого дома  

At first glance, the reaction to the shot Tomahawks at Syrian airbase Shirt may seem weak. However, in this case really enough weirdness that hint at the presence of hidden from the public agenda and arrangements. But in spite of that, the Kremlin will have to accept abandoned to him “the glove”.

Moscow’s reaction to the U.S. strike on Syrian airbase was, to the surprise of observers, relatively quiet and very formal:

“Attack on Sirat hegemony of Russia in recent years in the middle East have shaken”

1. Press Secretary of the Russian President said that “this move by Washington to cause considerable damage to Russian-American relations, which is in a deplorable state”.

2. Russia has suspended the prisoner with the United States Memorandum on safety in Syria.

3. Sergey Lavrov also said that US actions cause damage and ruined relations between the two countries, but expressed the hope that “provocations will not lead to irreversible results.”

4. Vladimir Putin held operational meeting with permanent members of security Council of Russia, devoted to missile attack, which was described as an act of aggression.

5. Frigate “Admiral Grigorovich”, armed with cruise missiles “Caliber” and went on to the Mediterranean sea, where you will come to the point of logistics Russian Navy in Syria’s Tartus.

6. Russia convened an extraordinary meeting of the UN security Council with regard to the recent missile strike.

7. In addition, regarding the possible cancellation of the visit to Russia of Secretary Rex Tillerson the Kremlin were limited to a very streamlined review.

On the background of the calling of a military solution and Washington’s move this reaction could easily be regarded as weak, if not helpless. However, there are some circumstances which indicate that the situation is much more complex.

First, the States in advance informed the Russian side about the impending massive blow that in an obvious way suggests a desire to avoid casualties (and as a consequence of the escalation) with Russia.

Second, the results of the impact cause a very large number of questions. If a relatively small number of victims can be explained by the fact that Russia received information about the attack, warned the Syrian side, and she managed to evacuate most people, slight damage to the base itself, makes build versions, how such a thing was possible. After a massive strike, 59 Tomahawk missiles remained virtually intact runway.

Thirdly, the Russian defense Ministry commented on the incident with obvious malice, saying to the shayrat airbase flew only 23 missiles. Also, the Russian military published a video, confirming the limitations caused by impact damage.

In turn, the United States stated that the target hit 58 released “Tomahawk”. However, in view of the damage, perhaps Americans would have been better to accept the version of the Russian defense Ministry. Look too disproportionate to the effort with the result.

It is not surprising that the totality of the circumstances was made many versions explaining the strangeness of the incident. For example, that took place agreed with Russia, the action that unleashes Trump, against whom within the USA won’t slow down the hard campaign for the prosecution of his relations with the Kremlin.

It should be noted that the Kremlin’s rhetoric against trump and his administration have always been very low-key, based on the principle that Moscow would be judged not by words, but by deeds, which was not for long. Attack of the USA on the Shirt gave Moscow a foothold in articulating its position against the American President and his administration. In particular, the Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev bluntly wrote: “All. The remains of the pre-election fog has lifted. Instead of publicized thesis on the joint fight against the main enemy – ISIS* administration trump proved that will fiercely fight the legitimate government of Syria.”

This, of course, does not exclude the possibility of cooperation and of certain agreements, including behind-the-scenes, between the Kremlin and the White house. It is not excluded that the attack on Syrian air base really is hidden from the public agenda. However, this in no way does not negate the problems that faced the Kremlin.

The success of the Syrian campaign and the overall strong position of the country over the last fifteen years in the middle East region of Russia have created a certain reputation and made it a key center of power there. The attack on the Sirat the hegemony of Russia was shaken. This is especially timely that we are talking about a very specific region, where the power and saving face are the most important items of any reputation.

To compensate for reputational damage, Moscow will inevitably have to answer thrown to her by Washington in the night of 7 April, “the gauntlet.” However, experience shows that at the moment the head of Russia there are people who think in a nonlinear and asymmetric prefer to find, but no less painful responses to emerging challenges.

* 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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