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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

U.S. Ambassador to Russia, was the son of the Apostle: the prospects of Jon Huntsman


The American Department of state appeared in Russia new home “distributor cookies”. It was pulled out of retirement to represent the USA in the Russian Federation in the crisis period postkrymsky cheerful big John Tefft received a second chance to go on a holiday. The new Ambassador to Russia became one of the pillars of the American establishment, John huntsman is an inherited billionaire, the son of the Apostle (religious leader) of the Mormon Church.

And the man who in different years were considered as serious candidates for the position of Secretary and even the President of the United States.


photo: AP

It is considered that the value of the position of the Ambassador of the great powers in the twenty-first century very serious fall. Supposedly it used “in the times of Ochakovo and conquest of Crimea”, when the correspondence between the two capitals takes weeks and even months, has the confidence of his superiors, the Ambassador could conduct an independent political game with foreign kings and Ministers. And in this age of instant electronic communications, the Ambassador turned into an extra element – the official, who must necessarily be present on the Protocol, but which is not necessarily plays an important role in the development of relations between the two countries.

Partially this view is, of course, justified. When, during President Nixon’s American foreign policy of taxiing with a fondness for secrecy, Henry Kissinger, about the arrival of Henry Kissinger in Moscow, U.S. Ambassador to the USSR, sometimes out in the following way. Not received any explanation and bewildered Ambassador was urgently summoned to one of the government houses on the Lenin hills and there he was, to his own amazement, was met by his grinning head.

But if the gadgets and planes have radically changed the way we travel and communicate with each other, they never changed human nature. And that led me to the firm conviction that in the modern period the identity of the holder of the post of the US Ambassador in Moscow more important than ever before in previous decades. And I’m very glad that this position was John huntsman. Why did I make such a generous advance to a man I have never in my life seen and who at the recent hearings in the Senate, as expected, spoke about Russia in a very tough and aggressive spirit?

Because the holder of the post of U.S. Ambassador to Russia, such now the doctor, who may not necessarily cure the patient, but it can be very hard “to heal.” One of the main causes of the current crisis of relations between Russia and America is mutual distrust and a lack of adequate channels of communication, not technical, but in the political sense.

For the first time this problem arose in full growth at the beginning of the third presidential term for Putin. A personal relationship between GDP and President Obama, as we know, did not happen. Personal relations between Putin and Lavrov and us Secretary of state Hillary Clinton, as it is also known, has not developed even more. Changer Clinton at the State Department John Kerri a common language with Lavrov found. But the influence of Carrie at the court of President Obama has always been limited.

All this gave a completely exaggerated the influence of the figure of the U.S. Ambassador in Moscow. And the then holder of this position, Michael McFall, unfortunately, used this influence is not good. If all slightly roughen, then the messenger of America in the Russian capital now has two main functions: to accurately inform the White house about the plans and intentions of the Kremlin and accurately inform the Kremlin about the plans, intentions and sentiments of the White house. McFall had to ensure that Putin and Obama were on the “same wavelength” – naturally, not in the sense of consent, and in the sense of understanding each other.

But immediately after the arrival to Moscow Macfall everything went wrong. Not being a professional diplomat, the new US Ambassador immediately made a grave diplomatic blunder: he met with opposition figures before presenting his credentials. This caused a whole chain of unintended consequences: the angry reaction of the Kremlin – retaliatory resentment Makhalla – the cold war between the authorities of the host country and the US Ambassador – the gradual transformation Makhalla in a fierce lobbyist with the deterioration of Russian-American relations. In my opinion, this position Macfall greatly contributed to the widening gap of mutual misunderstanding between Moscow and Washington. And this, in turn, was one of the main causes of the transition our relationship into a confrontational phase in 2014.

Sent to replace Macfall John Tefft was his polnocy protivopolojnosti a professional with a capital letter. Note, for example, here’s a passage from a farewell interview Tefft “Kommersant” this week: “I was in Sevastopol many times. I understand the Russian position. I know the story that Khrushchev gave control of Crimea to Ukraine.” No matter what this words should be the usual standard American rhetoric: “But the fundamental problem here is that Russia used force in order to take the Crimea”. It is important that Tefft really understand: we are not talking about the conflict of black and white, we are talking about a very complicated, confusing and controversial issue.

However, Tefft as the Ambassador was a weakness which he at all desire could not get rid of. Tefft has been a career state Department official. And to career state Department employees in modern Washington concern about the way Stalin and Voroshilov referred to as “military specialists” the king’s time: they are used, but do not trust them and not really listen to them. Special importance this issue has gained during the trump – a period when Congress and the media are at war with their own President and the state Department is in a state of extreme internal irritation.

Moscow is now just do not really understand with whom they should speak in Washington? By trump? The President is not a professional in the field of state management, not really in control of your own subordinates and is extremely vulnerable to accusations of “suspicious relations with the Russians.” Secretary Rex Tillerson? Trying to steer the Department in a manual mode, Tillerson immersed in other Affairs. In addition, no one knows exactly how strong is his position. With the assistant to the President for national security Herbert McMaster? According to rumors, McMaster is one of the leaders of the “anti-Kremlin party” at the White house.

At this obscure background, the emergence in the rank of U.S. Ambassador in Moscow John Huntsman can be regarded as a gift for Russian-American relations. On the one hand, the huntsman is very independent, influential and powerful political figure, a real heavyweight. In 2012, huntsman refused to thoughts about the struggle for the White house as a candidate from the Republican party. But, as later admitted by the head of the election headquarters of Obama at the start of the election campaign of all the potential Republican candidates the most dangerous in the entourage of the incumbent President always considered the Huntsman. The huntsman is even and respect Democrats. According to the Agency of Associated Press in 2012 won the elections President Obama was considering Huntsman as a candidate as the new Secretary of state.

So, with the “political cover” from the new U.S. Ambassador to Russia all right . But it is all okay and diplomatic experience. Received in 1992 at the age of 32 years the post of US Ambassador to Singapore, huntsman became the youngest U.S. Ambassador in over 100 years. Behind Huntsman and experience the U.S. Ambassador to China – and on this post “the diplomats-fans” do not survive. In the face of Jon Huntsman, Moscow obtained a full American interlocutor is the interlocutor whom you do not have to wait for verbal niceties, but with which but you can have meaningful conversation. In my eyes this fact alone is already a huge achievement. I hope my eyes have not deceived me.

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