Frames say “no”: Will restart in relations between the US and Russia

Кадры говорят "нет": Будет ли перезагрузка в отношениях США и России

Vladimir Putin and Donald trump, collage

The original on the website POLITICO

After a telephone conversation held a few days after the US election between Donald trump and the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, the Russian media began briskly to discuss the possibility that Putin this winter will host the trump to begin their joint efforts, as expressed by the Kremlin, “normalization of relations” between the US and Russia.

Talk about the expected in the near future state visit remain speculative. But given trump’s stated desire to improve relations with the authoritarian Russian President, it is likely that trump as President would visit Moscow — the first since obnarujivaesh the visit of President Barack Obama in 2009.

But, judging by interviews conducted after the election, the POLITICO with more than a dozen officials and experts, representatives of both major parties and political institutions of the United States persistently object to any alleged attempts by trump to come to terms with Putin. Such a move would meet strong opposition from Congress, European allies, the professional staff of the national security services and perhaps even some key officials from the environment trump.

Related news: trump rejected the idea of Clinton: Another “reset” with Russia will not be

“Trump can do it just unilaterally, said Stephen Cohen (Stephen Cohen), writer and scholar who advocates for the improvement of the relations of America with Moscow. — We do not know whether even well-established partnership with Russia.”

These conversations are at a particularly tense moment, given that November 21, Putin stated that Russia will deploy nuclear warheads missiles in its European enclave in Kaliningrad oblast to counter the fact that, according to him, is a “threat” of NATO for his country.

“The situation is annoying,” said Putin about the difficulties in relations with NATO in an interview with the Director Oliver stone, shown on Russian television on Monday.

Trump has promised to relieve this tension. As a candidate, trump has promised to “get along” with Putin than alarmed the foreign policy elite, which believes the Russian leader’s insidious and dangerous enemy. Trump suggested that the US joined forces with Moscow in the fight against ISIS (an organization banned in Russia — approx. ed.) and reflects on the lifting of sanctions imposed by the United States in 2014 as punishment for the aggression of Russia against Ukraine.

Besides, trump has repeatedly expressed admiration for Putin and boasted that this Russian called him “brilliant” (Putin actually used the adjective “bright”), and therefore leading critics worry that trump probably seeking friendship with Putin and his approval, that is unsafe.

Many analysts believe that Putin will offer to Trump military cooperation in the fight against “Islamic state” (organization banned in Russia — approx. ed.) that is not the main task of the Russian operation in Syria. In return, Putin will seek recognition of Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian Crimean Peninsula in 2014, the lifting of economic sanctions and reduction of military presence and US participation in the political activities in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Earlier this month, Putin’s press Secretary Dmitry Peskov in an interview with the Associated Press noted that “a slowdown or review of NATO’s military capabilities from our borders can defuse this situation” in Europe.

Related news: trump conducted another interview for the position of Secretary of state: met with David Petraeus

But at the moment the arguments about this agreement, most likely, will cause outrage on both sides of the Atlantic.

“Don’t believe the military, don’t believe the state Department, don’t believe representatives of the intelligence community, the Republican party does not believe, cannot believe that none of our allies,” says a former US special envoy to NATO and President of the Chicago Council on international Affairs Ivo Daalder.

“It is very difficult to treat Russia as a country with which we may contract, without compromising our principles,” said Czech General and head of the NATO military Committee Peter Paul, who gave an interview to the representative of edition of POLITICO on the sidelines of an International security forum held last weekend in Halifax (Canada).

The first obstacle to trump such a convergence may occur in the circle of his own principal advisers. Elected Vice-President Mike Pence during the debate, held in October, made fun of Putin, describing it as “small and scrappy” and said that recent “provocations from Russia, America needs to respond with force.” Republican Mike Pompeo, who trump has selected for the post of CIA Director, called the U.S. response to Putin’s aggression in Ukraine is “too weak”.

It is quite possible that Michael Flynn, who trump has selected for the post of national security adviser, also warned his boss and advise him not to mess with Putin. Although a retired General notorious fact that in December 2015 sat next to Putin at a dinner in Moscow and said that the U.S. and Russia must work together to combat Islamic terrorism, in his October interview with POLITICO, he spoke about the Russian President is quite sarcastic. “Putin is a totalitarian dictator and thug who does not consider our interests,” said Flynn.

According to some sources, the one trump will appoint the Secretary of state is unequivocal evidence of what his intentions are. One of the leading candidates for the post MITT Romney (Mitt Romney) has condemned Putin, calling him a “robber”, and in 2012 he called Russia “a geopolitical enemy of America No. 1”, and it is unlikely that he will go to a sharp change in strategy in relations with Moscow.

If trump will still pursue a policy of rapprochement with Russia, the Congress can fight back.

Related news: Military EU response to Trump and Putin

For several months the leaders of the Republican party in Congress has subjected the President Barka Obama is criticized for his alleged indifference to Putin’s annexation of Crimea and assistance to the armed Pro-Russian rebels in the East of the country, killing thousands of people. And protect more lenient and indifferent politics trump it would be very difficult.

Held in July the national Convention of the Republican party, representatives of the electoral headquarters of the trump had to block proposed in the program of the Republicans of the language with calls to provide Ukraine with a weapon. Trump also hinted that he may recognize the Crimea a part of Russia. (“You know, the people of Crimea, I hear, would prefer to be with Russia, but not where he was before. And this should be borne in mind,” he said in an interview to ABC News in July).

Congress on these two issues is quite a different stand. In March 2015 the house of representatives by an overwhelming majority (348 for and 48 against) adopted a resolution which urged Barack Obama to provide the Ukrainian government the weapons. And in September the house of representatives approved another document, according to which the state printing house “it is forbidden to print the maps, documents, messages or other materials,… portraying or otherwise indicating Crimea as part of the territory of the Russian Federation”.

Although trump may unilaterally cancel some us sanctions against Russia imposed by the Obama and his presidential Executive orders to cancel, others will require an act of Congress. This includes sanctions on dozens of Russians implicated in human rights violations in accordance with the 2012 Magnitsky Act, which Putin considers the main source of tension in Russian-American relations. And the cancellation of trump is unlikely to get special support in Congress.

The most senior Republican in Congress is against Putin is a much tougher stance than trump. In September, the speaker of the house of representatives Paul Ryan (Paul Ryan) criticized trump over praise of Putin, and has called the Russian President an “aggressor who does not share our interests.” The majority leader in the Senate Mitch McConnell (Mitch McConnell) said that he would send weapons to the Ukrainian authorities and would expand missile defense system in Eastern Europe — which would have put Putin in a rage.

The Chairman of the Senate armed services Committee John McCain (John McCain) shortly after the election, issued a statement in which he warned trump and urged him not to trust Putin. Last month, speaking on CNN, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on foreign relations United States Bob Corker (Bob Corker) warned trump that “flattery” Putin did not affect his decision.

The Chairman of the Committee on international relations of the U.S. house of representatives ed Royce (Ed Royce) in a statement to POLITICO pointedly noted that “willing to work with property trump to stop Russian propaganda, to strengthen NATO and to act from a position of strength.”

Even many Democrats are taking against Putin’s tough stance to prevent the Tramp act “bypassing” his own party. Russia “is the sphere of foreign policy, where [trump] is likely to encounter General opposition from the Congress,” said democratic Senator Chris coons (Chris Coons), a member of the Senate Committee on international Affairs.

Related news: trump will instruct the Pentagon to develop a plan to protect infrastructure against hackers

Every step of the trump, who would be perceived as a betrayal of European allies of the United States, said Chris Koons, will meet “determined and persistent opposition of congressional Democrats and Republicans who for decades worked together to resist Russian aggression in Europe and the middle East.”

Politics trump against Russia may also face stiff resistance from the military structures and intelligence services.

In recent months, the U.S. increased spending on defense and intelligence, and intensified its actions against Moscow, especially after Russia began to carry out airstrikes in Syria in the autumn of last year — including against the rebels supported by the CIA.

Speaking with the report in the Senate in July 2015, the Chairman of the joint chiefs of staff Joseph Dunford (Joseph Dunford) — which will remain in the post of senior military adviser to the President until September, he called Russia “the biggest threat to our national security” and said that Putin’s behavior “not only as a cautionary” do not call.

“The Pentagon will come difficult times,” if trump will seek to a dramatic weakening of the confrontational policies of the armed forces in relation to Moscow, said Evelyn Farkas, who when Obama was a senior official of the Ministry of defense and dealt with Russia.

The Pentagon, as noted by Farkas, for several months “worked around the clock to rebuff the subversive activities of Russia in Europe and the middle East. It will be truly demoralizing problem.”

Employees of American intelligence to target action in terms of confrontation, they have stepped up their covert operations and operations in cyberspace against Russia, as Moscow pursues and even allegedly inflates drug official representatives of the USA abroad. In July, the Director of national intelligence James clapper (James Clapper) said that the U.S. is in a state of “one kind of war” with Russia in cyberspace. And in October the leaders of the U.S. intelligence community came to the conclusion that the Kremlin directed the hacker attacks on mail servers the democratic party and the election headquarters Clinton with the purpose of the intervention and disruption of a meeting held in this month of presidential elections.

Related news: trump had a meeting with the candidate for Secretary of state, “chief Russophobe Republican party,” MITT Romney

Although the leadership of the defense Department and the intelligence services are obliged by law to comply with the orders of the President, they can Express their discontent within departments and to delay the implementation of those policies with which they disagree. For example, this fall when Secretary of state John Kerry made short-sighted with Moscow an agreement on military cooperation in Syria to fight against the “Islamic state”, a skeptical Pentagon opposed the implementation of this short-lived plan, organizing the leakage of information to the media and causing bureaucratic delays.

Some officials and experts on Russia expressed hope that trump will reconsider their attitude to Putin in the light of those consultations, which are now sharing intelligence officials, and on which he gets detailed information on hostile activities of Russia in the world.

“It’ll work on him sobering,” said Michael McFaul (Michael McFaul), former Obama U.S. Ambassador in Moscow.

However, Trump has repeatedly provided public evidence of the illegal actions of Putin — including American intelligence obtained evidence that Russia intervened in the election process, but he constantly rejected these allegations. For this reason, some critics began to wonder whether trump, by chance, some sort of hidden interest — perhaps financial — for he is “sucking up” to the Russian leader.

It should be recognized that even the hawks, militant against Russia, in favour of dialogue with Moscow on some issues (such as concluded in 2015, the agreement on the Iranian nuclear program) and argue that dialogue is essential to the containment of tension between States possessing nuclear weapons. “We understand that not communicating is not a solution,” says Peter Paul.

According to experts, trump and Putin could initially build trust by cooperating in Syria so that Russia has stepped up strikes on positions “Islamic state”, and trump has discontinued support of the US towards the Syrian rebels battling the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, an ally of Putin.

Related news: Stoltenberg talked with trump about NATO: it is Necessary to increase defense spending

But the final obstacle to trump on the way to the conclusion of a new agreement with Russia could be Putin himself. Trump will be the third consecutive U.S. President who tries to establish relations with the authoritarian Russian leader, who took office in 2000, to restore the greatness of Russia in accordance with their ideas after the collapse of the Soviet Union. And after that, in his opinion, are opportunistic actions of America for the expansion of NATO to the weakened borders of Russia.

In the beginning of his presidency the hand of friendship held out to Putin and George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, but they just witnessed, as it captures other people’s territory (in Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014), and accuses Washington that threatens his country.

“Bad relations with Russia was not due to the fact that no attempt has been made to establish them,” said one state Department official.

Some argue that trump could put critics, who fear that it will go forward and give to Putin, to a standstill. Dimitri Simes (Dmitri Simes), a former adviser to Richard Nixon, who is currently President of the Center for the national interest, believes that trump confidentially send Putin a strong message about America’s position, to be able to negotiate from a position of strength.

Thus, says symes, trump will probably give Putin “a clear signal that we are not going to remove him from power, we’re not trying to humiliate him, and we do not seek to diminish the role of Russia — but only under the condition that he will act within those boundaries we have set, and will not be held cross the us red line.”

Symes said that his view was influenced by the communication with the members of the electoral headquarters of the trump, when in April, the Center for the national interest hosted a Republican candidate to discuss the decision with foreign policy issues.

News on topic: at First, trump didn’t know about the situation in Ukraine, but now wants to stand out from Obama

But Simes also warned that failure to comply with the General rules of politeness between trump and Putin — the two ambitious leaders who are sensitive to the resentment may be a bigger obstacle in the normalization of relations and further complicate them. It recommends the convening of a closed diplomatic negotiations to avoid the “public dialogue, which can cause unsafe controversy, after which before you know it, as the two leaders have come to hate each other”.

And the government of Putin, there are those who are skeptical about trump’s ability to bring change in US policy towards Russia.

First, the election trump in the Russian capital met with optimism, and members of the Russian Duma reacted to the news of spontaneous applause. But Kremlin officials about what can achieve a new President, expressed caution.

“Part of the US establishment very negative about the prospects of cooperation with us, announced this month, official Russian foreign Ministry Ilya Rogachev, the Russian news Agency “Interfax”. — Remember, more than eight years ago, Obama promised, for example, to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay”.

“I remember eight years ago, there were high expectations when the President was elected Barack Obama, said earlier this month in an interview with German newspaper Die Welt, the Minister of economic development of Russia Alexei Ulyukayev. — Unfortunately, we came to a not very good result.”

Michael Crowley

The Independent

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