Суббота, 15 Апрель 2017 02:46

On Tillerson's visit to Moscow Избранное

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Rex Tillerson arrived to Moscow on Tuesday, having paralysed the traffic in Russia's capital, as police was blocking the roads to make a free way for his cortege, making blocked in traffic Muscovites send millions of curses in his address. The paralysis on the roads caused by Tillerson is very similar to the paralysis that has recently occurred in bilateral ties between the two powers, following the chemical attack in Idlib province reportedly committed by the loyal to Bashar al-Assad forces and then the strike of the SAA air base in Homs by the US «Tomahawk» missiles. The bilateral ties have reached the very low since the collapse of the Soviet Union and were about to pierce the bottom. The global uproar was at such extent that clash between the West and Moscow over Syria seemed inevitable. Russia has withdrawn from the the US-Russia air safety memorandum in SAR airspace and made it clear that in case of any further aggression threatening its safety will respond correspondingly to the challenge. Before the visit Rex Tillerson has sent Russia a kind of verbal ultimatum-like message to chose the side: with Iran and Assad or with the US. He was expected to bring to Moscow this ultimatums and tough rhetoric. But apparently he has lost them on his way to Moscow. The talks were finally constructive.

The global attention was engrossed to the visit of Tillerson. The allies were impressed by strong démarche of Trump all had been waiting from him, as it has put to an end the US Obama’s doctrine of relative non-involvement. So they expected that Rex Tillerson, will talk tough with Russia’s officials and make them sense how far the US can go and that it is in Russia’s interests to abandon the policy that brings it «to the wrong side of history». The «tomahawks» gave Tillerson a very strong position for talks. However, Russia has appeared to be not frightened, or at least demotivated, but concentrated and preparing for the tougher times and deeper confrontation, though keeping the doors for talks open. And the Secretary of State entered exactly those doors.

Tillerson held two much awaited meetings: with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and with President Vladimir Putin, meeting with whom was under the question mark until the last moment. The bilan is not so negative as it was expected to be. However, negative moments can hardly be overcome in the nearest foreseeable future.

Ukrainian issues apparently will not be resolved for a long time, until the US change position, so sanctions and damaged relations are likely to remain. In case of Ukraine only issue of Luhansk and Donbass may be settled in the framework of Minsk agreements. But Crimea, return of which to Ukraine was added by Trump's administration as an obligatory condition for ties normalisation, will literally never be returned to Ukraine, both because of historical justice and choice of the Crimean people, who have been struggling for independence from Ukraine since the very collapse of the Soviet Union. The history never lies.

Tillerson and Putin have failed to find the common ground in evaluations of the deadly chemical attack in Idlib province,situation in Syria in general and Russia's support of Assad. Support, which Russia continually rejects, explaining its role in Syria exclusively as of backing of the SAA forces in their fight with terrorists.

Russia keeps on demanding the investigation of the chemical attack while for the US and its allies it is an absolutely clear affair. Russia has once again blocked resolution in the UN Security Council that condemns regime of Assad for committing the atroce attack, calling for independent investigation. Previously Vladimir Putin has declared that Russia cannot take measures against regime of Bashar al-Assad until there are results of independent international investigations proving the guilt of the regime. Russia disapproves of the US strike on Syria, considering it a dangerous move to further destabilisation of the region and the world.

Tillerson's acknowledgement of the fact that the trust between the two countries is on  low level and that "the world's two foremost nuclear powers cannot have this kind of relationships" is a promising sign, giving more or less positive perspective for the ties normalisation, or at least stabilisation. Another promising thing for the world's stability, is establishment of a bilateral working group, that is to "examine" the so-called "irritants" in relations between Moscow and Washington. Moreover, Russia is ready to come back to the bilateral air safety memorandum in Syria, thus somehow the sides have retreated  to the point before the "tomahawks" attack.

Russia and the US apparently have  very similar interests in many areas of the global agenda, as fight on terrorism, however in case of some of them they have totally different approaches to how to achieve the desired result. Even in case of Syria, both sides are eager to put an end to the brutal conflict, to see united and stable Syria, but they see the conflict settlement in different ways, if not to say opposite ones. Assad's family reign coming to an end is a clear fact for the US side and its allies, while Russia's side sees other scenarios. And to respond to Tillerson's appeal to sever ties with Assad and to work with the United States on different initiatives in the Middle East in a positive way, would mean for Russia a grave failure, geopolitical defeat of its six years conflict involvement and its policy. Russians either win or die but never give up – another important trait of Russian mentality coming from the depths of history. However Mr. Tillerson does not like historical excursus, though in case of Russia it is very useful to look deep into history books. Even being exposed by regime of Assad for many times during the six years of the bloody years, Russia will continue its general line, taken from the very beginning, as it is a matter of honor. Russia is sure that overthrow of Assad would bring to far more bloody and dangerous turbulences than his temporary remaining into power. And on this issue Washington and Moscow would hardly find a common ground unless the Syrians finally agree upon the launch of political transition and take the fate of their own country in their own hands.

Trump apparently was happy with the way how the visit of the US Secretary of State has passed. After having brusquely changed his views upon NATO to diametrically opposite ones, he claimed during his press-conference with Stoltenberg that "it would be a fantastic thing" if the US, Nato and Russia got along better. However at the same time he assumed that "it may be just the opposite".

So it is white, but can be black – it seems that it is characteristic feature of the current administration which have no clear understanding of not only what is exactly going on, but even lack understanding of what it actually wants. There is no strategy, and tactics is predetermined by momentary gusts, influenced by whoever. And it has such a scale, that the allies camp should be grateful for the US strike of Syria to a mother of three, Ivanka Trump, who was shocked by the photos of dead children.

In such circumstances it is practically impossible to predict how situation will develop both on bilateral and international tracks, as long as administration is absolutely unpredictable itself. Thus Russia following the Secretary of State visit will host trilateral meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs of Iran, Syria and of its own, apparently forging their alliance stronger. Nothing makes Russia more stubborn and firm on its positions than abruptness of the US administration.

Прочитано 2978 раз Последнее изменение Суббота, 15 Апрель 2017 03:04
Мария Дубовикова

Мария Дубовикова - Президент и основатель IMESClub

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