The peculiarity of Russian-American relations is the abundance of verbal reasoning. They are complemented by semi-scientific concepts, analytical and prognostic delights, propaganda tides of optimism and pessimistic ebbs. All this is against the background of a small concrete and practical business content of this relationship.
A striking contrast is represented by, say, the relations of Washington and Beijing: major business factors dominate here, against which political political differences are fading. This is particularly striking when the United States of America and Russia are violently seizing on the propaganda field on issues such as the “Magnitsky law” or the “Dima Yakovlev law”. Should the two powers, on whose understanding international security depends to a large extent, exhaust themselves in such lists?
This is undoubtedly a relic of the “cold war”, remnants of the past in the consciousness of history elite, which was born and grew up in the years when we were ready to "fight for peace until there is no stone left." In the USA, where there are more political old-timers and the conditions for their longevity are better, the squires of that era are more numerous, but our younger and cocky are in a desire to assert themselves, although the silences are not enough.
During the “great confrontation”, when the USSR and the USA essentially divided the whole world into two camps and, puffing like two sumo wrestlers, tried to push one another out of the cherished circle, everything was clear and understandable.
Both superpowers knew and followed the rules of the game. They understood that a direct confrontation between them was unacceptable and carefully avoided such situations. I remember how once Henry Kissinger took Andrei Gromyko by the tie with his favorite gesture, took him aside, and said in his ear: “You left Cuba after the missile crisis, but left the mechanized brigade there. You understand that we will never strike a blow at this brigade, because shedding the blood of your soldiers means starting a world war! ”
There were a lot of crises, and in their scale they were cooler, but the sides showed accuracy and restraint. Perhaps the only time we converged head-on during the Korean War was when our pilots on MiG-15 jet fighters successfully repulsed the Americans. But the repeated suppression of attempts by US Air Force aircraft to penetrate into our airspace for serious conflicts were not even considered. “The intruder went to the side of the sea!”, - usually the public was notified when the plane was shot down. Washington kept mum because it understood everything, like that cat “whose meat it ate”.
Political leaders never intended to seriously use atomic weapon, and with the growth of nuclear arsenals, the main concern was the limitation of strategic offensive arms.
It was during the years of the "cold war" that the direct telephone line of the Kremlin-White House was established in order to avoid any accident that could become a spark for an explosion. Yes, we were enemies and preferred to face off in the “third world”, pulling the rope to our side, but avoiding a direct collision. There was a mutually recognized "military parity", which dictated such a line of conduct.
The world changed dramatically in the late eighties and early nineties, when the Soviet Union collapsed, the Warsaw Pact was dissolved, and Russia fell into political oblivion, losing orientation in its surrounding space. Our missiles were aimed to nowhere, around from all sides we were surrounded by "partners", we managed to give the US more than 50 thousand square kilometers of the Bering Sea, almost gave up the southern Kurils. Our weight, as a subject of world politics, was reduced to a minimum.
From that terrible time, we will never find our stable place in the new world coordinate system. We are still alive reflexes of a great power, but its muscles have already been lost.
The memorable turn of the plane with Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov from the US coast back to Russia, theatrical cast of the Airborne Forces battalion on Pristina, when the Westerners solved their tasks in the Balkans, completely ignoring Moscow - signs of our great atavism and real impotence.
The United States in those years did whatever they wanted. The main deception on their part is a great deception: promising not to expand NATO to the East as a sign of gratitude for our withdrawal from Eastern and Central Europe, they faithlessly involved there all the Balts by the 2004 year, as well as the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Bulgaria, and even began to drag Georgia and Ukraine. But this is their signature style. It is clearly seen in the example of Western actions in Kosovo, in Iraq and in Afghanistan.
US state selfishness is the norm of their behavior on the world stage. After the events of September 11, the American political establishment, frightened by the loss of common sense, insisted on the unilateral withdrawal of the US from the ABM Treaty by the year 2001, which sharply spoiled the atmosphere in relations between our countries.
Renowned American economist and political scientist Paul Craig Roberts in 2009, noted: "It is hardly possible to call American policy towards Russia responsible and cautious, it is irresponsible and aggressive."
Washington does not understand the principle of real partnership equality at all, because during its existence the United States has never built its relations with anyone on this basis. All of their counterparts, they certainly consider lower in rank and weight. This historical legacy leaves an indelible imprint on the mentality of their political elite. And even if the person in the US presidency is a person with a broader perspective on the world and historical perspectives, the establishment will inevitably play the role of inhibiting ballast. So it was with A. Lincoln, F. Roosevelt, J. Kennedy. Now the White House is not sitting the most fierce hawk, and quite sane Barack Obama. He, as we were informed, in particular, was against the adoption of the “Magnitsky law”, but in the USA the head of state is not omnipotent, he cannot overcome the resistance of the congress, the heaviest inertial body of the American political machine. We must reckon with these features of the United States.
Russia began to find itself only with the arrival of Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin, and this became especially noticeable during his second presidential term. The most significant milestone on this path was his speech in Munich 10 February 2007, when he publicly gave an objective assessment of the actions of the West in the international arena and clearly outlined Russia's independent positions. It was so unusual that in the US they started talking about the beginning of a new phase of the “cold war”. But in Russia itself, many did not understand their president: a large part of our political establishment, linked by its personal financial and business relations with the United States, began to look for a new center of power. Talk about a possible split in the domestic elite fell. All this, taken together, is reflected in the foreign policy of Russia, which is more inherent in a reactive nature than the quality of a well-thought-out, systemic concept. On the one hand, we can resolutely and firmly repulse the Georgian adventure in South Ossetia, actively supported by Washington and the West as a whole, but on the other, give the green light to the US and Western aggression in Libya.
Let's be frank: there is no solid foundation for relations between Russia and the United States now, so there is no reason to fully talk about normal partnership.
The United States is twice as big as our population, 10 times the size of GDP, 30 times the military budget, they have gone far ahead in the development of scientific and technological potential.
We are equal de jure as independent sovereign states, and we have a weighty nuclear-rocket fist that, for the time being, guarantees the inviolability of our sovereignty. We have no ideological and political incompatibility as in Soviet times, but this in itself does not give any geopolitical advantages in the competitive world.
Economic relations between Russia and the United States are extremely poorly developed, given the size and potentials of our countries. Russian exports to the United States consist mainly of oil and oil products, since the Americans own almost a third of all investments in our oil industry. We export metals, fertilizers, precious stones and other small things to the American market. In a good year, scraping 25-30 billions of dollars. We buy three times less in cost: vehicles, some machinery and, to my shame, food. Among US foreign trade partners, Russia ranks 23. That's the whole "foundation."
For many years now we have been loudly calling on American investors to come to Russia, but the result is a penny. In addition to the fuel and energy block, a pair of car assembly plants, and small bridgeheads in the banking and insurance sector, we do not have American capital.
And how many times the movers and shakers of American business have thrown into the eyes of our shouts in international forums: “That's when you yourself will invest your money in your own economy, then maybe we will come!”.
But in today's world everything is decided in the economy - this is the main battlefield, where victories are forged and the defeated are trampled under foot.
The current Russian-American relations are full of numerous conflict zones, sometimes of secondary or even trivial nature. The American ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul 19 March, during his stay in St. Petersburg, met with the local community. He was bombarded with questions about difficulties in Russian-American relations, and he replied: “For me, there is the topic of Syria, there is the topic of adoption, but there is no topic of apartments and houses of your senators and deputies in the United States. We are an open society. ” And then, angry, he added: “Two plus two is four. If we cannot agree on this, we cannot agree on anything! ”
Let's go through these "conflict" zones.
The problem of missile defense. Americans are obsessed with the idea of making their country completely invulnerable to any type of weapon that a state or group of states could hypothetically use against the United States. The late President Ronald Reagan took hold of this idea, but he infected the whole country with it. Since then, victorious Americans on movie screens have beaten all aliens with their miracle weapons, saving themselves and their way of life. But asteroids flying around the earth inspire Americans with the same horror as other "non-advanced" earthlings. More than 30 years have passed since the birth of the Star Wars idea, hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent, and the end result is as far as the horizon for a person lost in the desert. There is still no solution to the problem of global defense, and it is unlikely to be found in the light of improved means of attack. History experience teaches: the means of attack always leads the defenses. Our military experts and experts of the Institute of the USA and Canada believe that it is not worth getting stuck in the debate about missile defense. The devil is not so terrible as he is painted.
Syria problem. For some reason, the United States believes that the "unconstructive" position of Russia prevents the solution of the crisis. At the same time, they forget that Moscow is not alone in its assessment of the situation, Beijing and other states adhere to the same line. The Americans are developing a force variant of the removal of Bashar al-Assad from power in the Libyan scenario. Their military report that everything is already calculated and prepared. Russia, having learned from bitter experience, sees a solution to the problem in negotiating a peaceful settlement with the participation of all the interested Syrian parties, without pressure and threats from outside. The UN and the great powers should use their influence to induce all parties to the negotiating table. In the end, such a scenario may become typical for solving other possible crises.
When choosing between violence and big blood on the one hand, and negotiation on the other, preference should be given to the second path. The Syrian problem is more a global concern than a Russian-American one.
Iran. How many copies were broken in the course of a long battle over Tehran’s nuclear program! A large part of ours, and of the world community, got the impression that the views of the United States and the Russian Federation on this issue are different. But recently, Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, told American journalist and publisher Paul Saunders: “In fact, we are in the same positions as our American partners with regard to Iran, so in strategic terms we share the same same values. We do not want to jeopardize the non-proliferation regime, but at the same time, we recognize the right of Iranians to peaceful atomic energy. ” Moscow believes that it is necessary to conduct a diplomatic dialogue with Tehran, using our common influence on it.
The position of Iran is also known for a long time. Iranians, publicly and at the bilateral level, convince the USA that they do not create atomic weapons, but work according to programs for the peaceful use of atomic energy. But the United States is under strong pressure from Israel, which, possessing atomic weapons, fears most of all that another state with a similar arsenal will appear in the region. Therefore, they insist that Tehran should be deprived of “the possibility of producing atomic weapons,” that is, of a preemptive strike against Iran’s production facilities. The United States, voluntarily or involuntarily, helped Israel to acquire atomic weapons - an Israeli intelligence officer, Jonathan Pollard, who was engaged in atomic espionage, is still in an American prison. Now their concern is to calm and restrain Israeli “hawks”.
I believe that the first step to establish a lasting peace in the Middle East should be the declaration of this region of the world as a nuclear-free zone - modeled on Latin America.
“Concern in the United States about the internal climate in Russia” is a formula used by American politicians and journalists. We call it more often and closer to the meaning of “interference in the internal affairs of Russia”. There really is a problem here that is unlikely to resolve soon. In Soviet times, it was called the dissident movement, now it has acquired the form of a “non-systemic opposition”, whose representatives also travel to the United States, receive political and financial support from there, consist of various non-governmental non-profit organizations with which the Russian authorities are engaged in a quiet but stubborn struggle. America, its congress and journalists consider their way of life to be the best on earth, and are actively trying to export it to other countries. An exception is made for those who on 100 percent agree to play by the American rules on the world stage, for example, for the monarchies of the Middle East, the dictatorial regimes of Latin America, Africa ... the USSR, and now Russia is a favorite target for American teachings on the topic "how to live" .
Overseas "mentors" cannot understand that our states and peoples have different history, different traditions, and a different ethno-religious composition. We are at different levels of socio-economic and democratic development. They do not know our saying “They don’t go to a foreign monastery with their charter”. And the rebuke that D. Peskov gave in the above-mentioned conversation with P. Saunders is quite understandable, saying: “Those concerns that you mentioned we cannot take into account, and we will not take into account, because these are our internal affairs our domestic policy. We are a democratic country that shares values with the whole world, but at the same time we are a country that will solve all its problems, internal and the like, without any interference from abroad. ”
It's all clear. With this chronic sore, both of us - the United States and Russia - will have to live a long time.
To facilitate mutual inconvenience, our American counterparts could be advised not to use double standards, to apply the same criteria to all states of the world without exemption.
Selective use of their interpretations of "democracy" or "human rights" gives a desire not to fight for the triumph of these principles in the world, but to continue to cling to the technology of the "cold war".
There are several other points where our relations with the United States “sparkle” - the DPRK, the near-Russian diaspora, the Palestinian issue, Venezuela. But nowhere will we find such a clash of vital interests of the United States and Russia, which would justify the periodic onset of frosts in our relations.