"Big Game" offered to bypass Kiev
American diplomats are trying to link the new document replacing the CSN with the situation in Ukraine.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov spoke in the TV show "Big Game." He did not just speak, gave an exclusive interview, slightly revealing what is really happening in the dialogue between Russia and the United States.
And also in Moscow's relations with Brussels, namely NATO headquarters, where Washington also runs. It was about differences in views on what is happening in Europe in relations between Russia and the collective West. At the center of the problems, as always, was Ukraine, whose problems began to obscure the fundamental interests of Russia and the United States.
The verbal screensaver to this Channel One program is alarming: "Moscow and Washington are five minutes from the missile crisis. Reducing the flight time of missiles is the last argument that can stabilize the conflict between the two superpowers. The leaders of Russia and the United States have intensified contacts in order to defuse the emerging conflict. "
Agree, there is something to think about!
The columnist of The Moscow Post understood the multi-way diplomacy.
"Upper floors" huddled
Moscow and Washington will have to "agree yesterday" on positions on a document that will replace the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (PRSN). Sergei Ryabkov said that by the third round of bilateral consultations between Moscow and Washington on strategic stability, two working groups should prepare proposals.
"We must also decide on the scope of this document," the deputy minister said. "Of course, it would be extremely important for us to ensure that we do not move into the phase of the missile crisis in the situation that is developing with the prospect of deploying American medium and shorter-range equipment in Europe, albeit in non-nuclear equipment, as Washington and Brussels assure us of this," he added.
Consultations on strategic stability are organized in an "interdepartmental format," including all key structures on both sides, primarily the military and the "nuclear blocs." The third round of meetings in this format may take place at the beginning of next year, the agenda of the meetings of the two working groups is now being accelerated. "We are going to the depths," said the deputy minister.
Ryabkov expects that as the United States completes work on the new edition of the Nuclear Policy Review, this topic will also become a subject of attention, "penetrate the fabric" of bilateral discussions. The parties will then be able to more definitely say what they will come to following the results of the dialogue.
Russia and the United States signed the PRSP in 2010. On February 3, 2021, the Russian Foreign Ministry exchanged notes with the US Embassy on the completion of the internal procedures necessary for the entry into force of the agreement on the extension of the contract for five years. The deputy minister also mentioned the "malicious nature of the information space," spoke about the problems of the "cyber dialogue," that the situation in Europe will obviously be one of the main topics during the upcoming contact between Russian and US leaders Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden. "The situation in Europe is very worrying. It is clear that this will be one of the main topics for discussion at the presidential level, "RIA Novosti quoted Ryabkova as saying.
According to him, the "upper floors" of the Biden administration (m.b., US National Security Council) are still considering the terms of the virtual summit of presidents, "took a pause," maybe in the hope that Russia may adjust its position. But contact at the highest level is very necessary, "work in the direction of stabilization" is underway, a certain level of trust is developing, the nature of the work is very substantive. "
In today's world, bureaucracy, as before, has a responsible role. Its main, strategic, one might say, task is not to miss the main, vital for states and their leaders in the muddy flows of information from competition. And, accordingly, citizens on behalf of whom elected leaders function. The challenge is to help presidents make the right decisions by providing them with reasonable assessments.
Sergei Ryabkov is easier to work in this regard - in Moscow, the vertical of authority and decision-making is built. But the feeling does not leave that his colleagues in the Washington apparatus of President Biden are less fortunate. In a sense, the White House itself, with its still global agenda, "sits on two chairs." National security interests, for the calibration of which the office of the national security adviser is responsible, focus on the "main" issues for the United States. This is the "upper floors" of national security.
Everything else goes to an extensive State Department apparatus led by Anthony Blinken. "Everything else" includes NATO with its hard-stone Secretary General Stoltenberg. In recent years, the tasks have become more complicated and have to deal with unstable Ukraine in its protracted state of "choice of path," which led the Kiev authorities and the entire neighboring country for Russia to a state of systemic crisis.
Moreover, Ukraine, which has split from Russia, has become a catalyst for "European polyphony" on security issues and all other issues, from the role of Gazprom in the green transition strategy to the diverse strategic aspirations of Lithuania, Poland, and now the "global" Britain. While Berlin and Paris lavish between the Zelensky and Norman formats in the spirit of their "constructive uncertainty" about the Minsk agreements, the situation in Europe is heating up.
One branch of senior officials in the White House is loudly concerned about the upcoming very soon "global democratization," the other should quietly care about maintaining urgent and daily strategic stability.
And at the other end of the wire Moscow. On the one hand, people making decisions are forced to fight off the bumps of collective Brussels. On the other hand, these same responsible officials must maintain strategic stability with Washington. So, the feeling does not leave that this very "stability" can fall victim to the rivalry of the "two (at least) hands" of Washington bureaucracies, while reacting to the swings of the "European choir" with Kiev as a soloist.
We need contact, and here is the "summit of democracies"
"I would hope that the contact of the two presidents will take place in the coming days," Ryabkov said. He added that "there are difficulties in docking the calendars of the two leaders, but contact is very needed, we have a lot of problems." The situation in Europe will become one of the main topics during the upcoming contact between the leaders of the two countries. "Presidents must give impetus to their teams in order to move things further and in other areas. But the situation in Europe is very alarming. It is clear that this will be one of the main topics for discussion at the presidential level, "Ryabkov concluded.
The Kremlin hopes that the meeting of the two presidents will take place before the end of the year, most likely by video conferencing, Russian leader's press secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters the day before. At the same time, the exact date is still not determined, he said.
After a "frank" conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of the OSCE SMID in Stockholm, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden will hold direct contacts in the near future.
"I and Foreign Minister Lavrov had a frank conversation on various issues. We agreed to report on the results to our presidents, who will have the opportunity to talk directly in the near future, "Blinken said at a press conference following the talks with Lavrov.
Voice from the Pentagon
And while Lavrov and Blinken were negotiating, and Sergey Ryabkov gave interviews, General Mark Milley, chairman of the Committee of Chiefs of Staff of the US Armed Forces, returned from Seoul to Washington. And answering questions from journalists right on board the plane, the general said that in the situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border, the national security interests of the United States and NATO countries are "at stake." However, he refused to speculate on what options for action could be considered in the case of already tired arguments about the allegedly possible "invasion" of Russia into Ukrainian territory.
Recently, statements about the alleged "invasion" of Russia have been increasingly heard in the West and Ukraine. Press Secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov called such information an empty and baseless escalation of tension, stressing that Russia does not pose a threat to anyone. At the same time, he did not rule out the possibility of provocations in order to justify such statements, and warned that attempts to forcefully solve the problem in southeastern Ukraine would have the most serious consequences.
Konstantin Remchukov offered his opinion on this issue. He also took part in the Big Game program and offered to answer the question: "Why does Putin need an invasion of Ukraine?" It is difficult to disagree with the logic of the chief editor of Nezavisimaya Gazeta: "Putin emphasizes that Donbass is part of Ukraine. That's the first thing he emphasizes. And the second is that the settlement of this problem is associated with the consistent and steady implementation of the Minsk agreements. This is a position that I just hear. There are no other words about this... He says that it is necessary to fulfill the Minsk agreements. If he invades, this is the end of the Minsk agreements.... I do not understand the benefit of so radically changing the position of Russia... "
Here was such an interesting program "Big Game."