To meet with the kayak | Latest news The Moscow Post
30 November 2023

To meet with the "kayak"

While the "pre-retirement" US president is preparing for a meeting with Vladimir Putin, Biden himself is brave and strengthens his morale.

His statement that "We are in a battle between democracies and autocracies" looks characteristic. So I want to ask: "Grandfather, what century do you live?"

The European Union, in a draft joint statement with the United States, proposes to smooth out recent differences with the White House and strengthen the transatlantic alliance in order to oppose China and Russia. The mood of the West is decisive, the terms "battle," "hostile actions" and even "civilian population" are used. It is not clear what else. They, what do they already represent as the "occupation" regime?

We are not "invaders"

Now that the place and time of the meeting between Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden has been determined, there are doubts about its results. The proposed agenda of the summit includes strategic stability, the working conditions of diplomats, a pandemic, and regional conflicts. The White House is thinking about "restoring predictability and stability" in relations, and at the same time discussing human rights, the correspondent of The Moscow Post reports.

At the same time, behind the scenes there is an invisibly republican minority in Congress, which blocks attempts by fellow Democrats to conduct a joint investigation of the January protest march and the storming of the Capitol. The power, which itself has yet to achieve a state of internal stability and predictability, to recognize the right of Julian Assange to freedom and the rights of the children of Donbass to life, puts these issues at the top of the global agenda. This, firstly.

Secondly, the "Sherkhan pack" is in a hurry to contribute to the upcoming "battle" and, like the tail, is trying to blame the owner, covering his room for maneuver. Biden was levied by compatriots in Congress and allies in Europe! And Kiev is not far behind, trying to lead both in the Russophobic race, and in anti-Belarusian hysteria, and in Germany's gas supply programs.

The Kremlin does not indulge in "excessive expectations," documents are not yet planned to be signed. Ambassadors may return to their places, but with a programme of work in at least some areas. The agendas before the summit do not coincide, Moscow is ready to respond to "any questions" and plans to send Washington a number of "uncomfortable signals."

"Mark" at Putin

In Russia, positive interest in the United States is gradually nullifying. There were fewer people wishing to take part in conversations on the topic of Russian-American relations. News programs and various channel television debates somehow fill the resulting void. According to Levada Center, recognized as a foreign agent, almost two-thirds of Russians surveyed relate to "hail on a hill" either negatively or in no way. But the Russians are still lagging behind in assessing the level of "respect for the United States in the world." Only 47% of compatriots surveyed believe that respect for Washington has fallen. Among the Americans surveyed, 67% counted such. Less than a fifth of Russians are positive about Biden.

It is no longer so important that an acceptable one can be heard from the American side during the meeting. Upon returning to Washington, the head of the White House will have to shake up in Congress. It is there that the results of the summit in their interpretation by the White House should be announced. And Russia has especially nothing to expect, except sanctions, intrigues, provocations and new accusations. Thus, if the summit does not bring results, there will be no great disappointment. And the Kremlin rightly recently transferred the United States from the category of "partners" to the category of countries of "unfriendly" Russia.

We are not enemies, enemies are not us

Diplomats have found it easier to work. The term "adversary" also appeared in their dictionary, which sounds tougher than "unfriendly." Everyone understands that the United States "helped" the threat of the Ukrainian civil conflict get close to the administrative borders of the Russian Federation. Ukraine and Donbass are de facto on the list of problems, if not internal, then close and painful for Moscow. The hysteria of the European Union about Belarus was unexpected, European air carriers began to request alternative flight corridors, cancel flights, close their skies. Who knows, maybe this is part of Biden's preparations for the summit?

One way or another, everyone is waiting with interest for what the open part of the meeting between Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden will look like. Sympathies outside Russia can lean, if not towards the Russian leader, then at least towards common sense. In particular, the formula "security equations" proposed by the Russian Foreign Ministry may be on the table. Such a formula of interests, which would take into account the evolution of both the military-technical and military-political aspects of security, would take into account all offensive and defensive weapons capable of solving strategic tasks.

Will you be the third?

Ways to solve "strategic tasks" depend on the military-technical capabilities of the parties, including the perfection of methods of delivering warheads. Recently, attention has even been drawn to space. But the geography of countries that as launch sites can accelerate the "delivery time" should also be taken into account. This is part of the military-political parameters of the security equation. In this area, the advantages on the side of the United States, which "acquired" new sites in Europe, are located in Japan and South Korea. This is the first obvious group of circumstances.

The second group of circumstances is the risks associated with the site countries themselves.

As the most explosive, States with divided peoples, unresolved civil conflicts and other problems require attention. Territories of such a high risk for Russian-American relations, at least two. These are Ukraine with the problem of Donbass and the Korean Peninsula with Pyongyang's nuclear missile program.

The most rigorous strategic arms agreements may be shaken by the circumstances surrounding the destabilization of these States and their societies. Kiev, for example, does not fully control the actions of nationalists in the Donbass. In Korea, "everything is under control," but tension remains in the zone of the demarcation line. A separate place is occupied by Pyongyang's nuclear missile program. It makes sense to take into account other possible risks associated with the influence of "third forces" on bilateral relations between Moscow and Washington.

Bargaining is appropriate

The system of bilateral agreements on strategic stability problems will not work if there is no control over the behavior of these "third forces," including cyber terrorists or Ukrainian national radicals. Potential violations of agreed norms of behavior by Kiev, Pyongyang, or even provocations by London, including its build-up of strategic nuclear forces, remain "unknown quantities" in the Russian-American equation of strategic stability.

As for Kiev, Russia's influence on the situation is limited. Except for the options of the trade blockade of Ukraine in response to the unfriendly behavior of Kiev and its actual withdrawal from the Minsk agreements. The current deplorable state has developed, in particular, "thanks" to the persistent efforts of Washington and Brussels to swing the situation in Ukraine. The prospects for predictability, neutrality of Kiev are in the interests of Russia, but depend on the West.

In matters of "solving the problem" of North Korea's nuclear missile program, the influence of the United States is limited. And this is the result of the "efforts" of Washington itself. American nuclear weapons were officially "removed" from the peninsula only in 1992, but "sail" near the Korean Peninsula, aboard numerous ships of the Indo-Pacific Fleet. Moreover, American nuclear weapons in south Korea have weakened the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). North Korea withdrew from the NPT under the sight of American nuclear warheads, became de facto nuclear.

And eat the fish, and do not choke with bone

Pyongyang's nuclear missile program is among the overwhelming challenges for Washington with its eternal desire to solve everything in its favor within one presidential term. But reducing tensions on the Korean peninsula, the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, is in the national interests of Russia and China. Under external pressure, the DPRK needs security assurances, is torn between the tasks of economic development and the problems of confrontation with the United States, which, judging by Biden's recent statements, still do not exclude options for the use of nuclear weapons.

South Korea also "sits on two chairs." On the one hand, Seoul has long gravitated obligations to the Washington mentor. On the other hand, the growing economic ties with China, whose share in the total exports of South Korean companies exceeds 30% (including Hong Kong), in imports of South Korea reaches 25%, affect. Seoul, as you know, is in no hurry to join the Indo-Pacific "group of democracies" aimed at opposing China.

The issue rests on the US readiness to reduce risks using "comparative advantages" in Europe, including Kiev, as well as in "tension points" in the Northeast Asian region, important for Moscow and Beijing. Reducing tensions in these regions can make a real contribution to predictability and strategic stability. And we must admit that the agenda of Russian-American relations with bilateral issues is no longer exhausted. And it was not possible to understand what matters Washington to the Russian gas that Germany needs!

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