MOSCOW, 23 Jun 2021, RUSSTRAT Institute.
The Americans needed the negotiations more than we did. We have long been accustomed to the sanctions, the system has entered mobilisation mode and feels quite confident in it. As shown by the case of Navalny and the defeat of the “Anti-corruption Foundation”, there are still places where screws can be tightened, especially if to turn them in the direction of the elite party – Morgenstern, Milokhin, etc. Russian society will only approve it.
2. The Americans have a different situation. Biden has a growing crisis of legitimacy. There are 11 days left until the end of the recount in Arizona. A number of other states are ready to launch a similar procedure. On America’s outer contour looms China, which is a much more serious threat to the United States than Russia, primarily because of its economic power.
3. If the Americans will not be able to draw Beijing into a military provocation against Taiwan, they will cede the world palm of economic primacy to them somewhere by 2030-2035. Accordingly, for them, a year counts for two. Procrastination is like death. Therefore, they had to make a choice – who to leave as the main threat. Apparently, the choice is made in favor of China. So, if it is not to build the bridges with Russia that they need, then at least they have to definitely reduce the degree of confrontation. This was demonstrated.
4. The strategy of the Americans is understandable: to reduce the degree of confrontation with Russia, at the same time removing obstacles to the implementation of joint Russian-European economic projects, the most important of which is now the Nord Stream 2 project, and then hydrogen energy. This will leave Russia in the geopolitical field of Europe, and not Asia. Accordingly, the chances of Moscow’s neutrality in the future US-China conflict are increasing. So far, this is the maximum that Americans can count on.
5. After the talks, both leaders were in a positive mood. This suggests that the negotiations were successful, and each of the parties received their advantages. Apparently, Biden gave up the loud, but unnecessary rhetoric during this level of meeting, and was very specific, focusing really on trying to solve the accumulated blockages.
6. Obviously the working groups will be formed on a number of topics in the very near future (strategic stability, cybersecurity, the Middle East), which should formulate a platform for cooperation by November-December. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has already said this: “Moscow hopes to quickly formulate specifics on the beginning of a strategic dialogue with the United States, the first meeting may take place in the coming weeks.”
7. There are topics concerning which there are still differences (for example, Belarus). This does not mean that the search for consensus on them will be stopped. No. However, it is possible that the solution of such issues will be comprehensive.