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Trump and Russia
Material posted: Pankratenko Igor N.Publication date: 29-11-2016

The news of the victory of Donald trump in the presidential election in the US, the deputies of the Russian Parliament, was welcomed by standing ovation, and politicians and experts have greeted this news with great jubilation.

Explanation the deputies his behavior was quite diverse. The leader "Fair Russia" Sergei Mironov recalled that "we always were better able to negotiate with the Republicans than with the Democrats" (especially interesting is this statement, if we recall the reality of Russian-American relations under Bush the younger). And Vladimir Zhirinovsky has declared yesterday on a specially constructed to mark the victory of trump in the Russian Parliament Banquet toast "for the new internal and external policy of the United States and improving relations with Russia."

Vladimir Putin sent a congratulatory telegram to Donald Trump, which "expressed the hope that joint efforts to develop Russian-American relations out of crisis". A major player in the financial market of Russia – Sberbank has promptly published a report that with the coming to power of trump to start a dialogue about the cancellation imposed on Russia sanctions.

Not behind the politicians and bankers of the Russian experts. In numerous interviews they claimed victory trump will weaken NATO and strengthen the relative position of Russia in Europe that it will push the US and the Eurozone to detente with Moscow and lead to the lifting of sanctions, the ruble is more likely to benefit from the potential acquiescing to Putin's regime on the part of trump, and the reinstallation of the regional balance of power in favor of Russia.

There was no one who would remind Russian MPs, politicians and experts of their own statements made in 2008 in connection with the election of Obama. "I hope that the new President Barack Obama... will be able to build the right way and the domestic and foreign policies and in particular to lay the Foundation for further cooperation with Russia", - expressed wishes of the then President Dmitry Medvedev. And the same Vladimir Zhirinovsky predicted that "what Obama's victory is a big plus for Russia. No deterioration of relations with the United States, we expect no sense — will only improve, and - for all positions".

No matter how doubtful it was "popular jubilation" from an ethical point of view, but this reaction is a pretty accurate description of the emotions of the Russian political class on the outcome of the presidential election in America. The ruling elite in Moscow wants normalization of relations with the United States and the lifting of financial sanctions, and wants so that it is ready delighted to perceive the most insignificant signals from overseas and give them too much importance. Assuming that trump will implement a new approach to international relations, the Russian elite wants and presents itself as a more active participant in global processes and critically important, without which Washington does not do, the partner of America in the decision of the major for the USA problems.

The illusion of self-importance, inadequate perception of its place in the world – a characteristic feature of the Russian ruling elite, leading to inadequate perception of the realities of international politics. Besides, optimists are in captivity of the Russian political system, when with the change of leadership everything changes. But the US is absolutely not true - there exists a strict system of checks and balances, severely limiting the initiatives of the White house in the international arena – in the same Senate or Congress, not to mention the numerous lobbying organizations.

Indeed, during the election campaign, trump released a few compliments to Vladimir Putin talked about the possibility to "make a deal" and said that if elected President, will consider recognition of Crimea as part of Russia and the lifting of economic sanctions against Russian companies and industries.

But first, trump has not offered anything concrete to improve U.S.-Russian relations. Moreover, his Vice-President Michael Pence during the same election campaign very strongly criticized Russia for "invasion of Ukraine". The establishment Republicans have configured anti-Russian, American elite formed a negative consensus against the Kremlin. And, by and large, trump there is no need for this consensus to destroy, as today relations with Russia are not a Washington priority. She has more important tasks on the international arena, relations with NATO allies, the question of the TRANS-Pacific partnership, the competition from China in Africa, Central and South-East Asia, containing Iran and so on.

Secondly, to say as the attitude towards Russia in particular and foreign policy trump in General, now is frankly guessing on a coffee thick. His steps on the international arena depend on who will enter his team in the field of national security. Who will be responsible for Russia in national security Council? Who will appoint the Director of the CIA and Secretary of defense? Who will be the Deputy Secretary of state for Eurasia, who trump will direct the Ambassador to Moscow? Without answers to these questions to dream about a certain improvement of relations with the United States, based only on the fact that trump said something during the election campaign – at least naive. And assuming, whose candidacy are being considered to block on national security and foreign policy - for example, senators Jeff sessions and Bob Corker – the realities for oskvi can be altogether deplorable.

And, in the third. On "the beneficial effects of victory tramp on the state of the Russian economy." A few hours after the announcement of his election victory, yesterday the Minister of Finance of Russia Anton Siluanov declared that a major impact on the economy and the position of the ruble this victory will not have. What, in General, adequate assessment of the situation, since the problems of Russia, despite the official propaganda, lie not in the hostility of the US and American sanctions, and mismanagement.

Moreover, if trump will start implementing its promises, the consequences of his victory for the Russian economy are likely to be negative. Let's start with the fact that he has already announced in its election campaign that advocates the removal of restrictions on the production of shale oil and its export. I think no need to explain what the consequences may be for Moscow and the Russian budget.

Next. If Donald trump will keep his campaign promises and released signed Pacific trade partnership, if he will instruct the Department of trade to deal with anti-dumping procedures against Chinese goods, to some extent, this may slow down international trade, and American-Chinese relations and to slow down China's economy. Then it may indirectly reduce the consumption of natural resources from China, which in turn more than will have a negative impact on Russia.

And finally, trump will definitely be the first place to pursue the national interests of America and American business. Economic problems of Moscow, he was profoundly indifferent. And the least we can expect that he will worry about them.

But all these logical arguments of the Russian political class completely ignored. Moscow elite need normalization of relations with the US, but because they are willing to openly ignore the realities. But this is half the trouble. The real problem is that the Russian elite is morally ripe for a deal with the Americans, ready to build a real bridge with the European Union and Washington, even at the expense of maximum concessions.

In the US and the EU that Moscow's willingness see perfectly. The new American President will need about six months to resolve internal problems and develop a line of conduct in the international arena. Then trump could offer Putin the same deal, which was hinted during the election debates. Specifically, Washington will offer the Kremlin the adherence to certain "red lines", observing that Moscow can count on the favorable attitude and some of the financial and economic preferences. Obviously, such "red lines" will include:

- curtailing "strategic partnership" with China and the rejection of the joint with Beijing large-scale economic projects;

- refusal of cooperation with Iran;

- consent for change of Assad;

- support for American interests in Central Asia;

- the restoration of cooperation with NATO.

The American side did not refuse the placing at the Russian border missile defence systems, because it has, by and large, it is practically not possible to prevent this.

It is possible that this transaction will receive any sounding name, such as "reset 2.0." No problem turning 180 degrees from the current anti-American rhetoric of the Russian elite will not cause. And certainly it will not be difficult for the official propaganda, it is sufficient to recall the history of "reconciliation with Erdogan", when the tone of the statement the Pro-Kremlin mass-media (and such in Russia now 95% of the total number of media) has completely changed in just one day.

Now the Russian elite remains only to wait, when trump will signal its readiness to conclude such a transaction. For the Russian elite, it is desirable that the signal came as soon as possible. But America is a heavy icebreaker, which unfolds very slowly, especially because in recent years, this icebreaker was sailing further and further in the opposite of the Russian side. However, the signal will necessarily be accepted by the Russian ruling class with genuine enthusiasm, and then, as they say – "the trick".

Igor Pankratenko


Tags: Russia , USA

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