Mikhail Remizov: "Merkel would prefer to remove Ukrainian theme from agenda"
Yesterday, the Russian president held high-level talks with the leaders of two key Western countries. Two rounds of Vladimir Putin's face-to-face negotiations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Sochi took place in the afternoon, at which the sides have once again voiced their positions on key issues of bilateral and international agenda. In the evening, US President Donald Trump called Putin, and they have formally agreed to meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg. The President of the National Strategy Institute, Mikhail Remizov, told Vestnik Kavkaza about the results of these talks.
- In your opinion, what reasons prompted Angela Merkel and Donald Trump to hold talks with Vladimir Putin here and now?
- The background of such simultaneous contacts is unclear. According to the official data, the initiative of face-to-face negotiations was voiced by Merkel, and the initiative of a telephone conversation with Trump - by Putin. It's hard to say whether it's about mutual consultations on some important decisions, requiring such a high level of participants, or whether each of these conversations has its own logic. It seems to me that the latter is closer to the truth. The president's press secretary refused to answer why Merkel decided to arrive in Russia after a long break now, but it is worth assuming that it is very important for the chancellor to be sure that nothing will happen in Donbass in the period before the elections, which will be held in Germany this year. The fact is that the military escalation, among other things, will be her clear defeat as a peacemaker politician, and she would prefer simply forgetting for a while, putting the entire Ukrainian theme behind the urgent agenda. To do this, she needs to keep her fingers on the pulse and understand the positions of the parties, including the Kremlin's position.
- What was Moscow's main message to Europe through Angela Merkel?
- I do not think there was anything new to say here. Our message remains the same: we are open for negotiations, consultations and cooperation, but we do not intend to implement any ultimatum. There could not have been any fundamental changes in Russia's position, especially since for Merkel, as the initiator of the meeting and the politician who came to Russia after a long break, what is important is not a breakthrough in relations with Moscow, but the confidence that another aggravation in Donbass will not hurt her domestic political positions.
- Does it mean that after Merkel's visit to Sochi the model of relations between Russia and Europe will remain the same?
- According to the results of the first round of the presidential election in France and the flow of the pre-election game in Germany, it becomes clear that most likely the European elites will not be changed, and the European, globalist forces remain in power in the EU. The Kremlin will continue to deal with them, as they will continue to deal with the Kremlin. Accordingly, now it is necessary to build a certain working model of our relations, but there are no fundamental contours of this model now.
- Has the third telephone conversation between Putin and Trump had any positive impact on the Russian-US relations?
- In addition to feedback from a White House source that it was an excellent conversation, there is no trace of positive. It can be assumed that now, if we do not take the situation of some possible acute crises similar to those that could have arisen after the US Armed Forces attack on Syria, the presidents could and should discuss the coordination of their meeting. The fact is that only a thorough, personal conversation can reset Russian-US relations. But we do not see any progress on this issue. The G20 summit will be held in July, and it is obvious that if they plan a bilateral meeting between Putin and Trump, they should start preparing it already now. I think that one of the objectives of the conversation could be a probing of whether the meeting will take place and whether it is necessary to start a serious process of its preparation, and in what key it should be prepared.