Veronika Krasheninnikova: "Russia, Europe and China are in same camp against US"
The Director General of the Institute for Foreign Policy Studies and Initiatives, an advisor to the Director General of the MIA 'Russia Today', Veronica Krasheninnikova, visited the studio of Vestnik Kavkaza yesterday. She spoke about key foreign policy developments of recent days.
- Veronica Yuryevna, our first question is dedicated to the historic meeting of the leaders of the United States and North Korea, which was held in Singapore recently. Following the summit, an agreement was signed, which is "very comprehensive," according to Donald Trump. In your estimation, what do these direct talks between Washington and Pyongyang mean for the East Asian region and the world as a whole?
- The very fact of the meeting, President Trump and leader Kim Jong-un sitting at the same table and shaking hands - was, indeed, a historic event. In this regard, Trump has secured a place in history of the United States, he will be remembered as the first American president to personally meet the North Korean leader.
To a greater extent, these negotiations became a victory for North Korea and Kim Jong-un: yesterday he was an outcast, the United States and other states basically refused any communication with Pyongyang - and now he communicates face-to-face with a man who considers himself a global leader. In addition to North Korea, this meeting was also very positive for South Korea. Indeed, these two countries probably made the biggest efforts for the summit to take place. Let me remind you that all last year the United States threatened to attack North Korea with unprovoked and preventive blows, so that North Korea did not acquire additional opportunities in its armaments - and these threats terrorized the whole region, the first injured party would be South Korea, which, of course, the South Koreans and their leader did not like. On the whole, we witnessed a great victory of North Korea and South Korea, as well as China, Russia and Japan - the states that could somehow be affected by the militarization.
As for the statement, it can be called comprehensive only by intentions, first of all, the US ones, with regard to the denuclearization of North Korea. The second paragraph of the document only says that North Korea is on the way to abandon nuclear weapons, but does not say when it completes it, to what extent and how verifiable the results will be. Perhaps it was difficult to fix it at the first meeting between Washington and Pyongyang, but what is important in this case - there are no obligations from the part of the US. Trump had not made a commitment to cancel sanctions or stop military exercises, it was mentioned only in passing, well Trump talk about a lot of things. Apparently, now the biggest tensions will unfold during the clarification of the circumstances of the agreement. Such statements were signed by Trump in other cases as well, for example on Syria. A year ago he had agreed with Putin that the United States will respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria - but it did not stop the US Army to keep in Syria several thousand soldiers and not less than a dozen military bases, as well as to place the governments under their control in the occupied territories. Peaceful statements and military actions do not interfere with each other in American politics.
Thus, it is likely that the meeting will have some conciliatory effect on the situation and we will not hear yet another threat - but Washington can start threatening any time, as soon as they find that Kim Jong-un does not fulfill any demands. As the exact fulfillment of the requirements is very difficult to establish, because they are not formulated, the situation remains very turbid and unclear, so all need to be on the alert.
- Head of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde, speaking after the G7 summit, warned that the risks to the global economy are rising as major industrial nations sharpen threats of a trade war. Do you agree with her?
- This is a rather serious statement by the head of the IMF. Indeed, since the post-war years, a very complex international trade system has been built, including on compromises. In this system, there is no single state that is completely satisfied with all the terms, but somehow it existed all this time - and now Trump decided to crush it on the 'America First' principle. When during the election campaign, some Russian experts expected that after the victory, Trump would be engaged in domestic American economic affairs and would not interfere into global politics, would not wage wars, it was an illusion. For the US, there is no such issue that would be solved exclusively within the state, because the US is a global superpower, and in order to create jobs, Washington must first shut down production opened by US companies, for example, in Mexico or China, to maximize profit. Any string you pull in the US, it leads abroad.
This is exactly what Trump started to do. The conditions he imposed on foreign companies working with US corporations turned out to be very tough. And if with respect to China, for example, it was expected, Trump always promised Beijing a tough policy, then his decision to practice a similar approach with regard to the oldest European partners was a surprise, including for the Europeans. They discovered for themselves real, nationalistic Trump in the sense of economic nationalism in the 'everything for my economy' mode. Someone can say "Well, well done, he does a right thing", but we live in the same world; every politician defends the interests of his power, but some do it by peaceful means, while others unleash wars. As security can only be general, so the world trading system can only be general. Therefore, if Trump continues such an aggressive economic policy, the neighbors and allies of the United States - Canada, Mexico and European countries - will respond on it, however, they have already responded. The future situation depends on the party's degree of restraint, but Trump, as we know, does not practice restraint.
- In that case, what can Europe do because of Trump's decision not to sign the G7 Summit Communique?
- The events of this G7 summit inspired the hope for independence of our Western partners' behavior, they showed that Europe can stand up for its interests. While the European Union is called an American puppet, saying that Merkel can do nothing without Washington's permission, it turns out that it's not true. Look at the photo where Merkel is standing with hands on the table, and Trump sits, leaning away from her and closing with his arms - a perfect illustration of the current European-US relations.
It was news to us that Europeans can stand up for themselves, that they stand together in the face of disagreements with the US - and this is very good, as it will help the European Union and European states to gain a more independent voice. Of course, we are not talking about whether Europe can be completely independent of the US, the question is to what extent Europe will remain dependent on Washington, by 90% or 60%? If by 60%, then it will be a very good partner for us, much better than before.
Trump's words that Russia should be part of G7 are also important. Of course, Russia should work in all the major organizations that deal with global international issues, but in the context Trump mentioned this, it looked like he wanted to draw Russia to his side against Europeans. We absolutely do not need it - we are not going to complicate our relations with Europe for the sake of Trump. The opportunity for strengthening ties with the EU is increasing for us as Trump takes aggressive steps towards Europe one by one. That is, his actions bring European states closer not only to each other, but also to Russia and China - we find ourselves in the same camp against the United States.
- Tomorrow a sports festival of a global scale - the World Cup - will kick off, and it is hosted by Russia. Of course, this global event would have an impact on Russia's image on the world scene. What do you think, what would be a positive echo from the 2018 World Cup?
- This echo will be positive and very loud in any case. The simultaneous arrival of tens of thousands of guests will allow foreign citizens to see Russia with their own eyes, especially with eyes of those who have never been in Russia. They arrived to watch football, but at the same time they will see the country - and this is fundamentally important, because at home they see terrible things about Russia in some of Western press, and here they will see the reality, and this will help them see the gulf that separates the Russian reality and the Western coverage of it. The arrival of political leaders of those countries whose teams participate in the championship, and those whose teams didn't make it to the world championship, is important, because it creates an additional opportunity to communicate at the highest level. It is also worth noting that something that we could be afraid of didn't happen - at some point some Western states began to call on to boycott the World Cup, to prevent their teams and fans from visiting Russia, but this call was not heeded, the common sense and normal human relations prevailed.
I think holding the World Cup will be another big step forward and a major public event, like the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.