When will Russian-US storm begin?
Moscow should map the way forward in its relations with the United States, despite a set of circumstances that hinder this, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said at the Primakov Readings forum in Moscow.
"We should be more relaxed about the Russian-US relations, we should not consider the glass to be half empty, but half full, and map the way forward, despite a completely unique set of circumstances that hinder this," the diplomat explained.
"I'm inclined to agree that a black 'storm cloud' hangs over our relations, but there are lightning rods and ways to hide," Ryabkov pointed out. "Therefore, we do not lose our historical optimism," he stressed.
Deputy Foreign Minister also said that Russia is making significant efforts to launch and restart a practical dialogue with the US on many issues.
The diplomat said that the dialogue with the US at the level of Deputy Foreign Ministries (Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Sergei Ryabkov - US Secretary of State Thomas Shannon) was not interrupted, but postponed due to circumstances.
"We did not have enough time to get some considerations of the US side for discussion at the time when this dialogue was to take place," he said. "In addition, on June 20, three days before the dialogue that was planned in St. Petersburg, the current US administration has substantially expanded the sanctions," the Deputy Head of the Russian Foreign Ministry recalled. "It was difficult to hold the event against this background," Ryabkov added.
The chief editor of the magazine 'Russia in Global Affairs', Fyodor Lukyanov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the crisis of power in the United States creates an even greater uncertainty for Russian-US relations. "The US foreign policy is extremely unclear now. There is an acute internal political crisis in the US, there is a struggle for power, and all foreign policy, especially relations with Russia, has largely become a hostage to this internal process. External players cannot influence it, because the are used as tools of struggle, not as real players," he explained.
In this regard, one cannot even say that the United States is in any political confrontation with Russia. "In fact, we are talking about a confrontation within the US political class, where Russia is only a tool of confrontation. So it's very difficult for us to predict anything in Washington's behavior. When the logic of the country is guided only by internal motives, it immediately makes it almost impossible to predict anything," Fyodor Lukyanov warned.
The deputy head of the Council of the Russian Diplomats Association, Andrey Baklanov, also pointed to the problematic aspects of US behavior. "Now our relations are going through the most difficult period in the post-war period, because dialogue no longer leads to clarification of the situation. A dialogue is useful when there are two different approaches and people try to understand the logic of the other and come to a common denominator. Now the US persists in absolutely peremptory positions," he diplomat stressed.
It is the inflexibility of Washington that calls into question the improvement of relations with Russia. "Perhaps the US negotiators are bound by certain obligations, and even if they understand that their position is incorrect, they cannot refuse it," Andrei Baklanov emphasized.
As 'lightning rods' the deputy head of the Council of the Russian Diplomats Association named the use of a broader popular diplomacy and public organizations. "I think we need to expand access to the Western audience with the help of the media. Further, the meeting of our top leaders with direct talks is necessary," he suggested.
Also, we need to be active in all formats with participation of not only the US, but also its allies. "I mean, for example, China and a number of Afro-Asian countries, I think such meetings will help the Americans to understand that it's not just we, who do not understand their logic," the diplomat said.
Now the situation is complicated by the fact that the US is ready to go very far on the path of confrontation with Russia. "They are quite openly preparing a military provocation in Syria, speaking of the preparation of a chemical attack by Bashar Assad. We are moving towards a very dangerous situation, it does not stop and can even lead to clashes," the deputy head of the Council of the Russian Diplomats Association noted.