The fourth of February, 1945 in Yalta, has opened a historic conference, exciting the minds of Russian Imperial and later more than seventy years. No wonder the international lexicon established the concept of “Yalta-2” — a hypothetical big deal, designed to remove all the contradictions between the West and Russia. And, of course, with a special zeal about the “new Yalta” began to argue after the recent change in Washington.
The popular enthusiasm that swept Russia in connection with the victory of Donald trump, illustrates very well the essence of the Russian “anti-Americanism”. Curses in the United States are always hiding an inferiority complex; a subconscious reverence for America and a passionate desire to be compared to it.
When Russia protested the American bombing of Belgrade or Baghdad, she also wanted to play the role of bombing — which was implemented in Syria to the delight of the people.
When Russia accuses the Americans of meddling in the Affairs of other countries, she wants to deal with third countries so.
And when Russia shouts about turning the US into radioactive ash and raves ruins of Washington, in fact she wants to sit with the mighty America to the negotiating table, shake her hand and on an equal footing to decide the fate of the world.
Yalta-45 acts as a living embodiment of these dreams, the benchmark of right international relations. The wise Kremlin leader divides the planet with a wise American President, with the participation of influential Europeans; mighty superpower talks, and the national state completely devoid of subjectivity and does not solve anything — so looks like the neighbor’s geopolitical ideal.
The paradox is that it is the dream of a big contract with the West made the modern inability of Russia. The Russian paradigm simply does not provide for other agreements and compromises, in addition to the amicable partition of the planet of the Yalta-Potsdam patterns.
From the point of view of Moscow, this is the real constructive diplomacy, and the rest is only temporary maneuvers, mutual deception, worthless words and blank pieces of paper.
Yalta the Russian side — is not only a glorious page of the past. This is the reality still continues to live the Kremlin leadership; the natural order of things disrupted at the turn of the 1980s-1990s and you want to restore. If the West under the “new Yalta” can include any package of international agreements, and this term may carry abstract, in the Russian understanding of the “new Yalta” should be a remake of the old.
No one in the Kremlin do not mind the fact that Russia’s geopolitical appetites disproportionate to the current capabilities of the Russian Federation, in the forty fifth year that Putin is not Stalin, but the Russian army does not control the territory, which Moscow considers its sphere of influence.
No, they are considered legitimate the Kremlin’s property because it once belonged to the Soviet sphere of influence. Russia looks at the world as a descendant of a moribund noble family, sincerely convinced, if he is entitled to all the privileges of the once mighty ancestors inherited in armor. And this perception reduces the probability of a successful trade with the West almost to zero.
Among Western politicians, many willing to negotiate with the Kremlin — but their idea of a bargain the contract is unlikely to coincide with the Kremlin.
The United States and Europe can do to Putin a number of concessions — but all this will be seen in Moscow not as an end in compromise, but only as a prelude to the return of the right of the Yalta world order. In the West, enough cynical populists like Mr. trump — but they live in a completely different reality, where the Yalta-Potsdam system has long been consigned to history, and to restore it not possible.
Specify the same “big deal,” Moscow and Washington will still be talking about different things, and when this dissonance becomes apparent, and the hope for convergence will vanish. The question is, how long it will last, and what damage Ukrainian interests will be applied during this time.
Ukraine threatens Yalta-2, and the Ghost of Yalta. Not a big Treaty between Russia and the West, and the illusion that such an agreement is possible. The illusion that can bring quite tangible and very sad fruit.
In fact, the Ghost of Yalta has hit Ukraine, turning new blood in the Donbass. For the sake of hypothetical large transaction is in the aggravation of the conflict, raises the stakes, is trying to secure a favorable position for future trading. Let the Kremlin hopes will not come true, let the desired agreement with Washington is not followed — but that our current pain is less and killed under the plant will not be resurrected.
In turn, the illusory idea about the deal with Russia could push the new American administration on the real steps towards the Kremlin — including at our expense. Let overseas goodwill gesture will not bring the desired result, let the entire agreement with Moscow will break, let Putin remain unsatisfied, and trump will be disappointed and angry; but the Ukrainian costs in this game, risk to be too serious.
Unfortunately, the vulnerability of Ukraine is still very high. We cannot passively wait for the moment of truth, the collapse of the Russian and American illusions of inevitable discord between Vladimir and Donald. For us the moment of truth has arrived: it will last as long as the Kremlin and the White house will be to believe in the possibility of rapprochement.
No matter how much he held this belief — a few months, six months, a year, she, Ukraine will require huge domestic mobilization and active actions. Right now, our diplomatic, political, military efforts should be focused on how to prevent or at least minimize losses that could result from Yalta phantom.
Rather, the theory of the “new Yalta” will not stand the test of practice and will be absolutely untenable. But most importantly for Ukrainians — not to find himself in the role of laboratory mice, which must perish, in order to refute untenable theory.