When in January, Theresa may (Theresa May) met with Donald trump, she also managed to talk with the Republicans of Congress about the need “to interact, but be careful” against Russia. However, this advice sounded too late for the now former adviser to trump issues of national security Michael Flynn (as Michael Flynn) and attorney General Jeff and Roman sessions (Jeff Sessions). The negligence that they showed in the course of contacts with the Russians, put them in a very bad situation and proved that Western countries now urgently need to agree on their policy towards Russia.
The ad hoc Committee on international Affairs analyzed the relationship between the United Kingdom and Russia, and came to the conclusion that the Kremlin now poses a threat to the international order based on generally accepted standards. The murder of Alexander Litvinenko, cyber security threats, the illegal annexation of Crimea and destabilizing actions in the Donbass and cruel operation in Aleppo are evidence of this threat. The success of concerted action by the Western countries, such as sanctions, is of great importance. Meanwhile, the election campaign rhetoric trump many were shocked by his apparent willingness to abandon these traditions. His early comments about sanctions and NATO has caused serious concern on both sides of the Atlantic.
We can no longer rely on the fact that London and Washington will occupy identical positions and agree on their policy towards Moscow. Therefore, the strategy the UK should include the search for levers of influence on the US administration and strengthen the position of those representatives of the state Department, the Pentagon and the CIA, which, as may tend to be careful. Despite the suspicions caused by the contacts between the representatives of trump and Russian officials, new Secretary of state Rex Tillerson (Rex Tillerson) has assured allies that the United States will not conclude with Russia, no agreements behind their backs, and the Minister of defence of the USA James Mattis (James Mattis) said about the need to negotiate with Moscow “from a position of strength”.
However, over time, Western countries will likely be increasingly difficult to maintain a unity of positions on the issue of sanctions against Russia because USA and some European countries can start to insist on their mitigation, which will increase the probability of isolation of the United Kingdom on the issue of sanctions.
Our special Committee stated that the United Kingdom “must first of all to support the idea of unanimity of the international community in the issue of policy toward Russia in the negotiations with the new U.S. administration should continue to work closely with EU partners to further support of Ukraine.” The UK needs to be flexible to respond to any changes and opportunities for peace processes both in Ukraine and in Syria. However, we must not abandon our position on the sovereignty of Ukraine and the need to achieve compliance with the requirements of international humanitarian law in Syria.
Preserving the unity of the positions of Western countries in the new circumstances will be no easy task. This will require a lot of diplomatic efforts. The accent which may have been made on the need to establish contact with the young trump administration might have become a useful basis. After many years of deterioration in relations between the United Kingdom and Russia now there is a chance that the strategy of the Prime Minister “to interact, but be careful” can grow into a viable strategy.
This strategy should strengthen the attention and resources of the ministries, including the willingness to build on the analytical framework, part of which was lost after the end of the cold war. The UK should resolutely defend international law, but to try to establish contact with Moscow, no matter how uncomfortable nor were the negotiations which may start in the future.
Our special Committee recommends that the Ministry of foreign Affairs regularly to engage in dialogue with Russia, to assist in finding points of contact in identifying issues in which they disagree and to cooperate in such issues as counter-terrorism, cybersecurity, and aviation security. We must also look to the future and to strengthen interpersonal relations, to establish contact with the next generation of political and economic leaders Russia. Putin is in Russia there is no competition, but he will not be able to rule the country forever.