The coming to power in the US administration Donald trump was supposed to be a great boon for the Kremlin. Instead, it became a source of deep disappointment. Russia is expected to win trump’s elections will allow Moscow to achieve a longtime goal — recognition by Washington as an equal player on the world stage. But the success has again escaped from the hands of the Russian leadership.
Moreover, it is difficult to imagine that the United States generally will be able to establish with Russia a constructive relationship in the near future, given the growing scandal around relations campaign and administration trump with Russian officials and the dismissal of FBI Director James Komi Republic involved in the investigation of these relations.
But even before this scandal changeable American President, apparently, did not consider Russia a diplomatic priority. During the first 100 days of his presidency, trump has met with many foreign leaders, both in Washington and in the “southern White house” — a luxurious mansion Mar-a-Lago. But, interestingly, was not among them Russian President Vladimir Putin.
All this is very far from “pragmatic and full of mutual respect, relations between equals”, which is imagined in the Kremlin after winning trump in the election. To say that the Russian leadership feels himself slighted, would be an understatement. The lack of U.S. interest in Russia, according to the famous commentator on the foreign policy of the Russian Federation Konstantin von Eggert, “this is the worst insult. Dislike — not a problem. Praise — please. But there is nothing that the Kremlin hated more than indifference.”
Of course, recent events around the trump can serve the Kremlin a lesson. Although the words and actions trump can not be predicted or controlled, the arrogance of Russia has added fuel to the fire of the scandal surrounding the White house, making contacts with Russia toxic in the eyes of many American political leaders.
In particular, the arrogant and humiliating behavior of the Minister of foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov regarding the visit to the Oval office after the dismissal of trump Komi was another mistake of Moscow. All this, in addition to the situation with the photographer TASS and unnecessarily provocative rhetoric, Lavrov, was one of the key factors that caused the Washington outrage, which resulted in the appointment of an independent investigator.
Lavrov’s visit to the White house happened on the request of Putin. If Russia did not publish the photographs and Lavrov worked hard to keep down his own complacency, the White house, would be able not to give this scandal to get out of control.
The fact that Russia has gone too far with trump, partly due to historical factors. For centuries, Russia was eager to see the Western powers began to treat her as an equal. But tormenting Russia, the systems are forced to choose entirely the wrong methods to achieve this goal.
Since the Grand Duchy of Moscow, the Russian rulers were at the head of a huge, but relatively backward Empire. Despite all attempts, they were able to achieve only partial recognition of the place of their possessions in the European order, forcing them to constantly try to “catch up with the West”.
There is an opinion that Russian history is a process of adaptation (relative) backwardness and imaginary external threats. Historically, this deep feeling of backwardness relative to the “developed West”, it seems, has been and remains a key element of Russian self-understanding.
In the vast, economically poor and sparsely populated country with long borders that are difficult to defend, it is the sense of insecurity and vulnerability has grown and has inevitably led, over the last five centuries, to the establishment of a practice of mobilizing all available resources to counter the (real or imagined) external threats.
This specific method of mobilization of the economy and society is very centralized government gave rise to the paradox that most accurately described by William fuller in his work “Strategy and power in Russia”: “Russia is so powerful precisely because it is so “backward” according to European standards.”
Another important paradox is that the methods of adaptation of Russia to its backwardness and the fact that it considers threats, apparently, was the main reason that Western countries treated it with suspicious caution. “This happened not because Russia was an extremely aggressive state compared to other great powers, — said a lecturer at Columbia University Jack Snyder. — It was the fact that the specific nature of the Russian authorities, institutions and ideologies generated by the model for the later development, created a situation in which Russia and the West seemed constantly to each other threat.”
In other words, what at first glance seems like a foreign policy issue, in fact, rooted in the model of internal development of Russia. What Moscow calls mainly a problem in the field of security (for example, the rivalry between Russia and the EU in areas adjacent to their borders areas) is actually rather a problem stemming from the inability of Russia to fully accept modernity and complete the construction of the enlightened States of the country governed by the rule of law and ensures political and economic pluralism, and where the government tries to find an appropriate balance between the interests of the state and pursuit of happiness of the individual citizen.
From the point of view of Europe, the main problem of Russia in its attempts to achieve recognition is social in nature. In short, it boils down to incompatibility of the Russian and European systems, namely their practices of relations between state and society.
Meanwhile, according to many in Washington, a significant barrier to the recognition of Russia are equal to economic achievements. Considering that the entire GDP of Russia is about equal to the GDP of only one of the U.S. state of new York, Moscow’s claims that it is a match for the United States, presented many of the American political players are ridiculous.
Many leading Russian analysts on foreign policy, declare that we are now witnessing a radical paradigm shift, which is an increase of “re-nationalization of international relations.” According to them, “historic” West has been eclipsed by non-Western countries. In addition, they also insist that the aspects of behavior that seem outdated and drawn from the diplomatic Toolkit of the nineteenth century — including the fact that Russia prefers brute force and pragmatic geopolitics, put national above international and prioritaire increased role of the state in society are actually “post-modern” reality of the XXI century.
But the problem is that Russian experts wrong interpretiruya events in the world and, as a consequence, wrong conclusions about the current trends: the state never go back, they are likely to not keep up with the pace of change in the modern world. Under this scenario, Russia is likely to lag even more if there stubbornly adhere to the concepts of the XIX century. And, then, the goal is to achieve equality with the West will become even more elusive.