Russia: A course on loneliness?

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Alleged diplomatic duel of the Russian Federation and the West began. So far rivals study each other, exchanging pricks. NATO reduces cooperation? Russia can refuse it…at all Someone mentioned economic sanctions? Da Mosqua and isn't going to the WTO…yet "The big seven" is dissatisfied with something? Russia itself will deal with independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia…

Exchange of courtesies

To be fair It should be noted that the last loud statements of the Russian authorities at one time were followed by natural rhetoric: not we began the first. Well, diplomatic games really initiated the international communities. But for the sake of the same justice it isn't necessary to forget that reaction of the West too was absolutely predictable. It would be strange if the whole world silently would swallow the surprise saliva caused by specific Moscow idea of "world" and to "coercion" to it. A question only in that, the developing scheme is how perspective: the "attacking" West and the "protected" Russia. But that the second party is going to benefit from it at most, doesn't raise any doubts.

For today the most part of "attacks" of the West consists in the direct or indirect statement of disapproval of actions of Russia. On the one hand, and the accurate position is designated, with another - and anything of that kind, for what, if something happens, it would be painfully sick, doesn't become. Refusal of the UN Security Council to accept the Russian edition of "the Georgian resolution" fits into this framework, for example. It by that fact was formed the official basis that the draft decision didn't regulate an exact arrangement of the Russian troops in the territory of the republic and point on firmness of territorial integrity of Georgia there too was absent. Besides, refusal of the project can serve as peculiar "reciprocity" of the western countries: before Russia rejected two versions of the resolution offered by France. Similar disapproving "фе" also the European Parliament is limited so far: its chairman Hans - Geert Poettering stated fears concerning legality of actions of the Russian Federation.We will remind, on August 25 the Russian parliament nearly full structure accepted the address to the president to consider a question of recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by the independent states with a request, and on August 26 Dmitry Medvedev supported this idea. Even earlier, than the European Parliament, similar circumstances excited "The big seven", but, as well as europarliamentarians, the leaders of the leading world countries so far only "express concern" and don't recognize independence the svezheprovozglashennykh of the republics. It is impossible to tell that this fact very much disturbs the Russian authorities.

From special reality also the position of the European Union doesn't suffer yet. Only after EU countries couldn't develop the general opinion on the Russian behavior, the president of France predominating now in Europe Nicolas Sarkozy suggested to call on September 1 the emergency summit where the European Union and will try to decide on "the Georgian question" finally. Now Europe it is predictable is very cautious: according to the head of French Bernard Kouchner's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, can't be even speeches oh, for example, economic sanctions against Russia for today.

Most loudly" the position is shown by North Atlantic alliance. Peripetias of its relationship with the Russian Federation remind quite fascinating series recently. For a start the Alliance "froze" work of Council Russia - NATO and thought of expediency of joint doctrines. Moscow reacted to it standard "not really - that and d not there was a wish", and at the same time I could accept the American frigate in one of the Kamchatka ports. Further events developed promptly: Moscow declared stay of military cooperation with the Alliance countries. The alliance took a position of Russia into consideration. Meanwhile, on August 22 two rocket frigates entered the water area of the Black Sea with a noble purpose of delivery of humanitarian aid of Georgia - and in the next few days it was supposed to increase number of the NATO ships to stage in advance planned drills, and at the same time and to help the Georgian party ("the bonus purpose" - to force to be nervous the Black Sea fleet of the Russian Federation - wasn't declared). In this regard or not, but soon the Russian president made a startler: NATO isn't necessary to Russia. "First of all, the Alliance, but not the Russian Federation is interested in our cooperation", - Dmitry Medvedev after reported explained that Moscow is morally ready to any option, up to a final rupture of all relations.As worthy illustration potential "a final gap" the probability of announced by the Russian Ambassador in Afghanistan served that Russia will forbid transit of NATO freights to Afghanistan through the territory. However, even before the Deputy U.S. Secretary of State John Rud was disturbed by "quickness" of Moscow in cooperation turning. "A number of statements for relationship with NATO which the government of Russia made in recent days, are an example which causes disappointment. So they move away from cooperation, they move away from aspiration to interact with NATO and with the neighbors in Europe in safety issues", - he declared.

It seems that Russia, first it is simple "condemning condemnation" the West, it was seriously involved in an exchange of courtesies. As confirmation also the emergency decision to recognize independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia - a step which can't but tease the West can serve it. "Got" even to Ukraine - in the Russian Federation again remembered idea a visa regime. Moscow and to the high-ranking American officials didn't forgive: retaliation of Russia followed on their opinion on the fact that participation in the Georgian conflict can slow down the entry of the Russian Federation into the WTO. The answer vice-the prime minister Igor Shuvalov was most symmetric:" We intend to continue negotiations on accession to WTO, but we are going to leave a number of agreements and to inform on it our partners". According to Vladimir Putin, the Russian side only seeks to restore "elementary justice". Not so sharply Russia is interested in the accession to the World Trade Organization to suffer the increased inconveniences. And, if to judge on events of the last days, uninterested Russia appears in all cases when there is at least a hint on infringement of its rights. It is interesting only, whether Moscow in a similar exchange of courtesies is ready to come further away.

To take on a fright

To speak about the future isolation (or self-isolation) to Russia on the basis of turning of cooperation with NATO or a stop on the way to the WTO so far, to put it mildly, early. Even unilateral recognition of independence of the Georgian autonomies - yet not the basis for serious diplomatic war. There is an impression that so far during duel opponents simply check each other nerves for fortress. The West where hints and where says directly that aggression against Tbilisi won't be painless for Moscow absolutely. But the question of actually morbidity of potential blows remains open.

Despite ambiguous behavior, isolation of the world scale among others "the non-democratic modes" of Russia doesn't threaten. On the one hand, there are no bases for introduction of considerable sanctions, with another - there is no keen desire seriously "to break pots". Under such circumstances the certain countries, perhaps, will decide on small trade wars, full-scale campaign under the auspices of, for example, European Union is extremely improbable. To condemn illegality of actions is sacred, but threat of overlapping of a gas pipe for the countries of old Europe rather powerful to protect interests of Georgia without special fanaticism.

A little more resolute can be the leadership of the United States - the country which directly depends on Russia a little and to own status of the only superstate belongs more than tremblingly. Simplest for Washington to try to influence the Russian Federation through NATO. But multistage process of turning of the relations of Alliance with Moscow gradually came to a standstill. The parties already rather far came in attempts to take each other on a fright that there was a direct threat to interests of the States in Afghanistan. The Russian government lips of the permanent representative at NATO Dmitry Rogozin already in detail told where it will cooperate with Alliance and where - absolutely - at all doesn't want. It is necessary to wait for reaction of Brussels, but it isn't excluded that for some time the Alliance really "will reduce turns" - at court everyone is for himself.

Specifics of a situation in many respects are that both parties actively use rhetoric: "Very much it wouldn't be desirable (to impose sanctions, to apply restrictions, to do sharp "gestures"), but…". Here only if due to various reasons in the "very much it wouldn't be desirable the West" it is, seemingly, quite sincere, Russia makes impression quite ready to "but".

As it was already told, about self-isolation of the Russian Federation now there is no speech, but Moscow conducts the party of the game "frighten the rival" quite successfully so far. Russia really won't suffer considerable losses from reduction of military cooperation with NATO. And it is valid, its accession to WTO so far quite "suffers". And scale of "symmetric answers" to statements of the West in many respects depends about that, how Russian government will consider the rights restrained. It seems that the Kremlin isn't afraid of considerable economic sanctions ("gas" argument difficult to interrupt). The impressive political damage will be difficult to be caused:even if Russia will be expelled from "Group of Eight", most considerably it will suffer имиджево, but losses can be limited to it, and the image Moscow and so transforms in hope to return glory of a supergosudarstvo, and the sharp decision on South Ossetia and Abkhazia - to that confirmation. And the seeming "proud loneliness" can lead to deepening of diplomatic aggression of the Russian side: if "nobody understands it" - need to behave in compliance with someone else's rules disappears. And it too still soft forecast of threat for the West. While Russia recommends to the West not to interfere simply - and everything will be good. "As for the relations round the conflict of Georgia to South Ossetia and the previous conflict to Abkhazia, all in West hands if not to inflate from this new conflict. If to proceed from pragmatical positions then everything will be normal", - Dmitry Medvedev considers. But recommendations can change...

More serious, than now, refusal of someone else's rules, can be realized in case the western countries risk "to be trampled" on favourite Russian "callosities". Among them: conviction of Moscow that in a zone of the Caucasian conflict only the Russian peacekeepers, and also perception of potential expansion of NATO to the east as direct threat to wellbeing of the Russian Federation can work. Opposition which is now limited to mainly loud statements can remove to this sphere. And if the West really decides thus "to pinch a tail" to Moscow, more difficult to predict counter-measures of Russian government - after all about "not really - that and there was a wish" the speech won't go any more. In that case the exchange of really noticeable "courtesies" at which to keep the status - кво can follow it will be difficult. Then or to the West it is necessary to concede (for example, "to return" Ukraine and Georgia to a zone of the Russian influence), or Moscow will be compelled not simply "to take for a fright", and seriously to think of partial isolation of from current edition of the West - with all that it implies from here diplomatic and economic losses. Here it is only impossible to guarantee that potential "the proud loneliness" of Russia which isn't constrained by a framework of westernized decencies won't help to accelerate its way to "supermajestic blackmail". If the Russian Federation decides on conflict deepening - in interests of the West to take each subsequent step most accurately and to accompany it with all possible legal justifications not to leave space for excessive maneuver.After all it is the "decent" countries don't block the gas crane, don't annex part of the territory of the adjacent states or forget about rockets with nuclear warheads. And Moscow, apparently, gradually forgets about decencies…

Роман Свиридов


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