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Huanqiu Shibao: The world has much to learn from Russian diplomacy

After the turbulent ups and downs in the political arena of America, the shadow of Russia again arose. The other day, US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned. The reason for his departure were contacts with the Russian ambassador, or rather, that Flynn did not fully inform Trump's team about them. People are often puzzled by the "skill" of Russian diplomacy. As Frederick Engels wrote, "foreign policy is undoubtedly the strong side of Russian tsarism." The role of Russian diplomats far exceeds the role of the army, because once they like the sea tide have expanded the borders of Russia, writes the Chinese Huanciu shibao.

So where is the "bull" of Russian diplomacy?

For more than a thousand years of history from a small principality subordinate to Eastern Europe, Russia has become a transcontinental world empire. In relations and conflicts with other peoples and states, Russia has accumulated rich diplomatic experience and formed a special diplomatic tradition. To some extent, this diplomatic culture originated in the Russia as described by Engels in the article "The Foreign Policy of Russian Tsarism": "already strong enough to overcome royal arbitrariness if necessary", "has steel endurance and is steadily following the set goal," " does not win, but revels in victory; does not lose, but falls in spirit ", by any means changed the Russian Empire to the present power."

Russians basically have a clear understanding of foreign policy. Both high-level diplomats and ordinary diplomats understand that diplomacy is not just a party in a banquet hall, pompous promises at the negotiating table and convincing and well-grounded arguments of the representative of the press service of the Foreign Ministry. They are well aware that diplomacy is an instrument for implementing the foreign policy goals of the state and protecting and expanding state interests. It is a constant uncompromising struggle of the mind and "sharp weapons" outside of military operations. Proceeding from this understanding, the Russian side emphasizes that the task of diplomacy is not just writing telegrams and articles in the office, but deep penetration into all the affairs of the host country. This is full ownership of the situation in the host country, the development of broad ties and work aimed at improving the image of Russia.

Behind Russian diplomacy lies a big and complex strategy. Its work is not only weighing all the pros and cons at a certain point, but also a long-term all-encompassing planning. In the new history, Russia and Japan fought for hegemony in Northeast Asia. Defeated in the Russian-Japanese war, the main goal of Russia's strategy in East Asia was to direct a strong Japan not "down to the south" but "up north." We can say that with 1905 for 1945, Russia rallied and contributed to the split between China and Japan, and even between the Western powers. Through complex unifying techniques, in the end, Russia sent Japanese aggression and expansion to China, Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Before the end of World War II, the USSR again used the Yalta Agreement, deployed troops to North-East Asia, and finally returned the territories lost by Russia as a result of the Russo-Japanese War.

Russian diplomacy has a heavy internal content and a light exterior, and pragmatism is its center. To protect and promote public interests, Russia can quickly maneuver and is not afraid to change its position, well aware that this is a forced move. In such situations, Russia can begin to "dance with wolves," that is, to enter into an alliance with former enemies. At the beginning of the 19 century, Russia faced a choice: either to join the struggle with France for hegemony in Europe, or to fight with England in the Balkans and the Middle East for the legacy of the Ottoman Empire. Alexander I, who inherited the throne, adhered to the war against France and formed the third and fourth anti-French coalition. However, in July 1807, after the defeat of the Russian army in the Battle of Friedland, the foreign policy course was quickly changed, and the Russian Empire concluded a peace treaty with France. From the anti-French coalition, Russia has moved to an alliance with France. At that time, in a letter to my mother, Alexander I wrote: "The alliance with Napoleon is only a modified form of fighting against it. Russia needs this alliance in order to get time to rest and strengthen military art and strength. "

Russian diplomacy never comes to a standstill, and is not at all obstinate. She cleverly misleads the enemy and distracts him with a blow from the rear. In 1856, Russia was defeated in the Crimean War. After that, according to the plan of the then Minister of Foreign Affairs Gorchakov, Russia "stayed in the shadows" and avoided offensives in an easterly direction. She took advantage of the chaos in China caused by the Taiping uprising, and forced China to sign a number of unequal agreements, which could be described figuratively as "failing in one place, harvesting in another." Over the past two years, the worsening of relations with the West due to the Ukrainian crisis, Russia has not only become stuck in the Ukrainian problem, but also entered military operations, sending troops to Syria and unleashing a "second front" there. Russia not only strengthened its influence in the Middle East, but also to some extent beat America.

Engels also said: "The Russian diplomacy always gives all the power to avoid war, considers it the last resort ... Russia prefers to pursue their objectives through the contradictions of other strong powers, and those powers incites conflicts, benefiting from their hatred." This demonstrates another feature of Russian diplomacy: Russia can use contradictions and someone else the power to itself to strike. It sits out on the sidelines as an intermediary.

The high coherence of the mechanisms for the adoption of diplomatic decisions in Russia has determined the high effectiveness of its diplomatic actions. Based on the political culture and historical tradition of Russia, the government at the highest level has a deep understanding of the international situation and actively participates in important diplomatic actions. The absolute center of diplomatic decisions and issues of national security of Russia in the days of tsarist and imperial Russia was the tsar or the emperor and his advisers, in the days of the USSR - the Politburo, and in modern Russia - the Security Council of the Russian Federation. So in 2014 year the decision on the whole complex of actions for the introduction of troops into the Crimea was made by a narrow circle of 5-6 people, headed by President Putin.

Russian diplomacy has never been the work of one ministry, it involves related diplomatic, information, military, propaganda and other means. All this will become perfectly understandable if we recall Mikhail Fradkov, who started working in the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations of the USSR, then became a senior adviser to the Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN and other international organizations in Geneva, the representative of Russia under the "General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade" , and then served as Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and head of the Foreign Intelligence Service.

Russian diplomacy skillfully and courageously uses people. It requires diplomatic employees to have an impeccable knowledge of the language, culture and traditions of the host country. In politics, she encourages the courageous actions of the diplomat, aimed at protecting national interests, and also requires a lengthy report regardless of the scale of the case. On the other hand, Russia carefully selects, seeks and even prepares the objects of cooperation in the host country in advance. This can be guessed from the work done by Russia at Trump. It is possible that, following the scandal with Flynn, there will be more than one sensation that can surprise the whole world.

Undoubtedly, Russian diplomacy has its peculiarities, many of which should be borrowed. The foreign policy of any country arises from the domestic political situation, the national character, the traditional culture and the geopolitical position of this country. Many factors influence its formation, and Russian diplomacy is not an exception. Russia has made obvious progress in foreign policy, but also made obvious mistakes. In the current international situation, Russia is not considered a friend, and importantly, its economic weakness is far from the scale of its diplomacy. This is Russia's weak point, which can affect the effectiveness of Russian diplomacy.

A source: Geopolitics

Tags: Russia, Politics, Research, International Relations, Japan, History, Europe, War, Asia, West