Publication in the US so-called. The Kremlin's list caused a very symptomatic reaction from Vladimir Putin. But the most important thing in this story is not this list at all, but on what internal political background in Washington it is made public. The point is that the investigation of "Russian interference" will blow up American policy - and this will give Trump the opportunity to agree with Russia.
"The whole administration of the president, the whole government, the whole business: for each of these people and for each of these structures are ordinary citizens of our country, labor collectives, entire industries. That is, in fact, all of us, all 146 millions, were put on some list. I do not understand the meaning of such actions ... But this is certainly an unfriendly act, it complicates the already existing Russian-American relations in a difficult situation and, of course, damages international relations as a whole. Those who do this, they are engaged mainly in their internal policy, they attack the elected president. "
So Vladimir Putin commented on the "Kremlin report" on Tuesday, which contained the names of 210 Russians. The meaning of this list is not clear not only to the president of Russia, although formally he became the answer to the law passed by Congress last summer on anti-Russian sanctions.
Against the defendants of the current list, no measures are being taken. No, they simply make up, according to Washington, the Russian elite, that is, high-ranking politicians and businessmen (close to the leadership of the country and the richest). Those who need to be pressured, so that Russia, including refused from the Crimea. And if necessary, the impact can also be sanctions. All this is written in the American law.
The Law on Countering America's Enemies with Sanctions (CAATSA) has three objectives at once.
1. To keep pressure on Russia, both in general and on individual personalities;
2. To reinforce the theme of "Russian intervention", used as the main truncheon against Donald Trump, and, of course,
3. To complicate the normalization of US-Russian relations, on which Trump insisted.
The law is essentially anti-Tramp and anti-Putin -
because it simultaneously targets both Putin and the limitation of the powers of the US president.
The Trump administration has already violated the first term of providing the list of important Russian people - and now he was sent to Congress. But it happened in this form and in such an atmosphere that "in the form of a correct, but in fact a mockery."
Firstly, the Ministry of Finance simply sent to Congress a list of Russian leaders (114 people) and 96 richest Russians on the list of Forbes magazine. That is, a certain directory "Who is who in Russia" - well, or its notable part. All the leadership of the presidential administration, the entire Cabinet of Ministers, the heads of both houses of parliament, members of the Security Council, high-ranking siloviki. Plus, billionaires, some of whom have long spent most of their lives not in Russia. Here is the list for you - and leave. Approximately, so did some American analysts, including former Ambassador in Russia McFaul.
However, even more important is the background of this news. In America, everyone is discussing not the "Kremlin list", but the upcoming publication of a secret memorandum on the progress of the "Russian intervention" investigation. The Committee on Intelligence of the US House of Representatives on Sunday approved the publication of this note, and the other day these four pages will be made public. But the essence of them is already known. They conclude that the whole investigation of Trump's "Russian connections" was initiated by the Obama administration in violation of the law. And not only the various security forces have to do with this - in the end The thread will lead to Obama and Clinton.
If this bomb detonates, it will be a turning point in the entire siege of the White House that lasts for a year now. Most US media, and, after them, public opinion, will change their positions in a matter of weeks. Instead of the demands of "Trump to the answer for the connection with Putin" will sound "conspirators to the answer for secret operations against democracy." Trump from the enemy of democracy will turn into a victim of enemies of democracy. And as a result, "the fetters of the heavy will fall" and Trump will receive the freedom of action common to US presidents.
Strictly speaking, such a background leads to the shadow of the completely technical publication of the "Kremlin list".
Yes, while Trump and Tillerson are in "straitjackets" - at least in contact with the Kremlin. They continue to move along the track of US-Russian confrontation. But the Kremlin understands the compulsion of the actions of American partners. And they are waiting - making no bets on "our Trump", not building any illusions, but simply calculating the trajectory of the development of the internal political crisis in cold blood.
And, as long as Trump did not break the domestic situation in his favor, Putin responds not to him, but to that anonymous "Washington list", which began the policy of restraining Russia first and then Trump.
"We were waiting for this list. I will not hide, we were ready to take retaliatory steps. And serious, which would skip our relations to zero at all. We will refrain from these steps for the time being. But we will closely monitor how the situation will develop in practice. Because there is still some sort of secret list, in this list, they say, some names with some asterisks, we need to figure out how this will all happen.
We are not interested in turning off relations, on the contrary, we want to develop our relations with the United States. I am sure that the people of the United States, the people of Russia are interested in this, and the world as a whole will breathe a sigh of relief if they see that the two largest nuclear powers are building relations in a modern, respectful way. But everyone must understand that it is impossible to expect an endless surrender of the position. "
What does Putin mean in the last sentence - Russia does not make any concessions to the US, so how can we talk about surrendering positions? These words are more likely addressed to Trump - in the sense that Putin is waiting for a change in the situation on the domestic front, but he can not do this indefinitely. Putin recalls that he was tired of the wildly prolonged series "The Establishment vs. Trump". This is not a reproach to Trump, not hurrying him - it's just a statement of the fact that Putin can not always not respond to attacks from the US. Each of his, Putin, "skipping the turn" is not very correct from the point of view of already domestic policy.
Do they understand this in the White House? Of course. Trump complained last spring that, now, because of the siege he has organized on the topic of "Russian intervention," Putin is disappointed in his, Trump, opportunities to enter into the establishment of relations between the two countries. Now that Washington is moving to turn the "Russian track", Trump will be preparing to catch up on the time lost in Russian-American relations.
It is symbolic that today two statements from two ambassadors were made. Our ambassador in Washington, Anatoly Antonov, said that the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service, Sergei Naryshkin, recently visited Washington "for consultations with his colleagues" (and since Naryshkin has been under US sanctions since 2014). And US Ambassador John Huntsman said that the time has come for a bilateral meeting between Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump:
"Now is the time for a formal meeting, everything is moving in this direction."
Recall that so far, such a separate meeting never happened - the presidents met twice in the fields of international summits, and only the first meeting was official. A full-fledged Russian-American summit is on the agenda not only of bilateral relations, but of all world politics. On the way to this summit, Trump has only one obstacle to overcome - the "Washington list", that is, the resistance of those formal and informal US leaders who are trying to prevent him and Russia.