On Russian-American relations, it will be possible to put a cross if ... Continuation of this phrase may seem pointless, because the contacts of the two countries are already at the lowest level in three decades. But the US ambassador to Russia, John Huntsman, said that things could get worse. Under one condition.
On Tuesday, Ambassador John Huntsman, who recently handed his credentials to President Putin, addressed the American congressmen. In Washington, the topic of "Russian intervention", which was certainly the main theme of the whole 2017 year, already takes a little less space, giving way to Trump's legislative breakthrough, but it is clear that the ambassador in Russia was primarily talking about countering the "Russian threat ".
It is also clear that Huntsman, as The Daily Beast wrote, is "a smart, venerable diplomat and he is not going to tell legislators that everything is the opposite, even if strange denials continue to arrive from the administration" - meaning that although the White House refutes the effectiveness of "Russian intervention" (to deny his "fact" is not dared by any official except Trump), the ambassador himself will not say anything like that to congressmen. And although the briefing in the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives was closed, some of those present did share information about the incident with the press.
The Daily Beast writes that Huntsman "unequivocally stated that Russia interfered in the elections in 2016", and "seriously warned: the Russian forces intend to again intervene in the US elections in 2018 and 2020 years, as well as in elections in other countries."
"I do not think that Russia will quit the game. Putin may never have been so strong, "Huntsman allegedly said, assessing the chances of Russia interfering in the US elections.
Huntsman said that as the former governor of Utah, he is particularly concerned about the election of 2018, which will take place at a more local level - in the United States will be re-elected a third of the Senate, the entire House of Representatives and many governors. At the same time, Huntsman "warned that relations with the United States and Russia would be" finished "if the Kremlin tries to intervene in the mid-term election of 2018," The Daily Beast reports:
"On the Russian-American relations it will be possible to put a cross."
At the same time, Huntsman said that he raised the issue of interference in elections at all meetings with Russian officials, the American newspaper writes, noting that in general the tone of Huntsman at this meeting was radically different from the behavior of Donald Trump, which Russia defends and refuses to recognize its role on those elections:
"Huntsman's comments fit into the notion that senior officials in the administration, including the heads of ministries, are more willing than the president to come forward with more rigid rhetoric on political issues relating to Russia."
The issue of new sanctions was also discussed, and the ambassador "promised that the Trump administration will have time to impose sanctions on individuals and legal entities that conduct business with the Russian reconnaissance and defense sectors before January 29." At the same time, he expects that the new sanctions will further shake the relations between Russia and the United States:
"He also wondered if the United States could achieve, by imposing additional sanctions," points of effectiveness fall "in influencing Russia's geopolitical behavior. He said that such measures "cease to be an instrument" if they do not excite anyone. "
It is curious that the source of The Daily Beast appreciated this Huntsman's skepticism about the new sanctions "as a possible announcement of a shift in US policy" - that is, as a hint at refusing the policy of sanctions.
It is clear that the Trump administration does not have the opportunity to circumvent the system of sanctions against Russia built by Congress - they are legislated, and all that the Trump administration can do is to pursue a policy of regulating relations with Russia, despite the current sanctions.
Roughly speaking, the sanctions work until such time as there is a suitable situation in the Congress for their abolition or mitigation (this may happen in a year, following the results of the new elections, and maybe even in ten years), and the relations between the governments and presidents of the two countries are being restored, strengthen and develop. But in order to allow himself such a policy, Trump must first win (albeit an intermediate one) in the internal political struggle-that is, to achieve the transition of the initiative into his own hands and to change the agenda in the American media from anti-Tram to neutral. Then the theme of "Russian intervention", which is both key in blocking Trump's actions in the domestic political arena, and in freezing US-Russian relations, will also go into the shadows.
At first glance, there is a vicious circle - without the freedom of hands on the domestic front, Trump can not develop relations with Russia, and he can not establish relations with Russia so as not to feed the campaign to find a "Russian trace" in his victory. But there is a way out of it - this is Trump's victory in the election of 2018, that is, the successful performance of his supporters and the failure of his opponents during the voting this November.
The thing is that although Republicans now control the White House, both chambers of Congress, and the absolute majority of states, Trump himself can not count on unconditional support of his party. Simply because this party by and large is still not his - he came to both the nomination and the victory in the elections against the wishes of the majority even of the republican establishment. That is why his initiatives, both internal political and foreign policy, were blocked by the entire 2017 year by a bipartisan, but in fact, a supra-party elite. But in November 2018-th elections will be held - and in the Congress, where, especially in the Senate, there are many Republicans-antitropists, there can be major changes. Roughly speaking, Trump has a good chance of obtaining a composition of parliament in which he can count on supporting his policies. And then the real, full-fledged Trump presidency will begin.
And then the Russian theme again becomes important - the candidates supported by Trump will be questioned about how they relate to "Russian interference". And God forbid, one of them, after Trump himself, to doubt or not enough severely to condemn the influence of "Putin's hand" in the election of 2016 - he will immediately be turned to the whole fire of criticism of American media.
It is clear that ordinary Americans can still believe in the reality of the mythical Russian intervention (polls show that the US media could convince most of them that "Russia is involved"), but American politicians themselves can not. Especially such experienced ones as Huntsman (among his experience is also the loss of the post of ambassador in China after quite frank interference in the internal affairs of the PRC). Why then does the ambassador say that Russia is going to intervene? And that this will put an end to US-Russian relations?
Then, in order to inform 10 months later that this did not happen due to the harsh work of Huntsman, who constantly reminded his Russian interlocutors of the inadmissibility of interference in American affairs, thanks to the principled position of the Congress, who stood up for the protection of American democracy and punished Russia with sanctions ...
In general, America managed to defend its democracy from the rapacious paws of the communist, that is, the Russian, that is, the totalitarian bear. And the fact that there was no democracy, no attempt at it, - well, why talk about it in a decent Washington society?