Top Pundits Worry That Deep State Apparatchiks in Capitol Prevent Trump From Negotiating!
Moscow offers Washington to exchange Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, who is in an American prison, for some US citizen imprisoned in Russia as well as to return our diplomatic properties, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov announced today. At the Valdai Discussion Club, he spoke about actions that could improve bilateral relations. So far, there is no response from Washington. Although there's a foundation for further conciliatory gestures, especially after the presidents' talks in Osaka. According to Ryabkov, Russia agrees with the US that the number of countries participating in disarmament agreements should be expanded.
Our correspondent in the United States, Valentin Bogdanov, is reporting on whether America is ready for at least a normal dialogue.
The head of the White House returned to Washington from the G20 summit held in Osaka in high spirits. There's no point in waiting for praise from grouchy journalists, so Trump praised himself on Twitter on his own.
«So many amazing things happened over the last three days. All, or at least most of those things, are great for the United States. Much was accomplished!»
One of these things was negotiations with Vladimir Putin. Trump described the meeting with the Russian leader as amazing, adding that the bilateral relations should be improved. The overseas country agrees that it's time to break the impasse. But how? Speculating on the outcome of the G20, an article in New York Magazine mentions the red lines that Trump has been shown over the years.
«Trump said he had a „grand discussion“ with Putin and called for more trade between the USA and Russia, even though his administration has tightened sanctions on that country. If Trump had his way — that is, if the intellectuals and deep-state apparatchiks in Washington didn’t keep blocking him — those sanctions would be gone and they’d be breaking ground on Trump Tower Chelyabinsk already».
The Russian Foreign Ministry is not ironic. Be it about politics or trade, it is important to take the first steps. Here's what our diplomats suggest.
Sergey Ryabkov, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister: «We call on our American colleagues for action, starting with high-profile humanitarian cases. Release Yaroshenko, exchange him for an American or Americans imprisoned in Russia. Return diplomatic properties that were withdrawn not just in violation of the Vienna Convention, which provides for absolute diplomatic immunity for these facilities, but in violation of private law».
Both the Yaroshenko case, and the seized Russian diplomatic property is a legacy of the Obama era. The Russian pilot, who was virtually kidnapped from Liberia in violation of international conventions, was sentenced to 20 years of prison in the United States. Obama decreed to expel 35 Russian diplomats and, contrary to the Vienna Convention, shut out two suburban complexes on Long Island and in Maryland, giving only 24 hours to pack up.
It was the first time when Trump's hands were first tied when it came to Russia, and, later, they tried to tie Russia as well by imposing sanctions on it. That is why the Foreign Ministry will not ask to lift sanctions.
Sergey Ryabkov: «If we start doing this, all of the reports, both classified government and public, political ones, will state that, finally, Russians backpedaled, proving that the USA's sanctions policy is effective. On the contrary, we need to be as rigid as possible, denying all of that as an absolutely illegitimate, illegal, unacceptable thing».
However, Sergey Ryabkov is realistic. Given the new pre-election cycle in America, old accusations will come to surface. While Trump was on his Asian tour, the Democrats began their campaign with debates in Miami. Russia was demonized yet again. Senator Kamala Harris, who dared fight for the nomination with heavyweights like Biden and Sanders, has been called by many one of the leaders of the first round. Kamala Harris, US Senator from California:
“Russia interfered in the 2016 election, infringing on our democracy, our values. And the jokes on this topic show that President Trump has no respect for his duties and his role as the voice of America and its values.
Actually, the concept of American values changed a lot during the work of the notorious Mueller Commission. As soon as another Democratic candidate, Tulsi Gabbard, said a few words about improving relations with Russia, her own party allies immediately stigmatized her as a Moscow agent. Tulsi learned the lesson. In Miami, she avoided our microphone like the plague.
Tulsi Gabbard, Democratic candidate: «Sorry, I've got to go in here».
Gabbard, and even Harris, have little chance of taking over Trump in the White House, but today everyone who keeps connections between countries or does business even at the lowest level has to live in the atmosphere poisoned by the fight for the presidential chair.
Another proposal by our Foreign Ministry to the American partners is to fix the work of embassies. So far, people wait for a visa to the USA for almost a year.
Valentin Bogdanov and Ivan Utkin for Vesti from New York.