Putin's refusal to visit the G8 summit in Camp David came quite a surprise to the US administration. However, after taking some time off, the US authorities unexpectedly released a number of statements that said that they had realized their mistakes and wanted to be friends with Putin. Putin does not mind, although he has his own conditions for such friendship. The recent events show that the Russian president is plotting a big game. This is not an anti-Western turn in Russia's politics, of course. It goes about the priorities of Russia's foreign politics.
US President was eager to see Putin at the summit. Obama was going to discuss the plans of the new long-term agreement to cut the US and Russian nuclear arsenals.
US media reported that the agreement became Obama's huge achievement in the field of foreign politics and a retrospective excuse for his Nobel Peace Prize. However, Putin made it clear that neither the USA nor any other country of the G8 were included on the list of Russia's priorities in foreign politics.
Putin's "reset" raised many eyebrows in the West. Many Western journalists started saying that Putin deliberately wanted to humiliate Obama, and that Obama let Putin insult him. It took Obama one week to think the problem over. The US President refused to take part in the APEC summit, which is going to take place in Russia's Vladivostok in September.
Ariel Cohen, a specialist for Russia with Heritage Foundation, said that Putin's move exposed his low opinion about the sitting US administration. According to Cohen, this is a fair opinion. The Clinton-Nuland-McFaul chain is inconsistent.
It would be enough to recollect Clinton's statements about Moscow's "family ties" with Assad or her remarks about "despicable" Russia. Then the US Ambassador to Russia stated that one should remove Putin from Russian politics at all costs. So many unprofessional people in such a key direction of politics is a question of Obama's competence.
As for achievements in the US-Russian bilateral relations, during the recent times, one may only point out the new routes for the delivery of cargoes for NATO's forces in Afghanistan via Russia and the completion of the works on Russia's membership in the WTO.
The stories of US foster parents torturing their Russia-adopted children, the fabricated case against Viktor Bout, the recognition of Japan's sovereignty over four southern Kurile islands, the refusal to officially guarantee Russia's safety in light of the development of the European missile defense system, the appointment of Michael McFaul as the US Ambassador to Russia, the misinterpretation of the UN's 1973 resolution on Libya drew much bigger response in Russia.
To crown it all, the US constantly and impudently tries to interfere in Russia's internal affairs. When Putin refused to go to the G8 summit, some US officials said that Putin was trying to create an external enemy to distract people's attention from his own persona in Russia. It probably goes about the participants of the meetings in Moscow, "whose arrests contradicted to the interests of the USA and Russia."
Putin made it clear that his policy would be tough. One may recollect the episode when Clinton could not reach Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov regarding the Syrian problem for a whole day. It became clear later that Lavrov was simply ignoring her.
However, it was reported on May 17th that Washington was ready to consider Moscow's inquiry about the delivery of Viktor Bout to his homeland. Bout, a Russian citizen, was sentenced to 25 years in jail in April.
Afterwards, a NATO official suddenly said that Russia could become an element of "smart defense". It goes about the project, according to which NATO members would execute military goals depending on the specialization that they choose. "Smart defense," the official added, could lay the foundation for the future cooperation between Russia and NATO.
Putin wrote in his latest pre-election article about the creation of joint space from Lisbon to Vladivostok. It means that Putin does not even consider the United States as a possible partner in creating the joint economic and political space. His plan is to play up to the rise of the prices on oil and gas, to try to break the Atlantic unity and to create the joint economic space on the Eurasian continent.
In a weary world of endless US military interventions, sanctions, trade tariffs and chaos, let’s pause and take stock of the shining house on the hill