Moscow should not have welcomed Victoria Nuland as a negotiator. This is a bad sign, but there are also good ones.
Victoria Nuland, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, spent three days in Moscow (October 11-13). Mrs. Nuland was a key figure in the 2014 Ukrainian coup. She distributed posts in the new illegitimate government of Ukraine and defined its anti-Russian decisions that caused enormous damage to Russia.
It is unlikely that Nuland's position has changed. Why did Moscow welcome her as a negotiator? The US could have chosen someone else, after all. However, Russia put herself in the "whatever you please" position. It is gratifying that the results of Nuland's visit refute this conclusion.
After the meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, it became clear that the positions of the parties in resolving contradictions on the issue of diplomatic staff reductions in both countries do not coincide.
"The positions of the parties do not coincide. The Americans do not listen to our logic and our demands. There is a risk of aggravation," Ryabkov said after his conversation with Nuland.
Ryabkov also said that Russia was vehemently opposed to the use of army bases in Central Asia by American troops, "as part of an effort to maintain close observation of Afghanistan," as the Americans say.
"We stressed out that US military presence in Central Asian countries in any form was unacceptable," Ryabkov said.
The United States and its allies bear primary responsibility for normalising life in Afghanistan, because it was the military presence of Afghanistan that has actually taken the country to the situation it has found itself in today, the Russian diplomat believes.
It is encouraging that Moscow no longer thoughtlessly satisfies the demands and requests of Western "partners" to support their initiatives. That was Moscow's line of politics:
Russia's Ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, is still in Moscow "for consultations", and this is also a good sign.
An attempt to become a "partner" of the United States can only encourage Washington to further arrogance, rudeness and permissiveness. Thus, having demonstrated its weakness in Ukraine, Russia faced a military threat, as Ukraine was occupied by experienced warmongers. They will be happy to set the two neighbourly nations against one another.
It is impossible to convince the current generation of American politicians that Russia is a partner. The Americans are taught to hate and despise Russia from early childhood. For them, Russia is a nuclear threat and nothing else. They can understand only the language of force.
One does not need to discuss anything with the Americans — one needs to make them face the choice, as the Chinese do. Chinese officials have recently declared that they would take part in the US agenda only if Washington lifts sanctions from China.
The Chinese authorities immediately realised that the Americans use sanctions to slow down China's economic growth. In other words, sanctions represent a form of a hybrid war. American corporations, whether they sponsor Democrats or Republicans, are not interested in good relations with either China or Russia. They only need them both as a source of good profit.
Moscow has finally come to realise this too.