Lavrov finally got it.
The Western countries should not expect Moscow to confess to all deadly sins and beg for forgiveness, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters on Friday. "If our counterparts plan to end the current tensions by making Russia confess to all deadly sins and say ‘I was wrong in every aspect, forgive this sinner’ - if they have such expectations, it means they have no experts on Russia left," Lavrov said. He quoted a Russian saying that goes "God dwells in truth, not in strength." "I believe it fully reflects the principle the Russian people are guided by," Lavrov stressed.
I am being facetious, of course. The realization that there is nobody to talk to in the West and that the Western "Russian expertise" is a sewer or a joke, if one prefers, started to dawn on Russians I would say around 2013. After Ukraine most of the doubts have been dispelled. The trust, of course, was lost much earlier—around the time of US unilaterally existing ABM Treaty in 2002. This fact, actually, explains Russia's rather nonchalant attitude towards Trump's proposal for summit in Washington D.C. Russia simply doesn't care anymore. There are signs that Russian political top is not really enthusiastic about Trump's summit proposition (in Russian). Indeed, to discuss what, with who? One of many signs of such Russian indifference is the fact that yet another round of sanctions slapped against Russia by the United States today is, well, nonchalant behavior of Russian currency, Ruble.
It is very difficult to articulate to the American elite their actual state both vis-à-vis Russia and the world. As I wrote last year, during short breaks from laughing at Frye's statements that field of Russian studies is "thriving" in the US:
No, Mr. Frye, au contraire, it is rooted precisely in a low quality of the so called "academic research" since it is for the most part is done based on a complete lack of understanding of Russia's culture, history and psyche. "Studying" this in Brooklyn's so called "Russian" community of immigrants is not a good idea. This "research" is also based on a pervasive and prevailing arrogance of American intellectual elites and messianic view of the outside world and that is the main problem--it creates a myopia which doesn't allow to see what is "hiding" in a plain sight. No knowledge, let alone cogent policy recommendations could be drawn from such a "research", especially in the country which considers Russia an existential threat and makes it normal to call for killing Russians or calling them genetically inferior in national media. Why doesn't Mr. Frye do an "academic research" on the role of "political science" in fanning the flames of American elites' Russophobia the likes of which the United States never witnessed before? After all, very many of those in US political and punditry class have their "academic" backgrounds precisely in "political science" field. Judging by the atrocious results, domestically and globally, of their activity in the last 20 or so years one is forced to conclude that either they were shitty students or that political science is not science at all. I tend to believe both conclusions are true. Will Mr. Frye "study" or "research" those?
Basically, Lavrov today merely stated the obvious fact—the United States has no "expertise" on Russia across the board. The problem here is not in the number of Russian-speaking CIA or State Department, which are the two sides of the same coin, operatives who will do a HUMINT in and on Russia. No number of those will change the situation and increase the knowledge or understanding. The problem is systemic and it is within American academe and "intellectual" milieu which services American political class. American version of Russia's history, especially of the 20th century, bar some very few, however important exceptions, is the history of Russia which never existed and does not exist. It is akin to explaining a 6 year old child the meaning of the extrema in polynomial functions, or explaining to John Bolton what real military and war are—futile since it is beyond their grasp. The recipe for such situations is simple and is condensed in one phrase—don't waste your time. This is precisely what Russia is doing.