I will not stop repeating it until I am dead--Russia owes nothing to anyone, period. Want something from Russia? Take a number and be nice at the window once your number is called. I also will repeat it ad nauseam--constant attempts to "analyze" anything in contemporary international relations from the position of some diplomatic chimeras of the days past should stop and as Doctor Lecter used to say Quid Pro Quo, Clarice. Or, rather, Emmanuel. This, plus overwhelming cutting edge military power--these are the only two things which matter today. No good will, no emotions, just Quid Pro Quo and recognition that behind this offer is a deadly big stick capable to ensure that if this Quo is not good enough negotiations are over and no new Quid is coming. Out of the cellar of geopolitical well-wishing come Macron's new ideas:
Russia and France have different objectives, yet both recognize the need to push back against Turkey’s expansionism, the intrusive influence of the US, and the zero-sum security architecture in Europe, which threatens stability. Emmanuel Macron has called on the European Union to reconsider policies towards Russia and improve relations. The French President's move deserves a favourable response as rapprochement is sadly now a politically bold move in the Euro-Atlantic community.France has also requested a role in establishing lasting peace in Nagorno-Karabakh. Paris approved of Turkey’s collaboration with radical militant groups in Syria, although now objects as Ankara exports the same fighters to Libya and the South Caucasus. Paris has traditionally depicted all anti-Russian Chechens as freedom fighters, albeit it now calls for greater anti-terrorism cooperation with Moscow.
Macron seeks French leadership in a sovereign and strengthened EU, which does not entail including Russia in a shared European security architecture. Meanwhile, Russia has also abandoned former illusions about a Greater Europe and is now pursuing a strategic partnership with China to develop a Greater Eurasia. Keeping in mind these realities, a Russian-French partnership would be limited to mitigating and managing the dividing lines in Europe.
Macron is deeply critical of Russia, yet he cautioned that “pushing Russia away from Europe is a deep strategic error because we are pushing Russia either to isolation which increases the tensions, or to ally with other great powers like China”. Macron seemingly attempts to play the role of a new Kissinger that reaches out to Moscow to prevent Russia from cosying up to China.
So is Moscow about to say it’s had enough? If so, it has somewhat of a problem. At the moment and for the foreseeable future, depending on how serious the civil disorder is after its election, the United States is the principal power in the world if for no other reason that it has far more destructive power than anyone else. Moscow must tread carefully here; cutting relations with Washington would cost more than it’s worth. London is probably lost to Moscow but Berlin, Paris and Rome are not necessarily lost. And, as they go, many other Europeans will follow. Therefore Moscow can hope that, in the reasonable near term, more normal relations with some of the principal European powers may be possible. Thus it would be a bad move to cut relations with them.
For starters, Moscow is not impressed with American, grossly exaggerated to start with, destructive power, which is not that destructive in a conventional peer-to-peer conflict. Secondly, as I say above in this post, Russia is open for a decent offer. But, if Europe has anything to offer--let it take a number and wait for the number to be called. As for Russian-American relations, Vladimir Putin was explicit today when stating (in Russian) that: it is impossible to spoil Russian-American relations, because they are already spoiled. Can not get any clearer than that, I see no problem with "cutting relations" with Washington once one considers this simple fact that there is NOBODY to talk to at the highest political level in the United States. US is a dysfunctional state which is utterly non-agreement capable, plus, come on, let's face it--Russians know damn well both economic situation in the United States, Europe and China. Russia, of course, will maintain diplomatic and trade relations with Europeans on bilateral basis, but, honestly--the cultural shift of unprecedented historic scale in Russia have occurred. Opinions of some Moscow pseudo-intellectuals and doctrine-mongers trying to imitate intellectual activity in foreign policy field are mostly worthless, it is better to listen and watch what Putin, Lavrov, Mishustin, Belousov and Shoigu say and do in the last couple of months.
H.G. Wells, in his book Russia in the Shadows, after visiting Russia and interviewing Lenin, described Lenin in 1920 as a "Dreamer in the Kremlin". In 1920 Russia was utterly destroyed by WW I and Civil War. By 1939 historic Russia was a premier industrial power in Europe. In 1945 Red Army hoisted the Red Banner over Reichstag. In 1957 USSR launched Sputnik, in 1961 Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space and the Soviet Union became the most educated nation in the world, especially after the devastation of WW II. For all his faults, Lenin turned out to be not just a dreamer. Macron is not in the same league, not even close, albeit I propose to apply to him the term Elysee Palace Dreamer as a term describing a person who is absolutely out of his depth and has no grasp of the reality. Memorize: Quid Pro Quo and hypersonic weapons, Quid Pro Quo and hypersonic weapons, Quid Pro Quo...