Staunton, March 28 – For the last three years, Russia has been near the center of American thinking, Liliya Shevtsova says, a place that Russians welcome as an indication of their own view of themselves as the second super power; but the findings of the Mueller Report will have the effect of pushing Russia out of that place and thus marginalizing it for the US.
“The irony” of suspicions that Trump and Putin had colluded in 2016, the Russian commentator says, is that they were “the last manifestation of ‘the bipolarity’ of Russia and the US when the two acted on an equal basis. Even more: in the view of many, Trump owed Putin,” something that could only elevate Putin and Russia (echo.msk.ru/blog/shevtsova/2396981-echo/).
“But now,” she continues, “’the Russian factor’ is departing from American life.” There will be some additional investigations of “’the Russian trace’” in US political life. Americans are “tired” of the Russian issue and “do not want to keep it as a quality of intrigue of American politics.” They will now turn to other things – and for them, Russia will disappear as an issue.
In fact, Shevtsova argues, there will be “an exclusion of Russia out of the American system of priorities.” That may lead to a reduction in sanctions against Russia, something Moscow will welcome; but it will mark the departure of Russia from the American view of the world and force the Kremlin to rethink its foreign policy which has been “American centric.”
The latter shift is far more important, she continues, because the way Russians view themselves as a power is based on their relationship to the US, “the world superpowers” is “the most important basis of our sense of ourselves as a power.” But “a time is coming when America doesn’t need Russia anymore” and indeed isn’t interested in it.
The US “no longer ill look at Russia as a subject for equal relations.” Instead, Washington will focus on “a different interest – the formation of a world order which will integrate China as a partner-competitor. This will be the new bipolarity, and there on’t be any basis for hopes about a triangle of ‘the US, China and Russia.’”
Not long ago, she notes, the RAND Corporation issued a report Russia – a Rogue but Not a Competitor; China – a Competitor but Not a Rogue (rand.org/pubs/perspectives/PE310.html