What did Trump's adviser want in Moscow
The arrival in Moscow of John Bolton, Assistant to the President of the United States Donald Trump, had to answer a few questions. How serious are the statements of the American leader about breaking the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty), when he again meets with Putin, and how things are in relations between Russia and the United States of America on many other issues. Some of them were answered.
The two-day visit by National Security Advisor to the President of the United States John Bolton in Moscow turned out to be very rich. Assistant Donald Trump in a short period of time managed to talk with the Secretary of the Security Council of Russia Nikolai Patrushev, discuss over a business lunch the most important issues of foreign policy with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The most constructive, in the opinion of both sides, were Bolton’s talks with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. The importance of the visit of the adviser to the American leader is also indicated by the fact that the overseas guest was received by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Dialogue goes on
One of the main results of the meetings was that the United States of America, despite its very aggressive rhetoric, is ready for dialogue. On November 11, the presidents of Russia and the United States will meet in Paris, where events will be held to mark the anniversary of the end of the First World War. And it is possible that Trump will change his mind to terminate the agreement concluded 30 years ago, especially since he will still have debates on this subject on his territory. The coordination of such a responsible step will require consultation with the Pentagon and the American elite. Not always the president of the United States finds a common language with them. However, so far every day the probability of such an outcome decreases.
The theme of Washington’s imminent exit from the INF Treaty against the backdrop of Trump’s recent statements did not leave the mouth of journalists who were eagerly awaiting an explanation from Bolton. However, it should be understood that the assistant to the American president does not take decisions. His visit to Moscow is a kind of information gathering and soil sensing, analysis of the climate and moods of the Russian side. Experts are confident that before the talks with Putin in Paris about breaking the INF Treaty, the American side will not be announced.
Nevertheless, some comments by John Bolton on this topic were voiced in the Russian capital. They, of course, did not become a sensation and did not fill the informational tapes with screaming headlines marked “lightning”. Trump's adviser once again called the treaty “obsolete” and not relevant to modern realities. Once again, it was declared “permanent violations” of the agreement by the Russian side. Bolton also noted that it would be nice to join China, as well as Iran and the DPRK. However, judging by the words of the assistant to the American leader, in the near future this is hardly possible, since the countries listed are "not yet ready."
By the way, Trump himself spoke about China in this vein, who almost directly pointed out to Beijing about the need to join the INF Treaty, otherwise the US will follow the path of increasing nuclear weapons and will not leave it until Russia and China "come to their senses." Such formulations were called blackmail by the PRC authorities and warned Washington against any decisive action, after having been advised to think a few times.
One may try to evaluate positively the outcome of the visit of John Bolton to Russia, the fact remains that the relations between the two nuclear powers, Russia and the United States, are in a serious crisis. Peace negotiations between countries often concern trade agreements, cultural exchanges, tourism issues, and so on. Let's see what was discussed at the meetings of Trump's adviser in Moscow.
For several hours, Nikolai Patrushev talked about the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, the conventions on the prohibition of weapons of mass destruction, namely, chemical, biological and toxin. The sides also touched upon the issue of extending the START-3 Treaty (on the reduction of offensive weapons), dated 2010, to 2026. Three years are left till the end of its validity period. Today, the United States doubts the need to extend it.
They talked with Sergey Lavrov on specific problem countries and regions on the map: Syria, Afghanistan, Ukraine, the Korean Peninsula. With Sergei Shoigu most talked about Syria. Despite all the tensions between Russia and the United States regarding the situation in this country, both the Russian Minister of Defense and John Bolton acknowledged that the negotiations were very successful.
At the beginning of an hour and a half talks with Donald Trump's adviser, Russian President Vladimir Putin briefly returned to a meeting with the American president in Helsinki, calling it "useful and tough, but constructive." In this regard, the Russian leader expressed bewilderment with the far from friendly steps of the White House towards the Kremlin. According to Putin, Moscow did not provoke Washington to such actions.
The Russian president also recalled the eagle on the American coat of arms, which holds simultaneously 13 arrows and an olive branch with 13 olives. The latter should symbolize the peace-loving policy of the state, so Vladimir Putin suggested that the bird had already spiked all the olives, but only arrows remained. Nevertheless, the head of state expressed confidence in the need for direct negotiations with Trump. Bolton joked in reply that he had not seized the olive branch in Russia. On arrows, the adviser to the American president chose to remain silent.
John Bolton, most likely, flew away from Moscow with a sense of accomplishment. Nevertheless, the negotiations held in the Russian capital left much food for thought for both parties. Russia is no stranger to the fact that quite aggressive intentions are hiding behind the outwardly peaceable tone of American rhetoric. This means that the actions of the United States, whatever they may be in the near future, should not come as a surprise to Russia.