“Despite appearances to the contrary, the Sino-Russian alliance is not solidified. Moscow and Beijing just want a better deal from Washington.”
“Liberalism as we understand it dominates only Western countries. Russia is not a Western country. Western Leftists hate Russia because it stubbornly refuses to bend to their will and embrace their preferred theories. Instead of insisting on internal change within Russia, the United States should make a deal with Russia over our shared interests but forego any hopes of fundamentally changing the nature of that country. Russia is simply too torn between the centrifugal forces of Western liberalism and Eastern autocracy. Therefore, Washington should lower its expectations—and its demands—and work realistically toward achieving a modicum of peace.”
“Continuing to obsess over Europe, or further enmeshing the ailing Russian Federation into the tribal politics of the Middle East, is not in Moscow’s long-term strategic interests.
Washington must recognize this reality and create more amicable relations with Moscow. If it can, then Putin will complete his securitization of Russia’s troubled periphery. A lasting entente between the United States, Europe, and Russia would help to stabilize Russia’s western periphery. Together with the United States (and Israel), the Russians could pulverize the remaining terrorist strongholds in the Muslim world that buttresses Russia’s south. Then Russia could fully focus on complicating Chinese grand strategy by reinvigorating its position in the Far East.”
“Putin’s hand is remarkably weak—and he knows it. Ultimately, Putin needs a deal more than Trump does, though there is no denying that a deal will be good for the United States, too. Whatever bluster Putin may exhibit in public, if Trump grants Putin the simple kindness that international law insists all world leaders be granted by fellow world leaders—legitimacy—then the Russo-American relationship will stabilize.”
“America’s political class—the so-called foreign policy experts—failed this country royally in the post-Cold War era. The United States and Russia should be running the world. Instead, Russia and China are set to destroy the world order. Just wait for China’s petro-yuan project to take full form. Then even the threat of American sanctions directed against Russia, Iran, or North Korea will no longer hold any weight.”
“China and the United States are on the long road to strategic competition, saddling up to China will not make Russia a great player on the world stage; it will make Russia just another tributary state in the growing Neo-Chinese Empire. Instead, Russia should seek to embrace the West, in order to better defend against their restless Chinese neighbors.”
“Putin is looking for a deal. He wants to re-establish a modicum of stability between the West and Russia. He needs help developing his energy sources in the Far East (and he’s not foolish enough to want the Chinese to take the lead—unless he’s left with no choice, as he currently is).”
Most Western analysts are incorrect in their view on Russian foreign policy intentions. Very often, they focus solely on Russia’s western side and completely ignore Russia’s Far East. This backgrounder seeks to change that. After all, Russia without its Far East is not Russia. It is Muscovy. And that’s not a country, it’s an existential target.
“The Putin Regime is clearly frightened by the political trends working against it. The creation of the Russian National Guard forces is but the most prevalent example of how fearful the regime is. Given the demographic shifts in the country; the fact that most Russians are becoming increasingly isolated away from Russian society; the economic damage the U.S.-backed sanctions have done to Russia (and to their European trading partners), the Putin Regime is about to be put through its most difficult test.”