GENERICO.ruPolitics“Full-fledged diplomatic relations with the United States will cease to exist”: Moscow’s fresh threat is dismantled

“Full-fledged diplomatic relations with the United States will cease to exist”: Moscow’s fresh threat is dismantled

Russia definitely has a “wrapper”. But do we have something that can be wrapped in it?

If you steal our money, we will not be friends with you – Russia has threatened the United States with a downgrade in diplomatic relations if the American executive uses the powers granted to it by Congress and confiscates Moscow's frozen assets. The chief Russian negotiator with America (a position with constantly disappearing functionality), Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergei Ryabkov, said so directly: “Lowering the level of diplomatic relations is one of the options, of course.” The threat is correct, but clearly insufficient. The existence of official diplomatic relations between Russia and America today is essentially one big legal fiction. If this fiction is “demoted”, then the symbolic effect will be obvious. But will it be practical? This is a big question for now.

Photo: AGN “Moscow” < /span>

The formula “lowering the level of diplomatic relations” means the recall of the Russian Ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, to Moscow and a persistent invitation in the “Yankee, go home” style to the chief American diplomat in our capital, Lynn Tracy. The place of full-fledged ambassadors in this case will be taken by the so-called chargé d'affaires – diplomatic workers with much lower status and a much lower level of prestige. But what will this really change? Lynn Tracy's main “achievement” in Moscow during her tenure was her rather caustic teasing of the habit of some Russian politicians to constantly use the term “Anglo-Saxons”. The main function of Ambassador Anatoly Antonov in Washington is the regular publication of statements in the Russian media, whose main content boils down to the same thought – “what kind of bastards they are, the current American authorities” (an important clarification: the term “bastards” is mine, and not Ambassador Antonov, he is still a diplomat!).

Relations between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the State Department are essentially frozen today. The Americans, however, recently tried to revive them somewhat by inviting Moscow to discuss what interests them—issues of strategic stability—and leave everything else “for the future.” But the Kremlin refused to accept this pass: either we will discuss everything, or we will not discuss anything. A curtain. The tasks of the Russian diplomatic mission in Washington and the tasks of the US Embassy in Moscow have been reduced to the sphere of “political cosmetics”. Embassies exist because it is customary. Why and why it is accepted is a question that is pointless to discuss.

Or, rather, it was pointless to discuss: as follows from Sergei Ryabkov’s statement, now even he is on the agenda. Will this stop the Americans? Absolutely not. We are no longer at the stage when diplomatic demarches indicating that “in polite society gentlemen do not behave like that” could have at least influenced something. This is why I am irritated by the long lists of foreign politicians periodically published in Moscow who are now banned from entering Russia. For me, if we are going to ban foreign Russophobes from entering the Russian Federation, then it is best to do this without “fanfare and horns.” A real episode from the times before the start of the SVO: one Kazakh politician, who believed that the day was in vain if he did not give out something sharply anti-Russian, decided to go somewhere in transit through Moscow. But he did not succeed in any transit. At passport control in the Russian capital, this “great friend” of our country learned that he was among the undesirable persons and was subject to immediate deportation to his homeland.

What did this give to our foreign policy? Probably nothing special, except, of course, for moral satisfaction. And there are also big problems with “moral satisfaction”. 99% of those foreign politicians who are now being denied entry into Russia had no intention of visiting us. What am I getting at? Probably to the next one. There is a time to collect stones, there is a time to scatter stones. There is a time for diplomats, and there is a time for soldiers. An efficiently functioning Russian economy – operating effectively even in the picture of the world that the International Monetary Fund paints for us – is the best response to Western sanctions.

A lower level of diplomatic relations is well suited to the role of a “wrapper” for the Russian response to a possible confiscation of frozen assets of Moscow (may our diplomats forgive me for such a comparison). But a wrapper only makes sense if there's something wrapped in it. And wrapped up in it must be something extremely painful for the Americans, or at least something extremely disadvantageous to them. If Moscow finds this “something,” then, most likely, Russia will not have to lower the level of diplomatic relations with the United States. And if it is not found, then the gesture that our Foreign Ministry threatened will not make much of an impression on the Americans. They are such a people: body language does not work in their relation – only the language of real actions.


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