The Snowden Case: U.S.-Russia Relations

The Snowden Case: U.S.-Russia Relations

U. S-Russia Relations in the context of the recent events The Snowden Case brightly demonstrates how tense relations between two countries can result in unexpected and seemingly dangerous decisions from the both sides. A scandal arose around Edward Snowden who leaked secret material of surveillance over millions of mere US citizens and US allies countries in mail and telephone calls. NSA documents have been given up casting a shadow on the reputation of the “gold standard” for human freedoms and individualism – America. The whistle blower seeking an asylum made a clever choice to appeal to Russia – he non-stop enemy of the US.

He knew Putin will not reject a proposal. A mystery surrounds the route from Hawaii to Sheremetievo Airport. How could US intelligence and security units let Snowden escape. Despite the fact of revokal of the traitor’s passport, he got to Moscow and allegedly was left in a special terminal area where people without Russian visa can stay. The space in “capsulas” with a bed and some conveniences is an expensive but minimalistic life. With a decision on his plight taken Edward got an asylum. What are the consequences of these action? Barack Obama cancels the meeting with Putin vis-a-ve. Is it a correct step?

A group of people including me believes it is not a sound decision. First of all because it a high time of Syria conflict to be moved from unknown to a possible intervention of US and the allies that is probably coming. The conflict could not have been resolved without an agreement and a settlement with Russia that has coordinated actions with Iran and Lybia and holds a place in the Security Council in the I-JN. The help and support from Russia puts a successful solvency and regime dissemination at stake. On the other hand exclusion of Russia for Syria as a partner and ally opposing US

Pressure would significantly help allies get rid of a major international law perpetrator. But the scenario is not possible because Russia derives more benefit from selling weapons for instance and is glad to impede America and its allies its business in the Middle East. This is a mere national interests calculation. Russia has not remained a deadly enemy of the US but it is striving to attract the most attention to itself from America. Putin still believes that a new foreign policy of the US applied to Russia is a sign of the US weakness after the last crises. But is it?

The first term of B. Obama started with the police of “reset” with Russia. The president in office believed the state of affairs had been caused by Bush J policy and this policy was a complete failure. Bush supported the countries such as Georgia and Ukraine on their way towards the NATO. Russia was held in all time alert and discontent. Another example is an attempt to build anti-ballistic weapon device on the territory of Poland the main aim of which was assurance of security in the case of ballistic weapon attacks from the Middle East. This sign outraged Russia, Putin protested.

But with the change of policy assumed by Obama and diminishing tension directed to the NATO enlargement was taken mistakingly as a lack of strength to oppose from the side of the US. Soft power as a main tool proved to be inefficient with a growing illiberal power such as Russia. A well- planed scenario of the Putin’s second term in office and prevailing oligarchic model of Russian reality is a proof of status quo well maintained by the oligarchs. They are the people interested in long endurance of this state of affairs since GorbachoVs perestroika and movement to free market and market economy in general.

Since those times people who had understood how to make good money out of nothing preferred the idea of symbiosis with other opportunistic former engineers, scientists and even actors. The life had been unexpectedly poor and dangerous for the people before they strengthened on the feet. The are now better-off thanks to unstable unpredictable times, they are not able psychologically to give up the treasures they own today. The system prevailed since 90’s. Obama’s strategy has been adopted in 2008. The age difference gives a hint the system is too deeply rooted to be illuminated in a short period of time.

Smart power is even more preferable in this case than the “carrot”. The time has been spoiled the political oligarchy will not abandon the lifestyle it has had with a weakening fist of the major deteriorator – the US. At any rate, the way Obama symbolically showed its disrespect to Russia even with diplomatic manner in its essence is believed to be a mistake. A tight , agreed line of strategy should be led to make the two side relations rehabilitate. Diplomatic talks is a remedy to depression in love-hate relationship between the two countries of considerable size and worldwide influence.

The decision on intervention in Syria has not already been taken by Barack Obama. He is evaluating the possible scenarios, estimating costs and public opinion. The allies such as I-JK, France, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are ready to be hand in hand and ready to help in different way. But Russia is supporting Assad regime in Syria and is against insurgents. With Iran it will oppose the strife begun by the US against undemocratic and illiberal regime. This will surely create obstacles which are not desirable.

The US supports human rights and Russia deviates from them, as Human Watch eleases publications on human rights’ restrictions in Russian Federation including numerous attacks on opposition. The release of Navalnyi, one of the most known activists from Jail is a pure political game aimed at eliminating him in the future. The future is well-calculated and planned. By the way, opposition has been accused of being paid by the US to fght against Putin. Russia uses its influence to restore the lost empire on the post-Soviet Union area. The Customs Union is a tool that only Russia takes benefits from.

It is a reason why Putin does not supports the NATO enlargement. Possible candidates of the organization would be Georgia and Ukraine encircling Russia. This is a direct threat realized by Putin and is to be nipped in the bud. Recently Russia has used religious motives to demonstrate how non EIJ Slavic cultures could be united and feel confident and safe under the umbrella of the Russian Federation. Pittiful, Russia was not a major source and spreader of Orthodox religion. In the time it started going around and catching on Moscow was a an unlived area of bare earth.

The two countries are too different in culture, background, history and mentality to ake some realities of life in Russia at face value. A remnant of Soviet era is a need to apply more strength and persuasion in political terms to change the behavior of a partner. This is a possible way out in this tricky state of affairs. With an official appeal Sergei Lavrov, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs claimed Russia will not take part in the conflict spearheaded by the US. Some experts believe and make quite logical projections about further steps of Russia.

The next step would be a coalition of countries that strongly object the actions of the US and its allies. They will contradict a political will of America that props up aggression to peaceful Russia. Given a fact that Russia holds a place in the Security Council in the UN it would refuse to vote for intervention. Thus a way out for America is to act without a consent the decisison of which is fully criticized by Russia. Analysts believe Russia does not have a will to lose money and people – it needs it needs it for internal transformation that is due to happen till 2025.

The refurbishment of the army that is 800 bn $ worth will not be possible without an engagement of technology produced in the West though. The deterioration may take place if the US will apply a more harsh policy towards Russia and will set technology export controls reminiscent to the Cold war times. Despite worsening relations Putin leads the game at home and give special orders to carry on. A “new reset” policy is not supported in Russia and rapprochement is not seeked. Russia is not willing to disarm but America would always point out the need for it.

Coming back to the possible perspectives for Russia -US relations. The meeting between “first people” after the presidents of the RF and the US have already taken lace. The counsel was organized to replace failed Putin – Obama diplomatic caucus. A leading defense analyst and former Duma Deputy Alexei Arbatov??”the son of the late first director of the Institute of US and Canadian Studies, Georgy Arbatov (1967- 1995) pointed out prior to the meeting??”the 2+2 meeting will not bring any considerable possitive results as a major meeting Putin – Obama is called off by the later politician. Only in year or two” , as Arbatov says the steps will be taken towards synergy. The 2+2 meeting took place on August between Serge] Lavrov, the Foreign Minister, Defense Minister Shotgu from Russian side and U. S. Secretary of State, John Carry and Defence Minister Chuck Hagel from the American side. A constructive dialogue between political fgures was not expected to bring fruitful decisions for both sides. A stalemate is triggered by too many important issues to be decided, discussed and debated during only one brief stay.

Another important event that will force two leaders to sit down and speak will be G-20 Summit. In the eve of 6-20 Summit a stalemate in Syria has happened. In the 6-20 Summit the crises in Syria matter will be given time to be discussed. It is not xcluded that the situation in Syria will get the most attention among economical and development issues that are to be discussed during the counsel. The president of the US is awaiting for the resolution coming from the Congress fully engaged in the foreign policy matters.

The countries Intelligence Agencies are seeking the proof of the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons. Allegedly such proofs are to be delivered by German and British Intelligence Units. Meanwhile Putin takes time and does not believe there are any proofs. He makes an allegation rejecting the scenario: “In our view, it seems completely ridiculous that he regular armed forces, who are actually on the attack and in some places have the so-called rebels surrounded and are finishing them off, that in these conditions would use prohibited chemical weapons. Understanding quite well that this could be a reason for sanctions on them, including the use of force. It’s Just ridiculous. It does not fit into any logic. ” But zero actions would mean that having no repercussions from the side of other countries Assad regime will use chemical weapon again. This is dangerous not only for people of Syria but for the international community that will see the Security Council has no power. They may think that there will be no country to impede a perpetrator to lead an unfair politics going against international standards and law.

And Russia will be a country to blame that was unwilling to fulfill its fair share in work dedicated to world peace. I hardly can predict what long-term predictions on Russia- US relations can be made. But I am sure that 6-20 Summit that is up to take place and with solvency of the Syrian crises the situation will be clarified. I will take time and wait until the decisions are taken on this matter. If Russia is opt out in the lobal fght against Assad regime then it will mean the US will not suggest concessions and the relations will remain cool.

References Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin set for collision over Syria at 620 summit http:// www. theguardian. com/world/2013/sep/04/obama-putin-syria-g20-summit Strike against Assad regime stalled by British political rows http:// www. theguardian. com/world/2013/aug/28/strike-assad- regime-british German intelligence: Syria chemical attack may have been an overdose http:// www. theguardtan. com/world/on-the- m iddle-east/2013/sep/04/syria-assad-oba ma- germany Syria crisis: US Senate committee backs use of force ttp://www. bbc. co. k/news/world-us-canada-23967190 Obama’s Cancellation of Summit Meeting with Putin Reverberates in Moscow Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 10 Issue: 147 http://www. ]amestown. org/regions/russia/singlen tx_ttnews[tt_news]=41240[backPid]=654=2dd67ffOaae2101 ab5027c sa2f9b7d41#. utguTW18sud naapoa: nom???1TnqecKoe peweue KOH+JUIKTa a 6e3anbTepHaTh8H0 http:// na. rwarab not/20130828/959066301 . html Problem-Rich Context for the Obama-Putin Non-Summit Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 10 Issue: 149 August 12, 2013 05:39 PM Age: 23 days x_ttnews [poi n te [bac Has h=294e 074ba7ac47b5bdc9cf3c6e9beb78#.

Uigu4m 18sucev Edward Snowden not in Moscow, say Russian authorities http:,’/’. np. n. r???. n’. theguardian. com/world/2013/a ug/09/edwa rd-s nowden- not- n- moscow CYAb6a CHoygeHa nocne dble3Aa “3 roHKOHra http://ria. ru/trend/ snowden usa extradition 24062013/ US scrambles to find Edward Snowden and urges Russia to co-operate http:// www. theguardian. com/world/2013/Jun/24/us-urges- russia-edward-snowden-pursuit Why Obama is wrong to snub Moscow http://vostokcable. word p ress. com/2013/08/09/why-oba ma- is-wrong-to-snub- moscow/