Moscow buried Donald Trump’s next foreign policy initiative – she refused to come to the expanded Big Seven. What is the reason for this decision? After all, it seemed that the United States invited Russia to return to the club of developed countries, thereby recognizing the impossibility of resolving world issues without Russian help.
The very idea of returning Russia to the G7 was put forward by Trump in June. He proposed that the G-7 summit be held in the United States (postponed to September due to coronavirus) in an expanded format and call Russia, India, South Korea and Australia as invited parties. At the same time, Trump made it clear that he was inviting the four guests not just as listeners, but considering the summit as “G10 or G11”.
Luring in their ranks
The goal was simple – to solve the global problem facing the United States and (in their opinion) the entire developed world: containing China. Yes, before the G7 itself solved global problems – however, in its current form it is incapable. The decline in the quality of leaders, the divergence of interests, the lack of political will – all this has turned the Seven from a global board of directors into a gentleman’s club of developed democracies. Discussing world problems, but at the same time neither able to solve them at will, nor force others to do this, nor even agree among themselves.
After last year’s summit in Biarritz, the British newspaper Guardian very accurately described the G7 as “a relic of a bygone era.” The era when the US president was respected; when multilateral diplomacy bore fruit; when global processes were controlled by globalist politicians, not nationalist demagogues; when Western democracies could agree on joint action and put these agreements into practice. At the Biarritz summit, they agreed on only one thing: as the New York Times correctly pointed out, the number one rule at the meeting was “don’t be angry you know who you are.”
Attracting four new countries to the round table, “you know who” solved two problems at the same time. Firstly, he got partners with whom he speaks the same language of rationalism (Russia) or who do not despise him for nationalism and right-wing ideas (the same Russia, respectful South Korea, India with the same right-wing nationalist leadership, as well as Australia, not burdened special ideology in foreign policy). Secondly, he received four countries that, unlike underestimating, according to Trump, the degree of threat of European partners, are truly afraid of Chinese expansion and are either ready to participate in containing it, or (in the case of Russia) are theoretically ready to discuss their participation in this project.
Russia comes first?
Initially, Moscow took a wait-and-see attitude and stated that it was waiting for an explanation of the initiative through diplomatic channels. The Kremlin wanted to understand what it was like for him to participate in this noble meeting. Yes, participation in it raises the status – but Russia is not expected there. Unambiguously and strongly against the return of Moscow were at least two participating countries: Britain and Canada.
In addition, American public opinion was against. Russia’s partners in third world countries would have been against it, had long suspected the Kremlin of their readiness to abandon the concept of a multipolar world after the first call of the US and Europe to return to the western camp.
It is all the more clear that Russia was asked to return to the western camp and hinted at “I will forgive everything” for the sole purpose of drawing China into the containment system. South Korea, Australia and even India are necessary and useful countries in this system, but without them it will live. And without Russia, no.
The Kremlin controls the processes in Central Asia (through which Chinese land trade routes go to Europe and from which China wants to import hydrocarbons, not trained Islamic extremists). Russia has a long border with China, through which it can supply China with resources in the event of a sea blockade imposed by the States. That is why America needs Russia – but why does Russia need it? What will she get from the USA for such deterrence, or at least for demonstrating readiness for this deterrence (in the form of participation in the G11 summit).
Ukraine? So we ourselves will pick it up over time. Removal of sanctions? Today they’ll remove it – tomorrow they will introduce it again. Willingness to accept Putin in the best houses in Europe? So everyone calls him and asks him to solve problems. Anyway, why should Moscow surrender working relations with China, go into direct conflict with Beijing and be deprived of freedom of maneuver for the sake of compensating the West, which the Kremlin trivially does not believe?
Apparently, Washington was unable to answer this question. And while they thought there, the situation with the invitation to Russia was seriously complicated by the promotion in the USA of the story that Moscow allegedly paid the Taliban money for shooting American soldiers in Afghanistan.