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Kudrin called on Putin to repent and to raise the “white flag”

Кудрин призвал Путина покаяться и поднять "белый флаг"

The head of the accounts chamber Alexey Kudrin said that the key task of Russian foreign policy — the lifting of sanctions

The head of the chamber Alexei Kudrin said that the main task of Russian foreign policy should be to improve relations with the West and easing of the sanctions regime. According to Kudrin, tougher restrictions to implement plans for the development of the national economy will be impossible.

“We should clearly realize that if sanctions are to be obtained, the targets that the President set virtually unattainable in many respects, including technological and social development, — said Kudrin, speaking at a meeting of the Board of the Russian Union of Industrialists and entrepreneurs (RSPP) on Wednesday. That is why today Russia’s foreign policy should be subordinated to the reduction of tensions in our relations with other countries, and, as a minimum, preservation or reduction of the sanctions regime, not capacity. Today I the effectiveness of our foreign policy measured by this indicator”.

According to the head of the accounting chamber, Russia has no global challenges and military-political risks that would increase tensions with the West.

This is the opinion of Alexey Kudrin directly at odds with official foreign policy of the Russian Federation. Of course, nobody speaks about the necessity of confrontation with the West. However, diplomats, and representatives of the country’s leadership has repeatedly argued that the lifting of sanctions is not an end in itself and generally the subject of negotiations with Western counterparts.

For example, after a telephone conversation between Vladimir Putin and Donald trump in January 2017, the press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov said that any deals with the United States in exchange for lifting sanctions was not discussed.

“Let me remind you again, although it is obvious that the imposition of sanctions is prerogative of the UN security Council, which is used exclusively in the interest of maintaining international peace and security. I want to reiterate — we’re not going to get involved in negotiations on certain conditions for the lifting of sanctions”, — explained the head of Russian foreign Ministry Sergei Lavrov in the summer of 2017.

One would assume that since last year the Russian authorities on this matter began to change. One day, however, with the speech of Alexey Kudrin, sanctions had an interview, Deputy foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov in the Financial Times. In it, the diplomat firmly stated that Russia considers the West as the enemy, and saw no need to care about your image in his eyes.

“We do not believe that the West, in its broadest sense, is our friend. On the contrary, we regard the West as an enemy that acts to undermine the positions of Russia and prospects of its normal development,” — said Ryabkov, adding that now the relationship between the parties worse than in the cold moments of the past.

After such statements Kudrin said that Russia needs to improve relations with the West, otherwise the economy faces a recession, seem all the more strange. Especially considering the fact that the government has regularly assured the public that Western sanctions are not so strongly affect our economy.

It is not excluded that Kudrin is worried about future sanctions that may be imposed by the US in November. Recall that in the hard version they include a ban on transactions in dollars for state banks, lock their accounts in the U.S. and other restrictions. This can cause a painful blow to the economy and welfare of the population. Not accidentally, the head of VTB Andrey Kostin in early September, mentioned that in the case of a crisis situation, the dollar savings Bank depositors can convert into rubles.

The President of Institute of national strategy Michael Remizov considers that Alexey Kudrin has expressed opinion of a significant part of the Russian establishment. But the desire to lift the sanctions at any cost may prove to be more disastrous for Russia than any restrictions of the West.

— A considerable part of the Russian elite, which is called systemic liberals, and which has strong support and representation in the large business. Not coincidentally Kudrin expressed these ideas at a meeting of the RSPP. It’s not his personal opinion, but a kind of informal collective Manifesto. In this capacity, these claims deserve serious attention.

Briefly comment on them, you can use the clichés of the First world war — “stupidity or treason”. If Kudrin and his supporters think that a passive wait-and-see stance or some cosmetic concessions can provide freezing or improvement of the sanctions regime, is folly.

Part of the strategy of our geopolitical opponents is managing uncertainty and creating expectations about the deterioration of the regime of restrictions. Managing these expectations is part of the formula the effectiveness of the sanctions war. After all, sanctions can be interpreted in two ways. Either the principle “everything not forbidden is allowed”. Or on a completely different principle: “everything that is allowed now may be banned later.”

The United States is doing everything to ensure that all focused on the second formula. This is facilitated by the initiation of all new sanctions under false pretenses.

Even more stupidity can be considered the assumption that Russia has a cheap exit from the cold war that relations can improve the cost of minor concessions that do not affect the fundamental interests of the country. You may recall similar illusions about the Soviet establishment in the 80-ies. Those from the Soviet Union implemented the policy of new political thinking Gorbachev, Shevardnadze, Yakovlev and others, have assumed that it is possible to get out of the situation of the cold war, left even.

It was a big delusion then, it remains a delusion today. There’s no scenario in which defeat will be cheap. The defeat in the new cold war will be no less severe than the previous one. Talking about the loss of territory, the export values in the trillions of dollars, brain drain, economic collapse, social confusion and demoralization.

If Kudrin and his supporters understand that the price can not be high, but still offered to pay, comes into force the second part of this rhetorical question about the affair.

The representatives of these circles is not the first time voiced such ideas. Was the report of the Committee of civil initiatives, I think, not the last. Today it is one of the most important lines of tension in Russian politics.

— Kudrin argues that if the sanctions do not mitigate, we will slide into recession. How about this?

The only way to cope with the difficult situation of economic development in the conditions of sanctions pressure is to rebuild the economy and management system, based on not just long, but a perpetual economic war. If Russia get it, maybe after a couple of decades she will be able to count on good relations with the West.

— Kudrin says that Russia has no “global challenges” with the West. But how, for example, the Crimea, the question of NATO enlargement to the East?

— Can be a lot to argue about whether the game is worth the candle at the beginning of a conflict. But from the moment when the conflict has started, it develops according to its own logic. Now we are talking not just about the geopolitical interests of the Russian Federation and on the global rates United States of America, their understanding of global leadership, like world domination. If Mr Kudrin will convince US to abandon the concept of world domination, then, of course, to realize his wishes will be much easier.

With this agreement, and Director General of the Institute of regional problems Dmitry Zhuravlev.

— Nobody argues with the fact that the easing of sanctions pressure useful for Russia. Liberals and conservatives agree that sanctions should be lifted. The only question is price. From the point of view of Alexei Kudrin, this should be achieved at any cost. From the point of view of a reasonable person, if you need to withdraw from Crimea, Ukraine to pay huge money and to become a raw appendage of the West, this solution will cost us much more than sanctions.

On Wednesday Sergey Ryabkov said that the us no matter what our image in the eyes of the West. So, officially, we are not going to work for the lifting of sanctions?

— It’s still two different things. They may not love us, but the sanctions may be canceled. Only when the President was Boris Yeltsin, and foreign Minister — “Mr. yeah” (Andrei Kozyrev, ed.), we have arranged them. If Russia has the West on his hind legs and wagging the tail, good image. But that doesn’t mean we can’t try to mitigate the situation and sanctions pressure.

— How we can do that, if sanctions are introduced almost on any occasion?

— Different reasons, and one goal. The West sees us as a potential enemy, because Russia is the only country, which may cause the U.S. unacceptable damage. We do not intend to, but in any case they will have to accept.

However, to improve relations and ease sanctions by negotiations and in a less degree PR. We have reached an impasse of mutual confrontation in the past. But in the 60-70 stepped discharge, because it turned out that the deadlock no other choice.

If the West will understand that there is no other way and now, the sanctions remain in the past. But while they are under the illusion that the only problem is that the sanctions are not enough, and if they push, Russia will collapse. But we will not collapse, because Russia arranged is not like America. Sorry, they do not yet understand.

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