What Frequent Visits Of U.S Officials To Former Soviet Nations Bode
The Trump administration has recently stepped up the diplomatic activities in Russia’s backyard with frequent high-level visits of senior officials to present-day independent nations. US Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale visited Central Asia, in particular, one of the key countries of the region - Uzbekistan, and held negotiations with President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
The growing US activities in post-Soviet countries come at a time when French President Emmanuel Macron laments bitterly the ending Western hegemony and the growing Russian and Chinese influence. Macron has reiterated his call for improving relations with Moscow, describing the attempts to push and isolate Russia as a “strategic mistake”.
The French leader also added that he is sending two of his key ministers - foreign and defense ministers to Moscow for negotiations in the 2 + 2 format, illustrating that the pursuance of France’s national interests is higher than that of common interests of Europe.
The move by the French leader indicates deep cracks in the European home and is an indirect proof of British desire to leave the EU to be master of own destiny. This is also confirms Putin’s long-term strategy to weaken and disintegrate the EU structure and institutions to deal with them separately and be able to dictate them Russia’s ambitious plans. Disunity in Europe will also put many of the now defunct Warsaw pact nations under the Kremlin diktat.
Addressing the ambassadors of the fifth republic, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that the era of Western hegemony was coming to an end and called for a radical revision of the relations with Russia. According to him, Europe has become an arena for the confrontation between Moscow and Washington, which does not meet the interests of European countries.
“We are seeing the end of the Western hegemony in the world. The circumstances are changing and China has moved into the forefront, and Russia is doing better in its strategy,” said Macron.
According to him, in the future the importance of Europe in world politics will decrease.
“We know that civilizations have disappeared and Europe will also disappear. And the world will be organized around two large poles: the United States and China, and we will have to choose between the two dominant forces,” he said.
Under these circumstances, according to the French leader, pushing and isolating Russia is a big mistake. Macron let Europe know that rapprochement with Russia would decrease China’s expanding worldwide influence and might be prevented by confronting Moscow and Beijing wherever possible.
In the wake of the Soviet demise, all US administrations paid close attention to this region, considering it a zone of Washington's geopolitical interests. The White House says that the United States, as the world's largest consumer of energy resources, is interested in expanding and diversifying global energy resources. But still, alas, not energy is the main focus of the US administrations now to establish control over Central Asia. Geopolitics is at the forefront here and the concept of Greater Central Asia has not yet been out of agenda.
Under the blueprints of this concept, the Greater Central Asia should include, in addition to five independent states, other Asian countries, which the United States considers loyal. By the way, the ultimate goal of this concept is to distance these states from Russia and to further widen the gap.
The current visits of US officials to the region pursue these goals. Another question is how efficient this concept is, given the growing anti-American sentiment in the world as a whole, and in particular, in Central Asia.
Americans are no less active today in the European direction. So, US National Security Advisor John Bolton visited Ukraine and is planning to travel to Belarus following his recent four-leg visits to the South Caucasus nations and Moscow some time ago.
John Bolton, at a meeting with Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Secretary (NSDC) Alexander Danilyuk in Kiev, discussed the support for Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration and ways to protect the country's industry from China’s dishonest behavior, the US embassy to Ukraine said this in a press release.
"Ambassador Bolton discussed how the United States can support Ukraine’s efforts to integrate more closely into the Euro-Atlantic community, as well as protect industry from China’s unfair economic behavior," the embassy said.
The Wall Street Journal on August 23, citing sources in the United States administration, said that Bolton was keen to prevent the Chinese company Skyrizon Aircraft from buying the only Ukrainian aircraft engine manufacturer, Motor Sich. According to the paper, employees of the National Security Council of the White House and the American embassy in Ukraine are working on a meeting between Bolton and the head of Motor Sich in Kiev.
The Ukraine meeting of Bolton comes at a time when the Russian and Ukrainian presidents had already twice chatted on the phone to move forwards resolution of pivotal issues. Pundits with inside knowledge believe Bolton is set to prevent rapprochement between the two neighboring nations since this runs the West’s plans.
Statements coming from the West also indicate that plans are there to accelerate Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration but again Kiev fears Europe will fail to remain loyal to pledges of all-out political and economic support to deter Russia from taking control over new territories and further deteriorating the Ukraine situation.
Europe’s failure and misreading of the events in Ukraine contributed to the further degradation of Ukraine as an independent state. That is, after the Maidan, the promised reforms did not live up to hopes and left Ukraine unprotected in the face of the Kremlin unrestricted ambitions and the occupation of the Crimea, plunging the eastern Ukraine into the long-going war, promoting ethnic Russian separatism. It is an open secret that Moscow is the key supplier of weapons and manpower in the separatist regions to fight against the central Ukrainian government.
As for Bolton’s possible visit to Belarus, this voyage will have the goal of driving a wedge between Moscow and Minsk, pro-Russian pundits claim. The Americans are always trying, as they say, to insert their five cents into the economic and energy differences between Russia and Belarus. More precisely, they are struggling to further fuel conflicts.
By the way, this is the first visit of an American official of such a high rank to Belarus over the past 18 years. But the EU and the United States have recently imposed sanctions against this country and its president Lukashenko. What has changed in Western policy towards Belarus? It is clear that Washington, as always, puts its geopolitical interests above the principles of democracy and human rights.
And next month, David Hale is scheduled to visit Minsk for a similar purpose: to find out the current state of relations between Minsk and Moscow. However, with all the disagreements between the two countries, Lukashenko is unlikely to succumb to persuasion and pressure from the United States and will not flirt with the West. And there are reasons for this.