Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
The absurdly harsh statements made by British authorities about suspending relations with Russia after the poisoning of the former colonel of the military intelligence service Sergey Skripal deprived London of initiatives. And Russia received the opportunity to steer the situation and prepare a step-by-step answer, stated experts in the press center of “Parlamentskaya Gazeta”.
London works according to the “Kiev” scheme
On March 12th parliamentarians and experts said that charges against Russia of attempting to assassinate the double agent Skripal, who has lived in Great Britain since 2010, are sewn with white thread. Politicians in the West started declaring the “Russian trace” without having any proof or conclusions of analysts and experts. London considered the fact that Russia didn’t respond in any way to the clumsy ultimatum of the Prime Minister Theresa May – according to which the authorities had to explain their role in the poisoning – as an argument for the imposition of sanctions against Moscow.
Experts affirm that from the point of view of international relations such an approach to the case is absurdity. According to the political scientist Rostislav Ishchenko, the British demarche, as strange as it may seem, deprived London of initiatives for putting pressure on Russia. On the contrary, now Russia can regulate the force and terms of its reciprocal steps, and by this – to put pressure on Great Britain. “What exactly this answer will be is for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia to decide. It can be a reduction of the diplomatic mission in Great Britain, and a many-fold reduction in the number of their embassies in the Russian Federation,” considers the expert.
It should be noted that the expulsion of our 23 diplomats declared by the British side isn’t the automatic suspension of diplomatic relations. However, Russia was accused of aggression via the accusation of poisoning the British citizen Skripal, specify the experts. And the United Kingdom started taking counter-measures without producing any evidence. “Great Britain is too weak to declare war on Russia alone. And actually London behaved like Ukraine — we won’t be at war, but we will stand on its threshold. But I don’t think that the answer of Russia will be single-staged, most likely it will be stretched in time. We aren’t tied down by a time limit,” considers Rostislav Ishchenko.
Theresa May risks her career
Meanwhile, the entire situation surrounding the “Skripal case” looks from the outside like a repetition of what happened earlier. “There are rules in intelligence agencies: if you repeat actions, then it guarantees failure. Skripal’s story repeats Litvinenko’s story – up to headlines in the media! All of this is rather clumsy work,” believes the journalist and political scientist Armen Gasparyan.
However, his colleague Aleksey Martynov considers that Skripal’s poisoning and accusations against Russia are part of a prepared-in-advance plan, and the plan is not especially a British one. “This is the common-collective plan of the West. That’s why we can’t say that MI6 or Theresa May went crazy, it’s not a purely British affair. Great Britain is simply the most convenient place to stage such things, there are many turncoats, exchanged spies, and businessmen who embezzled funds in Russia,” considers Aleksey Martynov.
The question that is being forced in the media field today is: does this mean that Theresa May rammed Russia, that the West opted for a big war against Russia? Experts consider that there can only be talk about an economic war. England, by the way, already announced this. Thus, Aleksey Martynov is sure that Great Britain won’t be able to seriously intensify an economic war — it itself has to face paying a multi-billion compensation in order to exit the European Union. “Today it doesn’t really ‘rule the seas’. And Theresa May, sorting out certain affairs, seriously risks her personal political career. We remember how after events in Iraq the British Prime Minister was obliged to apologise before the whole world, and now a black mark was put on his career,” noted the political scientist.
Trump splits global elites
Meanwhile, the way in which the actions of Great Britain and the US concerning the case of Skripal are connected can be traced more accurately than the connections between London and Brussels. Although in many respects anti-Russian attacks from the Foggy Albion are caused not by the fight against Russia, but by the squabbling amongst the political elite of the West. One such confirmation of this is the dismissal of the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson almost just after he supported May’s ultimatum to the Russian Federation, considers Rostislav Ishchenko. “Trump didn’t immediately say that Russia is guilty, he said: present proof. Seemingly, such proof wasn’t necessary for Tillerson,” considers the expert.
Experts also commented on the appointment of the former head of the CIA Mike Pompeo as the US Secretary of State. According to Rostislav Ishchenko, he represents the interests of the most conservative republicans: “Among them there are convinced hawks, but they have contradictions with the global elite — conservatives fight for the restoration of American production and the industrial power of the US”.
Political scientists say that even if Trump will receive full freedom to make decisions, and May will lose her post as Prime Minister, relations between the West and Russia won’t change. And here they see a split in the ranks of the western elite: one group still wants to “strike” in the Ukrainian direction, the second group — in the Middle Eastern direction, and the third group wants to intensify pressure in the Pacific region.
The West is preparing to bargain with Russia
Experts are convinced that the British story with Skripal is part of a western – primarily American – plan for the de-legitimation of the presidential elections in Russia. It is the “party” of Theresa May that now heads towards this. “The formation of an agenda that isn’t comfortable for the President of Russia after elections is one of tasks of the West. All these ‘events’ aimed at de-legitimising the 2018 elections – which can be read in the statements of London – are the attempts to gain positions for the forthcoming negotiations between Russia and the West. There are no doubts that they will take place just after the President will be elected and the new Cabinet of Ministers is created,” explained Aleksey Martynov.
At the same time the US knows that the Kremlin prepared a response to the non-recognition of the 2018 elections. And it is for this reason that the Americans also laid out on the table the main threat in advance. This is needed in order to reach an agreement with Russia – more precisely, to bargain with Russia on a number of issues, assure the experts.
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