Crushing the G8 Idea: Putin Dictated the Terms of the West’s Surrender on the Crimean Front

Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron agreed on the participation of Russia in the G7 summit of in 2020. As was reported by the western media, this proposal was made by the French president during a telephone conversation, and his American colleague in reply once again confirmed his long-standing position – that he considers the restoration of the G8 format to be “expedient”.

What does it mean, in translation into Russian?

In general, it is the documentation of the geopolitical defeat of the collective West in the open conflict with Russia that has lasted since 2014 and a proposal to make peace on “pre-Crimea” conditions.

However, the actual invitation of the Russian President to the regular G7 summit is issued as if it is a gift “from the grown ups”. As though nothing happened during these 5 years, and if something did happen, then, well, kind and responsible western politicians are ready to forgive “these Russians” and even to return them the status of younger partners. But not now – in a year, if, “by default” Vladimir Putin “plays his cards right”…

Honestly, it’s not even funny. It’s absurd. Adjusted for the modern realities of “hybrid war,” it is as if Hitler – not even after the Battle of Moscow, but after the Kursk Arc – invited Stalin to resume the 1939 Non-Aggression Pact a year later: if only the “Kremlin highlander” behaves “well” and, in anticipation of all the desired peace, at least immediately ceases hostilities on the Soviet-German front…

Interestingly, a couple of days ago, the same topic was raised during Putin’s recent visit to France, and the Russian leader then literally crushed the G8 idea:

As for the G8 you spoke about, it doesn’t exist… It’s the 7, today it’s the 7. As for a possible format within 8 states, we never abandoned anything. It was Russia’s turn to hold the G8 at the time, and our partners did not come. Please, we are waiting to visit our partners at any time, already within the framework of the G7… But in general, there are other international organisations that play a prominent, essential role in international affairs. For example, the G20…

These words of Putin, in fact, articulate the terms of the West’s surrender in this five-year confrontation, as well as a whole program of further interaction between Russia and Western “partners.” The essence of this program can and probably should be set out in more detail, in bullet points among which there are obvious and implied ones. The obvious are exactly three. Here they are.

1. Russia does not intend to return to the status quo of the “pre-Crimea” model. In particular, to the format of the former G8, which ceased to exist in 2014 solely at the initiative of the United States and its allies.

2. Russia no longer considers the G8 format to be a priority and important for itself in terms of foreign policy, as it is not expected to involve either the PRC or India (which are today the world’s largest economies and strategic partners of Russia).

3. Despite this, Russia does not rule out the possibility of resuming the G8 format – but only if all G7 leaders do their “walk to Canossa” and come to Russia with the official goal of resuming the work of the G8, where they have been “waiting for a visit” since 2014, it should be understood.

There are many more non-obvious points, and so far not all of them have acquired any recognisable or even certain outline. But from the fact that in the presence of appropriate optics it is still possible to make them out, we note the following.

4. The current world “agenda” is no longer defined in London and Washington, and even less so can it be dictated from there to all other actors of world politics and economy. First of all, Russia and China. The strategic initiative of the “collective West” is lost.

5. Russia does not consider itself to be dependent or herded even in the face of the convergence of interests of the warring major factions of the Western “elite” and their joint actions towards our country, as was the case with Trump and Macron, who recognised the need for its “return” to the G8. Only here they forgot to ask Putin: do you need this here and now?

6. Our country paid dearly for the defeat in the cold war of the 20th century: the loss of a large part of its territories, population, technological and resource potential. And if in the West it is believed that defeat in the “hybrid war” of the 21st century will not come to them – it is only necessary to always make a good face with a bad hand – then they are deeply mistaken.

7. The events of 2014-2019, when Russia not only withstood the pressure exerted by the collective West, but also inflicted on it a number of significant losses (the reunification of Crimea, victory over terrorists in Syria, blocking the attempted coup d’état in Venezuela, the conflict between the United States and Iran, etc.), dramatically increased the geostrategic status of our country. Today, Russia justifiably lays claim to being the main international arbiter in military-political conflicts of any level.

So far, all of this is nothing more than an assessment of open and, understandably, very incomplete information. But very soon, August 24th-26th, Biarritz (France) will host the next, 45th, summit of G7 leaders, during which relations with Russia will certainly be in the focus of attention. And as a result of the discussion, it is likely that a more or less consolidated position of the West on this issue will be formalised.

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RIAFAN, Oleg Shchukin

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