David Studdert U.K
This extract from a vineyard of the Saker interview with an italian anarchist sums up a lot of things very well. The Saker: The first thing to point out is that Lavrov and Putin are extremely well educated men who come from elite institutions: Lavrov from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Putin from the former external intelligence directorate of the KGB. They are far better educated that modern US diplomats. In the past the US also had distinguished diplomats like James Baker, but now they are either total idiots (like Psaki) or arrogant liars (like Powers). The second this is that the USA truly does not have a “diplomacy”. After all, US “diplomacy” is just a combination of demands, promises, threats and bombings which do not require any real diplomatic skills. Third, Russia has greatly suffered from the costs of empire, both under the Czars and under the Soviet rule. As a result, Russia does not want to be an empire, or a super power, or a world policeman or a hegemonic power. All Russia wants is to be a *normal* but, and this is important, a *truly sovereign* country. In order to achieve that Russia has a few basic fundamental rules she really believes in:
1- Turn your enemies into neutrals, your neutrals into partners, your partners into friends and your friends into allies. The US can only conceptualize two categories: vassals and enemies.
2 – Security is always and necessarily collective. If your neighbor does not feel safe, then you also are not safe. The US only feels secure then it can threaten everybody, as a result of which, everybody feels threatened.
3- International law really matters to the Russians. Why? Because they want a multi-polar world and that, in turn, mandates that the “rules of the game” (international law) be upheld.
The US wants a unipolar world which, therefore, has no need for international law.For Russia, the use of military forces is the last resort and a failure of diplomacy. For the US the use of force is an integral part of what it calls “diplomacy”What we are dealing with here is a deep civilizational conflict. These are two fundamentally incompatible views of the world, two mutually exclusive civilizational models which cannot coexist, much less so collaborate.
Full interview is here – its a short but clear eyed view of russia and where it is now