It appears that the united West is preparing what I would call a “negotiations zoo” which would include not only Russian-US talks, but also NATO and even the OSCE. True, the US-Russia summit would take place 2 days before, at least that is the idea, but I still get the impression that the US has decided to use the Europeans like a kind of a political fig leaf behind which it would hide telling the Russians “but, unlike you, we are real democrats, and we need to consult with all our allies, friends and partners”.
So, say, Estonia will be consulted before any decision is taken.
If so, then this is headed nowhere and Russia will have to act unilaterally.
Some recent news are particularly funny. Like the Pentagon announcing that it will keep an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean to “reassure our European allies”. As if Russia did not have the means to reach to the mid-Mediterranean. And if we are talking about the western Mediterranean, then ask yourself how far the aircraft based on the carrier would have to fly to “deter” Russia: the truth is that the Russian “reach” is much longer than the US one, making the entire exercise a pure PR action.
If my feeling is correct, then the following will happen: the Russians will see this zoo and interpret that as a way for the US not to seriously negotiate, either because they don’t want to, or because they are unable to. Makes no difference to the Kremlin.
The Kremlin made a clear (and, frankly, quite reasonable) offer to the US, which now seems poised to drown it in empty verbiage, empty PR actions and empty threats. If so, then Russia will have no choice but to turn on the “pain dial” until the West comes back to reality.
What do you think – are you also getting the feeling that the US is simply unable to negotiate seriously?