In what is likely a deceptively positive development in policy between the US and Russia, the two countries have lifted targeted sanctions to allow U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland to visit Moscow. Meaning that sanctions were lifted from just one person on each side.
As a senior state department official, Nuland took an active part in what transpired in Ukraine back in 2014, namely the Euromaidan. She visited Kiev on several occasions during the height of the protests.
From 2019 onwards she’s been entirely banned from entering Russia. Her visit on October 11th was completely at the initiative of the American side.
Nuland who was a part of the “very successful” destabilization efforts in Kiev is now being sent to Moscow in order to foster “stable and predictable” relations.
And to highlight that, Nuland said that alongside Russian officials, she is to meet with representatives of business, as well as various individuals who graduated exchange programs with the US, i.e., she plans to check “the ranks” of American influence agents in the Russian Federation.
It is, however, puzzling that Victoria Nuland came in such a rush, the US side quickly proposed the meeting, and agreed on the sanctions being lifted. She will not meet with top Russian politicians, like Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, but his deputies, and officials from the Presidential Administration, but not Vladimir Putin himself.
Currently, it is not too far-fetched to say that the US has no single head of the executive branch of government in the person of President Joe Biden. These functions appear to be assumed by a group of individuals, referred to as the “deep state”.
It is likely that Nuland’s visit is a mission on behalf of that very specific group, as urgent negotiations are needed. The developments in Ukraine, as well as in Afghanistan or in the Middle East, are only a pretext for the meeting. The recent US-China tensions and the energy crisis are a much more significant focal point.
The United States is attempting to take advantage of the energy crisis, as China is one of its main victims. Washington is doing its best to inflict competitive damage to Beijing and to strengthen its own position. Improving on its competitive advantages over the EU comes as an added bonus.
China, for its part, is drawing closer to Russia, as it has no other choice. As a result of Nord Stream 2, and the United States proving to France, and earlier to Afghanistan, that it is a disloyal “ally”, the EU is likely to grow “fonder” of Russia. This is a worrisome development for Washington in both of these cases.
The United States needs to move quickly, due to political turmoil within, and the foundations of its global hegemony being undermined, these developments could lead to the ultimate fall of the dying empire.
It is yet to be discovered exactly what Victoria Nuland’s negotiations in Moscow will bring forth. Will it be some sort of concessions in exchange for Russia stepping back from some dealings with China and the European Union? And what does Washington have in trade? It remains questionable, as the Kremlin clearly understands the strategic advantage and necessity that the fostering of its relationships with China and Europe provide.