In an interview with EADaily, on January 29, Deputy Head of the Russian National Institute for Modern Ideology Development Igor Shatrov forecasted the political course of the new U.S. president Donald Trump.
Do you think it possible that a group of elites unhappy with Barack Obama’s policy and the corporations associated with him predetermined Trump’s victory or there was competition and uncertainty during the election?
Obama’s biggest mistake was confrontation with Russia. He made the entire West join that anti-Russian campaign. The tactical success appeared to be a Pyrrhic victory. Consolidating the West in the anti-Russian hysteria, the United States has lost the global leadership, its leadership in the world that has been waiting for another pole to emerge for a long time already. In fact, Russia’s geopolitical problem of the last years was unnatural efforts to present itself as the second Big Power after the United States in the West. Western advisors who had arrived yet under Yeltsin forced landmarks upon Russian elites gradually but steadily pushing Russia to geopolitical margins.
They tried to turn us into a third-rate country that builds its economic and political systems on the model and example offered from abroad. Russia was taught democracy, business. The people were forced alien cultural codes etc. At that rate, one could not but smile at Russia’s regular claims for the title of a big power. Bolivar could not carry double and did not. As soon as Obama’s West gave up on clumsy Russia and stopped involving us into the Western project and actually declared war, everything has changed. Everything clicks into place, as the world has finally realized that Russia is not the West. Let’s thank Obama for being so impatient and seeking momentary victory.
Nevertheless, who is Obama? He is just a manager. Russia was and is an obstacle on the way of those who really govern the world – the owners of the transnational business, not Obama personally. They will not stop here. A question arises as to whether Trump is a manager too. They keep trying to prove us that Trump is not a manager hired by the general manager of the world-governing company – U.S. They try to prove us that Trump is a self-confident nouveau riche who successfully used the opportunities of the U.S. democracy. We were due to believe in all that. They say he has a conflict with U.S. elites over domestic policy issues and pledges to build the foreign policy in the way strange to America.
How could that marginal person achieve so huge successes in business and even occur in the Oval Office? They explain this with the U.S. democracy. Even an ordinary billionaire with extravagant behavior can become the president here, they claim. Does this ring a bell? An ordinary African American, an ordinary woman, an ordinary businessman… I tend to think that Trump like Obama and Clinton is a project of transnational corporations. At some moment, wise men understood that America will lose the world unless Obama is stopped. Discrepancies are maturing inside the country. Failing to maintain stability inside the United States – the example of the free world – it will be impossible to manage the planet. Trump’s mission is to clean the Augean stables after the former administrations in U.S. and try to “charm” Russia on the international arena again.
Will Trump take advantage of the weakening EU economy?
Trump will not be contributing development of the EU economy. He will be serving the interests of the U.S. economy. Consequently, it will be weakening the economy of the European Union. UK will remain the key ally of U.S. in the Old Continent. Meantime, Germany, the collector of European lands, will become less interesting to Washington.
How will political relations of U.S. with the EU leaders be developing, when nationally oriented elites – Marine Le Pen and others - come to power there?
Nationally oriented elite of various countries are friendly until national interests of one of their countries run contrary to the interests of another. Trump promises pragmatic foreign policy based on economic interest. If U.S. does not have to carry the economy of Europe, the relations will be developing. However, I think, Europe will get the bill for all the services the U.S. had provided it earlier. This may eventually make Europe more dependent on U.S. and make EU diversify its economic ties and restore full-fledge relations with Russia. Anyway, migration crisis-stricken Europe will hardly be able to settle all its problems on its own.
Trump has pledged to impose a 45% tariff on Chinese goods. Is it possible? After all, Americans will lose inexpensive and good quality imports.
I will be surprised if the protective tariffs emerge shortly, without preliminary talks and preparations. Trump’s task is to have Americans witness positive changes under his administration. He will not affect the living standards of ordinary Americans. Imposing tariffs that will make Chinese goods expensive in U.S., he will have to offer something instead. I am speaking about local production. Local products are needed, which means that factories should be activated. It is rather a long process.
Is Trump able to achieve lifting of sanctions against Russia?
He has no such task. Economically, sanctions make no harm to U.S. Foreign trade relations of Russia and U.S. are insignificant. Therefore, the anti-Russian sanctions is not a priority issue for Trump. I think Trump will be using sanctions as a subject for bargaining with Russia. He has already started to do it de facto by suggesting lifting sanctions if Russia and U.S. sign a new agreement for nuclear arms cut. Let’s not guess and just wait for the Trump-Putin meeting. It will determine the new stage of our relations, and we will begin at the beginning.