“Kremlin report” in the short term, even beneficial to the Russian authorities — both politically and economically.
The US Treasury today unveiled the so-called “the Kremlin list”, including any high-ranking and wealthy Russians, for whom America can then, if necessary, take any unpleasant action. Someone might think that Washington thus dealt a blow to Moscow. But in fact, things are different.
The first and most important consequence of the emergence of the us list will be the strengthening of the position of Vladimir Putin during the election campaign. Yes, it is strengthening. Had long since disappeared, the illusion that discontent with the White house is able somehow to weaken the Kremlin.
Washington’s position should consider only those countries that want to attract capital, to have a good investment climate, develop the economy and, consequently, to play by the rules that have been adopted in the Western world. Russia in recent years, this approach was abandoned. The ritual phrases like we’re going to raise the economy, of course, are pronounced, but this has long been no concerns seriously. Now the main task — the retention of power and the preservation of the current political system.
In such a situation, any criticism of the United States is in Putin’s hands. The naive viewer is all served as by the desire of the enemy to put strong pressure on Russia, as an attempt unceremonious interference in our internal Affairs and a threat to security is not a narrow ruling class and the masses. Upon learning that America, again, we face these same masses once again inspired, tear off your ass from the sofa in the boring day of the presidential election and will go to the polls to Express an angry protest to the aggressor by voting for the leader.
Dmitry Peskov has made a statement about the fact that “Kremlin report” published with the aim to destabilize the situation in Russia and to influence the election. Honestly, if the Americans themselves did not accept the story with this list, our spin doctors would have cost them to provoke something like that.
To the extent that, as will become increasingly clear that strange Washington’s actions only strengthen Putin’s regime, our opposition circles will probably start talking about the stupidity and incompetence of overseas politicians. But the problem here, of course, in the other.
As noted at the time, experienced American statesman Henry Kissinger, many of US actions in foreign policy are only the result of political infighting. Certain decisions are not made in order to affect someone outside, and in order to retain power in the States themselves. The outside world for Americans is not as important as suggested by people in this very foreign world.
So uninfluential (alas!) at present and very far from the US is a country like Russia is much less important for Washington than a strong China, friendly to Europe or a threat to the Islamic world. In the case of Russia, many Americans recently accumulated negative emotions — as for Crimea and Donbas, and the history of our meddling in their presidential election. Accumulated emotions in some part of American society and against their own President.
Accordingly, the administration of Donald trump forced to react to the demands of congressmen, who took last summer the law “On counteraction to opponents of the United States through sanctions.” And now the MPs report on the work done to the voters. The U.S. Treasury — to the President. And trump is before Congress. All did a great job. Nobody will reproach that not stands out. The reaction is totally bureaucratic, i.e., meaningless in fact, and neat in form.
If the Kremlin a list will not be forgotten immediately after the election, he can contribute to the realization of Putin’s interests in another important area — financial.
The fact that in recent years there has been a steady outflow of capital from Russia because in the West the business operates is clear and acceptable to all rules, then he’s not protected from the assaults of the security forces, pressure officials and all requisitions undertaken in the interests of preserving the regime. Even the oligarchs are forced in this situation to transfer their assets abroad, since each of them can suddenly get into the highest disgrace or accidentally fall out with someone of the closest friends of Putin, is capable of every one of his enemies to jail. Moreover, these influential favorites also deduce money from Russia. The huge Russian owners are deposited in offshore accounts or invested in overseas property.
But if you now the rules of the game in the West will be not clear for the representatives of our elites, if they decide that they can suffer there just because of its formal proximity to Putin, then maybe the money will move in the opposite direction. In fact, it is difficult to understand how to behave in the Russian capital, what threat will find it more dangerous. Rather, in each case, the solution of this or that “oligarch” is an individual, i.e., coming from what exactly this man’s reputation in the West and in Russia.
The government, however, Medvedev is already preparing for the fact that the money that seemed lost for Russia, will roll the budget in a jug. When budget deficit and the exhaustion of the Reserve Fund when there is a great temptation to increase the size of the national debt, that would be helpful.
However, in the long term personal sanctions is likely to have a negative impact on the Russian economy and the position of the Russian elite. The younger generation of businessmen will understand that it should not be too close to power, so as not to get in any another Kremlin list, making it impossible for a normal existence abroad. Of course, it ties with officials and politicians business to do, because without bribes and kickbacks, we have very little to do. But earning a certain amount of lower and middle level business people are now thinking about to emigrate with all their good and not about to go in Russia to the upper level, where they made billions.
Our country is becoming more and more elite is not the true homeland and not even a place of residence, but only a field of the wild hunt, where you can cut the dough for later comfortable stay in the West. The smaller the interest of the elite to the mother country, the more from their lips is heard loud words about patriotism, about the greatness of our beloved President and that Putin is the only correct way. All this verbal chaff will help the professional patriots to earn more and at the right time this way to get off without losing money along the way.
Dmitry Travin Professor at the European University in Saint-Petersburg