Foreign Policy Research Institute

+38 (044) 287 52 58

Foreign Policy Research Institute

tel. +38 (044) 287 52 58

Putin challenges the liberal values of the West and seeks to redistribute global spheres of influence in the world in favor of Russia

On June 28-29, the G20 summit was held in Osaka, Japan. The G20 meeting once again became a place of conversation between the United States and Russian presidents. The leaders discussed the problems of Ukraine, Venezuela and Syria, talked about economic cooperation and sustainable development. The official topics of the forum are: global economic risks, trade disputes, increasing employment and investment, innovation and artificial intelligence, and also opportunities for women. Individual states also agreed on how to deal with climate change and pollution. In particular, Japan is concerned about the plastic pollution of the World Ocean.

The meeting of the United States and Russian presidents lasted almost an hour and a half and was held with the participation of members of delegations. According to the White House, Ukraine was one of the topics of conversation, along with Venezuela, Iran and Syria. Trump told reporters that he had not discussed with Putin the issue of captured Ukrainian sailors. Instead, Putin claims that during some of the conversations the President of the United States raised this issue. The White House summed up that Trump and Putin "have agreed that improving relations is in the interests of both countries as well as the world."

The White House said that with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and Trump discussed, in particular, support of economic reforms in Ukraine. They also talked about Iran's actions in the Middle East and the situation in Libya. Merkel said that she would also discuss trade, investment, the situation in West Africa and the fight against terrorism with the United States president. On June 29, Trump held a conversation with Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, which he described as a great one. China and the United States have agreed not to introduce new duties in the trade war between them and to resume negotiations. Also, Trump agreed to lift the ban for American companies to sell high-tech products to the Chinese giant Huawei.[1]

At the summit, Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin exchanged invitations: Macron invited Putin to the Paris Peace Forum in November. Instead, Putin invited his French counterpart to celebrate the 75th anniversary of victory in World War II. The Russian President called France one of the most important foreign partners. Macron expressed hope that in July it will be possible to hold a meeting in the Normandy format. Representatives from different countries have repeatedly said that it can take place. The last time the leaders met in this format was in October, 2016. Macron reminded that the Minsk Agreements should be fulfilled. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May, in contrast to Trump, reminded about Ukrainian prisoners of war. She said that any progress requires de-escalation of the conflict in Donbass and the release of 24 sailors. She assured that there will not be normalization of bilateral relations between Britain and Russia until the Russian Federation ceases its activities that destabilize the international situation.[2]

Also during the G-20 summit in Osaka, Russian President, Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel agreed to maintain the "Normandy format". This is reported by "Interfax-Ukraine". "We agreed that we will use this format in the future," the Russian leader said. At the same time, Putin added that he is ready to use "all the tools", among which one is the "Normandy format"." Yes, we will work. The question is when the terms must be agreed upon, in what sequence we will hold consultations - in two, three, four", he explained. The Russian President stressed that "our assistants and foreign ministries need to agree by specificity".[3]

The results of the G-20 summit in Osaka were dominated by pragmatic motives. Several key trends can be identified:

1. Turkish President, Recep Erdogan has received Donald Trump's support in the procurement of Russian "ЗРК С-400". After the summit, Trump made it clear that he would not support the United States Congress in its attempts to impose sanctions against Ankara for the purchase of Russian "ЗРК".

2. China and the United States will resume trade negotiations.

3. Trump will meet with Kim Jong-un for the third time.

4. Trump and Putin obviously, have reached some closed agreements on a new distribution of spheres of global influence, the content of which is not disclosed. Hyper-positive Trump and his willingness to go to Moscow for the 75-th anniversary of the victory in 2020 shows this. Here, on the agenda were the main issues of the "global agreement": Ukraine, Syria, Venezuela, Iran.

5. The meeting between Theresa May and Putin was tense. The British Prime Minister had harshly responded to Russia and its foreign policy. Instead, Putin for the first time in a long time gave an interview to the "Financial Times».[4]

It is worth noting that Putin sharply condemned the liberal idea in the interview to the «Financial Times»: "This liberal idea suggests that nothing should be done at all. Kill, rob, crash –you will not be punished, because you are a migrant, you must protect your rights. What rights? If you violated the rules you must be punished. Therefore, this idea had outlived, and it has come into conflict with the interests of the vast majority of the population. The liberal idea cannot be destroyed, it has the right to exist, and even needs to be supported. But let's not assume that it has the right to absolute domination, that's what we're talking about»[5].

6. Vladimir Putin promised Donald Trump to keep neutrality regarding Venezuela. Nevertheless, the Russian military remain in this country [6].

7. The probability of a military strike on Iran has become higher. The rhetoric of the parties has not changed, the Europeans refused to support the United States. And Iran is approaching the minimum amount of enriched uranium that they can store in accordance with the "nuclear agreement".

8. Syria was given to Russia. Russia received a de facto carte blanche, just like last year, and will now negotiate with the Turks. The United States position will be neutral, at least on the Trump's side.

9. There are no changes with the «Nord Stream-2». Merkel and Trump raised the issue, but nothing has been agreed, at least for now. The pipe is being built further, the United States are preparing sanctions, and their real impact is questionable.

10. Additional outlines of possible agreements about Ukraine have emerged.

As for Ukraine, it is obvious that Putin can agree to a partial withdrawal of his forces in Donbass and return some Ukrainian hostages, which has already been demonstrated by Medvedchuk when he returned four Ukrainian prisoners of war to Ukraine during the G-20 summit in Osaka. In response, the United States and Europe will put pressure on Ukraine to implement its political part of the Minsk Agreements in accordance with Putin's plan, the implementation of which will mean the actual surrender of Ukraine to Russia[7].

On July 4, it became known that Russian President, Vladimir Putin arrived in Rome. There he had already met with Pope Francis, Italian President, Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte. Meanwhile, on the streets of the Italian capital, there were people who arranged a protest against the leader of the Russian Federation. With the Pontiff, the Russian President was going to talk about the war in Ukraine and the Middle East, as well as about Kremlin's claims against the Ukrainian Greek Catholics. According to the Moscow Patriarchate, Ukrainian Greek Catholics support the "split" in the Orthodox world. Thus, the Pontiff discussed topical international issues during an audience with Putin. In particular, they talked about Syria, Ukraine and Venezuela, reports «Vatican News». In addition, they touched on the topic of ecology, and also "some issues that are important for the life of the Catholic Church in Russia". Pope Francis expressed "sincere and incredible pleasure" from the meeting with Putin, the press service of the Holy See reports.[8]

Thus, the G-20 summit showed that now the global balance of power has changed in favor of Russia. Putin successfully solved all the issues for himself, Trump reconciled with China, surrendered all Syria, established relations with North Korea in exchange for non-interference in internal affairs. In turn, as a gesture of good will, Medvedchuk brought prisoners, and thus "showed" that Russia is ready for a dialogue, therefore the West peacefully agreed with Russia. However, Putin's statement in Italy that he is a "defender of Christian values" thereby throws an ideological challenge to the West as a civilization. At the moment, there is a great threat for Ukraine to become a bargaining chip in a big geopolitical game between the leading countries of the world.







[6]Американский адмирал заявил о военном присутствии России в Венесуэле. 

[7]Сделка Трампа и Путина: сценарии и контригра Украины.