From “discharging” to “rebooting”. How Russia tried to negotiate with the United States

50 years ago, on May 26, 1972, during a visit to Moscow of US President Richard Nixon, the “Fundamentals of Relations between the USSR and USA” were signed. The document has become one of symbols of the “international détente” policy.

Since Russian-American relations have been moving like a roller coaster — bright periods gave way to severe crises.

Pepsi, vodka, Soyuz-Apollo

Visit of Richard Nixonin Moscow took place against the background of the war in Vietnam, so it not once could break loose. Nevertheless, the desire of the two countries to somehow normalize their relations and to agree on clear rules of the game prevailed.

It was in Moscow that the documents that laid the foundation for the security system were signed Cold War — a treaty on limitation of anti-missile defense systems and interim agreement on limitation of strategic offensive arms. In 1975 the development of these treaties Leonid Brezhnev and Nixon's successor Gerald Fordsigned the “Helsinki Accords”, which, among other things, proclaimed cooperation in the fields of economics and science between the Warsaw Pact and NATO countries, confidence-building in the defense sphere, and much more. And already under President Jimmy Carter, countries signed agreements to limit the number of launchers (SALT-2) and deploy nuclear weapons in space.

“Discharging” expressed, for example, and  in that in 1975, for the first time in history, a joint flight of Soviet cosmonauts and American astronauts took place on the Soyuz — Apollo". And back in the USSR a plant was built for the production of Pepsi-Cola», in  the USA the same began to sell vodka «Stolichnaya».

The discharge did not last long. Already in  1979, relations between the USSR and the United States were on the verge of a break due to the entry of Soviet troops into Afghanistan and NATO's decision to start deploying medium-range missiles in Europe. In  March 1983, President Ronald Reagan delivered his famous speech in which called the USSR an “evil empire”.

The countries emerged from the new clinch with difficulty. The first Soviet-American summit in six years was organized in 1985 in Geneva after Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in the USSR.That meeting did not bring special practical results, however, according to the recollections of the participants, it was then that mutual understanding developed between Reagan and Gorbachev and a focus on dialogue appeared, which made it possible to hold meetings at the highest level every year.

< p>In 1986, the leaders met in Reykjavik, and     — in Washington. Then the treaty was signed on reduction of armaments —

Turning over the Atlantic and "special relations"

< p>After the collapse of the USSR between Moscow and Washington, it seemed, a complete understanding was established. The actual victory in the Cold War made the United States a world hegemon that could dictate its own rules of the game. But the Kremlin, immersed in the difficult internal problems of the country, was not up to trying to somehow moderate the ambitions of the States.

Between the first president of Russia Boris Yeltsin and Bill Clinton there was a rather warm relationship. They set a record for meeting — 17 times. However, hidden since the end of the Cold War contradictions could not manifest. And it happened when NATO started bombing Yugoslavia in 1999. Russian Prime Minister Evgeny Primakov who was flying to the United States at that momentturned the plane over the Atlantic and  refused to visit in to protest against the actions of the Americans.

This, however, did not lead to a break in relations. Moreover, there were still all the possibilities for further rapprochement. Vladimir Putinsaid that he suggested Clinton to consider Russia's entry into NATO during the latter's visit to Moscow in 2000 . However,     clearly did not fit into Washington's plans.

“The Special Relationship”

On September 11, 2001, the United States was subjected to a massive attack by Islamist terrorists. After that, the Americans began military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Russia protested against the use of military force, but was not heard in the States.

Cooperation between the countries, however, continued. During the operation in Afghanistan, Moscow even temporarily granted the US Air Force the right to use the air corridor over Russian territory. In 2002, the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SOR) was signed, and the Russia-NATO Council was established.

However, then relations again began to deteriorate sharply. “Color Revolutions” in Georgia (2003), in Ukraine (2004), NATO expansion to east launched a crisis, the culmination of which can be considered the operation of Russian troops in Georgia in August 2008 , after which Moscow recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.


However, even after such an unpleasant “demarche” for the West, the parties made another attempt to “understand and” forgive ” each other. 6 March 2009, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrovthe big red button symbolizing “reboot” Russian-American relations. At              appeared a hope for to continue cooperation with each other.

And over the next few years, some progress was indeed made. For example, a new treaty on the reduction of nuclear weapons (START-3) was signed. However, at the same time, the Americans, together with NATO allies, continued to conduct military operations around the whole world (in in particular, in Libya) and did not renounce plans to expand the alliance, which extremely irritated Moscow.

The aggravation that will never end

Russia's relations with the United States began to worsen again in 2012 year, but a sharp decline occurred, of course, after the start of the Ukrainian crisis. The entry of Crimea into Russia and the conflict in Donbass in 2014 led to a wave of sanctions against Moscow. Hopes for that Donald Trump who came to the White Housewill be able to reverse the negative trend, did not materialize. Trump's opponents accused the Kremlin of interfering in the American elections, after which new sanctions were imposed on Russia.

Neither Putin's meeting with Trump in Helsinki in 2018 nor  ;Russian leader's meeting with Trump's successor Joe Biden in Geneva in 2021  “They don't” want to speak on “equals”, & nbsp; & mdash; Sergey Lavrov succinctly described the key problem of Russian-American relations.

Well and after the US refused to accept Russian demands for security guarantees and the start of                 completely stopped talking. Perhaps not a single political scientist today will undertake to predict when a new “détente” may occur between our countries. And will it happen at all.

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Who drowned the greatest of utopias? Roy Medvedev – about the collapse of the USSR

This year will mark the centenary of the USSR (the treaty on its formation came into force on December 30,1922 ).

The Soviet Union became not just a new state on the world map, it was a grandiose geopolitical, ideological, social project. What was more in it: pluses or minuses, successes or failures? How did he enrich world history? Why, even after its crash in 1991 g. Do people in the post-Soviet­republics still have a lot in common? We asked the writer-historian, publicist Roy Medvedev to evaluate this era. He himself is already 96 years old, the whole history of the Land of the Soviets passed before his eyes. This interview “AiF” opens a series of publications dedicated to the centenary of the USSR.

Barracks Union

Vladimir Kozhemyakin, «AiF»: Roy Alexandrovich, from your point of view, was the USSR project successful?

Roy Medvedev: It was a utopian project: it first arose in the minds of ideologists, and and only then began to be implemented in practice. There are many such utopian states in the world. For example, the United States, which, in fact, is not a historical state. 300 years ago, they were born in the heads of their ideologues: the Founding Fathers. France — historical state, it has existed for more than a thousand years. The historical state is China, and  here is India — this is a project that was created by the British when they left the Indian subcontinent. Before that, there were many feudal principalities with their own rulers. Israel — also a utopian state, it did not exist a hundred years ago. And it would not have arisen if not for the Holocaust. Iran — historical state, and neighboring Iraq — also a project that the same British created when they left there after the Second World War, uniting Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds within the same borders.

From the very beginning, the USSR was a successful project in one and unsuccessful   friend. The country was able to fasten and bind when social elevators began to work for the workers and peasants. Many of the Russian intelligentsia emigrated, but even more people rose from the bottom. The USSR withstood the terrible test of the Great Patriotic War: Hitlerwas sure that the Soviet society would disintegrate along national borders, but this did not happen, which showed the strength of the project at that time. The development of Soviet culture was very successful: at the same time, national cultures were not denied, but, on the contrary, were encouraged in every possible way by the central government. Then they said: “National in form, and socialist in content.” As a result, another pan-European culture arose, this is a great achievement. Yes, there was strict political censorship, but nevertheless, Soviet culture and today people love the and the movies of those years are still watched, they read books, listen to Soviet songs and music.

< p>But a lot of this project turned out to unsuccessful. The USSR was created under the world revolution. Leninsaid: “We will start, and Europe will support us.” But she in the end did support the world revolution did not happen. The structure of the USSR turned out to be not the best for a country that is surrounded by hostile capitalist states. This system was tied to ideology, to the party: it mastered a lot, but failed to build an attractive model of socialism for the European peoples. It was possible to create only a “barracks” socialism. This model did not frighten, for example, China: Mao Zedongurged to follow the example of the Soviet Union. In & nbsp; China created everything according to our model: a single party rules the state. The Soviet system (with local specifics, of course) also came to the court in DPRK, Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela. But for Europe, this model is categorically not suitable.

Brotherhood or “prison of peoples”?

Was the USSR really an ideological state? Or did the people not particularly believe in communist ideals?

— In  young years, we lived more according to ideology, sincerely joined the Komsomol and  believed that this is our truth, according to the principle “Marxism is omnipotent because it is true”. During the war, ideology receded into the background: we defended our home, family, country. It was a war for the survival of the people, and not for the triumph of socialism. And already during Brezhnevalmost no one believed in the ideology. In the 1990s, they were looking for a new ideology, a national idea, but they did not find it. In the PRC, however, it was defined: Chinese socialism, taking into account the specifics of the era.

Soviet friendship of peoples — is it a reality or rather a myth ?

— It was not just brotherhood, but a whole ideology of internationalism. We were brought up in it from childhood: they say, if communism — our future, then internationalism — already today. People of different nationalities studied in our school, and we lived with them very friendly. And in                                      I don't think it was a purely Russian idea:Stalin and Ordzhonikidzewere Georgians, Mikoyan — an Armenian and t. d. The entire Soviet elite was multinational: in addition to Russians, it consisted of Jews, Ukrainians, Belarusians, and representatives of other nations. And still for me Uzbek, Tajik, Georgian — people who are as close to me as Russians.

Why did it collapse?

Why did the USSR collapse, who killed it anyway? Leaders of the national republics?

— In 1990  I still believed in the preservation of the Soviet state, but in 1991 this belief was gone, because the catastrophe was already obvious. The reason is the  insufficient development of the entire project and the extreme inexperience of the builders themselves. The people who created the USSR did not clearly understand what it should be like. They turned out to be pioneers, since there were no instructions from Marxand Engels in this regard. Leninin 1921  he said, they say, what socialism will be like, we don’t know, because there are still no bricks from which it will be built. In addition, they began to build socialism in a completely different place where, according to Marxism, the conditions were ripe for this: not in England, in France or in Germany, where at that time the productive forces of capitalist society had already arisen. Russia was an agricultural country. It's like building a skyscraper on very liquid soil. Here the main thing was to strengthen the foundation, but this was not taken care of, and only built more and more new floors.

Lenin said: “The state is strongly trusted by the masses.” He and his students realized that this trust rests on higher labor productivity and a decent standard of living for the masses than under capitalism. This was not achieved either in the 1920s or in the 1930s. However, they expected war, attack and the fact that the capitalist encirclement would soon cease to exist, so the people did not particularly grumble. In my childhood at school, we were told: “We must put up with all the difficulties.” They even put up with repressions: in the 1930s they did not cause mass discontent and protest demonstrations, on the contrary, there were rallies in support of Stalin and the party leadership. The protest began to grow after the war and the death of the leader. In 1957 Khrushchevpromised the people a better life, to catch up and overtake America in the production of meat, milk and butter. But in the end, meat, butter and grain had to be purchased from all over the world. Khrushchev and communism promised already in 1980, an annual GDP growth of 20%. However, in 1962  prices for meat, butter and milk were raised by 30%, which led to strikes, and protesters in Novocherkassk were shot altogether.

And how Gorbachev started? If he had come in with assurances that the authorities would increase the production of consumer goods, feed people, make their lives better, then maybe he would have stayed in power, in any case, they would have believed him. And he began with an anti-alcohol campaign, the most unpopular of his reforms, intent on depriving the people of their habitual social drug. Trust was replaced by rejection, new cracks appeared in the foundation.

Negative selection in the cadres of power also played its role. Stalin's entourage was much weaker than that of Lenin, not to mention the entourage of Khrushchev and Brezhnev. Next to Gorbachev there were several gifted people, but all from the southern republics: Aliyev, Karimov, Nazarbayev. I did not notice other strong figures capable of leading such a large country. And the most scandalous and most ignorant person in Gorbachev's entourage was Yeltsin. Gorbachev kept him for political reasons and scared his colleagues that, they say, if you stop supporting me, then Yeltsin will come and he will drive you all away. Gorbachev intentionally pushed Politburo members against each other: Ligachev against Yakovlev, everyone against Yeltsin, etc.

Before perestroika, the leaders of the republics were not separatists and held tightly to each other. There were faint manifestations of nationalism, but they quickly faded away. For example, one of the secretaries of the Communist Party of Ukraine was indignant at the fact that all official correspondence was conducted in Russian, and ordered to conduct it in Ukrainian: he took away all typewriters in the ministries and in the Central Committee of the Communist Party, and instead ordered to distribute typewriters “Ukraine”; with the appropriate font. Brezhnev knew the Ukrainian language and therefore did not protest. But in the union republics, the initiative was not appreciated and the Ukrainians were answered in their own way: letters along the state and party lines, say, from Tashkent to Kyiv began to come in Uzbek, from Alma-Ata — in Kazakh, from Yerevan — in Armenian. Nobody began to hire translators, and the story of the translation of correspondence into national languages ​​was quietly turned down.

However, in the 1990s, nationalism began to dominate in the republics. This was caused by growing poverty: the rational supply of the outskirts of the country stopped, nothing was sent there, except for depreciated rubles, so Georgians, Moldovans, Ukrainians began to think that if they left the Union, they would live better. They even made lists and wrote on posters what they would have if they left the USSR. It turned out a lot. Well, they miscalculated, of course.

So everyone is to blame. And, of course, Gorbachev is to blame most of all.

That is, the role of the West in the collapse of the Union was not decisive?

— The Soviet Union weakened and retreated, but due to many internal reasons. Western pressure at that time was much less strong than it is now. On the contrary, there was “hunchback”, a passion for the new Soviet leadership and its reforms. Margaret Thatcher  came to Moscow and treated us in a friendly way. Ronald Reagan,was walking around Red Square, meeting with Moscow students and intellectuals. Therefore, the collapse of the USSR was unexpected for the United States. But then they waged not a cold, but a secret war under Yeltsin: they wanted to finish off Russia, splitting it into 6-7 states, and most importantly — deprive it of nuclear weapons. But Yeltsin did not agree to this.

In general, it can be said that the USSR lost the historical competition in the field of economics, science and technology, i.e., the competition between socialism and capitalism. It never achieved higher productivity, a better economy, and a higher standard of living than the West.

“The whole world shook”

How did the USSR change the course of world history?

— The October Revolution aroused tremendous interest throughout the world. Communist parties were created in many countries: for example, without the USSR, the current PRC could not have arisen. Xi Jinping said, “We were awakened by the salvos of the Aurora.” In Europe, serious concessions were made to the workers: wages were raised, all of Europe, except Germany, followed the social democratic path in the 1920s.  The whole world shook, a new world order emerged.

What would have happened if the Union had not collapsed and  existed to this day?

— If the USSR were able to carry out successful market reforms (and they should have been started back in the early 1970s), then we would live much better today than they live in Europe. For example, China succeeded in this: in the 1970s, the situation there was much worse than in our country. In terms of GDP per capita, the Chinese were at the level of Africa: $400. in year.

When Gorbachev came to power, the Union still had enough margin of safety, but no more than 20-25 years. Gorbachev himself admitted this. If he had not begun to carry out reforms, but simply continued what was under Brezhnev, he would have sat at the top of power for 15 years or even a quarter of a century. But then the USSR would have collapsed anyway, and even more loudly. That is, Gorbachev acted like an inexperienced doctor who prescribed such a strong medicine to a seriously ill patient that he could not bear it and died.

By the way, if the USSR in the 1980s — If the 1990s were successfully developing and growing stronger, then the collective West would have united against us faster. They would see the USSR as the main competitor, as they see it now in China. After all, they also want to push it away, and if possible, then destroy it. They would have acted in the same way with respect to the USSR, but they would have had much less chances of success.


Rick Ross – Idols Become Rivals Lyrics

[Skit: Chris Rock]
Yo this Chris Rock. I’m in here with my man Ricky Rozay. We in here drinkin’ this Belaire Rose. That’s how we do it. That’s all we do. Belaire Rose! Eatin’ Wingstop, what you know about Wingstop, nigga? You don’t know nothin’ about no Wingstop. You can’t handle this, nigga. You can’t handle, sit down in the corner, shut the fuck up and take notes, bitch. Just take notes

[Intro: Rick Ross]
I used to see niggas on TV, man
I used to be like, “Yo them niggas so blessed, you know what I’m sayin’?”
If I had that opportunity, you know what I’m sayin’?
Maybach Music
Black Metaphor

[Verse 1: Rick Ross]
I grew up on that Cash Money
Bling bling, was well known to flash money
Hit the liquor store, after my Vic authority
Quick to switch a bitch up, pick up me a thicker shorty
Pistol on me, nigga, ain’t no pickin’ on me
We veterans so it’s better if you go get your army
A thug holiday is where your body lay
Me and Trick Daddy come from a common place
So us gettin’ money, that’s just a conversation
It’s so hard stayin’ rich and miss the confrontations
Cigars in the oval office, Ronald Reagan
Heard Barack Obama whisper asalaam alaikum
Live for the moment, die for the streets
Bible on the dash, kilos on the seat
I used to see you niggas on my TV screen
And wondered what was life like, was it all a dream?
And then I met you out on LiveNation dates
Came to the realization that your watch was fake
Damn… you nearly broke my heart
I really thought you niggas really owned them cars

[Interlude: Rick Ross]
I used to look up to you, nigga, uh

[Verse 2: Rick Ross]
Hard to point a finger when you live a life of sin
I’ma bring my niggas with me if I lose or win
Bought a fleet of cars, let the bitches tag along
This little thing of ours, not the ones to tattle on
Omerta the code, Met Ball, parties with Vogue
Still blowin’ thick smoke while you powder your nose
Such a head rush until the day the feds rush
That’s when you niggas wish you put your bread up
Leased whips, bad blood, that shit’ll sink ships
Fast money comin’ slow, you better think quick
Rap game, so much fuck shit done
That’s why this .45 in my Trukfit trunks
Fuck a skateboard, I went and got a Wraith, boy
Catholic record labels, niggas gettin’ raped, boy
Birdman’s a priest, moans in his synagogue
Publishin’ is a sin, repent, forgive me, Lord
Shots fired, home invasion out on Palm Ave
Red beam detonators, who the bomb now?
Look you in your eyes, nigga, ‘fore I say good night
And pray that Mannie Fresh’ll get to see the light

[Interlude: Rick Ross]
Damn, Stunna, I loved you, nigga
Hate it came to this
Maybach Music

[Verse 3: Rick Ross]
You stole them boys pub and bought a foreclosure
Scott Storch demons in it, which is more poison
I handed over records, never charged a coin
But consist the sentiment, I’m talkin’ all alone
All Miami issues, Rozay handle for him
Same way Big Ducky do for me in California
Never slippin’, got relationships with the trillest niggas
Tony Draper, J Prince and ever Jimmy Henchmen
Plenty killers and I know that Diddy with it
Tiger, chinchilla, really ain’t no penny pinchin’
Knew that you would never visit BG
Turk came home, take that boy a three piece
Shootin’ dope, usin’ coke, movin’ like you the Folks
Sacrificin’ half our life for your new music cult
You would give us self esteem and motivate our drive
But was in our pockets by the time we count to five
I pray you find the kindness in your heart for Wayne
His entire life, he gave you what there was to gain
I watched this whole debacle so I’m part to blame
Last request, can all producers please get paid?

[Outro: Rick Ross]
Can’t believe this shit, homie
I still love you, nigga
How the fuck, nigga, you touch half a billion, nigga
And your team starvin’, nigga
You on an island, nigga
You came to my city, nigga
I let you in my city, nigga
And what hurt me the most, nigga
Is how you did my brother Khaled, nigga
Khaled was loyal to you, nigga
The pain I seen in my brother’s eye, nigga
FaceTimin’ my nigga, nigga, he took that to the chin, nigga
That’s why my nigga blessed
That’s why my nigga Khaled blessed
You put my nigga in the hole, homie
I don’t feel you for that, my nigga
That shit hurt me, you under-dig? Uh
It’s painful what you see real niggas do when they get the paper
When they get the bag
You can’t never forget ’bout lil bruh and them
I’ll never forget ’bout lil bruh and them
Lil bruh and them, always remember
Lil bruh and them, this for lil bruh and them