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Expert Analysis

Russia’s Unfriendly States List Is Long Overdue

27 APRIL 2021

Russia

Russia’s decision to assemble a list of unfriendly states whose diplomatic missions would be prohibited from hiring locals and perhaps also subject to other restrictions is long overdue and shows that the country is finally taking the New Cold War very seriously approximately seven years after it first started.

President Putin signed a decree on countermeasures against unfriendly states on Friday, which would prohibit their diplomatic missions from hiring locals and perhaps also subject them to other restrictions in the future. The average person might not understand the importance of this move, but it basically means that those countries will have to staff lower-level administrative and other positions with their own highly trained diplomats instead of hiring locals to do the work. In other words, this diminishes those countries’ diplomatic capabilities because overqualified individuals are forced to do basic tasks instead of focus on more important matters. Since every country only has a limited number of diplomats, this might at least in theory make it more difficult for them to destabilize their host state, in this case Russia.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed that the US will be on that list of unfriendly states, while it remains to be seen which other countries will be designated as such alongside it. In any case, this move is long overdue and shows that Russia is finally taking the New Cold War very seriously approximately seven years after it first started. The prior approach had been to refer to all countries, even obvious opponents, as so-called “partners” in order to retain a degree of “professionalism” in their relations. Russia’s adherence to classic diplomatic norms wasn’t reciprocated by the US, though, which continued to openly declare that Russia was a rival, if not an outright enemy. The diplomatic mood never recovered despite Russia’s best wishes to the contrary.

The last four years of former President Trump’s reign remain a major disappointment in the minds of many in Moscow who hoped that a “New Detente” would have been brokered between them by now. Regrettably, subversive elements of the country’s permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) successfully sabotaged the elected head of state’s foreign policy in this respect, which ruin bilateral relations and set the stage for President Biden to recently make them even worse. It’s therefore appropriate that Russia finally recalibrates its diplomatic stance towards the US and its proxies by bringing it in line with the new norms that the latter have imposed upon it all this time. Although the Mainstream Media will likely spin this move as “unprovoked aggression”, it’s actually a legitimate response against US aggression.

The significance of Russia’s decision to designate certain countries as unfriendly states and subsequently impose various restrictions upon their diplomatic activities suggests that the current state of tension between it and the West will remain the “new normal” for the indefinite future. Neither side is likely to backtrack on its stance towards the either, with each being convinced of the righteousness of their actions, for better (like in Russia’s case) or for worse (like in America’s). The recent expulsion of Russian diplomats in Czechia and several other countries speaks to how serious this “deep state” war between them has become. If there’s any silver lining to this state of affairs, it’s that Russia might finally begin the active containment of America according to the 20-point plan that I suggested in February, which would greatly improve its Hybrid War resilience.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Russia, US, Putin, New Cold War, Hybrid War, Deep State, Diplomacy.


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