21:07 GMT15 May 2021
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    Washington's constant attempts to impose its own vision of an ideal state system on Moscow are a huge mistake. While it might be acceptable to more modest, smaller countries, it is not to be tolerated by such a heavyweight, according to Matt Rojansky, Director of the Kennan Institute.

    As the presidential race gains pace in the US, Russian online newspaper Lenta.ru sat down with the Director of the Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars to find out how the next US president can improve relations with Russia.

    The majority of the presidential hopefuls have already outlined their policy towards Russia, said Matt Rojansky.

    However, these promises are made in vain, he explained. When a candidate actually takes the hot seat, they learn a variety of new details concerning bilateral relations with a certain country. As well as classified data, the head of state receives detailed analytical reports to study.

    While they are waging an electoral campaign, candidates are mostly concentrated on winning votes for and donation money, while having no time to review any analytical data.

    Concerning Russia, back in 1946 the founder of the Kennan Institute, American diplomat and political scientist, already wrote that this country has vast opportunities for both cooperation with the West and counteraction against it, Rojansky explains.

    It was known back then already, Kennan stressed, that Russia should be taken seriously and any claims about Russia should be always accompanied by actions. The most ineffective partner for Russia is one who talks a lot but does little. The Russians regard this as weakness.

    Less rhetoric, more action – the most vital principle in relations with Russia.

    Another American typical mistake regarding Russia is constant attempt to impose Washington's vision of Russia’s ideal system of state; an approach, which smaller players may accept, but a heavyweight such as Russia and China will simply not tolerate.

    It is at the heart of the standoff between the two countries, and for the past 25 years Russians have not seen any signs that the US is willing to accept their country as it is.

    The US needs to set up a balance between managing the threats to its interests and respecting the sovereignty of other countries.


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