Vyacheslav Volodin: It is an Unprecedented Rapprochement of American and Russian Presidents’ Stances
How Trump’s election will affect US-Russian relations? Why State Duma greeted the news with applause but warned against illusions? This and a lot more in the NTV observer Vladimir Kondratiev’s interview with the chairman of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin.
About the possibility of an improvement in US-Russian relations
Of course, there is hope for an improvement, but, as you know, much depends on the candidate, the candidate who has made certain statements on the bilateral relations. So, we will see whether these promises will be fulfilled.
Russian president is saying exactly the same things. Vladimir Putin is talking about the war on terror, defending Russia’s interests, what is important, taking into consideration other states’ interests. Our president has always been talking about the rapprochement.
Putin and Trump have many meeting points and their stances on several issues are similar. Time will tell whether Trump will abide by his statements. It is really difficult to predict it now, but he does have all the opportunities.
About Russia as one of the topics of the US electoral campaign
Russia was often mentioned during this electoral campaign. It was the first American campaign that touched Russia so often and the political heat was extremely high. The Democrats and the outgoing administration hurled all effort to prevent Trump’s victory. He has won exactly due to his worldview attitudes and statements on the fight against terrorism and building up constructive relations based on mutual respect, that are so close to us. And, of course, his stance of a citizen who loves his country and defends its interests is also close to us.
As for the outgoing administration, it always heightened tensions, whipped up hysteria… And it is not only about the electoral campaign, but also about some measures that preceded the elections and this rhetoric that Americans did not support. And this surprised European elites and the Democrats’, Clinton’s, supporters. This shocked them and took the wind out of someone’s sails.
About the US elections’ peculiarities unacceptable for Russia
More than 40 million Americans voted by absentee ballots. If so many people had voted by absentee ballots in Russia, our election would not have been fair and legitimate, it would not have been accepted. But it is possible in the United States.
President Obama was fully engaged in the electoral campaign, agitated for Hillary Clinton, voted by absentee ballot and then said which party he had voted for. It is much more tactful in Russia. You know that United Russia used some of Vladimir Putin’s statements during the parliamentary campaign, but nobody, unlike in the USA, put pressure on the voters…
Two-stage voting is a system of so-called “filters” used to toss out the candidates that the ruling class is afraid of and does not want to admit to power. So, this two-stage system in itself is non-democratic if compared to our canons, since our elections, like many other European elections, are about direct declaration of citizens’ intentions.
About the US electoral campaign as a whole
Perhaps, these unprecedentedly despised campaign and pressure put on Donald Trump secured his victory. People boiled over and decided to support him. But the methods that were used (loaded dice, got out of practice in Russia, typical for the 1990s) and the statements that were made can hardly glorify an electoral campaign. We should talk about political culture but, actually, in this particular case there was no political culture at all.
At a certain point I understood that there were too much dramatics around Trump. Some special methods and administrative resource were used to bring him into discredit. Then I understood that it was some kind of hysteria. The conclusion can be drawn from all this that Trump was a strong candidate, since it is possible to resort to these technologies and administrative resource only when you are about to lose.
About the possible dialogue of Russian and American presidents
I would like to emphasize one more time that Vladimir Putin is always talking about the respect for our country, respect for other nations and necessity to hold a dialogue based on mutual trust. It is crucial to restore these trust and respect. This will allow to move forward.
If Trump begin to fulfill his promises, this will dispel the pall. We have seen candidate Trump, now let us have a look at president Trump.
I would like to repeat: it is an unprecedented rapprochement of American and Russian presidents’ stances on key issues. Our president has always been fulfilling his promises, while president Obama used to ignore this and to escalate tensions. And this usually resulted in the exacerbation of the relations.
This policy was carried out not only towards Russia. We see what is happening in the Middle East, we see that many European countries are facing difficulties. But the tension can be eased by the virtue of the United States. It seems to be one of the main priorities of the newly elected president, Donald Trump will have to address all these problems.