Dmitry Simes, publisher and general director of the American magazine National Interest, said that many Russians would not like to see a repetition of the “humiliating” scenario of the late Soviet Union during the reign of Mikhail Gorbachev.
The political scientist expressed the opinion that Russia would like to lift the sanctions, or at least achieve their mitigation, but will not make serious concessions.
“It cannot and should not expect that this relief would come without genuine reciprocity from Moscow. For this approach to work, however, Moscow cannot be expected to make major concessions, in the idle hope that Western reciprocity would come later down the road. This scenario is similar to what occurred during the Gorbachev era. To insist that Moscow repeat what many Russians view as a failed and demeaning approach would be to confuse the desirable with the possible,” Simes said.
He believes that the imposed sanctions against Russia should not isolate and weaken the country, but “induce it to more flexible behavior.”
Simes also stressed that the future of US-Russian relations depends on Washington’s choice. If the United States cannot agree to anything other than undeniable hegemony, he said, Russia will undoubtedly become a serious obstacle, ready to challenge it.
Earlier, NI magazine wrote that Western countries in 1990 promised Soviet President Gorbachev not to expand NATO eastward, but later ignored these promises.