Putin and Trump Team have been talking for over a year, Russian commentator says

2016/11/20 • Analysis & Opinion, Politics

In an article for Kazan’s Business Online today, Viktor Minin says that he is “certain that already in the course of the past year direct and serious negotiations have been going on between the teams of the present Russian leader and the newly-elected US president.”

Their conversations, the Russian commentator argues, reflect the reality that “Putin and Trump are objective allies at the current historical stage” and that the Kremlin leader feared that in the event of a Hillary Clinton victory in the American elections, he might face an effort by groups inside Russia to overthrow him and his regime.

Indeed, Minin argues the recent arrest of Aleksey Ulyukayev reflects both Putin’s desire to undermine any challenge to his rule and his plans to radically change the Russian political system as the world around the Russian Federation changes to one more favorable to Moscow’s position.

Putin also wants to change the system within Russia but to do so in ways that will not frighten either the population or the elites, and consequently, the commentator continues, he will “call on their patriotism and try not to sow fear and panic … Therefore, the mass repressions which all expect (a new 1937) will not occur,” but the current arrangements will change.

All this reflects not the desires and calculations of any one individual or group of individuals but rather tectonic shifts in Russia and the world. Minin says that “a certain large historical stage of our civilization has ended” just as the USSR ended because it “completely exhausted its energy and people lost faith in it.”

That is true in Russia and it is true in the US, he says. “Americans, above all white Americans have come to understand that Russia, first of all, is not their enemy and second that America is not the first or only center of power in the world but rather one of three.” It is stronger than Russia and China but cannot function without acknowledging their status. This means, Minin says,

“Trump, Putin and China are serving the objective process of a change of the rules of the game and a change of elites on the planet.” When each of the three is able to recognize the power of the other two, he suggests, “then there will be as in the Bible, ‘a new heaven and a new earth.’”

Liberals in all three places were not able to win out despite their advantages. They “weren’t able to provoke a major war.” For that they needed to replace Putin and thus “complete via globalization a new system of world colonialism.” But the resistance of the population made this absolutely impossible. That is what Trump understood and why he won, Minin says.

“I am certain,” he continues, that close aides of Putin and Trump have been talking with each other “already a minimum of a year,” something that helps explain Hillary Clinton’s attacks even though she did not provide any evidence that this was going on.

As a result, Putin and Trump and their subordinates are ever more “synchronous.” Each perfectly well understands that they are strategic partners. Each understands his tasks. Trump his, and Putin his. The American president-elect understands that Russia is not opposed to the US; it simply has escaped from under US management.”

That means there will not be war between them but rather “a rapid rapprochement with America. Of course, for Trump, this rapprochement will require him to ensure that Washington follows him and no one else and that when others do things, his partner in Moscow not fall into any confusion as to what matters.

To that end, Minin suggests, Trump will act “in parallel with Putin” and “change the ruling elite of the US. But at the first stage, he will use not retirements and arrests but the natural change of command connected with a change in the presidency. [But] in succeeding stages, he too will have to change the Constitution and laws” to get rid of those who don’t agree.

Minin does not provide any evidence for his claim, but it is nonetheless a disturbing indicator of how some in Putin’s Russia see things and may help guide their reaction to what is now taking place in the US. If indeed his words serve that role, the path ahead could be far more dangerous than he appears to believe.


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Edited by: A. N.

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  • Mephisto

    I disagree with Minin. It almost sounds like Russian propaganda about the “corrupt western elites” and “tectonic shifts” and “west needs to recognize that Russia is not its enemy”. Blah blah blah.

    The whole west would be happy, if Russia developed into a stable prosperous and predictable country which respects universal human values such as freedom, human rights etc. Then it could become part of the West. Unfortunately, Russia started a war in Gruzia, then in Ukraine, then in Syria and it is waging a war against the West. Russian regime resembles fascism. Putin has to go before any “reset” of relationships. But now we have a fascist in the US and a fascist in Russia and further metastasing fascists in the EU. The world is moving into unstable future indeed.

    • Turtler

      I agreed with you (and was about to upvote you) right until you started throwing the word “Fascist” around meaninglessly.

      I’m sorry, but as someone whose family felt the jackboot of ACTUAL Fascists, do you have even the slightest idea of what Fascism is? Have you ever read a single iota of Mussolini’s writing?

      The idea that Trump is a Fascist now is well beyond contemptuous and into laughable territory. And frankly, I don’t even think Putin is a Fascist (contra to a lot of other commenters here) because while some of his actions resemble those of Mussolini and Hitler (including the massive embezzlement and ego issues) a lot of the rest does not.

      Mussolini never lied about invading anybody, for instance (and Hitler only did once, when he claimed an Austrian Nazi coup was peaceful). He may have lied about the pretexts (as he did in Ethiopia) but he was all too happy to flatly admit what he was doing. He was much more overtly hostile to Judaism and Christianity than even Putin has been. And I could go on.

      • Alex George

        Mussolini was not hostile to religion when it did what he wanted. Neither was Hitler – have a look at the final assembly scene in Triumph of the Will (if you can’t stomach the Horst Wessel song, turn the sound down).

        Putin distinctly resembles Hitler in this regard, its just that he is further along than Hitler, having found a church that was only too ready to comply with him.

        • Turtler

          “Mussolini was not hostile to religion when it did what he wanted. ”

          This depends on the definition of hostility. He certainly was willing to attempt the wholesale recruitment of Muslims and he cut many, many deals with the Catholic Church.

          But even at the height of those efforts he and his closest associates still vilified, snarled at, and had utter disdain for Judeo-Christian religion in private. As we can see from his private writings, like The Cardinal’s Mistress.

          “Neither was Hitler – have a look at the final assembly scene in Triumph
          of the Will (if you can’t stomach the Horst Wessel song, turn the sound
          down).”

          Again, not true.

          “The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity’s illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity.” – Adolph Hitler, July 5th 1941 (as can be evidenced in Hitler’s Table Talk, typed up by his loyal secretary- and fellow hater of Judeo-Christianity- Martin Bormann).

          And this was not some kind of later philosophical track. Just look at “Positive Christianity” and how Hans Kerrl was defining it merely two years after.

          Hitler understood- like Mussolini did- (and like Putin probably does) that the majority of their countrymen were at least nominally Christian. And thus their true spiritual and ideological feelings about Christianity would be toxic both publicly and in the ballot box.

          So they lied in public, shared their contempt among a close circle of “Komrades”, and slowly tried to make public life more obedient to their private feelings. That certainly does not mean some of their henchmen (sometimes even highly placed henchmen, like Erich Koch) were not actual Christians, or that they would not make alliances with them (like the murderous Ustasha and Francisco Franco, both staunchly Catholic). But it did mean it was never meant as the final outcome.

          “Putin distinctly resembles Hitler in this regard, its just
          that he is further along than Hitler, having found a church that was
          only too ready to comply with him.”

          On this much I agree. Certainly the Orthodox Church in Moscow is much closer to “Positive Christianity” than Hitler ever managed..

          • Alex George

            That’s pretty much what I am saying – in practice I cannot see a significant distinction between Puitn and Hitler in this regard.

            “So they lied in public, shared their contempt among a close circle of “Komrades”, and slowly tried to make public life more obedient to their private feelings.”

            That sums it up pretty well for both of them.

            Stalin was the same – he abhorred religion, until he was forced to co-opt it when Hitler attacked. He then made a deal with Orthodox leaders which he saw as only temporary. But once he grasped the point that Hitler had understood much earlier, i.e that the church (or part of it) can be suborned, then he was happy to keep the church on, so long as it was part of the State apparatus.

          • Turtler

            “That’s pretty much what I am saying – in practice I cannot see a
            significant distinction between Putin and Hitler in this regard.”

            Ah, understood.

            Though from my research- albeit imperfect as it is since we know Hitler and Mussolini’s inner thoughts and policies but Putin’s will have to wait until his overthrow- is that Putin’s spiritual considerations- to the extent they exist- seem much less implacably hostile to Eastern Orthodoxy existing. That he has no serious problem with there being an Orthodox Christian Church operating. So long as it is under his control and corrupt of couse, that’s why he has helped prop up a former KGB tool as the Moscow Patriarch. But he doesn’t feel this driving hatred for it as it exists.

            In contrast, both Hitler and Mussolini had a much more visceral and deeply rooted hatred for the various denominations of Christianity and Judaism. If they could not be controlled and warped beyond definition, they had to be destroyed.

            That isn’t to say that Putin is some great Defender of the Faith as his apologists claim, and I have little doubt that if he could make peopel worship him by overtly destroying the Church he would. Just that his ideological bugbears lie elsewhere.

            “That sums it up pretty well for both of them. Putin himself has
            little interest in religion but some of his subordinates like Yakunin
            are strongly pro-Orthodoxy, and work to keep the Orthodox church
            strongly pro-State.”

            On this much I agree, and I think as far as that goes Putin and Mussolini’s religious beliefs are largely similar (though Mussolini’s inner circle seem to have been much, much more hostile to Christianity as a whole, what with the “Bomb the Vatican”) plan. Though Hitler’s religious beliefs seem to have been more intense. (For a short refernece https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TO7WHNayN8

            “Stalin was similar – although in his early life he abhorred religion, he was forced to co-opt it when Hitler attacked.”

            To the best of my knowledge he never really stopped abhorring religion even into late life. Pretty much all religion. It seems like his falling out during Priest training hit him hard and he seems to have been a pretty doctrinaire Marxist in hating the “Opiate” personally.

            He just was just cynical, pragmatic, and ruthless enough to see an opportunity and figure that if he could use the “Opiate” to motivate Soviet troops going off to fight under Lenin’s banner, it was well enough.

            “He then made a deal with Orthodox leaders which he saw as
            only temporary. But once he grasped the point that Hitler had
            understood much earlier, i.e that the church (or part of it) can be
            suborned, then he was happy to keep the church on, so long as it was
            part of the State apparatus.”

            Agreed with the caveat that Stalin, it doesn’t look like Hitler was ever really interested in permanently suborning the various Christian denominations. Maybe if we go into the “Positive Christianity” farce, but that fizzled out relatively briefly.

            In contrast it seems like Stalin still disdained religion, he just figured A:That as as the largest group and quite a popular one it would be more trouble than it was worth to keep shooting people over it in the middle of WWII and his preparations for WWIII, and B: That tolerating it to some degree could be useful for his greater cause (raising morale, convincing useful idiots abroad he had really become tolerant, using it as an intermediary to win people over to Communism, etc).

            In contrast Putin strikes me has having much less care abut it. Beyond just figuring it is worth the trade off, he doesn’t seem to care like Hitler, the Moose, or Joe did. He happily has the Moscow Patriarch spew out Christian-shaded Kremlin Propaganda and at the same time lets Kadyrov spew Islamist-shaded Kremlin propaganda.

          • zorbatheturk

            Putin’s religion is power. He has it, and he aims to keep it. If he destroys Russia in the process, well, sh*t happens, as they say…

        • MichaelA

          ive seen triumph of the will
          I know what you mean
          the senior churchmen are there
          they cheer on hitler and the nazzis say how good they are for germany

  • Alex George

    Okay, let’s extrapolate this: If Minin is right, that Putin’s team and Trump’s team have been involved in “serious and direct negotiations” for over a year, then it follows that Trump and his supporters have told substantial lies – any idea of a real connection between Trump and Russia was vigorously rubbished during the campaign. But that doesn’t necessarily help the Russians. Because if Trump or his senior team members were prepared to lie about this to the American people, wouldn’t that also mean that they are even more prepared to lie to the Russians? It would follow that Trump could blithely choose to dump the Russians now that they have served his purpose.

    Second possibility – this is just Russian propaganda designed to produce uncertainty in the West. If so, it is clever – it takes advantage of Trump’s known habit of stating contradictory things at different events.

    “[Minin] says. “Americans, above all white Americans have come to understand that Russia, first of all, is not their enemy…”

    I wonder where he gets this idea. In one sense, Americans never have believed that Russia is their enemy. But where is his evidence that Americans are more favourably disposed towards or more trusting of Russia than they were, say, a year ago?

    • CanRus

      I’m going without any hesitation for option #2 – this is very obvious Kremlin psy-ops nonsense, whose purpose is to try and undermine Americans’ faith in their politicians and democracy. It reads like a bad spy novel. I don’t think it’s clever at all though. Too obvious.

      Agree with you about Americans’ attitude towards Russia. Except for a few Cold War dinosaurs like McCain, most just don’t care one way or another. Putin is the one who’s obsessed with being the USA’s enemy. Make’s him feel more important than he could ever hope to be in reality.

      I especially love the bit about the “3 great powers” – USA, China and Russia. Hahaha! Russia hasn’t been a great power since the 1980s, and is unlikely to ever become one again, with greedy incompetent nacissists like Putin running the country into the ground. China is far more powerful than Russia, and the EU even more. At the rate things are going, India will pass Russia soon. Even Canada has more global political clout now than Russia. Russia is around 10th place, and sinking rapidly.

  • Turtler

    It’s a sad day when Euromaiden regurgitates Kremlin Propaganda wholesale.

    And as the others said, this DOES read a fair bit like propaganda from the Kremlin.

    “that the Kremlin leader feared that in the event of a Hillary Clinton
    victory in the American elections, he might face an effort by groups
    inside Russia to overthrow him and his regime.”

    I’m sorry, but I’m supposed to believe a former KGB clerk (and who thus had to go through and pass their training about need to know, obedience, and HANDLING CLASSIFIED INFORMATION) was terrified about somebody whose inner thoughts and maneuvers he was reading? All because she was arrogant, stupid, or both enough to set up an illegal private server and put classified information on it?

    I might have been willing to believe Minin on the Trump-Putin team negotiations (even if my gut feeling would be that would be overstating it, it does fit in with my worst fears about Trump’s agenda). But I know a leeettle too much about basic espionage to swallow this.

    I am not a great advocate of Putin’s intelligence. He wants to play the part of the evil genius when he in reality he is stunningly predictable and couldn’t even finish his rigged election before declaring the results. But he can only be *so* stupid in order to have held despotic power for so long, and he is not *this* stupid.

    So while Trump may- May- be an ally of Putin I doubt a woman who was clearly unhealthy in mind, body, soul, and basic competence was someone he regarded as a great threat.

    “Americans, above all white Americans have come to understand that Russia, first of
    all, is not their enemy”

    Which is why Russia continues to have sky high unfavorability ratings….

    “and second that America is not the first or only center of power in the
    world but rather one of three.” It is stronger than Russia and China
    but cannot function without acknowledging their status. ”

    Sorry, but no. If there were “Three” powers in the world it would be the US 9as head of the West), the PRC (as head of a bunch of Communist/Ex-Communist Far East Asian Dictatorships and other Third World scumbags), and the Ummah, with power being contested between Shia Iran and Saudi Arabia.

    They do not have as sizable a nuclear arsenal as Russia does, but the chances are MUCH better that they will get nukes than Russia will get a healthy demography again.

    “Liberals in all three places were not able to win out despite their
    advantages. ”

    What advantages?

    Seriously, what advantages to “Liberals” have in Putin’s Russia- where you have clouds of internet trolls, secret police, OMON, and the like waiting to mob you- or the PRC, where they are strictly censured, squashed by security forces far larger than the military, and liable to have their organs harvested?

    “They “weren’t able to provoke a major war.” For that they
    needed to replace Putin and thus “complete via globalization a new
    system of world colonialism.” ”

    Yeah, this is utterly stupid propaganda.

    Let me make one thing clear: I ABSOLUTELY DESPISE Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

    But the idea that they ever sought to provoke a major war- as some of my fellows on the Right have casually said- is utter nonsense. They did not cause the Libyan Civil war, that was Gaddafi. They did not cause the Syrian Civil War, that was Assad. They did not cause ISIS, that was ISIS. And they did not cause the INVASION of Georgia and Ukraine. That was Putin.

    I certainly think their performance in all of them was stupid, irresponsible, and often morally bankrupt. I certainly think that their malfeasance in managing the situation often helped these threats break out and spiral out of control. But the idea that they were ever seeking to conquer the world is merely a warmongering totalitarian nutjob projecting the mind of a warmongering totalitarian nutjob onto people who- for whatever their GRIEVOUS flaws- are not warmongering totalitarian nutjobs.

    “But the resistance of the population made this absolutely impossible.”

    What resistance?

    There are Multi THOUSAND people protests and riots happening in the PRC EVERY SINGLE DAY, and there have been for Years. In fact they are reaching the point where they average two to three protests of that magnitude every SINGLE DAY. And a majority of them pay at least some lipservice to “Liberal” or “Globalist” ideas like freedom, democracy, curbing corruption, and greater power.

    Putin’s Russia on the other hand has never relied on the resistance of “the people”, as shown by the hysterical fears about a Russian Maiden. it has relied on phalanxes of security thugs and secret policemen.

    “As a result, Putin and Trump and their subordinates are ever more “synchronous.” Each perfectly well understands that they are strategic partners.”

    Which would be the first time in ever.

    “The American president-elect understands that Russia is not opposed to the US; it simply has escaped from under US management.””

    I’m sorry, but as someone who helped get out the vote for Trump and who often acts as an apologist for him on this site, if he “understands” that he is much more stupid and irresponsible than even I thought. Because it is “understanding” something that is flatly not true.

    “That means there will not be war between them but rather “a rapid
    rapprochement with America. ”

    Oh you mean like pressing a red “Reset” button? How’d that work out last time?

    A rapid rapprochement with the US would be a first in Putin’s long, sordid history.

    “Of course, for Trump, this rapprochement will require him to ensure that Washington follows him and no one else and that when others do things,”

    Sorry, but that isn’t going to happen. And you know why? Because the Constitution exists. It prevents Washington and the others from “following him and no one else”, and for very good reason.

    I fought hard for Trump. I have argued in favor of Trump. But if he tried to do this I would be legally and morally obliged to reach for my guns and resist to my very last breath. Because that is what a free country and free people require.

    Not walking in lockstep behind one leader, no matter how grand.

    “his partner in Moscow not fall into any confusion as to what matters.”

    So count on the moron who couldn’t fake an election in Crimea properly to never fall into confusion. Gotcha.

    ‘Minin does not provide any evidence for his claim, but it is
    nonetheless a disturbing indicator of how some in Putin’s Russia see
    things ”

    You mean like a disturbing indicator that many Russians view Stalin as a national hero or-even more laughably- venerated Orthodox Christian figure?

    Without evidence this is just feces on the wall, evidence of personal estrangement from reality and warped ethical values, but nothing else.

    • CanRus

      Not a Trump fan AT ALL, but agree with 90% of what you said, so gave you an upvote anyway. Good overall analysis of a lot of things going on. This ‘article’ is clearly Kremlin psy-ops noise. Shame on EP for helping them out by re-printing it.

  • anonymous

    Trump will end sanctions against Russia. Trump will recognize Crimea as Russian. The Trump family will profit by billions with business in Russia (Russia always rewards its friends). Trump will make Russia Great Again. Trump’s Russia statements were written by Putin’s propagandists. MH17, Litvienko poising, Crimea people, ISIS/Syria all such Trump statements prove the above contacts; neither Trump’s people nor Trump invented the statements; those statements are straight out of Putin’s propagandists book.

    • Czech Mate

      I still hope for a great tradition of investigative journalism in US, I don’t believe Trump would be capable to cover his tracks. We may find out soon enough.

    • zorbatheturk

      I doubt it. Your post is Kremlin agitprop.

    • laker48

      Sanctions, IMHO, will stay or even possibly be expanded.

      • anonymous

        Trump has clearly stated his position. I would say “in his own words” but we all know the words Putin’s propagandists.

        • laker48

          Trump promised RuSSia and its Fuhrer Shorty the Shirtless a big, yawning ZERO.

  • Terry Washington

    I just hope that they are NOT planning to sell Ukraine “down the river”( the phrase comes from a practice in the pre Civil War Deep South in which an enslaved African American would be “sold down the river” to plantations where the work was more strenuous and hence more likely to cause death by overwork)!

    • laker48

      Don’t worry! They won’t. :)

  • laker48

    This should be taken as a propaganda exercise and jamming noise directed to the domestic, RuSSian audience rather than as a real leak, as president-elect and his staff didn’t need any cooperation from the RuSSian side. Any allegations like these brought up by Minin would, if true, damage his credibility or even, in an extreme case, lead to his impeachment. Let’s wait for the reactions of both the Clinton entourage and the president-elect. This is an old, often used by the Soviet KGB disinformation trick. othing in RuSSia is published without knowledge of the ruling it ex-KGB kleptocracy.

  • zorbatheturk

    In 1999 an old lady named Ms Lana Peters, living quietly in a Wisconsin nursing home, consistently railed against Vladimir Putin, then acting President of the RF, calling him an awful KGB spy. She said RuSSia was still the USSR, nothing had changed. It was still a very nasty place… Very prescient. Lana Peters, an American citizen, was wise to the ways of Soviet evil and the coming threat of The Putin. No, Ms Lana Peters did not like Putin one bit.

    Lana Peters
    nee Svetlana Alliluyeva Stalin
    born 1926
    father: Joseph Stalin
    defected to US Embassy, New Delhi, 1967
    married Arizona architect William Wesley Peters in 1970
    became a naturalized American citizen in 1978
    died 22 November 2011 in southern Wisconsin.

    Stalin’s granddaughter, born in the US in 1971, now lives in Portland, Oregon.

  • Dalton

    Paul,
    This is BS. You’re making some pretty wild assumptions that Trump, who is a small fry compared to some of the elite billionaire power brokers in the world, somehow has been playing tootsies with Putin behind the scene and has managed to do this despite the overwhelming power structures aligned against him that would have provided a barrier had they chosen to.
    The ONLY thing that gives Trump any power is the people behind him and not the elites but the common Americans who were on the edge of full out civil war and those same forces will force the showing of whether he stands or falls.
    Time will tell if the boogie man stories that continue from establishment media and extensions, will come true, but one thing we know is that so far, none of them have.

    • laker48

      I also believe that Trump will do what’s best for America. He didn’t promise to increase the US defence budget by 20%, i.e. some $120 billion a year, to send doves with oil branches to Beijing, Moscow or Tehran. Strong RuSSia is not in America’s best interest.

    • MichaelA

      none of them could yet
      so why bother writing this?

      • Dalton

        Because I can. And because we’ve gone thru the past 18 months of the most one sided political assassination attempts by every establishment figure, virtually every government official, every mainstream media and entertainment entity and virtually every political leader around the world, all of which were defeated by the ballot box voice of the People, and I would finally like to see less negative stories of the President elect before he’s even had a chance to prove all the pundits and opeds wrong again.