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Dmitri Trenin on Putin’s ‘Tactical Win’ in U.S.-Russia Meetings

Jan. 13, 2022 (EIRNS)—One of the leading Russian experts on U.S.-Russian relations, Dmitri Trenin, today told CNN’s pompous Christiane Amanpour that Russia “can consider the results of the meetings this week as a tactical win on Russia’s central security concerns.”

Trenin, who served in the Soviet army from 1972-93, and at Moscow’s Institute of Europe and the NATO Defense College in Rome, is now the head of the Carnegie Moscow Center. “No one in Russia expected the U.S. to accept the Russian demands, but there will now be a written answer from Washington,” he said. “This is not the end—this is the beginning.”

Countering Amanpour’s claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin is preparing Russia for war, Trenin said:

“Putin is very careful in using military force. In Crimea, not a shot was fired. In Syria, professionals did the fighting, with few casualties. Kazakhstan is a victory—they are beginning withdrawal today. This talk of war is on the Western side, not on the Russian side. There is no feeling of impending war in Ukraine.... Putin is using the troops as leverage, to get the U.S. to listen and negotiate, to change the dynamic of European security development.”

To Amanpour quoting the U.S. side’s bluster, Trenin responded: “Get beyond the rhetoric. We know Ukraine will not be a NATO member soon, maybe never. The simple reason: the U.S. will not fight a nuclear-armed Russia over Ukraine.... It is not in the U.S. interest to deploy intermediate-range missiles in Europe, since Russia could retaliate by deploying nuclear-armed submarines to patrol the Eastern seaboard of the U.S. A compromise is in existence, despite twists and turns on the way.”

Putin, he said, does not act for himself, but for Russia’s interests. Ukraine is the last stand to prevent NATO coming to Russian borders. “He's not bluffing. Not only Ukraine in NATO is something that he has resolved to prevent and have a written guarantee from the United States, but he also wants no NATO in Ukraine, meaning no U.S. strike weapons and military bases that can hurt Russia from the Ukrainian territory.”

Amanpour asked for the meaning of a “military-technical” response, as posed by the Russians. “Well, military technical response as opposed to military response does not mean military action,” said Trenin.

“What it means is deployments of new weapons systems in areas where they did not exist before. I mentioned the possibility of Russia deploying a nuclear INF systems onboard submarines in close proximity to the United States. Another example would be closer military coordination between Russia and China. Mr. Putin is going to China soon, and he is not going there simply to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Games. He is there to have a very substantiative discussion with President Xi Jinping. And that discussion will be built on Putin’s assessment of the first round of negotiations with the United States.”

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