Three months after President Trump took office, one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s diplomats delivered a document to the State Department. That document, obtained by BuzzFeed News, laid out an entire plan for the immediate reset of relations between the U.S. and Russia, across military, diplomatic, and intelligence channels:
By April, a top Russian cyber official, Andrey Krutskikh, would meet with his American counterpart for consultations on “information security,” the document proposed. By May, the two countries would hold “special consultations” on the war in Afghanistan, the Iran nuclear deal, the “situation in Ukraine,” and efforts to denuclearize the “Korean Peninsula.” And by the time Putin and Trump held their first meeting, the heads of the CIA, FBI, National Security Council, and Pentagon would meet face-to-face with their Russian counterparts to discuss areas of mutual interest. A raft of other military and diplomatic channels opened during the Obama administration’s first-term “reset” would also be restored. [BuzzFeed News]
Andrew Weiss, the vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, described the document to BuzzFeed as “nothing less than a road map for full-scale normalization of U.S.-Russian relations.”
Perhaps even more revealing is the document’s assumption that “Trump wouldn’t share the lingering U.S. anger over Moscow’s alleged interference in the 2016 election and might accept a lightning fast rapprochement,” BuzzFeed noted. “It just ignores everything that caused the relationship to deteriorate and pretends that the election interference and the Ukraine crisis never happened,” said Angela Stent, a national intelligence officer on Russia under former President George W. Bush.
Most of the document’s proposed meetings haven’t happened. And with the recent dipolmatic facility closures and the sanctions Congress slapped on Russia in August, it’s looking like Putin’s big plans might not become reality.