It would appear that the incoming Administration of Donald Trump is already making "unofficial" overtures to Russia, according to this important article appearing on RT, and shared by Mr. P.K.:
There a few things to notice here, not the least of which is that this trip was indeed undertaken by Carter Page, one of President-elect Trump's foreign policy advisors during the previous election campaign. While the article is short, and with this in mind, what Mr. Page apparently stated during his visit to Russia and talks with Russian businessmen possibly heralds a dramatic sea-change in the making in Russo-American relations, for Mr. Page drops some real bombshells according to the RT article, citing remarks he made to the Russian English language news outlet Sputnik:
Speaking to Sputnik in October, Page said that “many of America’s core national interests overlap significantly with the strategic priorities of Russia. But unfortunately, an arrogant foreign policy in Washington has quite often failed to consider America’s own fundamental priorities.”
“Russia without question could have significantly contributed to better outcomes if a genuine relationship based on mutual respect had been effectively forged,” Page said, noting that Russia and the US could join forces in fighting Islamic extremism, de-escalating the situation in Ukraine, and working inside potential conflict zones in Asia. (Emphasis in the original).
Clearly, Mr. Page has zeroed in on the radical unipolar agenda driving American foreign policy since 9/11, and by mentioning the Ukraine in this context, he is taking direct aim at a feature of American foreign policy that is quite disturbing, for it will be recalled that the overturning of the government in Kiev and the installation of the current government was driving by neocon forces not only within the US Department of State, but also by the active participation of so-called "non-Governmental organizations" or NGOs, private foundations and corporations behind which this agenda often hides.
So what is the high octane speculation here? If one looks carefully at some of Mr. Trump's putative appointments, it is clear that he has selected a few "national security hardliners", for want of a better expression. So one should not expect from the incoming Trump administration a complete 180 degree reversal of prior decisions respecting Russia. But by emphasizing contacts with Russian businessmen, mentioning the Ukraine, and mentioning Islamic terrorism, seems to suggest that we might expect the incoming Trump administration to review and reverse at least some of the economic sanctions against Russia, perhaps even doing so unilaterally prior to any negotiation with the Russian government on other issues, and seeking to increase bilateral trade between the two countries. This might pave the way for more extended talks on a staged reversal of remaining sanctions, discussions of security matters where American and Russian interests overlap and how to coordinate efforts.
The geopolitical fallout here could be far-reaching if indeed any of Page's "signals" do issue in actual policy, for a lessening of the sanctions regime, and coordination on security matters, the Ukraine, and so on, will place major European governments - particularly that of Chancellorin Merkel - that have more or less been lap poodles and sock puppets for Washington in the previous years, especially with respect to the Ukraine, Islamic terrorism (and the ongoing European refugee problem), and economic sanctions against Russia, in a very difficult position. In effect, such policy reversals will weaken their hand tremendously, and fuel the oppositions to Frau Merkel and M. Hollande. We've already seen this weakening effect as M. Hollande has bowed out of seeking a return to the Elysee Palace, and former French President Nicholas Sarkozy's short-lived attempt to return to power has already been crushed.
Regardless of how one speculates about the outcome of this visit, however, it does seem clear that Mr. Page's visit does represent an unofficial testing of the waters in Russia, but much more importantly, it represents a return to a saner view of Russia than we've seen for several years as the anti-Putin anti-Russia hysteria was notched up by previous administrations. It was Hillary Clinton, of course, who brought a "reset button" to Russia shortly after taking office. But her rhetoric was anything but about "resetting" the relationship. It appears, at least so far, that Mr. Trump might be the one to press that reset button. And it's about time, for neither Russia nor the United States can afford a return to Cold War practice and mentalities.