Three Top Russian Officials (Quietly) Visit United States

Authored by Alex Gorka via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Nothing like this ever happened even at the best of times.

The heads of three Russian intelligence agencies all visited the US simultaneously. This is an extraordinary and unprecedented event, especially at a time when that relationship has so greatly deteriorated. Sergei Naryshkin, the foreign intelligence chief, Alexander Bortnikov, who heads the Federal Security Service, and Lieutenant General (two stars) Igor Korobov, the head of Russia’s military intelligence, visited Washington in late January. Not much has been leaked to the media but it was reported that they met with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. There was no secrecy about the visit or attempts to hush it up. The Russian ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, mentioned the event on television. He claimed that the visit had been a success and that despite the extreme tension between the two countries, their intelligence agencies were continuing to cooperate. As he put it, "Politics is politics, work is work. There are political proclamations, and there is real work."

At least one of the Russian visitors is affected by the sanctions constraints. Obviously, President Donald Trump permitted the visit, as he is the only one who is authorized to temporarily waive those restrictions. No doubt there was a discussion of the terrorist threat posed by the Federal Security Service, but that team was headed by Mr. Naryshkin. The negotiations over the joint efforts to counter international terrorism could have been held anywhere. Such contacts between intelligence agencies do not require the top officials to head the delegations. Thus one must conclude that the talks addressed a much broader agenda - there must have been something really significant to discuss, with an agenda not limited to just one or two issues.

There was a particular context for this event.

It’s important to note that Kurt Volker, the US Special Representative for Ukraine, and Vladislav Surkov, the Russian president’s top aide, also met in late January in Dubai. The American official is known for his stints at the CIA. Many observers found it rather surprising that President Trump did not say anything critical about Russia in his remarks at the Davos World Economic Forum on Jan. 26. During his stay in Switzerland, the US president was too busy to meet Ukrainian President Poroshenko but managed to find time for talks with his “friend” Rwandan President Paul Kagame! The long- awaited “Kremlin List” was nothing but a meaningless administrative step.

There have been reports that Washington has been seeking ways to improve ties. The two countries’ top military leaders met last September to discuss Syria. More such events are planned for the future. The two foreign-office chiefs regularly hold private meetings. And Feb. 5 was an important date - both parties reported they had met their obligations under the New START Treaty.

This is the moment when the tide is starting to turn, as President Trump is seeing some success from his efforts to undermine public confidence in the Russiagate investigation. The president is going on the offensive. Donald Trump has given permission to release a memo, which alleges that there was an abuse of power by the FBI and the Justice Department in the investigation into Russia’s alleged meddling in the US presidential election. The document shines a light on the role of the “deep state” in America and its influence on the media. It provides a clue about who raised the hullabaloo over “Russiagate” and why, and shows that they are ready to go to any length to spoil the US relationship with Moscow and jam a spoke into Donald Trump’s wheel.

With the economy surging, the US president felt strong enough to approve the visit. This shows, better than any other example, that Russia is too important not to talk to. The two powers need to be engaged in dialog and the issues are too vital to ignore or sweep under the rug. President Trump has never shied away from claiming that he wants to repair that relationship. In his own words, “Putin is very important.” It’s an open secret that personal chemistry between leaders can play a very significant role in kick-starting the reconciliation process. With the memo released and “Russiagate” going nowhere, the president may have more supporters in Congress after the 2018 midterm elections. The US policy on Russia may be one of the things to change.

The odds are slim of Russia and the United States becoming close partners. This makes engagement, “deconfliction,” and interaction in certain areas even more important. The contacts between the intelligence chiefs indicate that the parties are serious about bringing about positive changes. We may never know what the officials talked about, but the very fact of the meeting speaks for itself. It really is impossible to underestimate its importance. Looks like there might well be a light at the end of the tunnel.

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Comments

zorba THE GREEK Theta_Burn Thu, 02/08/2018 - 01:39 Permalink

Meanwhile president Trump met with Boris Batenoff and his lovely wife Natasha in the Oval Office. When Boris was called out of the room by his commander, Trump stripped down to his tighty-whities and chased Natasha around the office until he caught her and wrestled her to the floor where he showed her his credentials. All of this was captured on film by Nancy Pelosi who was hiding in the closet. Stay tuned for the new Democratic memo.

In reply to by Theta_Burn

Pandelis zorba THE GREEK Thu, 02/08/2018 - 01:57 Permalink

it looks like these guys came to collect on their facebook operation (i guess did not trust the lower ranks with the cash) ... suprised wolf blitzer and the media (those protectors of democracy) did not pick up on it ... yeah well, on a more serious note below:

 

@Theta Burn - you might be into something.  this is definitely spinning out of control.

 

Yesterday was the news about the "unprovoked" attack on the US-backed left-wing Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) headquarters, which was followed by attacks by Israle and US airstrikes against Syrian forces in Deir al-Zor province.

 

I wonder what this unprovoked attack on SDF headquarters was all about ... dont think there has been any ZH article about that.   Most probably in retaliation for the pilot killed a few days ago.  given their immediate response it must have touched a nerve with israles.

 

if this meeting took place in late january, then we have the pilot killed to be followed by the syrian attack in SDF headquarters, then in response this attack by israles and us on syrian forces in Deir al-Zor ... things do not look good that's for sure. 

 

the message of the events of last few days is that whatever pompeo told you rest assured we are set in our course.

 

just in case anyone had any illusions, Pence is in Asia to re-enforce  his determination (by his version of a bible i suppose) to extinguish those people over there.

In reply to by zorba THE GREEK

Blankone Billy the Poet Thu, 02/08/2018 - 02:29 Permalink

The US has 11 known bases already IN Syria. The US is taking territory directly instead of only using a proxy. ISIS is being rebranded as "coalition forces" (good guys) and moved into parts of Syria (although their numbers have been decimated) with US air support. The Kurds/SDF/YPG? are the new US proxy and Putin has been keeping his hands off them. It is Turkey who has taken the field in the north with actual ground troops.

In reply to by Billy the Poet

Anonymous (not verified) Thu, 02/08/2018 - 01:34 Permalink

They are here to meet with Trump and replace the batteries in his Russian robot head ...

THERE: JUST GAVE YOU MSNBC'S MAIN STORY FOR TOMORROW!

(CNN as well ...)

Jung Thu, 02/08/2018 - 01:39 Permalink

Good to hear that, at least at the top, they do away with silly Russiagate stories and get on with the real work.

Time though, for Trump, to just start improving the relationship openly and show a President does no have to communicate just to please the misinformed masses. Time also to stop bothering democracy in Syria and allow the people to cast their democratic votes (which will be Assad for sure in spite of the media's claims).

oncemore1 Thu, 02/08/2018 - 01:43 Permalink

Those three guys make decisions in their organizations.

Pompeo does not. He is a political pimp, kind of intéface  to the public world. He (his job position in the hierarchy) does not run the company, he is the speaker.

So if they met him, it was just a time to drink the tea.

Mosad  and British agencies play US, as they want.

See the Steely dosier , all the time all the traces run bsck, or cross UK.

Steely is a Briton, Page was drunken in UK, Fusion has strong UK links.

This stops to be coincidence.

7thGenMO oncemore1 Thu, 02/08/2018 - 05:37 Permalink

Yes, Mossad and the British agencies have been cozy cousins with Rothschild links since at least the days of Kim Philby - the famous Communist spy who was outed by Victor Rothschild's Mossad connection.  Somehow the UK/Rothschild links of the Clintons have been overlooked despite WJC's days at Oxford and Lynn de Rothschild's "show her our love" affection for HRC.

 

 

In reply to by oncemore1

Bernard_2011 Thu, 02/08/2018 - 01:50 Permalink

Collusion!  

 

We need our superhero Robert Mueller to get on the case!

 

Interrogate them about all the Russian bots that have infiltrated our society!

 

 

pparalegal Thu, 02/08/2018 - 02:25 Permalink

I am beginning to figure Trump out. The more that the Democrats throw a 3 year old fall on the floor fit the more he gets done while they are not looking.

Dun_Dulind Thu, 02/08/2018 - 02:26 Permalink

Remember when, out of the blue, we got wiretapped phone conversations between Nuland-Pyatt?

Wouldn't it be awesome if Trump works a deal with the Russians to nix, or at least hold, sanctions in exchange for video, e-mail, voice calls, etc.. of people in very high places being naughty?

It'll give Team Trump "more flexibility".