by Anar Musayev
We all remember how last week Donald Trump, the US president, dismissed Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. This was quite expected, as Trump-Tillerson relations were not exactly smooth. Tillerson was buried under criticism regarding the cutbacks. He was caught speaking ill about Trump. For example, he called Trump a “moron” around several officials and the media was eager to report on it. Of course, the story also has a lot of pitfalls we know nothing about. The Director of the Institute of Contemporary Economy and leader of “New Russia” movement Nikita Isayev answered some of the questions by defence.az regarding why Trump make such decision after all, what will happen in the relations between Russia and the USA under the Secretary General Mike Pompeo and what we should expect from Pompeo’s actions regarding the Southern Caucasus.
- There had been talks about Tillerson’s dismissal for a long time. In your opinion what influenced Trump’s decision most of all?
- Trump made such decision, firstly, because of the domestic situation in his country. He finds it important to build relations with the security leaders, which Mike Pompeo represent. This will allow the American president to strengthen his capabilities before the elections against the Democrats both in the Congress this year and for the elections for second term presidency. Trump has already lost a big part of his team, who was with him from the very beginning. It is natural that he needs the security forces. At the same time, Tillerson was a too strong and independent figure with firm views about world policy, which are quite different from Trump’s views. Pompeo is much more like-minded with the US president.
- Some experts claim that Pompeo will demonstrate a much harsher position regarding Russia than Tillerson. Is everything really that bad?
- Despite the fact that Russia and any actions by it did not serve a reason for Tillerson’s dismissal, the appointment of a new Secretary of State will surely influence the country as well. The forces will act more radically and less diplomatically. This is why everyone should expect USA’s actions to be less measured. The escalation of serious military conflicts, both in the current hot spots and created new ones should be expected.
The new US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, does not bring any joys for Russia or breakthrough’s in US’s contacts with the entire world. He has already spoken out that Kremlin leads an aggressive policy and criticized Russia for “invasion into Ukraine” and “inactivity in fighting the Islamic State”. He has also blamed our country for meddling with American elections and even stated that “we have to stand up against the Russians, wherever we find them”. I am sure that with such staff appointment, the Skripal case and other attacks on Russia will enter a “more active phase”.
- And what should we expect from the actions of the new Secretary of State with regards to the Southern Caucasus?
- The Americans have never been interested in secondary players. And generally speaking, all the countries in this region are secondary players in the global scene. They are used only for pressuring and influencing the main players. And the main players are Russia, Turkey and partly Iran. Azerbaijan will most probably be in the list of countries, used to show pressure. It is not also excluded that the new policy of the State Secretary will lead to radicalization and aggravation of military conflicts. This also concerns the Nagorno-Karabakh.