D. Trump's election victory gave rise to the illusion of normalization of bilateral dialogue, as in Russian political circles and in parts of the American Republican establishment.
The American political class in the face of so-called “Deep state”, which consists of some informal opposition structures in the system of U.S. government, dispelled all these hopes, showing its influence. On the one hand, the Deep state sabotaged Trump’s adoption of rational policy decisions and the implementation of a pragmatic policy towards Russia. On the other hand, anti-Trump forces fully showed the lack of strategic vision of the foreign policy of the United States, holding on to their traditional neo-conservative models of American hegemony.
The complexity of the political situation in the US is that Russia is the instrument of inter-political struggle. In these circumstances, any constructive proposals from the Russian side on the normalization of relations and dialogue are doomed to perception in a confrontational context. The American political environment with its large-scale campaign to demonize Russia deprives both countries the chances for productive dialogue. The American establishment and the propaganda media machine successfully form a Manichean atmosphere of rejection and antagonism towards Russia. By the way, it sets a certain image of an existential “enemy” and any attempts to start a dialogue with him can be seen as a national betrayal.
Possible Trump’s concessions to his opponents are unlikely to defuse the growing antagonism in U.S.-Russian relations. The current Congress consists predominantly of Neocons and aggressive Wilsonians. Compared to them D. Trump with his characteristic gruff pragmatism is quite flexible.
However, the political prospects of mutual relations seem to be very illusive, because the main problem is not in the “Russian trace” or in Trump’s personality, but in the psychology of the American elite, thinking in terms of preservation of former greatness and hegemony.
Another anti-Russian sanctions approved by the Senate, which must be supported by 2/3 of the House of Representatives are quite logical for the mood in Washington. In terms of anti-Russian hysteria Trump is unlikely to go on a risky case on their cancellation, risking to start a conflict with the entire political class of the United States. What is more important: the U.S. in a changing global balance of power and strengthening of polycentrism is not engaged in solving strategic tasks for the preservation of the existing positions in the world and searching for new allies in the mainstream of pragmatic, realistic policy, but in internal political struggle. The new sanctions inevitably will strengthen the “strategic partnership” of Russia with China and Iran, which will objectively weaken the United States. The Washington elite are destroying any hopes for the preservation of American leadership in the world.
In terms of political turbulence in Washington's corridors of power Moscow should stick to wait-and-see position. Any political activity in the “American direction” will be blocked by the U.S. political class. The tactics of “small steps” can create an atmosphere of cautious dialogue and psychologically to soften the situation.
The conservative scenario in mutual relations will be defined by established historical tradition. Partnership with the United States in the 20th century was probably the exception and not the rule. The dominant trajectory of the relationship was confrontational. The political thinking of the young American politicians was formed under conditions of a unipolar world and American empire.