Washington and Moscow are coordinating the possibility of a visit to Russia by the US Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, Russian daily Komersant reports citing well-informed sources.
Nuland, one of America’s most prominent diplomats, has allegedly opened up bilateral channels with the Kremlin hoping to secure a meeting with counterparts in Russia.
Nuland, who previously served as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs under former President Barack Obama, was called ‘Maidan’s US midwife’ since she played a leading role in the unrest that hit Ukraine in 2014.
Though she was publicly handing out snacks and taking pictures with activists railing against the Ukraine’s government, her background role have shown to be much larger with leaked recording of a call she made with the US’s then-Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, showing they were actively involved in discussions with activists.
Nulland and Pyatt were discussing which opposition politicians should be included in the post-Maidan troubled nation’s government and she also suggested bringing in then-Vice President Biden to “midwife this thing.”
Nuland also promised Ukraine in the aftermath a $1-billion-dollar loan guarantee program and military assistance as reward to Kiev’s attempt to turn towards the West.
Due to Maidan’s activities, Nuland was denied Russian visa in 2019 to attend a closed-door conference in the country and her name was also included on a blacklist maintained by Russian authorities in response to sanctions against Russian officials by Washington.
A source in the state structures of the Russian Federation noted that one-time exception can be made for a person on the black list, but on the principle of reciprocity.
If previously blacklisted diplomat succeeds in her push to visit Russia, she’s most likely to meet there with Deputy Foreign Ministers Sergey Ryabkov, who’s responsible for relations with Washington, and with Andrei Rudenko, whose area of expertise is all of the CIS, including Ukraine.
A former American diplomat said that if Nuland’s visit to Russia takes place, it will be a good sign of the cooperation between the two countries agreed by Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin in Geneva works where possible.
Carnegie Moscow Center’s expert Alexander Gabuev notes that Nuland’s push to foster communication between the two countries is a direct result of Biden’s wishes for a working relationship with Russia, without any unnecessary surprises.
In a situation when he’s distracted with some more pressing issues like the climate agenda and the US rocky relations with China, he’s like to have someone who can solve problems effectively in the post-Soviet space.
Despite being known as someone who’ll definitely follow through with the tasks she is entrusted with, Gabuev believes that Nuland’s reputation in Russia may hinder the process since she’s seen as the architect of the deterioration of ties between the US and Russia and is considered responsible for Ukraine’s Maidan coup.