A top adviser to Vladimir Putin Vladislav Surkov said on Monday that Russia has abandoned its centuries-long aspirations of integrating into the West and is bracing for a new era of "geopolitical loneliness." Surkov wrote this in an article for Russia in Global Affairs magazine released April 9, 2018.
Surkov wrote in the piece for Russia in Global Affairs that "Russia's epic journey toward the West" is over, marking an end to its "repeated vain attempts to become part of Western civilization" over four centuries.
Russia-West ties have sunk to post-Cold War lows over the Ukrainian crisis, the war in Syria and other issues, most recently the poisoning of an ex-spy in Britain that triggered mass expulsions of diplomats.
Surkov, a longtime Putin aide who served as his top strategist for many years and currently works as the presidential adviser on Ukraine, wrote: "Loneliness doesn't mean complete isolation," but added that Russia's openness would be limited.
Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula and Moscow's support for separatists in eastern Ukraine triggered U.S. and European Union sanctions that together with a slump in global oil prices sent the Russian economy into a two-year recession.
A 2015 peace deal brokered by France and Germany helped reduce the scale of the hostilities in eastern Ukraine, but regular clashes have continued.
Surkov, who held several rounds of fruitless talks on the Ukrainian crisis with U.S. counterpart Kurt Volker, said 2014 marked a watershed that in his view launched "a century (or perhaps two or three centuries) of geopolitical loneliness."
"Russia, without doubt, will engage in trade, attract investments, exchange know-how and fight wars ... compete and cooperate, cause fear, hatred, curiosity, sympathy and admiration," Surkov wrote. "But without false goals and self-denial," Surkov wrote.
As it was reported earlier, Vladislav Surkov coordinates militants in Donbas occupied territories, determines internal and personnel issues in the so-called "LNR" and "DNR."
Surkov has banned entry to the United States and EU countries since March 2017 over his possible involvement in the planning of the annexation of Crimea.