U.S. President Barack Obama has finished his farewell tour in Europe. In November of 2016, Americans will elect a new head of the Oval Office. That person will take office on Jan. 20, 2017. It can already be said with confidence that the current president will enter the annals as one of the most controversial figures in American history. Never before has the U.S. changed the world as much as it has during Obama's two terms as president. One needs only recall Libya, the “Arab Spring" launched in 2011, the events in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, etc. Also worth noting: the sharp drop in oil prices, the coup and civil war in Ukraine, the appearance of the Islamic State group in the Middle East and the rebirth of the Taliban in Afghanistan. The tsunami of refugees into Europe, the series of terror attacks in Paris and Brussels, and many other events that have occurred in global politics over the past few years can be viewed as a direct consequence of these events.
What goals did Obama set for these eight years? Why did the U.S. administration rely on regime change and destroying Arab leaders and governments in a number of Middle Eastern countries?
Now, looking back on past events a few years later, we can draw a few conclusions. The global financial crisis of 2008 weakened America and forced it to redraw the political and economic map of the world in response to this challenge. Thus, the U.S. began actively working in the post-Soviet sphere. They inflamed nationalism in Kyrgyzstan, leading to tragic consequences in the south of that country. America's financing and execution of the coup in Ukraine led to that Slavic state breaking away from Russia.
Then there was the American-designed blow to Russian-European political and economic relations. The U.S. has always feared closer ties between Germany and Russia. In particular, it fears the merger of German high tech and Russian natural resources and human capital. After all, the Americans were planning to draw up U.S.-controlled free-trade zones in the Asia-Pacific and North Atlantic regions in order to avoid a new wave of the global financial crisis. The plan to create a transcontinental integration group in the Asia-Pacific region was realized within a 12-country framework in 2015. At the same time, the Trans-Pacific Partnership essentially excluded Russia and China. The U.S., noting the tariff duties on goods and services, opened new markets for American enterprise and international corporations. The issue was critical for the Obama administration, especially during the financial crisis. The TPP accounts for nearly 40 percent of global GDP and more than a fourth of global trade. Asia bowed the knee to Obama, except for China's firm and uncompromising position. In 2010, Beijing established the China-ASEAN free-trade zone. Meanwhile, Russia and its partners continue to develop the BRICS.
The American president has had success with the European Union since the very beginning. However, there have been occasional setbacks, which forced Obama to get personally involved in solving problems that arose. There was the National Security Agency monitoring of German officials' phone calls, including Merkel's. There was the CIA's recruiting of an employee of the German BND and collection of information through them. Wikileaks and Edward Snowden regularly poured oil on the fire, leading to a storm of displeasure among the German political class.
All of this affected the Europeans' attitude toward the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. A wave of protests has swept over Europe in the past three months, and the gatherings are growing larger. According to most recent polls, only 17 percent of Germans believe that TTIP is a "good idea." That's why Obama visited Hanover on the eve of his departure, in order to once again convince Chancellor Merkel of the necessity of signing the deal.
Obama isn't hiding his goals. He intends to "break down some of the regulatory differences that make it difficult to do business back and forth [between the United States and Europe]". After the Volkswagen diesel scandal, in which American courts fined the company $18 billion, the U.S. president's words sound like a threat. Washington is essentially pushing European business out of its national territory. One need only remember what happened to Deutsche Bank, which paid a $258 million fine for going around the anti-Iran sanctions. Or the French company Paribas, which was fined more than $8 billion. Those are only a few examples...
Over the past few years, the Obama administration has attempted to unite the entire West under the flag of American exceptionalism and global hegemony. Therefore, the president will do everything possible over the next six months in order to nudge the EU toward signing TTIP. Obama will spend maximum effort on strengthening and expanding sanctions against Russia. He will also increase the military presence in the South China Sea. After all, China threatens American interests too!
Therefore, Russian diplomats must continue working to break down barriers created by the bureaucracy in Brussels under U.S. pressure and with U.S. participation. It's completely obvious that French lawmakers, in voting against the anti-Russia sanctions, practically sang "La Marseillaise" to the political class of the EU, and gave a powerful signal to their European colleagues that such attitudes are growing. This is also a signal to Russian lawmakers, calling them to continue working with Western politicians and international organizations. It's possible that we are standing on the threshold of new political developments in Europe that aren't under U.S. control.