At a recent annual press conference, the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, refrained from talking about the presidential elections in the US next year. However, he did not refrain from talking about the outcome he expected.
"When internal changes happen (in the US) (...), then the fundamental conditions will be in place to restore fully-fledged relations. So far, such conditions are not in place, but we are ready for that”, said Putin at a 4-hour, firmly-controlled press conference.
Putin talked about the "internal changes" he expected in the US. However, even though he did not mention him specifically, the name Donald Trump lingered in the air.
Part of the Republican Party that supports Trump is currently the best ally of Putin.
The recent refusal by the conservative Republicans in the US Congress to provide aid to Ukraine was a day of joy and glory in Moscow
Moscow knows that MAGA Republicans paralysed America, while the EU has not been able to respond adequately to Russia’s aggression because Putin’s allies across Europe, including Viktor Orbán, do a great job of sabotaging support to Ukraine.
The recent refusal by the conservative Republicans in the US Congress to provide aid to Ukraine was a day of joy and glory in Moscow. The political and upper classes in Russia understood this decision, which is why the Republican Party is prepared to hand Ukraine over into the jaws of Russia to appease Donald Trump.
A chance that the leaders of the USSR did not have
The current behaviour of pro-Trump Republicans is something the Soviet leaders during the USSR years could have only dreamed of.
The fate of the USSR could have been much different if Ronald Reagan had shared views similar to those currently embraced by MAGA Republicans and Donald Trump. Putin is aware of this. This is why Russia wants to see Trump as president again.
Putin counts on Trump and MAGA to implement his conflict strategy with the West and the existing world order set by the US and Great Britain.
The Russian president clearly understands that America will one day get rid of MAGA haze. This is why he does not have much time to grab as much of European land and sovereignty as he can and legitimise his conquests.
Since MAGA crashed into the American political landscape, it has been helping Russia neutralise its global potential by either sabotaging the role it has had globally since the end of WW2 or at least removing the US from global affairs with various partisan and populist initiatives.
Moscow meddled in American elections in 2016 because Putin wanted to show who was the new boss in town.
Then it became clear to Moscow that Trump was not only willing to attack and destroy the Kremlin’s long-time enemies such as the late Senator John McCain, but he was also willing to go the whole nine yards regarding the Kremlin’s wishlist and destroy NATO by pulling the US out of the Alliance.
Trump could not fulfil all the Kremlin’s desires during his first 4 years. In particular, he failed to annul the American role as the keeper of world order or to spark a sufficient level of separatism to crack America.
That is why Putin desperately needs another mandate of the radical isolationist as leader of the US.
But what if Trump is not nominated or if he loses the election? What will happen in America if Trump does not run in the 2024 elections?
It has been some time since numerous conspiracy theories regarding Trump's alleged murder by US political parties or the so-called deep state filled the Russian public space.
According to the Russian conspiracy theorists, who have a large audience in Russia, the Democrats want him gone because Trump is against global US influence. The Republicans who oppose him and, of course, the deep state want him gone because Trump wants to pursue peace with Russia and globally.
A good part of the Russian public has been preparing for the possibility that Trump will not even participate in the presidential elections
There is no method of influencing public opinion in Russia - including the dissemination of conspiracy theories - without the influence and control of the Kremlin.
With such conspiracy scenarios, a good part of the Russian public has been preparing for the possibility that Trump will not even participate in the presidential elections next November and then, perhaps, for the possible riots of angry Trump supporters in the US. Either of those scenarios would no doubt suit the Kremlin.
Putin seems to be determined to get the most out of the current momentum and the ongoing malicious MAGA campaign regarding America’s global leadership and the paralysis among Europeans. Russia and Putin will not have another chance like this one.