TASS Conference on US elections

TASS Conference on US elections

4 November 2020

MGIMO Rector Anatoly Torkunov participated in the press-conference.

November 4th, the news agency TASS hosted an online press conference dedicated to the results of the US presidential elections. Russian and American experts discussed the difficult environment in which the elections were held, how their results could have an impact on the world economy, the changes to be expected in US domestic and foreign policy and how the electoral outcome could affect Russian-American relations as well as strategic stability and arms control.

On the Russian side, among the participants were MGIMO Rector Anatoly Torkunov, the President of IMEMO of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Dynkin, the Scientific Director of the Institute of the USA and Canada of the Russian Academy of Sciences Sergei Rogov, the Deputy Scientific Director of the Higher School of Economics Andrei Kokoshin, the leading TASS reporter Andrei Shitov. On the US side, the meeting was attended by the former Head of CNN's Moscow bureau, professor Jill Dougherty and an expert on intercultural Russian-American relations, professor at the American University in Washington, Anton Fedyashin. Discussions were moderated by the First Deputy Director General of TASS Mikhail Gusman.

Anatoly Torkunov remarked that regardless of the electoral results, the United States would have a tough policy towards Russia: “When considering the attitude towards Russia, it is clear that both candidates will put pressure on our country. They announced this during the electoral campaign. Biden was tougher, although both sides competed in their hostile declarations against Russia and the Russian President. Three or four days ago, when Biden spoke at one of the rallies, he said that he would be as tough as possible."

At the same time, the Rector noted that Biden also emphasized the need to extend agreements related to disarmament, which is key to maintaining strategic stability. The current US President Donald Trump, in his opinion, is not ready to do this. 

According to Anatoly Torkunov, Biden's foreign policy moves will be more predictable than Trump's: “The only thing that can be said today is that Biden will be more predictable in his foreign policy in general and in relation to Russia in particular. Of course, I do not expect any major changes or improvements in the near future, but predictability can be expected."

The Rector also underlined the fact that there has been a decrease in the amount of bilateral contacts in recent years between Russia and the US, in particular in the academic field. “Simple problems play a role here, such as obtaining American visas. Bureaucratic problems result in many projects being set aside or dismissed” noted Anatoly Torkunov. He contrasted the situation with Great Britain, remarking that despite the political difficulties in bilateral relations, that academic cooperation is thriving both in the fields of research and education: “MGIMO currently runs several active joint master's and bachelor's programs with leading British universities. These are young people who in a few years will create a new atmosphere of international relations”.