Russia’s G8 presidency, which will be crowned by the July summit in St. Petersburg, has become the leitmotif of Russia’s foreign policy this year.
Russia should cease playing a game of "catch up" with the so-called developed economies, as well as relinquish the idea of antagonism between Russian and Western interests. Russia and the West objectively need each other.
While the problems that Russia must solve in the next three years are quite serious, the long-term challenges are much more fundamental. These challenges include the reduction of the Russian population; the decline in the skill level of manpower resources; the aging of the infrastructure; and the need for sufficient competitive niches in the global division of labor.
The formation of Russia’s new policy toward the Asia-Pacific countries is impossible without transforming its foreign-policy thinking, which has been traditionally focused on the Euro-Atlantic space. Russia must stop viewing Asia as something alien.
There are necessary prerequisites for adding a new quality to Russia’s mutually advantageous partnership with the Asia-Pacific countries. The recognition of Russia’s importance as a constructive factor in the Asia-Pacific region has brought about markedly new opportunities for regional integration and for consolidating the independent role of the regional states in global politics.
The alienation between Washington and Moscow will most likely continue to increase until at least 2009 when new administrations will come to power in both countries. Both the United States and Russia will almost simultaneously launch presidential campaigns in which foreign policy, as a rule, ceases to be an esoteric area dominated by the highbrows and breaks out into a political fist fight.
Russia’s growing importance in world politics and economy helps it assume a more independent role in international policies in the Middle East. Russia could offer a new diplomatic initiative for scaling down tensions in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This may occur if it bases its incentive on the principle of ‘demographic disengagement’ of the Israelis and Palestinian Arabs.
The Iranian issue has divided Azerbaijani society, as shown by frequent public opinion polls. The latest poll showed a fall in the popularity of the United States: only 11 percent placed the U.S. among countries that are the most friendly toward Azerbaijan (compared with 30 percent in 1999).
The impediments to the implementation of the liberal-democratic project arise not so much from Russia’s cultural-typological differences with the West, as was the case in the early 20th century, as from its historical lag behind the West against the background of the non-essential differences.
The formation of Russia’s new national policy is taking place amidst the broadening global crisis concerning the concept of the nation-state, which is instigated by the confrontation between globalization and ethnic separatism. Russia has a unique opportunity to reconsider and reformulate particular values of the nation-state.
Political dormancy and indifference have engulfed the Russian people who have turned their energies to the realm of material rather than political ambitions. The consumer boom is rolling through the country, in some places energetically – occasionally even glamorously.
Successful self-identification within the post-Soviet states often involves taking a new look at one’s national history. Not all titular nations in the CIS had states of their own in the past, but all of them had a history on which to build their national self-consciousness.
In a situation where ethnic Russians are now the lowest caste on the social ladder of Ukrainian society, they are not in the position to uphold their rights in Ukraine on their own. Today, the outlook for the Russian diaspora’s involvement in Ukrainian politics is bleak.
Spain’s democratic success poses no miracle prescriptions for Russia and other struggling democracies. But it suggests a point often overlooked in discussions about democratization. Democracy is the product of the skills and talents of real-life political actors rather than the result of some macro-historical process linked to the development of the economy, or the constitutional configuration of civil society and political organizations.
Russia’s participation in the G8 has provided the group with a major incentive for confronting a broad range of international political problems involving strategic stability, regional conflicts and nonproliferation. The expansion of summit agendas has given "fresh oxygen" to the dialog between the G8 leaders.
Chairing the G8 meeting in St. Petersburg is an important test of the Kremlin administration’s ability to advance its national interests abroad.
If Russia engages other members in a substantive discussion of its proposals,
it will make a significant accomplishment. Comments by Hiski Haukkala and Peter Rutland.
At a roundtable event in Moscow, top experts debated the “hypocritical” and “insincere” foreign policies of both Russia and the West in the post-Cold War era.
Vladimir Putin has mentioned several times that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a geopolitical mistake. Although these words were often interpreted as his desire to constitute that country, there is little reason to believe this.
Contemporary international relations are experiencing a period of turbulence and transition from a unipolar world to a world with multiple centers of power with strengthened role of regionalization. In these circumstances relatively small states try to maximize the resource of geopolitical identity to conduct their foreign policies.
In the old days coal miners took a caged canary down into mines. If the canary suddenly dropped dead, that meant that the deadly gas, carbon monoxide, was slowly seeping into the shaft... An order of magnitude increase in killing rampages in America over the last several decades is like canaries suddenly starting to drop dead all around us. It is an early indicator of much worse troubles to come.
In the wake of the For Fair Elections protest movement in Russia in 2011-2012, the Kremlin initiated a new strategy of state-society relations that was aimed at diminishing the propensity for protest in the next election cycle.
Belarus’ traditional structural dependence on Russia is increasing, and Minsk’s freedom of maneuver continues to shrink.