Fyodor Lukyanov is Editor-in-Chief of Russia in Global Affairs, Chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, and Research Director of the Valdai International Discussion Club.
The year 2015 has demonstrated a severe imbalance in the world order and the impossibility of returning to interaction governed by old principles. As global players strive for a return to their individual perception of a “golden age,” Fyodor Lukyanov considers which geopolitical model appears the most likely in the near future.
National historical narratives describing the grandeur of “our” nation and its struggle for good against evil are the intrinsic ailment of history. But there are also historians who take such narratives with a grain of salt. If society prosecutes historians who lay the groundwork for critical public dialogue about the past, it will lose the only effective remedy for national narcissism.
“Fifty years ago the streets of Leningrad taught me a lesson: if a fight is inevitable, hit first.” These words by Vladimir Putin have become a most quoted phrase of the past fall. Said at the Valdai International Discussion Club, it unambiguously conveys the underlying principle of Russia’s current foreign policy.
It’s easy to criticize the Nobel Peace Prize, for incontestable decisions are few and far between in its history. This prize is a political barometer and an indicator of the state of affairs in the world.
The Syrian crisis has deteriorated dramatically, moving from armed struggle mostly against non-state, and therefore barely identifiable, groups to a direct clash between major military powers.
The attacks will almost inevitably lead to an escalation of war in Iraq and Syria, as well as to changes in the balance of forces in the Middle East as a whole.
The Russian operation in Syria is an indisputable milestone in the country's political development. For the first time in over a quarter of a century, the Kremlin is officially conducting a high-scale military operation abroad, motivated not by peacekeeping and "peace enforcement", but by strategic reasons.
There is no doubt that Moscow understands that Syria will no longer be the way it once was, neither in terms of government nor borders.
Two important anniversaries celebrating major diplomatic accomplishments are marked in the summer and fall of 2015 – the 70th anniversary of the United Nations Organization and the 40th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act. The former laid the foundation for the postwar world order; the latter formalized its core element – the European order.
Russia and the U.S. are deeply distrustful of one another right now. And yet both agree that the Islamic State is pure evil and that a united front is needed to combat it. Then why isn't one taking shape?
The refugee crisis – by no means the first one in European history – is just the tip of the iceberg, the quintessence of the accumulated problems. They should be analyzed rationally in order to make the right diagnosis and find a cure.
The 40th anniversary of the signing of the Helsinki Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe passed almost unnoticed in Russia. Probably because the date falls during the most systemically unstable period in Europe since the declaration was signed.
The time may have come to rethink our views on diplomatic and political initiatives
In the aftermath of the 2015 BRICS summit in Ufa, Fyodor Lukyanov, head of Russia’s Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, discusses how the BRICS are evolving in response to changing geopolitical conditions
In many respects, Yevgeny Primakov shaped the political philosophy of modern Russia's foreign policy, a country which is both the successor of multi-century history and a new state born in the breach of the old model.
The documents that President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed in May form the basis of a truly strategic partnership, writes columnist Fyodor Lukyanov.
The year 2014 has gone down in history as a time of the collapse of the previous model of relations between Russia and the rest of the world. The year 2015 will most likely show that the changes are irreversible and have gone beyond the point of return. We can draw a line under the bygone era, but we still cannot say what the new one will be like.
Some observers have concluded that the recent Moscow visit by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland signals a warming in U.S.-Russian relations. However, not all communications between states have the goal of reaching agreement on something.
If the West really wants to build a new relationship, then it has to understand Russia much better than it does today. Here are a few recommendations on what to avoid when patching up relations with Moscow.
The latest live call-in show in which President Vladimir Putin answered questions from ordinary Russians did not have any sensational high points, but it was an important indicator of the leader's mood.
The takeover of Crimea has put a definitive end to the Soviet state.
This report was prepared following the conclusions of XI annual Valdai Discussion Club meeting.
The new world order that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union is breaking down
Why are Russian-Ukrainian relations, which had always been characterized as fraternal, now in this state?
The global system will not reach any major milestones of development in 2015. However, judging from events in the opening weeks of this year, the general global trends that were already evident will become more clearly defined in the coming months.
The events of this year have raised questions about fundamental concepts of international relations – War and Peace, the State, and International Law. These reflections evoke an especially philosophical mood in contrast to what is happening in world politics today, where all actors obviously lack a long-term vision and strategy.
"As masters of judo teach, it is better to not rely on one’s own strength but to instead use your opponent’s strength against him"
The South Stream project's cancellation, which President Vladimir Putin announced during his recent visit to Turkey, caused a great deal of surprise in Europe
The South Stream project has been abandoned. Vladimir Putin made a statement to this effect during his recent state visit to Ankara, a visit in which he agreed to increase supplies to Turkey and, possibly, via the country to the European market
The former, transitional model of relations in post-Cold War Europe no longer exists. No new model is in place either, and everyone is hoping to engineer a stopgap by giving a facelift to the situation from the latter half of the 20th century
Merkel’s EU critics come to realize that any kind of “war” on Merkel can end up very badly for the European Union.
Today post-Soviet Central Asian countries are facing problems caused by old security challenges and the emergence of completely new threats. These threats may influence the prospects of secular statehood in the region. This is a serious obstacle to modernization.
In 2015, the global context fever continued. It was characterised by non-linearity and unpredictability with opposite processes going on simultaneously and relationship between countries becoming increasingly tangled and complex.
Non-state (or “informal”) militias play crucial roles on both sides of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. They serve as force multipliers and, in some cases, provide plausible deniability for brutality.
Ever since Vladimir Putin launched the Eurasian Union project in 2011, scholars and the media have tended to analyze it as the victory of the Eurasianist ideology. This memo investigates the relationship between Eurasia, Eurasianism, and the Eurasian Union project.