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 U.S. and Russia will most likely return to pragmatic relations after years of an ideologically-driven foreign policy under President Obama. However, both countries will probably harden their stance towards the other, and dramatic breakthroughs are unlikely.
Aiming to spread democracy, the U.S. has meddled in foreign countries’ politics for decades. Russia just returned the favor.
It might be too early to sum up the international events of the outgoing year just yet, but everything that was meant to happen already has, and the principal consequences are evident.
Obama started dismantling America’s global obligations. Trump is likely to take that a step further.
The future and the past can meet sometimes—when the present is at an impasse, like it is today. For a quarter of a century now, we have been tirelessly building a new world order, but suddenly time seems to have rolled back, reviving the talk of a new Cold War, an ideological conflict, arms control, and nuclear confrontation.
The G20 meeting in China was a milestone in international relations. Until only recently, world leaders were certain that the global economy and increased connectivity had helped stabilize and define the new world order. Now, however, the pendulum has turned back towards a classic game between the great powers, and Russia is again feeling right in its element.
From the beginning, Turkey was one of the most active and ambitious players in the so-called Arab Spring that shook the foundations of the Middle East from 2010-2012. It is no surprise that such outward instability has seeped inward.
As yet another attack claims a shocking toll in innocent lives in France, political analyst Fyodor Lukyanov writes how terrorist acts and the helplessness of secret services are changing Europe before our very eyes
After a long quest for a new mission, when NATO tested different roles from global world policemen and expeditionary super-unit to soft security provider and democracy promoter, the organization is back to its habitual business: to contain Russia. What a relief after years of wandering!
Analyst discusses possible scenarios on heels of recent SPIEF meetings.
Life is never dull. The results of the British referendum, hardly expected by anyone, came as a new wake-up call clearly signaling that there is not a place left on Earth where politics could be predictable. Now everyone is waiting with bated breath for the outcome of the presidential election in the United States where all think that Donald Trump simply cannot win, but are no longer certain.
Recent overtures by top EU and German officials usher in hopes that relations between Moscow and the West could be on the verge of a turn for the better – but the real question is what direction Russia will take after sanctions are lifted and the tensions have abated.
The policies of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are typically viewed as the determining factor for everything that happens within or in connection with Turkey. And, doubtless, a president with such a single-minded desire for power, glory and a place in history does have a significant impact on a country’s course. However, Turkey is an example of how the world is changing in general, and objective factors play a no-less-crucial role than subjective ones in that process.
The era of bipolar confrontation ended a long time ago. But the unipolar moment of U.S. dominance that began in 1991 is gone, too. A new, multipolar world has brought more uncertainty into international affairs.
The hackneyed saying “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future” is as relevant today as never before, but there is no stopping to the audacious flight of imagination. Popular as it is, extrapolation of current trends to future periods does not work as something always gets in the way, while attempts to draw a completely different picture look like imaginative writing. And still we have taken the risk.
President Putin's decision to start pulling Russian troops out of Syria made headlines around the world this week. But if one recalls official statements at the start of the operation and after it was in full force, the decision was to be expected.
Why no new world order has been built since the end of the Cold War
They agree on key points. And no one wants to see the region in chaos or run by the Islamic State.
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.
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.