All articles
Fyodor Lukyanov

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.

  • 16 december 2009

    Tapping Into West’s Modernization Reservoir

    At the beginning of 2008, tensions between Russia and the West increased with each passing month, reaching a peak in August during and after the Russia-Georgia war. That was followed by a state of suspension with both sides unsure about how events would unfold.

  • 19 november 2009

    Gorbachev Is the Last 20th-Century Wilsonian

    I first met former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in person in 1992 during a round-table discussion. Several months earlier, he stepped down from power. We all expected that Gorbachev, now freed from the burden of authority, would tell us what he was prohibited from saying earlier: the truth about events leading to the end of communism and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

  • 22 october 2009

    Russia’s Georgia Problem One Year On

    The long-awaited report on the 2008 Russia-Georgia war prepared by a European Union commission did not create a sensation. It was written in true European political style, purposefully avoiding sharp conclusions or extremes and taking a balanced approach. What conclusion can be drawn following its publication?

  • 17 september 2009

    The U.S. and Russia – Alone Together

    Given that the United States is experiencing serious setbacks with its allies, Washington must make a sober evaluation of how much it can rely on Moscow for support in resolving a range of problems. Despite the numerous weaknesses that threaten the Russia’s future development, the country is one of only a few remaining in the world that possesses strategic thinking, strategic potential and the ability to apply force.

  • 5 september 2009

    Rethinking Security in “Greater Europe”

    The proposal to build a new European security architecture, which Russian President Dmitry Medvedev put forward in Berlin in June 2008 and which he followed up in November in Evian, was Moscow’s first attempt in 20 years to formulate a coherent foreign-policy vision.

  • 5 september 2009

    No Lull in Sight

    There has been no traditional summertime lull in Russian politics this year. The breath of the crisis is felt everywhere. In Russia, it forces the government to take preventive measures – many analysts predict a hot autumn prone with social problems. But in the international arena, new opportunities are opening up, which Moscow does not want to miss.

  • 19 august 2009

    Medvedev Changes His Tactics Over Ukraine

    The economic crisis didn’t have the effect on Russia that the West was counting on. Instead of compliance, they’ve shown more aggression. Rather than being scattered around the world, Russia’s now focused on strengthening its position as an independent center of gravity. In other words, it’s expanding its markets and political influence into adjacent territories.

  • 16 july 2009

    Obama’s Consensus Diplomacy Put to the Test

    The main geopolitical tools of the 20th century — nuclear weapons and ideology — are losing their former value. The new priority is to maintain a complex balance between multiple states. But it is first necessary to understand the interests that drive numerous regional conflicts.

  • 1 july 2009

    Navigating Together in Dangerous Conditions

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit next week to Moscow is generating more interest in U.S.-Russian relations than we have seen in a long time. A dozen or so presummit conferences sponsored by leading think tanks dedicated to future relations between the two countries have been held recently in Moscow and Washington.

  • 17 june 2009

    Moscow Shows Who's Boss With WTO U-Turn

    Moscow's decision to halt negotiations on joining the World Trade Organization and to focus instead on a joint bid through a customs union with Kazakhstan and Belarus appears to be politically motivated. It is a step toward establishing an independent identity on the world arena. Such a policy is conceptually based on several propositions.

  • 7 june 2009

    Crisis as a Catalyst

    The global economic crisis remains the focus of everyone’s attention, but the panic of late last year has given way to a sober analysis. The world has not been turned upside down and the problems caused by the crisis have only become catalysts of processes that had begun to take shape long before the autumn of 2008.

  • 20 may 2009

    A Positive but Confusing Security Strategy

    Last week, President Dmitry Medvedev signed Russia's national security strategy to 2020. The document reflects the uncertainty in the minds of Russia's leaders regarding the path of the country's development in the 21st century. As before, Russia is in a state of transition, but we are not sure exactly where it is transiting to.

  • 15 april 2009

    High Stakes for Moscow in U.S. Play for Iran

    The situation in Iran will likely become the center of global tensions in the months and years ahead. Tehran's desire to establish its status as a regional power will surely clash with Washington's desire to solidify its own global leadership role. And Russia, which has one foot in both camps, will find itself in an increasingly difficult position.

  • 3 april 2009

    Less Rhetoric, More Pragmatism in London

    The promise by U.S. President Barack Obama's administration to "press the reset button" in its relations with Russia holds promise for rapid progress in the near future as well as for dealing with serious problems down the line.

  • 18 march 2009

    Learning the Skills of Being a Regional Power

    The economic crisis is obviously having a strong impact on global politics, but nobody is venturing to predict what the new alignment of forces will be. Most likely, all countries will have to economize, rein in their ambitions and set more realistic priorities.

  • 19 february 2009

    The Orange Emperor Has No Clothes

    Despite living separately for the last 17 years, Russia and Ukraine are still inextricably intertwined. Events in one country inevitably have an impact on the other. In fact, two of Vladimir Putin's greatest foreign policy failures were linked to Ukraine.

  • 21 january 2009

    Taking the Demons Out of the Relationship

    Many observers have written that the change in leadership in the United States will open up new opportunities for U.S.-Russian relations. It is hard to argue with this for the simple reason that bilateral relations could hardly get worse than they are now.

  • 18 december 2008

    2 Crises Derailed Attempts to Improve EU Ties

    The year 2008 will receive a special mention the history books of Russia's foreign policy. The Georgia war in August brought a host of consequences demanding attention, and the convulsions of the global financial markets in September and October redefined the boundaries of what Russia could realistically achieve.

  • 20 november 2008

    The Real Issue Isn't a Shield in Central Europe

    In the two weeks since he was elected president, Barack Obama has received conflicting signals from Moscow. Aside from a threat to deploy Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad, the Kremlin has made some conciliatory statements. Whether we see a new chapter in U.S.-Russian relations will become clear only ...

  • 16 november 2008

    Two Crises on the Way to Reshaping the World

    Two crises have occurred one after the other in the past few months that have had a significant impact on Russian foreign policy. The Russian-Georgian war in August and the upheavals on global financial markets in September and October are not related. Yet both events, each in its own way, have contributed to the formulation by Russia of its national interests. One can say that the two crises have set a conceptual framework of interests, defining a vector for the indispensable and boundaries for the possible.

  • 16 october 2008

    Reading the World, Rewiring Institutions

    Sir Roderic Lyne not only knows a great deal about Russia, he understands her as well. I think I probably don't have to explain that this is not always one and the same thing. When events in a country are examined in the wider context - both geographical and historical - many things appear in a different light and, more importantly, become a great deal clearer.

  • 15 october 2008

    United States Lost Russia and Everything Else

    The financial crisis has pushed the Russia question to the back burner during the U.S. presidential election campaign. No matter what might have happened in Georgia -- or any other former Soviet republic -- U.S. citizens are far more worried about the safety of their bank accounts and retirement savings.

  • 22 september 2008

    History never went away

    The cliche, currently in vogue, to describe events in our times as "the return of history" is a staggering example of western arrogance. Taken literally, it means everything that took place in the 1990s was not history: the tragic breakup of multinational states, accompanied by civil wars and millions of broken lives ...

  • 17 september 2008

    Walking Carefully From Transdnestr to Yerevan

    Following the tumultuous events in the Caucasus, the struggle for influence in the former Soviet republics has turned into an open confrontation. Moscow has clearly articulated its policy toward its neighbors, calling those regions Russia's exclusive sphere of influence. By trying to create its own geographical sphere of influence, Moscow is ...

  • 21 august 2008

    Georgian Crisis Is a Trap for U.S. Leadership

    The fighting between Georgia and Russia has resulted in a serious political crisis in U.S.-Russian relations. It seems as if both sides have gone back to the sharp Cold War rhetoric of the early 1980s. But apart from the combative tone, the current conflict has nothing in common with the Cold War standoffs because the ideological element is absent in both Russian and U.S. foreign policies today...

  • 9 august 2008

    In Anticipation of Change

    There is an anticipation of change in the world today, although no one can say exactly how things will change. This anticipation stems from the handover of power – already accomplished in Russia and which will soon take place in the United States; from new internal turbulence in the European Union; from the marked growth of China’s presence on the global stage; and from ever new signs of a crisis in various international institutions.

  • 29 july 2008

    Lessons From Bosnia

    The arrest of Radovan Karadzic, who bears a significant portion of responsibility for the horrors of the civil war in Bosnia, is an appropriate ending to his political career. There are no grounds to portray the former president of Bosnian Serb republic as a victim of circumstances; he is getting what he deserves.

  • 19 june 2008

    From Vancouver to Vladivostok

    President Dmitry Medvedev has made a number of foreign policy statements since taking office. His speech at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum has drawn the most attention, although it was lacking something new in content. But his June 5 speech in Berlin was remarkable, especially in the context of the rejection a week later of the Treaty of Lisbon, a document that represented a watered-down version of the failed European Constitution.

  • 15 june 2008

    A Time to Cast Stones

    Russia’s gradual but irreversible return to the global economy and politics opened up new opportunities – and simultaneously set new requirements and structural restrictions to the national foreign policy. Russia emerged a full-fledged player in global politics in the first years of this century and displayed a conduct completely proportionate to that politics.

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Publisher's column

A Cold War: A Forecast for Tomorrow

Nuclear deterrence is the only reason why the world did not plunge into a nuclear conflict during the Cold War and is not sliding down that path now as we are living through a new Cold War which is even worse than the previous one.

Editor's column

Atlantic Drift: Russia and the U.S.-Europe Divide

Relations between Russia, Europe, and the United States are in flux as none is able or wants to maintain what it once had. An attempt to revive the Cold War paradigm has failed, and a new framework of relations has not formed. This state of uncertainty will most likely endure until each player achieves a measure of domestic stability.


Belt and Road to Where?

Setting aside the shortcomings of the Belt and Road concept, the “OBOR hype’ around the world points to a real and fundamental trend — the ascent of China as a truly global economic and military power.

Moscow’s leverage in Syria is strong, but limited

Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared “a complete victory” over the Islamic State on both banks of the Euphrates River in Syria.

Whose Liberal International Order?

The Remaking of Eurasia and the Shifting Balance of International Ideas.

The New Northern Policy and Korean-Russian Cooperation

While the North Korea crisis hangs over regional and global peace, the world calls out to constructive and peaceful cooperation that can halt the ‘conflict spiral’. The Russian-Korean cooperation and Eurasian integration may become a remedy for the problem.

The European Missile Defense System and Russia: Can There Be Dialogue Rather Than an Arms Race?

The official inauguration of a European missile defense site in Romania in the spring of 2016 triggered a new wave of anti-Western rhetoric in Russia.

A Poisoned Chalice

How the Minsk Accords Destabilize Ukraine.