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.

  • 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.

  • 29 may 2008

    Next U.S. Leader Cannot Undo Bush's Mess

    The U.S. presidential election campaign is entering its decisive phase. The candidates for the rival parties seem to have been determined, and now the real struggle begins. U.S. President George W. Bush is suffering record-low approval ratings, and his exit is eagerly awaited both at home and abroad. Europeans are especially looking forward to a change in the White House...

  • 17 april 2008

    An Early Assessment of Putin's Foreign Policy

    President Vladimir Putin's participation in the NATO summit in Bucharest and his talks with U.S. President George W. Bush in Sochi marked the final foreign policy episode in his two terms. Putin's legacy is worthy of serious study and impartial analysis, but this is not possible right now.

  • 19 march 2008

    Good Policies Should Make Good Neighbors

    At his first news conference following his election victory, President-elect Dmitry Medvedev touched upon only one foreign relations topic. He said Moscow's priority was the Commonwealth of Independent States, and he promised that his first state visit would be to one of the CIS countries.

  • 2 march 2008

    Our First Five Years

    Russia in Global Affairs is celebrating a small anniversary: five years ago – in January 2003 – the first regular issue of our journal appeared in print. Five years is a short period of time in historical dimensions, but the pace and substance of the current changes make one recall the practice of calculating one’s length of service in the Soviet Union. At that time, a year of work under harsh climatic conditions or a year of performing a hazardous job was counted as two.

  • 20 february 2008

    Refitting Global Organizations for New Order

    Kosovo's proclamation of independence has sparked a storm of debate. The main topic of discussion is how Kosovo's decision will influence other regional conflicts. More interesting, though, is what role the events in the Balkans will play in the overall weakening of international institutions.

  • 20 february 2008

    Reciprocal respect could calm the troubled waters of EU-RUSSIA relations

    Relations between Russia and the European Union are still described officially as a "strategic partnership" with a shared goal of "integration". In practice, however, neither side makes any attempt to hide their irritation at the other. The illusion that Moscow would follow the European model of development began to fade back in the days of Boris Yeltsin. Under President Vladimir Putin, it has become clear that Russia is, in fact, heading in a very different direction.

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Publisher's column

Russia’s Victory, new Concert of Nations

Russia was resolved and would win, which it actually did by the beginning of 2016. Threats to tear its economy to tatters and organize regime change either through asphyxiating sanctions, organizing “a conspiracy of oligarchs” or popular discontent have been forgotten.

Editor's column

Here’s Why U.S.-Russia Military Conflict Over Syria Is Looking More And More Likely

To repair his abysmal approval rating, Trump is likely to further intervene in Syria, prompting a dangerous Russian response.


Diplomacy vs. 'hypocrisy' in the post Cold War era

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.

In reading Putin, don’t mistake nostalgia for ambition

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.

Defense Through Leadership: Turkey on the Eve of Its Constitutional Referendum

The April 16 referendum will focus on power distribution rather than institution building. In other words, the organizers saw it as an opportunity to expand the President’s powers and allow him to rule longer. In their turn, Turks perceived it as an institutional choice to contribute to the development of the state.

Into the Unknown: U.S.-Russian Relations Unhinged

If the larger picture defies prediction, the immediate future is scarcely more transparent. In the U.S. case, the known unknowns are numerous. They begin with the question of how much deck furniture Trump is willing to overturn in order to pursue an “America First” strategy.

Russia’s 2016-2018 Election Cycle: Popular Engagement and Protest Potential

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.

Lukashenko’s “Drift To The West”: Why Moscow Should Not Be Worried

Belarus’ traditional structural dependence on Russia is increasing, and Minsk’s freedom of maneuver continues to shrink.