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 outgoing year witnessed a number of shocks in post-Soviet countries.
In 2010 Russia made a psychological break with its past and its former status as an empire.
This past year saw a lot of speculation about whether Russia will ultimately join NATO.
Only recently, Lukashenko looked like an unhappy exception in the new Europe, but he sticks out less now. Not because he has changed. No, it is the world around him that has changed.
Officials in Russia have shrugged off the latest portion of U.S. diplomatic leaks with their unflattering descriptions of many world leaders.
The exchange of artillery shells off the Korean Peninsula that seemed to come out of nowhere is fresh evidence of the explosive situation in Asia.
Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. President Ronald Reagan first met in Geneva 25 years ago.
Japanese Ambassador Masaharu Kono, recalled to Tokyo for consultations after President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to one of the disputed Kuril Islands, has returned to Moscow. Some people still wonder what really is behind this diplomatic spat.
News about Russia’s alleged intention to contribute forces to the Western coalition in Afghanistan has made headlines on both sides of the Atlantic in the past few days.
Is Russia unpredictable? Perhaps, but one shouldn’t exaggerate – its randomness often follows a consistent pattern.
Greater Europe is at a crossroads. Twenty years after the fall of the Iron Curtain, it remains divided, unable to unify into a global force.
The ongoing changes in the international arena are becoming ever faster and bigger.
Over the past eight years, there has been a lot of talk about establishing a visa-free regime between Russia and the European Union.
Merely two years have passed since the Five-Day War, but it seems much longer, because the international situation has changed dramatically over these years.
The decision by a UN court on Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence will not have immediate consequences.
Over the past year, Russian foreign policy has been more reactive than proactive. At the same time, Moscow understands that it needs to adopt new approaches.
Until only recently, the territory of the former Soviet Union appeared to be a vast geopolitical battlefield on which major world powers fought it out for the choicest "trophies".
The world system is in motion, and relations between countries are changing rapidly, as evidenced by the current developments in the post-Soviet space.
The problems of national and global security have once again come to the fore in recent months. Russia, the United States and other leading states and their alliances (NATO and the Collective Security Treaty Organization) are trying to adapt to the constantly changing environment. In many cases, the reality outruns people’s mentality, which remains a captive of views inherited from the past decades.
Twenty-five years ago, Mikhail Gorbachev became the general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Twenty years ago, at the Congress of People’s Deputies, he was elected as the first and — as it turned out — the last president of the Soviet Union.
NATO's Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, U.S. Navy Admiral James Stavridis inspecting the guard of honor during his visit to Belgrade, Serbia, Feb. 12, 2010. Public opinion is strongly against NATO membership, mostly due to NATO's 1999 bombing campaign.
Last week, the government criticized a bill that would have made it a criminal offense to deny the Soviet Union’s victory in World War II. United Russia deputies had introduced the measure last year.
Europe recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of the anti-Communist revolution that put an end to the division of the world into two ideological blocs. The events of 1989 opened a new chapter in global politics; however, even two decades later, the full content of this chapter remains unclear.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.