Mutual sanctions are always extremely unpleasant, and the application of sanctions and the “hot” trade war between Russia, Europe and the United States can have no good result.
It has become popular in Russia to speak about the crash of the Western economic model and liberal capitalism and this talk may make some sense from the political point of view. All of economic history shows that however harsh a crisis may be and whatever stage of capitalism’s decomposition is attributed to it, market economies have always survived crises, and emerged from them stronger, tougher and more competitive.
Russia entered its postindustrial transformation much later than the West. In fact, we must choose an effective model of a postindustrial market and produce a set of state policy instruments that will ensure its proper functioning.
The full-scale revolution that Russia experienced while implementing the systemic post-Communist transformation is over, and the basic state institutions have been restored. At the same time, the elites have not consolidated much, and a stable national consensus on basic values has not been reached.
A reliance on natural resources in a country’s development causes grave economic problems and results in the government’s awkward decisions. The instances can be easily found in recent and distant history.
Debates about perestroika in Russia seem destined to remain “What if” controversies. Whatever aspects of this period are being discussed, an intriguing question always stands out, explicitly or implicitly: Could the events have taken a different course? Or was it spurred by an accidental concourse of circumstances, mistakes and spontaneous whims of certain leaders?
It could be persuasively argued that the goals of the post-Communist transformation have been successfully accomplished. The dominant socio-economic problems confronting Russia today are the crisis of the industrial system and the establishment of the socio-economic foundation of a post-industrial society.
If we were to make a brief summary of the year 2003 for Russia, here is what it would entail: an overall favorable economic situation; general economic growth; changes in the political atmosphere which were manifest in the campaign against the YUKOS oil company and parliamentary election results; preparations for the presidential election and debates over what political and economic policies Vladimir Putin may pursue during his second presidency. Last year’s results are worthy of an in-depth analysis, as many of those events will clearly mark out a course for the coming years.
Following the collapse of Communism, Central and East European nations and the countries of the former Soviet Union became a kind of proving ground for international aid efforts. The lessons of the 1990s have produced new evidence confirming that ‘cheap money’ allocated by developed nations and international financial institutions is inefficient.
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.