Dmitry Yefremenko has a PhD in Political Science. He is Deputy Director of the Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences at the Russian Academy of Sciences.
While only recently the West’s dominance looked absolute, now the roles of the teacher and the student, the leader and the straggler are no longer definitely assigned. Сompetition in interpreting reality, defining meanings, and translating values will increasingly grow.
The Ukrainian crisis is just ushering in a series of conflicts amid which a polycentric system of international relations will form. An effective multilateral mechanism must be created for preventing and settling crises in Europe and North Eurasia.
Ukraine will experiment on itself and all the other countries in the post-Soviet space are looking forward to watching how it ends. Whether the ensuing economic or institutional changes over rapprochement with the EU appear tangible and positive will determine Russia’s own conduct and the conduct of countries that still rely on it.
The much needed reforms of the Russian political system, although creating extra problems when being implemented, can contribute to greater resistibility to external challenges in the long term. Such reforms do not guarantee Moscow’s success in foreign policy, but they will certainly ease the risks stemming from internal political polarization.
The new configuration of power after the 2011 and 2012 elections will not so much determine a radical change in Russian foreign policy (which is unlikely), but indicate whether or not Russia will become a new source of global turbulence. In the end it is the election, not the winner, that matters, i.e. its ability or inability to secure the legitimacy of the next president.
The range of opportunities opening up before Russia in the process of the emergence of a post-American world should be used to create favorable conditions for internal development, and not for complicating them with involvement in strict alliances. The freedom of choice is a truly precious asset in the era of multipolarity.
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.