Alexei Portansky is a professor at the School of World Economics and World Politics at the National Research University–Higher School of Economics; senior researcher at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences.
The mega-regional trade agreements do not mean undermining the WTO, as some believe—there are no serious players in the world that would have such plans. The problem’s solution lies in gradual harmonization of the multilateral (WTO) format and regional/preferential and mega-regional (TPP and TTIP) formats.
Creating substituting production capacities, operating a semi-isolated financial system, spending resources to overcome trade barriers and looking for new markets will require enormous and unjustified expenditures, which will inevitably affect the competitiveness of Russia’s national economy and lead to the impoverishment of the population.
If Russia is to embark on the path of profound economic modernization in full seriousness, then there has to be a strategy of using WTO membership as the basis for modernization. It is crucial to determine the nature of our actions within the WTO for the long term.
Many Russians today, as they try to assess the role and place of their country in the international community, often proceed not from the global realities of the 21st century, but rather from nostalgia for that “once-mighty power, the Soviet Union,” a country “everyone feared and respected.”
They agree on key points. And no one wants to see the region in chaos or run by the Islamic State.
Merkel’s EU critics come to realize that any kind of “war” on Merkel can end up very badly for the European Union.
Islam is one of Russia’s four traditional religions – faiths with longstanding presence in the country. Unlike many European countries, where immigration contributes to the growth of the Muslim population, Russia’s Muslims are local people, long-established populations with ethnic traditions reaching centuries back.
The views and opinions expressed in this Paper are those of the author and do not represent the views of the Valdai Discussion Club, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
What are the prospects for Russian-North Korean relations today?
With the latest protracted nosedive in U.S.-Russia relations, when areas of cooperation have continued to shrink, it is beneficial to reflect on historically constructive joint endeavors, such as the cooperation between the two countries’ nuclear weapon laboratories (“lab-to-lab cooperation”).