Oleg Barabanov - Programme Director of the Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club, Academic Director of the European Studies Institute at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), Professor of the Russian Academy of Science
The 13th annual meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club includes a special session on the theme “What if… the Soviet Union had not collapsed?”
One of the global security consequences of the current Ukrainian crisis is the visibly raising ‘nuclear fears’ in both political elites and wider public opinion among the world. There are various dimensions of such fears.
Amidst the Ukrainian crisis several statements were made in Kiev that Ukraine should develop nuclear weapons of its own. Although the probability is not high, this issue prompts an analysis of Ukraine’s real nuclear potential in this sphere.
We should not shut ourselves off from China, but cooperate with it: to identify the competitive advantages of the Transbaikal and the Russian Far East; to find points and areas of complementarity of the two economies; and to work along those lines.
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.