Yelena Chernenko has a PhD in History and is head of the international section at the Kommersant newspaper.
The leaders of major cyber powers have declared an intent to restrict their actions in virtual space. This new weapon looks too lucrative indeed. Major crises will be unavoidable until the main players realize that mutual restrictions and the rules of the game are crucial.
Not so long ago Russia was the only country to advocate the adoption of a code of responsible conduct in cyberspace. Today the expert community is already actively discussing the need for such a code with regard to the global Internet infrastructure.
Diplomats can work without any doctrines or concepts in turbulent or revolutionary times. Admittedly, the contrast between foreign policy conceptual basis and practice in the Russian case looks outrageous at present.
It is very hard – in most cases impossible – to track down the source of a cyber attack. Since the U.S. and Russia have reserved the right to respond to cyber incidents like they were conventional acts of aggression, the two countries must work out confidence-building measures.
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.
The April 16 referendum will focus on power distribution rather than institution building. In other words, the organizers saw it as an opportunity to expand the President’s powers and allow him to rule longer. In their turn, Turks perceived it as an institutional choice to contribute to the development of the state.
If the larger picture defies prediction, the immediate future is scarcely more transparent. In the U.S. case, the known unknowns are numerous. They begin with the question of how much deck furniture Trump is willing to overturn in order to pursue an “America First” strategy.
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.