Distinguished officials attending the Eastern Economic Forum recently held in Vladivostok argued at one of its sessions about who was actually the author of the idea of Russia’s pivot to the East.
In view of the accelerated development of new technologies and potentially low energy prices, the struggle for energy markets will intensify. No matter in what areas energy cooperation may develop in the future, its main task will be attracting investment, technologies and human capital into the Russian fuel/energy sector.
It seems Washington wants to provoke China into muscle-flexing. If Beijing shows restraint and cold calculation in response, this may have a restrictive, if not sobering, effect on Washington. Russia is interested in preventing the South China Sea from becoming a proving ground for testing the strength of one’s nerves.
In the future, a duumvirate may emerge in Central Asia, in which China will provide investment and resources, and Russia will contribute security and geopolitical stability.
If there is a key lesson to be drawn from the history of international relations, it is that, in extremis, political and security considerations almost inevitably triumph over economic considerations. Nothing is less certain.
A careful management of diverging interests and lingering conflicts of Russia and China in Central Asia, and expanding economic links as a gradual approach to economic integration could amount to something the EU can learn—and benefit—from.
The only strategic response to the global water challenge and international competition for water would be to improve water use efficiency by redistributing water intakes and introducing new water use technologies. Importantly, these measures do not require redistributing water flows among countries.
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.
This year will see the 25th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s breakup and the emergence of new Russia on its ruins. Time is ripe for taking stocks and mapping a road into the future.
G20 must complement its core composition with a consultative network that reaches out to other governments, business, civil society, and think tanks. Its aim should be to consult and cultivate, not command and control, so that others believe they have a genuine voice and are legitimate stakeholders.
A reasonable choice would be a trial and error method, that is, learning partners better through joint projects. Instead of creating new regional cooperation mechanisms that may lead to conflicts, China should gradually promote its project of the Silk Road Economic Belt.
The best strategy towards the TTP would be monitoring and assessing the applicability of its experience to integration projects involving Russia. After all, Russia was not ready to sign it anyway. Neither was China.
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.
The Russian elite have realized that the country will have to live in a new reality that differs from the past rosy dreams of integration with the West, while preserving its independence and sovereignty. Yet they have not yet used the confrontation and the growth of patriotism for an economic revival.
The “One Belt, One Road” strategic initiative is a focus and priority for China’s foreign strategy in the new century. What is particularly interesting is that this inter-regional cooperation initiative driven by concrete projects aims to link the Eurasian Economic Union with systemic policies and institutional designs.
With the formation of the TPP, regionalism is advancing to a new, transcontinental level and turning into mega-regionalism, which undermines the basis for multilateral liberalization of world trade. It brings to the fore the right of the strongest and most prosperous countries to identify the vectors of economic integration.
Several significant changes have taken place with regard to China’s foreign strategies in the last 50 odd years.
In the fifteen years since the 1998 crisis, the so-called Emerging and Developing Asia has become a new engine of global economic growth.
Seoul believes that South Korea, with its advanced port infrastructure, is a natural gateway to the Pacific, opening access to the entire continent of Eurasia all the way to the Atlantic.
The possibilities of club monetary interaction mechanisms are very modest as they do not replace but supplement global mechanisms. Nevertheless, they deserve attention and support. Equally important is the fact that such mechanisms may have side effects, namely, general shifts in the structure of global economic governance.
China is still overall a global free-rider on a system whose original creators and beneficiaries cannot now afford to maintain without help. The question that cannot now be answered is what price the West and the U.S. in particular will be prepared to pay for help.
For the first time in history, Russia, previously only as a military power, now has a chance to enter the Asia-Pacific region as a factor of peace. And this may make it a unique player, so much needed to balance Asia.
Globalization in the 21st century is no longer a trend solely promoted by the “Washington consensus,” it is now driven more by various concepts, including the “Chinese dream” and Russia’s great power ambitions. It is not only inspired by private sectors and market mechanisms, it involves by far more diverse participants, especially big corporations supported by their governments.
Given the crisis in the U.S. and the European Union, the continued health of Asia and emerging markets, and Russia’s effort to look East, it is not unimaginable that twenty years hence the world will see the rise of Russia and the beginning of an Asia-Pacific century, potentially impacting Russia, ASEAN and their mutual relations.
The place of China as a leading actor in Asian regionalism is increasingly understood today and seems almost inevitable for the future. The only controversy about China’s role in regional leadership is not whether it can lead but whether it will dominate others and displace America’s hegemony.
The world crisis has spurred the already high rate of processes taking place in the Asia-Pacific region, forcing its transformation into a major center of world politics.
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 13th annual meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club includes a special session on the theme “What if… the Soviet Union had not collapsed?”
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is by far the most ambitious project in the field of contractual formats of regional economic cooperation, combining traditional measures to liberalize mutual trade with regulatory rules of economic activity on the territories of member states. If successful, this project will influence on the development of both the world economy and its regulatory mechanisms.
Belarus’ traditional structural dependence on Russia is increasing, and Minsk’s freedom of maneuver continues to shrink.
The oil- and gas-rich states of the Caspian Sea basin—Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan—registered phenomenal growth throughout most of the 2000s. However, the heady days of resource-fueled development now appear to be over, and local governments are suddenly struggling to overcome massive budget deficits, devalued currencies, and overall economic stagnation.