The degradation of governance within the international system is a hot topic nowadays – and for good reason. The underpinnings of the rules-based world order are crumbling, and basic norms of international behavior and decency are in decay. By almost any definition, we seem to be living in a dangerous – even prewar – type of world.
Between the nation and the empire there lies the term ‘civilization.’ Russia will be doomed to build its identity on the archetypes of civilizational loneliness (an imperial feeling) as there is no system to build itself into to obtain guarantees of further existence.
A “free agent” in the present world may be any influential actor in international processes. To effectively use the “free agent” concept, it is necessary to renounce zero-sum thinking where the West’s gain is necessarily perceived as Russia’s loss, and vice versa.
The Russian political system is hard to understand, but not impossible to understand. The simplistic interpretation of a “Tsar ruling alone” shows its limits every time it is recalled to explain the Kremlin’s latest decision in foreign or domestic policy.
We will live in a highly competitive and increasingly unpredictable world. Russia should start economic growth and development in order not to fall behind the new technological revolution again. Economic weakness provokes external pressure.
The current elites lack Primakov’s ability to find a balance between national and international interests, see a better future, and choose the best way to achieve it. It is this ability that has placed Primakov among the brilliant representatives of realist thought.
It might be too early to sum up the international events of the outgoing year just yet, but everything that was meant to happen already has, and the principal consequences are evident.
Russia has used its military beyond its borders with unprecedented frequency in the period since the invasion of Crimea in February 2014.
The article discusses the results of Russian foreign policy since the collapse of the Soviet Union against the background of major new global and regional international trends and the policy of other major world powers.
Discussions of popular support for the Kremlin’s foreign policy often invoke common international relations concepts, like the “rally around the flag” effect...
The scope of China’s containment is broadening, while the scope of U.S.-China cooperation is gradually narrowing. Of course, it is easy not to see this if one cites high volumes of U.S.-Chinese trade or the great enthusiasm for American popular culture among the Chinese.
The claim about an irreversible crisis of the liberal world order is a very convenient position for those who would like to simplify not only the overall picture, but also the challenges to the Russian foreign policy. Russia should learn to see not only problems in globalization, but also new opportunities for itself.
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.
After a long quest for a new mission, when NATO tested different roles from global world policemen and expeditionary super-unit to soft security provider and democracy promoter, the organization is back to its habitual business: to contain Russia. What a relief after years of wandering!
NATO and Russia have failed to develop institutionalized relations that would bind each side to predictable patterns of behavior. As a result, Europe is now locked in a dangerous spiral of security competition. In order to avoid conflict in the future both sides need to find new ways to make institutional binding work.
The Syrian conflict has provided an example of the profound virtualization of politics (and even its power component) and of creating stable pre-engineered actors exclusively for the communication space. The “moderate opposition” is the most noteworthy one.
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.
The era of bipolar confrontation ended a long time ago. But the unipolar moment of U.S. dominance that began in 1991 is gone, too. A new, multipolar world has brought more uncertainty into international affairs.
As Russia begins to wind down its military operation in Syria, it is time to assess what it has taught us about how the Russian military operates.
When it comes to Russia’s geopolitics, the international community has a lot to grumble about.
The strategic partnership with China began in 1996 (just in time when this form of bilateral cooperation first became available), and it was considered by the leaders of Russia and China as a geopolitical rather than economic project.
The hackneyed saying “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future” is as relevant today as never before, but there is no stopping to the audacious flight of imagination. Popular as it is, extrapolation of current trends to future periods does not work as something always gets in the way, while attempts to draw a completely different picture look like imaginative writing. And still we have taken the risk.
The Russian military campaign in Syria has been a major military and political event with significant regional and global consequences. It is post-Soviet Russia’s first openly-conducted full-scale military operation abroad.
The principle stated by George Orwell that all are equal but some are more equal than others seems to have been adopted at the international level. This is vividly borne out by the outcome of American interference in the Middle East countries and elsewhere. Russia will continue to espouse the principles of law and justice in international affairs.
President Putin's decision to start pulling Russian troops out of Syria made headlines around the world this week. But if one recalls official statements at the start of the operation and after it was in full force, the decision was to be expected.
Material for discussion at the middle east dialogue of the Valdai discussion club, Moscow, February 25-26, 2016
Why no new world order has been built since the end of the Cold War
Faced with a crisis, the Russian authorities are trying to convince their people that all of Russia’s troubles come from abroad, but its main battles are also won there.
Russia’s active involvement in the Syrian conflict and, specifically, employment of its Caspian Flotilla for destroying Islamic State targets, has changed the balance of power in the Caspian region significantly, and highlighted the need to re-examine its legal status and security.
Industrial espionage is capable of making up—promptly and at a relatively low cost—for the shortage of some components critically important for developing a certain industry. But as soon as the state begins to use industrial espionage systematically, this “remedy” instantly turns into a killer drug.
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.