The rupture in relations between Russia and the West is discussed as if Crimea’s accession, Ukraine’s future and sanctions are the core problem.
The intention is for the Geneva transaction to be a prototype of how to resolve similar disagreements, as no one doubts that their number will grow.
The immense gulf in mutual distrust and suspicion that has characterized relations between Russia and the U.S. in recent years has been laid bare by the degree of misunderstanding “experts” from each side have shown in their attitudes toward the other during the Ukrainian crisis. Why do we appear to know each other less well than during the Cold War?
The crisis in Ukraine has demonstrated the weakness of post-Soviet states, which should not be forced into making “either-or” choices between one side or another. The only way for these states to forge a productive future is to engage with both the West and Russia on a path of compromise and dialogue.
Unfortunately, today Ukraine cannot be regarded as a full-fledged state. To ignore this reality and to focus exclusively on the "Crimean problem" would be disingenuous and hypocritical.
The crisis in Ukraine has become a manifestation of conceptual and legal chaos in the international arena.
What happened in Kyiv was not a protest. There were elements of protest in the actions of citizens, but not in the actions of politicians. It was a planned resistance intended to impress other countries and cause their reaction.
Due to the fragmentation of the state and social degradation, Ukraine will not be able to position itself as an independent actor in world politics. Ukraine’s future can be regarded exclusively from the standpoint of the selfish interests of geopolitical actors and the ambitions of their political elites.
Once again I must start the introductory article by noting that this issue was almost ready for print when events forced us to urgently redo everything.
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.