In the aftermath of the 2015 BRICS summit in Ufa, Fyodor Lukyanov, head of Russia’s Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, discusses how the BRICS are evolving in response to changing geopolitical conditions
The SCO is essentially a regional cooperative association, and as such it is often perceived as a potential center of the burgeoning multipolar world, capable of providing an alternative – or a counterbalance – to the US and its allies.
In the fifteen years since the 1998 crisis, the so-called Emerging and Developing Asia has become a new engine of global economic growth.
The rising crescendo of bickering and acrimony within Europe might seem to outsiders to be the inevitable result of the bitter endgame playing out between Greece and its creditors.
The documents that President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed in May form the basis of a truly strategic partnership, writes columnist Fyodor Lukyanov.
The main content of Russia’s national interest must be self-development, which includes general economic development and the improvement of the quality of human capital. These indicators will be the main criteria by which to judge Russia as a great power.
Power politics is not “back” after having been away on some vacation. It has always been here. What is different today is that power plays are more visible because other countries are pushing back harder.
Society is ready for new national interests to appear that will pave the way for effective and long-term policies “for all.” Now the situation hinges on those who will formulate them correctly.
Russia has already lost Ukraine – not now but years ago, for good or at least for long. Yet it is very likely that very soon the loss of Ukraine will no longer seem very important. Indeed, an ability to find and use one’s chance is much more important than emotions over phantom losses.
The rise of Central Eurasia is one of the three components of Russia’s new global strategy. The other two are relations with Europe and Russia’s current turn towards the Asia-Pacific region. Russia’s internal development should be meaningfully linked to its main foreign policy imperatives.
From the standpoint of peace prospects, the outcome of the end of the Cold War was quite acceptable for Russia. It is an entirely different matter as to how the opportunities for peaceful Russian-Western cooperation that opened up in the early 1990s were used and what has taken us to the crisis of 2014.
The year 2014 has gone down in history as a time of the collapse of the previous model of relations between Russia and the rest of the world. The year 2015 will most likely show that the changes are irreversible and have gone beyond the point of return. We can draw a line under the bygone era, but we still cannot say what the new one will be like.
A majority of people in the Middle East either share extremely conservative views regarding democracy and women’s rights, or feel the need for political and social reform and call such aspirations “democracy,” while real knowledge of how democracy works is still rudimentary.
Russian enterprises for years have ignored innovative potentialities of R&D and academic science and are now far behind their foreign counterparts. There is no lack of equipment, but – and this is much worse – the lagging behind has perpetuated existing organizational structures in management.
Even in the absence of attempts to isolate Russia politically and economically resulting from the events in Ukraine, the flight of investors from emerging markets as a class and a re-evaluation of risks in emerging markets generally have provoked a move to safe havens.
At the summit in Ufa, Russia should give the green light to the establishment of an SCO Development Bank where China takes dominant positions in the authorized capital and management bodies. In exchange, Moscow could coordinate investment principles on terms that would be most favorable to itself and its partners.
The Silk Road Economic Belt has become an embodiment of the Chinese Dream in an international format. This is the first real foreign policy concept during China’s transition “from a big state to a strong one.”
This report was prepared following the conclusions of XI annual Valdai Discussion Club meeting.
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.