Russia and Iran have found themselves to be partners of convenience in Syria. Their interaction is limited due to different motives behind their interference in the conflict and the possibility to harm their relations with third states.
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.
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.
Recent overtures by top EU and German officials usher in hopes that relations between Moscow and the West could be on the verge of a turn for the better – but the real question is what direction Russia will take after sanctions are lifted and the tensions have abated.
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.
Last year’s incident with the Russian Su-24 jet instantly changed the very nature of Russia-Turkey relations. What used to be viewed by the leaders of the two countries as a strategic partnership was replaced with harsh confrontation.
Russia’s use of soft power in Georgia has become an obligatory talking point in discussion of the two countries’ relations.
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.
On July 14, 2015, the United States, Russia, China, France, UK, Germany, the European Union and Iran concluded the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the “Iran deal,” with the goal of ending the standoff over the Iranian nuclear program.
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.
The disintegration of the Soviet Union created a decade-long illusion that the era of ideologies and ideological struggle was over and the world was moving towards a single system of values based on Western liberal democracy and capitalism. Europe and America fascinated the world with their freedom and winning political system...
When it comes to Russia’s geopolitics, the international community has a lot to grumble about.
The Valdai Discussion Club hosted the 5th meeting of the Valdai Middle East dialogue, «The Middle East: From Violence to Security.» The following is a summary of the discussions and conclusions reached by its participants.
It could well be that the once stable, cooperative multilateral framework of the IMF, like many international institutions inspired and led by the advanced economies, has become afflicted by a democratic and growing call for voice and representation of other states and non-state actors.
Recently, Russian policymakers and strategists have articulated a vision of a vibrant non-Western world, one in which the United States and European leaders are increasingly marginal and where Russia plays a leading role.
The problem is not rooted in Islam, it is rooted in the intractable economic and social problems faced by the majority of Third World countries. Moreover, the problem is multiplied by unprecedented population growth and an inevitable transformation of demographic processes.
Cooperation between China and Russia in the Arctic does not envision military build-up in the region, rather it guarantees mutual benefits from neutralizing U.S. influence and reanimating Arctic economic activity, which slumped after the Ukrainian crisis.
In the American discourse concerning relations with Russia the realists’ calls for interaction with it run counter to the alarmists’ stubborn mantra that Russia’s attempts to question U.S. omnipotence should not be left without a harsh response.
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.
They agree on key points. And no one wants to see the region in chaos or run by the Islamic State.
A new system of political economy is emerging in Russia in which greater control is exerted over key industries to help generate the economic basis to compete in what its leaders perceive to be an increasingly hostile geopolitical environment.
How long can the degradation of the Soviet empire, which started in 1962, continue? Pulling through hardships with minimal losses while avoiding making the same mistakes, is the immediate task that Russia is facing and with which it is able to cope.
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.
Russia has already made its turn towards Asia, and the important question now is how deep and successful it will be.
The election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party in September 2015 ranks as one of the most unexpected political developments in modern British history.
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.
Extremes in foreign policy and personal ambitions of those who make decisions at the “macro” level may push a feeble or even growing economy to the limit, thus causing its rapid destruction or plunging it into a period of degradation that may last for decades.
By creating a mechanism for shaping its own system-wide interest, Russia would make the first major step towards renouncing the uncritical copying of Western forms. In this way, Russia could focus on substantive aspects of Western forms and, at the same time, create its own, in both foreign and domestic policies.
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.
Contemporary international relations are experiencing a period of turbulence and transition from a unipolar world to a world with multiple centers of power with strengthened role of regionalization. In these circumstances relatively small states try to maximize the resource of geopolitical identity to conduct their foreign policies.
In the old days coal miners took a caged canary down into mines. If the canary suddenly dropped dead, that meant that the deadly gas, carbon monoxide, was slowly seeping into the shaft... An order of magnitude increase in killing rampages in America over the last several decades is like canaries suddenly starting to drop dead all around us. It is an early indicator of much worse troubles to come.
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.