Today Russia is confronted by the West which is largely demoralized by its own blunders and no longer a source of moral supremacy and appeal for most people in the world. Sided with Moscow is the rising “non-West” that comprises the majority of countries and most dynamic economies.
The contrast between Germany and Russia can be described and explained by both countries' historical experience
While the U.S. continues to maintain that it is the world’s only superpower, Russia is at the forefront of a shift to a multipolar world and inclusive global governance
The following speech was delivered on November 8, 2014 at the New Policy Forum symposium in Berlin
Expert Fyodor Lukyanov remembers the heady days after the fall of the Berlin Wall and reflects on what has happened in the 25 years since Mikhail Gorbachev hoped for a united Europe
The 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club is underway in Sochi. Scholars of international studies and experts from around the world gather for this annual event to discuss global politics and Russia’s place in it
Current events could be compared to another of Russia's breaking points, 1917 — the point at which the Russian Empire was gone forever and its successor state became an international pariah.
The current situation is a result of a prolonged process of careless and reckless attempts to involve Russia in the system of Western values. Meanwhile, analyzing Russian discourse solely from the standpoint of Western standards, which are regarded as universal, makes absolutely no sense.
As long as the fundamental restructuring of the global system is not reflected in people’s outlook (and this will take decades), the vacuum in the inner sanctum of Russian national consciousness will continue to be filled by the West.
Germany would not “divorce” the U.S. to embrace Russia. Still, a monogamous relationship between Washington and Berlin could well be transformed to a peculiar menage a trois, in which Moscow could find its role in sharing influence and possibly even domination in East/Central European space.
Creating substituting production capacities, operating a semi-isolated financial system, spending resources to overcome trade barriers and looking for new markets will require enormous and unjustified expenditures, which will inevitably affect the competitiveness of Russia’s national economy and lead to the impoverishment of the population.
For the United States, at stake is its leader’s declining reputation and the risk of yet another humiliating defeat. The stakes are high also because Russia stands as a symbol of a rising and increasingly anti-Western “non-West.”
Moscow appeared to be unprepared for polycentrism as it has not yet grasped its basic rule, which was well known to Russian chancellors of the 19th century: one should make compromises on individual issues in order to have closer relations with other centers of power than they have among themselves.
The west is without direction and losing sight of moral convictions
The political crisis that erupted in Ukraine in early 2014 has ended the period in Russian-Western relations that began with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989
Putin's departure from his usual realistic approach thrust Russia into a serious international crisis. The civil war in eastern Ukraine brought Moscow back from the global level to the local.
The Malaysian Boeing crash in Ukraine – a predictable “black swan” regardless of which conflicting party downed the plane – can further worsen the international political crisis around Ukraine, yet it can also act as a spur to a way out.
The recognition of the new reality is practically common for all the leading politicians and expert political analysts. To credit of Russian diplomacy, it should be said that we were the first to notice this transformation of the world and formulated the requirements to the country’s foreign policy arising from it.
Drop into any of the big bookstores in London or Berlin and discover that they are literally occupied by books about the Great War. But how does this affect European attitudes to Russia’s involvement in Ukraine today?
Kiev’s attempt to build an all-Ukrainian identity solely on the basis of the Ukrainian ethnos through political centralization, cultural unification, and forceful assimilation was a complete failure. Now, as part of the Russian Federation, which pursues an entirely different regional policy, Crimea has an opportunity to form its own regional identity.
The U.S. should follow the British wise policy of the early 20th century which implies the accommodation and sharing of power with an adversary. Reality would impose this transition anyway.
Instead of chauvinism and chaos Russia needs a third alternative. And that is a combination of moderate patriotism and moderate liberalism manifesting itself in the commitment to freer life by law, without corruption, but with mature self-government.
International law doesn’t work well in in a world with unipolar tendencies and when its interpretation is dictated from a unipolar center. But the world is simply too big, complex and diverse for that.
It was not international diplomacy that has steered the situation over Ukraine into the condition of nearly systemic confrontation. The current state of affairs should be blamed squarely on the absence of diplomacy for nearly a quarter of a century.
The great writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn predicted the current situation in Ukraine almost half a century ago. A number of his writings from the Soviet period, including The Gulag Archipelago, contain ruminations on the issue of nationalism and the seeds for potential future ethnic unrest on Ukrainian territory.
History of Russia narrated as a sequence of only horrors and failures or, on the contrary, as a continuous string of victories and successes is equally unproductive for forming the individual and collective identity.
One would think that proponents of the Eurasian choice would seek to build bridges between Russia and the Islamic world, but they often manifest biased attitudes towards the Muslim civilization as such.
Under the Romanovs, Russia played the same role in Eastern Europe as ancient Rome did in the Mediterranean and the United States in the Americas, argues historian Pavel Kuzenkov. It was the melting pot of Europe, bringing together Christians, Muslims and indigenous peoples.
“It is Putin the conservative and not Putin the realist who decided to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty.”
Oxford historian, Mark Almond, recalls the lessons from history once taught by Foreign Secretary, William Hague, in his study of Pitt the Younger’s mishandling of what he called the “Ochakov fiasco” in 1791.
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.