The future and the past can meet sometimes—when the present is at an impasse, like it is today. For a quarter of a century now, we have been tirelessly building a new world order, but suddenly time seems to have rolled back, reviving the talk of a new Cold War, an ideological conflict, arms control, and nuclear confrontation.
The G20 meeting in China was a milestone in international relations. Until only recently, world leaders were certain that the global economy and increased connectivity had helped stabilize and define the new world order. Now, however, the pendulum has turned back towards a classic game between the great powers, and Russia is again feeling right in its element.
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.
How has decay of the American Empire affected globalization? Does the apparent fragmentation of older, Bretton Woods era, more universal forms of global governance into more regional forms imply US relative decline?
The SCO summit in Tashkent and Russian President's visit to China which took place in June have provided a good occasion to discuss the need for strengthening multilateral cooperation and ensuring regional security.
It is unlikely that the current impasse in Russia-EU relations will be resolved within the next few years. It appeared long before the Ukrainian crisis. It is so deeply rooted that it will persist even if the con?ict in Donbass deescalates and the Minsk agreements are fully implemented. Both sides advocate fundamentally incompatible models for Russia-EU relations and for the economic and political order that should prevail in both “Wider Europe” and Eurasia.
The North Korean issue has become an irritant not only in relations between “continental” and “oceanic” powers, but also within each of the camps and specifically between the United States and South Korea, and Russia and China.
If there is a key lesson to be drawn from the history of international relations, it is that, in extremis, political and security considerations almost inevitably triumph over economic considerations. Nothing is less certain.
China-Russia ties are at their best and will remain stable for a long time. Meanwhile, the Sino-American relationship will increasingly run into trouble. As the American leaders will hardly give up their hegemonic policy, the strategic partnership between Beijing and Moscow will remain a healthy check on Washington’s “unipolar folly.”
A careful management of diverging interests and lingering conflicts of Russia and China in Central Asia, and expanding economic links as a gradual approach to economic integration could amount to something the EU can learn—and benefit—from.
The proclaimed supply-side structural reform is not a carbon copy of Reagan’s policy. Rather, it is the continuation of the search for the Chinese way of development and efforts to adapt foreign teachings to Chinese conditions.
Russia might have a unique chance to take a qualitative leap as part of a new industrial revolution rather than catch up with the outgoing technological mode. Preparing human resources for such a leap may be the quintessence of Russia’s current countercyclical policy.
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 Baltic Sea region is gradually becoming center stage in the clash of interests between Russia and NATO members. There is an obvious need for a document on mutual understanding between Russia and NATO to resolve dangerous incidents. The assessment of any actions of one party or another should be strictly legal.
Numerous international competitors see the use of force as a solution to their challenges. In relations between Russia and NATO, China and Japan, Iran and Saudi Arabia, power plays unfold with unpredictable repercussions.
Life is never dull. The results of the British referendum, hardly expected by anyone, came as a new wake-up call clearly signaling that there is not a place left on Earth where politics could be predictable. Now everyone is waiting with bated breath for the outcome of the presidential election in the United States where all think that Donald Trump simply cannot win, but are no longer certain.
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.
What are the prospects for Russian-North Korean relations today?
How Washington Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Eurasian Integration
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.
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.
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.
G20 must complement its core composition with a consultative network that reaches out to other governments, business, civil society, and think tanks. Its aim should be to consult and cultivate, not command and control, so that others believe they have a genuine voice and are legitimate stakeholders.
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.
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.
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.
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.