Russia and the West have lost a great deal of trust in each other, and trust is proving hard to restore, the maintenance of existing arms control regimes such as CFE remains an important political objective, even if the military rationale behind their establishment at the end of the Cold War has largely vanished.
The anti-nuclear movement is harmful. Firstly, it may result in the reduction of nuclear armaments to a dangerous minimum, as it opens the Pandora’s Box of negotiations over the reduction of non-strategic nuclear armaments. Secondly, it distracts from the search for new ways of setting peace and stability in the new world.
The world system is in motion, and relations between countries are changing rapidly, as evidenced by the current developments in the post-Soviet space.
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.