The article discusses the results of Russian foreign policy since the collapse of the Soviet Union against the background of major new global and regional international trends and the policy of other major world powers.
Economic problems are once again at the center of debates about Russia’s future. For the first time under the Putin presidency, the country faces a protracted decline in living standards.
The claim about an irreversible crisis of the liberal world order is a very convenient position for those who would like to simplify not only the overall picture, but also the challenges to the Russian foreign policy. Russia should learn to see not only problems in globalization, but also new opportunities for itself.
U.S. foreign policy is entering an era of change—the most significant since the Truman administration. The cause of such changes lies in the discrepancy between the U.S. foreign policy consensus reached at that time and forged in the 1990s, and the current (and, most likely, future) global trends. The departure from the current consensus is inevitable. It is just a matter of time.
Russia should reasonably assess the need for itself to participate in old, mostly European, formats of integration, and to think of new formats that would be more consistent with modern requirements. The principles of Russia’s interaction should be revised in favor of greater pragmatism and protection of national interest.
For the UN to continue to be truly indispensable, international officials and national governments, members of the academic elite and civil society leaders will have to reach consensus on the way ahead, avoiding over-ambitious plans, but also half-measures portrayed as full-fledged reforms.
Central Asian countries will have to adjust their old stakes, which have failed, and make new ones. They will largely depend on the positions external partners will take. But countries in the region want economic cooperation without a geopolitical “burden.”
A political counter-revolution against the European Union is underway. Brexit is likely to be seen in hindsight as just the first of many tremors leading up to a larger political earthquake that will be felt all over the European continent.
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.
Despite its deep crisis of identity, spawned by nihilistic elites who are both unable to give a sense to existence and to act in favour of the common good, France is marked by a discreet renewal.
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?
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 norms regarding international responsibility are now reduced to defining the responsibility of states for internationally wrongful acts. Yet the main problem lies in the non-binding nature of the majority of decisions made by bodies of international justice and the incompetence of most of them.
The principle stated by George Orwell that all are equal but some are more equal than others seems to have been adopted at the international level. This is vividly borne out by the outcome of American interference in the Middle East countries and elsewhere. Russia will continue to espouse the principles of law and justice in international affairs.
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.
Valdai Discussion Club Report
The “One Belt, One Road” strategic initiative is a focus and priority for China’s foreign strategy in the new century. What is particularly interesting is that this inter-regional cooperation initiative driven by concrete projects aims to link the Eurasian Economic Union with systemic policies and institutional designs.
By the middle of the second decade of the 21st century it has become clear that the world is moving towards a balance of power that was more typical of the 17th and 18th centuries, with the appropriate geopolitical adjustments. Western influence, with its possibilities and military capabilities, is decreasing, while the East and the South are rising.
Several significant changes have taken place with regard to China’s foreign strategies in the last 50 odd years.
Latin America, the former laboratory for neoliberal experiments, has become in the last 15 years a fascinating territory of alternative policies that pursue a more inclusive and egalitarian society, based on a just wealth distribution and more social rights for vulnerable people.
Modern society engenders a new type of criminal communities: a systemic mafia model. The modern mafia relies on the resources of the state and the capitalist economy, reserving for itself the independent right to violence.
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.
The BRICS can serve as a locomotive for Russia’s geopolitical rise in the 21st century. This development will not necessarily imply a deterioration of relations with the West, which would be almost inevitable if Moscow were to face it alone.
Russia proposes an integration project that envisages the strengthening of external economic borders to stimulate re-industrialization. Central Asian states are interested in the Customs Union and Common Economic Space, but they do not want to impose tighter control on their external economic borders.
This report was prepared following the conclusions of XI annual Valdai Discussion Club meeting.
The possibilities of club monetary interaction mechanisms are very modest as they do not replace but supplement global mechanisms. Nevertheless, they deserve attention and support. Equally important is the fact that such mechanisms may have side effects, namely, general shifts in the structure of global economic governance.
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
Fifty international experts from Russia and the Asia-Pacific Region gathered in Singapore this week for the inaugural session of the joint project, entitled “Developing the Asia-Pacific’s Last Frontier
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 13th annual meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club includes a special session on the theme “What if… the Soviet Union had not collapsed?”
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is by far the most ambitious project in the field of contractual formats of regional economic cooperation, combining traditional measures to liberalize mutual trade with regulatory rules of economic activity on the territories of member states. If successful, this project will influence on the development of both the world economy and its regulatory mechanisms.
Belarus’ traditional structural dependence on Russia is increasing, and Minsk’s freedom of maneuver continues to shrink.
The oil- and gas-rich states of the Caspian Sea basin—Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan—registered phenomenal growth throughout most of the 2000s. However, the heady days of resource-fueled development now appear to be over, and local governments are suddenly struggling to overcome massive budget deficits, devalued currencies, and overall economic stagnation.