The Turkish Air Force’s attack on a Russian aircraft flying over Syria has jeopardized development prospects for Russia-Turkey cooperation in the gas sector.
While escalation of the conflict between Russia and Turkey is unlikely for now, so too is any full restoration of ties between the two estranged nations. What’s most likely is a new type of frozen conflict.
Russia’s annexation of Crimea and subsequent support for separatists in eastern Ukraine gave rise to fears that this scenario could be repeated elsewhere. Especially worrisome is the fact that the intervention was justified by the alleged need to protect ethnic Russians.
How Turkish downing of Russian jet fuels Middle East tensions
In the early 1990s, scholars, journalists, and political observers predicted that the new Central Asian states would descend into chaos and break apart. More than 20 years later, Central Asia’s states seem relatively stable, both at their political centers and outlying territories, including states like Tajikistan that were once embroiled in civil war.
The Syrian crisis has deteriorated dramatically, moving from armed struggle mostly against non-state, and therefore barely identifiable, groups to a direct clash between major military powers.
The recent series of terrorist attacks in France has forced Russia and the West to recognize the undeniable fact that there is a common enemy – international terrorism, represented first and foremost by ISIS.
The attacks will almost inevitably lead to an escalation of war in Iraq and Syria, as well as to changes in the balance of forces in the Middle East as a whole.
Russia and the West fundamentally differ in their interpretations and responses to the crash of a Russian civilian airliner in Egypt. As a result, they are losing another opportunity to unite against the global threat posed by ISIS.
Moscow’s recent bold foreign policy moves in Ukraine and Syria might have a significant impact on the future direction of international law.
EEU is a young integration association, that was formed to help participating countries unlock their economic potential, boost economic ties within the region, and create conditions for improving the countries’ global competitiveness.
In the recent years, a trend towards a narrowing of the sphere of individual freedoms has been observed throughout the world. At the same time, we see the expansion of sovereign freedoms — the sphere where government allows itself to interfere with a citizen’s private life.
The Russian military campaign in Syria is a political landmark comparable to Crimea’s reunification with Russia or the conflict in Donbass.
Russia appears to be considering various political resolutions to the Syrian crisis, possibly including one without Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
All of the parties with a stake in the conflict are pursuing their own goals
There is no doubt that Moscow understands that Syria will no longer be the way it once was, neither in terms of government nor borders.
Not so long ago Russia was the only country to advocate the adoption of a code of responsible conduct in cyberspace. Today the expert community is already actively discussing the need for such a code with regard to the global Internet infrastructure.
There is no doubt that the international nuclear non-proliferation regime entered a new phase in May 2015. The situation has worsened, and it will be more and more difficult and expensive to correct it. The cooling of international relations will make the NPT situation extremely fragile.
The crisis in relations between Russia and the West brings to mind the methods of risk management devised during the previous confrontation. The participants in a roundtable discussion held by the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy believe that a majority of problems can be resolved using a rational approach – through consultations.
Generally speaking, there are no grounds in Russian-U.S. relations for reviving the Cold War and going to the brink of mutual assured destruction. In the presence of common threats, geopolitical interests can adversely impact bilateral relations only to a certain extent. But the current tendencies do not give hope for their speedy improvement.
A new generation of technical experts who will represent Russia’s interests in Eurasian infrastructure projects should ensure the transfer of technologies and competencies. Effective development of new applied sinology centers will ensure the construction of a pan-Eurasian infrastructure for the benefit of all countries of the continent.
Russia has nothing to gain and nothing to lose in Europe. By contrast, Russia has much to gain and everything to lose in Asia. Asia is dynamic and growing. But to realize its potential Russia must focus on internal development, not external posturing. And the obvious place for it to focus first is the Far East.
A trilateral dialogue between Russia, China, and the United States can become the core of a new security system in the Pacific, with other countries and territories in the region gradually joining in. Multilateral cooperation in the North Pacific is a fundamental objective. It will require a transition from the bloc system and allied relations to a multilateral format.
The most important lesson to be learnt from the Greek crisis is the understanding that a never-ending socioeconomic crisis can also be possible in a modern European country. The Greek example shows that at a certain stage of a socioeconomic crisis the possibility of a positive development disappears even in mature democracies.
The mistakes in Russia’s policy in Ukraine did not allow it to make use of its huge “historical advantage” over the West; namely, fraternal bonds with the majority of the Ukrainian population. A situation similar to that in Ukraine may occur in other post-Soviet countries with which Russia is now trying to build integration associations.
The National Security Strategy to 2020 is a key element in managing the development of Russia. The plans to update it are not just a prerequisite for making changes to many other major documents but also a good reason to reconsider the current vision of the country’s present and future and its national interests.
A nineteenth-century imperial policy is an anachronism in the modern world. Objectively speaking, post-Soviet Russia has returned to the nineteenth century, and it thinks that Western powers conduct the same policy. It is not able to understand why it may not do what others do.
The state is a community that is brought into being not by a common faith or ethnic bonds, but by the unanimity of culture open to all manifestations of creative freedom and individual self-expression. The extent to which the citizens of a country and the government share this desire indicates their maturity as a nation.
If Russia holds out until 2020 and all attempts by its enemies to bring it to economic collapse, chaos, and disintegration fail, then we can be certain that the era of Western dominance has ended. Thus, international relations will officially enter a new era.
Two important anniversaries celebrating major diplomatic accomplishments are marked in the summer and fall of 2015 – the 70th anniversary of the United Nations Organization and the 40th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act. The former laid the foundation for the postwar world order; the latter formalized its core element – the European order.
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 April 16 referendum will focus on power distribution rather than institution building. In other words, the organizers saw it as an opportunity to expand the President’s powers and allow him to rule longer. In their turn, Turks perceived it as an institutional choice to contribute to the development of the state.
If the larger picture defies prediction, the immediate future is scarcely more transparent. In the U.S. case, the known unknowns are numerous. They begin with the question of how much deck furniture Trump is willing to overturn in order to pursue an “America First” strategy.
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.