The 2007-2008 global financial crisis marked a milestone in redefining the international balance of power.
Vladimir Putin is no longer in control. Fear of what comes after him is.
The conflict in Ukraine poses a complex problem for Western policy-makers. Responses have included sanctions on Russia, the suspension of institutional formats for relations between the West and Russia, and a diplomatic effort resulting in the Minsk agreements.
Dr. Ludger Schuknecht explains his ministry’s viewpoint regarding Greece. This viewpoint essentially holds that Eurozone countries should live within their means and adjust to their debt burdens.
Strategic forecasting is that portion of intelligence that focuses on events that have broad and fundamental effects on the international system.
One of the global security consequences of the current Ukrainian crisis is the visibly raising ‘nuclear fears’ in both political elites and wider public opinion among the world. There are various dimensions of such fears.
In the aftermath of the 2015 BRICS summit in Ufa, Fyodor Lukyanov, head of Russia’s Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, discusses how the BRICS are evolving in response to changing geopolitical conditions
In many respects, Yevgeny Primakov shaped the political philosophy of modern Russia's foreign policy, a country which is both the successor of multi-century history and a new state born in the breach of the old model.
References to international law are an important part of Russia’s official rhetoric. While criticizing other countries for violating international law, Russia’s leaders declare that Russia respects international law, protects it, and upholds its principles. However, a closer look at statements by top leaders reveal some changes not so much in their content as in their tone.
Russian foreign policy in the Putin era has drawn particular attention, and even praise, from the realist school of international relations scholars. John J. Mearsheimer, for example, has written that “Putin and his compatriots have been thinking and acting according to realist dictates” in their policy towards Ukraine.
The main content of Russia’s national interest must be self-development, which includes general economic development and the improvement of the quality of human capital. These indicators will be the main criteria by which to judge Russia as a great power.
Theoretically, a convergence of Russia’s and the U.S.’s vital interests may pave the way to mending fences between the two countries, with joint counteraction to the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda being the most evident opportunity to start such a rapprochement.
In the absence of a large number of allies, bases and airfields in various parts of the world, Russia’s capability for global presence and defending its national interests far from Russian borders is limited.
As a manifestation of higher-order wisdom than just the election needs of concrete leaders or political parties, national interests should discipline politicians and significantly restrict the freedom of their action. The selfrestricting function of the declaration of national interests is particularly important for Russia.
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.
BRICS offers Russia a chance to steer clear of the whirlpool of economic and political problems with self-respect intact and international weight increased thanks to the solution of global challenges. BRICS’ field of activity is enormous.
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.
In the next three to five years, Ukraine’s political system will most likely be a mosaic of virtually independent autonomous territories nominally united in a single state. Such a compromise would be acceptable to all the main actors – Moscow, the West, and the central Ukrainian government.
Mounting economic problems will exacerbate Ukrainians’ ressentiment towards the West as well as mistrust and even hatred towards their own political elites. Russia should make use of Ukrainian society’s disappointment with Ukrainian nationalism and pro-European liberalism.
Russia has already lost Ukraine – not now but years ago, for good or at least for long. Yet it is very likely that very soon the loss of Ukraine will no longer seem very important. Indeed, an ability to find and use one’s chance is much more important than emotions over phantom losses.
The rise of Central Eurasia is one of the three components of Russia’s new global strategy. The other two are relations with Europe and Russia’s current turn towards the Asia-Pacific region. Russia’s internal development should be meaningfully linked to its main foreign policy imperatives.
From the standpoint of peace prospects, the outcome of the end of the Cold War was quite acceptable for Russia. It is an entirely different matter as to how the opportunities for peaceful Russian-Western cooperation that opened up in the early 1990s were used and what has taken us to the crisis of 2014.
The year 2014 has gone down in history as a time of the collapse of the previous model of relations between Russia and the rest of the world. The year 2015 will most likely show that the changes are irreversible and have gone beyond the point of return. We can draw a line under the bygone era, but we still cannot say what the new one will be like.
BRICS is an important instrument in Russia's foreign policy. The presidency gives Russia a chance to expand the economic, political and strategic scope of the five-nation grouping.
I have already written before that having emerged from the Cold War, Europe lost the post-war peace. The continent is on the verge of strategic degradation that may either become a caricature of military-political division into opposing blocs or a time of disquieting uncertainty. The military-political conflict over Ukraine can escalate as well.
If the West really wants to build a new relationship, then it has to understand Russia much better than it does today. Here are a few recommendations on what to avoid when patching up relations with Moscow.
When trying to underscore the difficulty of predicting the Kremlin’s next steps, many Westerners like to cite Winston Churchill’s famous reference to Russia as “riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” Few however, recall the remainder of that 1939 adage: “But perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.”
The latest live call-in show in which President Vladimir Putin answered questions from ordinary Russians did not have any sensational high points, but it was an important indicator of the leader's mood.
Observers have interpreted President Vladimir Putin's recent decision to lift the ban on shipping Russia's S-300 air defense systems to Iran as a sign that the Kremlin intends to immediately deliver those weapons.
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.