Russia and the U.S. are deeply distrustful of one another right now. And yet both agree that the Islamic State is pure evil and that a united front is needed to combat it. Then why isn't one taking shape?
Moscow's stance on the Syrian conflict reveals an ever-complicated web of alliances, armament and regional plays, widening the diplomacy gap between the United States and Russia on Middle East policy.
As Russian ships and planes continue to deposit additional personnel and equipment in Syria, here are five geopolitical messages Russian president Vladimir Putin is sending to the world.
Russian air strikes in defense of the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad might be the least bad option in a conflict that offers no promising solutions.
The 40th anniversary of the signing of the Helsinki Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe passed almost unnoticed in Russia. Probably because the date falls during the most systemically unstable period in Europe since the declaration was signed.
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.
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.