After the Ukraine crisis and military intervention in Syria, the key principles and ideas underpinning Russian foreign policy are becoming easier to understand.
Moscow’s recent bold foreign policy moves in Ukraine and Syria might have a significant impact on the future direction of international law.
Civil society actors have become key players in conflicts, especially in intra-state ones. This has been facilitated by the transformation of conflicts, increasingly characterized by high- intensity intra-border ethno-religious tensions and strong international influence by proxy.
The Russian military campaign in Syria is a political landmark comparable to Crimea’s reunification with Russia or the conflict in Donbass.
All of the parties with a stake in the conflict are pursuing their own goals
The Russian operation in Syria is an indisputable milestone in the country's political development. For the first time in over a quarter of a century, the Kremlin is officially conducting a high-scale military operation abroad, motivated not by peacekeeping and "peace enforcement", but by strategic reasons.
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.
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 refugee crisis – by no means the first one in European history – is just the tip of the iceberg, the quintessence of the accumulated problems. They should be analyzed rationally in order to make the right diagnosis and find a cure.
The Middle East is one of the most turbulent regions in the world today, engulfed by a wave of conflict and violence that threatens international security.
The SCO is essentially a regional cooperative association, and as such it is often perceived as a potential center of the burgeoning multipolar world, capable of providing an alternative – or a counterbalance – to the US and its allies.
Pursuit of immediate goals can limit future foreign policy capabilities that can only exist if there is a strong economy and political ambitions are buttressed by financial and economic resources.
The diplomatic epic aimed at stopping the Syrian civil war has reached a critical point.
A silver bullet to end the conflict remains elusive but Russia can help bring about a base for success in politics and security
Attempts to solve the Middle Eastern “cube” have continued for decades. Sometimes it seemed that just one final move was needed to achieve the desired harmony of colors and proportions, but no. Yet it is hard to expect a result when several people manipulate the cube simultaneously.
The developments in the Middle East in 2013 had a number of common features, which I believe will continue into the new year.
The new leadership in Doha is entering a “post-Arab Spring” regional landscape that is almost diametrically opposed to the propitious convergence of Qatari interests and the revolutionary upheaval in North Africa in 2011.
An ability to quickly mobilize one’s allies (not only in the military sense) and to deliver a most resolute and prompt strike at one’s enemies or even undesirable countries is becoming an increasingly important requirement for a state’s survival and competitiveness. This is why NATO, the last peacetime military alliance, has very promising prospects.
Politicians, who are obliged to listen to the electorate, are changing their stance so as not to lose the public’s trust on other, more important, internal issues.
Getting Syria to sign the Chemical Weapons Convention and give up its chemical weapons gives new hope for a surge in US-Russian diplomacy to end the war in Syria.
The cooling in Russia-U.S. relations over recent years has led to the end of the reset. This has culminated in Barack Obama's refusal to go to Moscow after the G20 Summit to be held in St. Petersburg.
The Americans are confused. They do not understand what to do, but they see the use of force as the solution to every problem, even when the consequences are unknown. Russia does not know how to work with such a partner.
When four years ago Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, he dedicated his laureate speech to the subject of just and unjust wars.
Admittedly, in the last year and a half, despite a very complex palette of relations, Iran and Russia have found a strong cementing factor: Syria.
The main event of the season – or, to be more precise, an interminable process – is the civil war in Syria, to which no end or limit is in sight.
At the Russia-EU summit, the talk turned again to Syria and the prospects for a settlement, but it made little sense to have a dialogue at this particular meeting.
It seems that all external players are aware that the upcoming peace conference on Syria will serve as a turning point. If a shift occurs in favor of a compromise between the warring parties, it will be a truly historic event, given the long-standing impasse.
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.