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.
The scope of China’s containment is broadening, while the scope of U.S.-China cooperation is gradually narrowing. Of course, it is easy not to see this if one cites high volumes of U.S.-Chinese trade or the great enthusiasm for American popular culture among the Chinese.
New disarmament talks are hardly necessary. With the West continuing to dominate the information space, such talks would only be used for inciting greater mistrust and militarizing mentality in Europe. But there is the need for military-to-military dialogue.
It seems Washington wants to provoke China into muscle-flexing. If Beijing shows restraint and cold calculation in response, this may have a restrictive, if not sobering, effect on Washington. Russia is interested in preventing the South China Sea from becoming a proving ground for testing the strength of one’s nerves.
A hypothetical alliance between Russia and China is based on the assumption that it should serve as a counterweight to the U.S. hegemony. That thinking, however, overlooks the possibility that Moscow and Beijing might build closer relations for dealing with the important challenges they both face.
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.
The SCO summit in Tashkent and Russian President's visit to China which took place in June have provided a good occasion to discuss the need for strengthening multilateral cooperation and ensuring regional security.
Numerous international competitors see the use of force as a solution to their challenges. In relations between Russia and NATO, China and Japan, Iran and Saudi Arabia, power plays unfold with unpredictable repercussions.
How Washington Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Eurasian Integration
President Putin's decision to start pulling Russian troops out of Syria made headlines around the world this week. But if one recalls official statements at the start of the operation and after it was in full force, the decision was to be expected.
The assistance of great powers is a major resource in the struggle against the growing threat of radical Islamism in Central Asia. In this context special credit goes to Russia and the Collective Security Treaty Organization as the main mechanism for protecting the region against possible invasions from Afghanistan and potential ISIS expansion.
Opinion polls show the fragility and inconsistency of many attitudes towards war. Currently, it is tentative catastrophism or, using the terminology of Shlapentokh, catastrophism of judgments but not action. It is hard to predict what will happen next.
Today post-Soviet Central Asian countries are facing problems caused by old security challenges and the emergence of completely new threats. These threats may influence the prospects of secular statehood in the region. This is a serious obstacle to modernization.
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.
After the Ukraine crisis and military intervention in Syria, the key principles and ideas underpinning Russian foreign policy are becoming easier to understand.
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.
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.
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.
The Silk Road Economic Belt has become an embodiment of the Chinese Dream in an international format. This is the first real foreign policy concept during China’s transition “from a big state to a strong one.”
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.
Can Turkey become another Ukraine for Russia? Such speculation would be premature at this point. Today the choice of Turkey as a transit country for the transportation of Russian hydrocarbons to Europe looks strategically sound.
Germany will not become the main adversary of Russia in Europe but remains its main interlocutor on the continent – and Moscow is well advised to make proper use of that.
It is essential that Russia avoid unilateral involvement in Afghan affairs, which otherwise would have adverse consequences for Russia’s national interests both regionally and internationally. And this is the scenario the U.S. is likely to try to push forward given current tense U.S.-Russia relations.
The election of Ashraf Ghani as the next Afghan president will be welcomed by Washington. He might also be able to cooperate effectively with Moscow. Yet his professionalism and skills will not decrease the high level of uncertainty in the country.
Once again, the modern Afghan urban tradition is fighting for its life against a rural Islamist insurgency. Once again, the state is overwhelmingly dependent on aid from a foreign great power for its continued survival.
The SCO, comprising Russia, China, and four of the five Central Asian states, is likely to grant India and Pakistan full membership, and has added Afghanistan as an observer and Turkey as a dialogue partner. It is indeed uniquely placed to provide a regional canopy under which India and Pakistan could work together.
Political power was the focus of 2012. Three of the world’s most powerful countries underwent a change in government.
The CSTO has not shown any signs of activity during its two decades of existence. The mechanism to realize its potential remains unclear; i.e., it is unlikely that a Belarus or an Armenian soldier will guard the Tajik-Afghan border, or that a Tajik or a Kyrgyz will intervene between Armenia and Azerbaijan in case of an armed clash.
Although Moscow has no reasons to be proactive in Afghan affairs, it will probably need to step up its efforts. Ultimately, the Afghans should be given the opportunity to build up a steady balance of forces at home, and then use these forces as a basis for political compromise.
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.