Many Russians today, as they try to assess the role and place of their country in the international community, often proceed not from the global realities of the 21st century, but rather from nostalgia for that “once-mighty power, the Soviet Union,” a country “everyone feared and respected.”
The fallout from the turbulent events of the winter and spring of 2011 is gradually subsiding.
A unified Euro-Russian innovation market is capable of ensuring a multiplication effect for any individual investor. Instead of an integrated European energy grid, which has been suggested by the European Union as an artificial incentive for competition, it would be better to create an integrated Euro-Russian innovation network.
The tools available to the world community to try to resolve the currency dispute between the United States and China are very limited. Under a favorable scenario the conflict will remain latent, and under the worst-case scenario it will result in the overall growth of protectionism. Much will depend on how well Western countries can reduce the level of public debt. At the second turn of the debt crisis it will go geopolitical.
The deterioration of economic behavior will impact not only the population but also (and primarily) the elite, who today are connected with the rules of the “imposed consensus.” This means that the diffusion of the current political system could take place against the background of economic changes that, at first glance, do not look like a crisis.
The world is preparing for the worst in the next decade, and indeed the next few years promise to be rocky.
Political ecology is an extremely interesting and promising area of research – both theoretical and applied. However, further probes are required, that would make it possible to move on from the accumulation of empirical data to the required level of theorizing, and also to devise a comprehensive strategy for the state to follow in practice. Delays in this field would keep Russia in a second-rate position in the world for decades to come.
The 21st-century imperatives offer a new view of Russia as a Euro-Pacific country, not merely European or Eurasian. This implies Moscow has to come up with strategic initiatives on the continental scale, using the benefits of the European integration experience. These should be economic initiatives in the first place.
The backbone of the Soviet economy was built during the period of industrialization before 1940, and in the post-war period from 1945-1960.Then the system failed after reaching its peak of growth in the 1970s. The decline dragged on until 1998. Russians paid a high price in the 1940s and the 1950s for building the foundation of a national industry, and civil freedoms in the 1990s. It is only now that the new Russia has a truly excellent opportunity to develop into a strong and prosperous country.
Russia should naturally specialize in the economic sectors that require big quantities of land and water. And if the production in these sectors is propped up by a dynamically growing global demand, they have every right to claim the priority status in the national strategy of economic development.
Russian elites are undisturbed by the “creeping Chinese expansion” in the Far East and even facilitate it as best they can, since they are satisfied with the role the Beijing Consensus accords to them. Have the West in general and the U.S. in particular anything to offer Moscow as grounds for “friendship against China” instead of the mythical “Chinese threat”?
Although the military threat posed by China is much exaggerated, there should be no illusions about its determination to change the nature of its interaction with the outside world. While China is by no means ready to lead a new international order, it demands an influential role in the existing one, and it is becoming much more unapologetic in advancing its interests.
Russian geopolitics of the 21st century will be different from the days of empire and conflict of the nineteenth and twentieth. The increased accessibility of the Arctic, with its energy and mineral resources, new fisheries, shortened sea routes and shipping along the rivers between the Arctic coast and the Eurasian heartland, is both enabling and propelling Russia to become a major maritime state.
The developing economies are prepared to join the ranks of key players on the financial markets by strengthening their national market infrastructures; that is, by setting up new financial centers on the basis of their banking systems and stock exchanges, and by diversifying debt securities markets. Shanghai, Dubai and Moscow are new generation centers, to name just a few.
The range of opportunities opening up before Russia in the process of the emergence of a post-American world should be used to create favorable conditions for internal development, and not for complicating them with involvement in strict alliances. The freedom of choice is a truly precious asset in the era of multipolarity.
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.