A significant number of non-governmental actors can justifiably be regarded as an integral part of modern diplomacy, if by diplomacy we mean the communication system available to the international community.
Economic history provides many examples that undermine Weber’s postulate that economies based on the Protestant ethic are more productive. And the lessons of the global financial crisis of 1997-1998 refute the view that economies based on Confucian values (above all, the moral need for a high degree of family and personal savings) are more successful and stable.
In ten to fifteen years from now the generation of the elites that grew in the Soviet Union and that shares the same culture codes and the ability to communicate with each other like people of one country, and not like foreigners, will begin to leave the stage.
Ukraine will experiment on itself and all the other countries in the post-Soviet space are looking forward to watching how it ends. Whether the ensuing economic or institutional changes over rapprochement with the EU appear tangible and positive will determine Russia’s own conduct and the conduct of countries that still rely on it.
A majority of Russians do not welcome rapprochement with Central Asian states and strongly object to having equal employment rights with citizens of those countries. Any moves which might lead to a real increase in the number of migrants in Russia will further plunge the authorities’ popularity ratings.
In addition to purely economic arguments, one needs some ideological basis for a Eurasian Union. The other factor is whether or not the integration policy will be continued after a new generation of the elites comes to power, and the nature of relationships between new leaders.
Russian diplomacy continues to use purely political mechanisms of cooperation with regional players (negotiations, consultations, work in international organizations) and appeals to the status of “great power” whenever possible. However, this is not enough today to carry out regional priorities, even the very basic ones.
While the American elites take time to debate and prioritize their national interests, there is no similar dialogue going on within Russian elites. As society at large did not form an appreciation of what Russia’s true interests are, we can’t see whether we are failing or succeeding.
The answer to this question with regard to the global economy and politics even a couple of years ago would be considered self-evident – of course, together. In the global world, where countries depend on each other in one way or another, success is possible only through ever deeper cooperation.
It has been a long time since Ukraine received as much attention as it has in recent weeks.
Given decades of East-West encounters, the latest EU-Russia diplomatic row is “just another classic.” Nearing November’s Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, it will be the match to watch. Question: what happens in December?
Russian-Ukrainian relations are again at the center of attention. Attempts to improve cooperation have quickly ground to a halt.
Moscow’s policy with regard to its closest neighbors is becoming more and more pragmatic.
The EU has encountered an unforeseen deformation of market mechanisms. While the EU is rethinking what has happened and working on a new strategy for economic development, Russia is returning to the “good old” practices that imitate democratic institutions and market mechanisms.
The experiment to federalize Europe, which many discussed in full seriousness in the 1990s, will be declared unsuccessful, and the European states will gradually shift over to other means of enhancing their viability in the restless and troubled world of the 21st century.
The profound transformations occurring in the global economy are inevitably causing disruption, confusion and tensions. The proposal for the establishment of a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the U.S. and the EU might seriously exacerbate the situation and lead to the establishment of rival economic blocs.
Changes are sweeping the world, denying opportunities for the countries to focus on anything in earnest. They have only time to react to new and unexpected twists and turns, but no time to contemplate and devise strategies.
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.
How the European Union deliberately ruined the Cypriot banking system as a warning to other debtors.
The Cypriot crisis has highlighted two elements of relations in Europe: the very strong, mutual dependence of Russia and the EU, and also the lack of mechanisms for their normal interaction.
Since the events of 1933 and 1963, Europe has travelled a long road, filled with tragedy and hope.
Five years ago, when Europe was debating whether to recognize Kosovo’s independence, Russia warned against opening a Pandora’s Box.
Russia’s integration into the Western world would sharply enhance the latter’s positions in the face of the growing non-West.
Former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko was arrested for “interfering with witness questioning” on August 5, 2011, during her trial for abuse of power.
Europe may continue building its relations with Moscow, viewing it as the main historical “outsider.” However, such an approach has been rejected by the Franco-German axis and some other countries in the EU. A continued confrontation in the energy policy is a costly and unrealistic scenario.
In early 2003, during Vladimir Putin’s first term as president, Russia found itself in a political alliance with the West for the first time since World War I.
Tomislav Nikolic defied the odds and expert forecasts to win the presidential election in Serbia.
The context of Russia-EU relations is changing. Before Russia was seen as the unpredictable party but now the Europeans are catching up in this respect.
The dramatic endgame has begun in Ukraine. As the Russian and Ukrainian presidents were meeting in Donetsk, the EU withdrew its invitation to Viktor Yanukovych to visit Brussels.
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.