The Russian political system is hard to understand, but not impossible to understand. The simplistic interpretation of a “Tsar ruling alone” shows its limits every time it is recalled to explain the Kremlin’s latest decision in foreign or domestic policy.
After Russia’s wave of protest during the 2011-2012 election cycle, the country’s authorities embarked on an effort to prevent anti-regime mass mobilization during subsequent election periods.
The 13th annual meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club includes a special session on the theme “What if… the Soviet Union had not collapsed?”
Discussions of popular support for the Kremlin’s foreign policy often invoke common international relations concepts, like the “rally around the flag” effect...
Every legitimacy dispute revolves around a special combination of the internal and the external. International or external legitimacy is a resource for self-assertion in the global community and it is also a resource for those who wish to challenge the state system.
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.
The very idea of “the national” takes a peculiar form in Russia. The nation’s intellectual and political elites obstinately look away from grassroots concerns and demands, and focus instead on a set of “eternal Russian questions”.
Why no new world order has been built since the end of the Cold War
A scenario similar to the Euromaidan protests may again take place and threaten to turn into an international crisis. It is in our common interest to stop making Ukraine a battlefield between Russia and the West, and encourage it to become a bridge between them.
The National Security Strategy to 2020 is a key element in managing the development of Russia. The plans to update it are not just a prerequisite for making changes to many other major documents but also a good reason to reconsider the current vision of the country’s present and future and its national interests.
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.
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.
Some crucial changes can pass almost unnoticed, as happened earlier this month, when it was decided to put off the EU-Russia summit from December to the end of January, or possibly even later.
Russia will remain a crucial interlocutor on nuclear policy, space, and various regional matters. As in the past, it will be able to block and delay global action with its Security Council veto. If its leaders want more than that, the changes this will require are relatively clear.
Tendencies will continue – a geopolitical shift towards Eurasia and the Asia Pacific Region; symbolic ‘sovereignization’ of Russia and its further distancing from the U.S. and Europe; and the erosion of a foreign policy consensus. The fourth edition of Putin’s foreign policy will most likely differ significantly from the previous three.
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.