A mounting dispute has arisen in the past two years between Russia and Japan over a peace treaty that the two countries never signed after World War II.
The fallout from the turbulent events of the winter and spring of 2011 is gradually subsiding.
If we look at the issue of the Russian-Japanese territorial disput through the prism of global processes, this conflict may also tell us something about the world at large.
Our relations are probably at their lowest point since the fall of the Soviet Union.
It will be difficult to see stronger ties between Japan and Russia in the short term; however, it is important to strengthen these ties in the long term. Japan needs Russia as an energy supplier and for investment, while Russia needs Japanese assistance in its economic reform for sustainable development. The China factor will push Tokyo and Moscow towards strategic dialogue.
Japanese Ambassador Masaharu Kono, recalled to Tokyo for consultations after President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to one of the disputed Kuril Islands, has returned to Moscow. Some people still wonder what really is behind this diplomatic spat.
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.