Armenia, opting for self-restraint of its own accord, minimized its risks and losses. As to whether the Armenian-style Finlandization can be an example for other former Soviet republics would depend not only on their own choice.
Instead of chauvinism and chaos Russia needs a third alternative. And that is a combination of moderate patriotism and moderate liberalism manifesting itself in the commitment to freer life by law, without corruption, but with mature self-government.
The values of naive liberalism of the 1990s have been replaced with ideas of realism and statism, and the vacuum in Russia’s foreign policy ideology filled with an idea of gathering the Russian World and giving priority to the protection of traditional Christian values.
The use of force is no longer legitimate like it was in the 19th and 20th centuries. Conservative-style action from the position of force cannot achieve anything in terms of boosting a country’s position even within the traditional zone of influence.
It was not international diplomacy that has steered the situation over Ukraine into the condition of nearly systemic confrontation. The current state of affairs should be blamed squarely on the absence of diplomacy for nearly a quarter of a century.
A group of U.S. neo-conservatives have been increasingly active in their efforts to rebuild the world to their design. Yet they have clearly misunderstood the vector of the transformations underway, and, which is still worse, have displayed historical ignorance.
Russia has given up hope for joining the West in the foreseeable future. But it has not yet made a choice in favor of anti-West, let alone, anti-Europeanism.
While nobody wants to go back to the Cold War, those of us who are old enough to remember it know that while tensions between Moscow and Washington ran high, they never exploded into outright conflict.
Director of the Center for Current Politics and Valdai Club expert Sergei Mikheyev is convinced there will be no retaliation to recent statements made by Dmitry Rogozin and leaders of Transnistria, and that the breakaway region won’t be joining Russia.
Russia, Kennan argued, would seek to bring about the collapse of capitalism not by an armed attack, but by a mixture of bullying and subversion.
The European bureaucracy, a new political force with interests and leverage of its own, is behind the emerging EU trend to politicize the ongoing integration. A constructive way out of the growing contradictions between the alternative integration processes in Eurasia would be to de-politicize them into mutually beneficial economic cooperation.
If Cold War II hasn't already started, it is somewhere around the corner.
The new leadership in Doha is entering a “post-Arab Spring” regional landscape that is almost diametrically opposed to the propitious convergence of Qatari interests and the revolutionary upheaval in North Africa in 2011.
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.
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.
An ability to quickly mobilize one’s allies (not only in the military sense) and to deliver a most resolute and prompt strike at one’s enemies or even undesirable countries is becoming an increasingly important requirement for a state’s survival and competitiveness. This is why NATO, the last peacetime military alliance, has very promising prospects.
Proceeding from their current interests, more powerful countries often ignore the fact that, as a rule, there is no right or wrong party in domestic conflicts and civil wars; indeed, the responsibility often lies with both sides.
The cooling in Russia-U.S. relations over recent years has led to the end of the reset. This has culminated in Barack Obama's refusal to go to Moscow after the G20 Summit to be held in St. Petersburg.
Russia and Georgia’s clash over South Ossetia happened five years ago, but today it feels like an age away. Much has changed since then in Georgia and Russia, as well in all the countries that were indirectly involved in the conflict.
If Russia consistently pursues its policy of cooperation with Arctic countries on the basis of the Law of the Sea and with due regard for their common interests in the region, there will be no grounds for attempts to justify NATO’s more active involvement in Arctic affairs.
The current trend is such that military force is gradually turning from a foreign policy tool into a military power potential. The purpose is to solve political tasks without using military force but relying entirely on the superiority in military potential.
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.
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.
After a relative lull, a recent flurry of news suggests that the endgame in Syria is approaching.
The role of nuclear deterrence in the great powers’ efforts to ensure their security will continue to decline, despite Russia’s current attempts to assign a more significant role to it and notwithstanding the present deadlock in nuclear disarmament.
A Contradiction Between the Globalization of the World and the Deglobalization of Governance Is Creating a Vacuum of Governability.
Russia has embarked on a military buildup path. The external military threat is record low. But this policy will be continued in this or other form.
If the new/old Russian leadership pursues integration in the military-political sphere with the same zeal as it did in the establishment of the Customs Union, the Common Economic Space and the Eurasian Union, hopefully there will be progress in the CSTO’s transformation, as well.
Отношение к Европе является фактором, из-за которого Анкара и Москва сейчас тяготеют друг к другу.
Today, at a time when deep U.S. defense budget cuts are underway, supporters of continued U.S. missile defense development should consider the potential for cutting costs that cooperation with Russia could offer.
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.