The leaders of major cyber powers have declared an intent to restrict their actions in virtual space. This new weapon looks too lucrative indeed. Major crises will be unavoidable until the main players realize that mutual restrictions and the rules of the game are crucial.
In 2011, four Central Asian states signed a Joint Plan of Action in Ashgabat pledging to work together to counter radicalization and terrorism in the region.
The scope of China’s containment is broadening, while the scope of U.S.-China cooperation is gradually narrowing. Of course, it is easy not to see this if one cites high volumes of U.S.-Chinese trade or the great enthusiasm for American popular culture among the Chinese.
The claim about an irreversible crisis of the liberal world order is a very convenient position for those who would like to simplify not only the overall picture, but also the challenges to the Russian foreign policy. Russia should learn to see not only problems in globalization, but also new opportunities for itself.
The future and the past can meet sometimes—when the present is at an impasse, like it is today. For a quarter of a century now, we have been tirelessly building a new world order, but suddenly time seems to have rolled back, reviving the talk of a new Cold War, an ideological conflict, arms control, and nuclear confrontation.
Russia should reasonably assess the need for itself to participate in old, mostly European, formats of integration, and to think of new formats that would be more consistent with modern requirements. The principles of Russia’s interaction should be revised in favor of greater pragmatism and protection of national interest.
For the UN to continue to be truly indispensable, international officials and national governments, members of the academic elite and civil society leaders will have to reach consensus on the way ahead, avoiding over-ambitious plans, but also half-measures portrayed as full-fledged reforms.
The ongoing military conflict between Russia and Ukraine is a stark reminder that shifts in political tone and military tactics do not necessarily correlate with each other or represent substantive shifts in a state’s foreign policy goals.
In the future, a duumvirate may emerge in Central Asia, in which China will provide investment and resources, and Russia will contribute security and geopolitical stability.
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.
The Syrian conflict has provided an example of the profound virtualization of politics (and even its power component) and of creating stable pre-engineered actors exclusively for the communication space. The “moderate opposition” is the most noteworthy one.
The Baltic Sea region is gradually becoming center stage in the clash of interests between Russia and NATO members. There is an obvious need for a document on mutual understanding between Russia and NATO to resolve dangerous incidents. The assessment of any actions of one party or another should be strictly legal.
The era of bipolar confrontation ended a long time ago. But the unipolar moment of U.S. dominance that began in 1991 is gone, too. A new, multipolar world has brought more uncertainty into international affairs.
On July 14, 2015, the United States, Russia, China, France, UK, Germany, the European Union and Iran concluded the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the “Iran deal,” with the goal of ending the standoff over the Iranian nuclear program.
When it comes to Russia’s geopolitics, the international community has a lot to grumble about.
G20 must complement its core composition with a consultative network that reaches out to other governments, business, civil society, and think tanks. Its aim should be to consult and cultivate, not command and control, so that others believe they have a genuine voice and are legitimate stakeholders.
The norms regarding international responsibility are now reduced to defining the responsibility of states for internationally wrongful acts. Yet the main problem lies in the non-binding nature of the majority of decisions made by bodies of international justice and the incompetence of most of them.
The problem is not rooted in Islam, it is rooted in the intractable economic and social problems faced by the majority of Third World countries. Moreover, the problem is multiplied by unprecedented population growth and an inevitable transformation of demographic processes.
Cooperation between China and Russia in the Arctic does not envision military build-up in the region, rather it guarantees mutual benefits from neutralizing U.S. influence and reanimating Arctic economic activity, which slumped after the Ukrainian crisis.
Neither Ukraine nor Syria has eased psychological tension so far. The United States and partly Russia do not think they have reached the dangerous point. Apparently they still need a bigger crisis to finally settle their issues.
In the fall of 2015, Russia resolved to raise the stakes in Syria by launching an air campaign at the request of Damascus.
Material for discussion at the middle east dialogue of the Valdai discussion club, Moscow, February 25-26, 2016
Faced with a crisis, the Russian authorities are trying to convince their people that all of Russia’s troubles come from abroad, but its main battles are also won there.
Russia’s active involvement in the Syrian conflict and, specifically, employment of its Caspian Flotilla for destroying Islamic State targets, has changed the balance of power in the Caspian region significantly, and highlighted the need to re-examine its legal status and security.
Propaganda attracts friends, repels doubters, and hardens opponents. However, prolonged self-communication, endless self-presentation, and the fanning of tensions, which are typical of trolling, result in mutual isolation and the collapse of the international relations system.
The global domination in setting ecological standards has been gradually drifting towards the United States. The U.S., in contrast to the EU, is prepared to employ this tool not just to bolster its own image, but also to dictate rules to the global economy.
The Silk Road Belt philosophy is consonant with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s original ideas and practices. The idea of a New Silk Road cannot and should not be considered as an antagonist to the SCO.
The Russian elite have realized that the country will have to live in a new reality that differs from the past rosy dreams of integration with the West, while preserving its independence and sovereignty. Yet they have not yet used the confrontation and the growth of patriotism for an economic revival.
Beijing is trying to bring the understanding of China’s role in World War II inside the country and abroad in line with its present status in global politics and economics. But these efforts bring some controversial facts to the surface.
National historical narratives describing the grandeur of “our” nation and its struggle for good against evil are the intrinsic ailment of history. But there are also historians who take such narratives with a grain of salt. If society prosecutes historians who lay the groundwork for critical public dialogue about the past, it will lose the only effective remedy for national narcissism.
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.