“Russia and the New World Architecture”
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In May 2003, Russia in Global Affairs held an international
conference named Russia and the New World Architecture, which
discussed changes in the world following the brief Iraqi

The conference was coordinated together with a session of the
journal’s Editorial Board.

The tone of the conference, which was attended by some of the
great names in world politics and political science, was set by
Russia’s Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov. In his opening speech
he said that problems related to the new world architecture are of
a purely applied rather than theoretical importance, as “the world,
which is growing ever more interdependent, unfortunately, is
becoming ever less safe.” The democratic model of the world order,
based on broad multilateral cooperation, is confronted by “the
tendency to build a unipolar system based on the logic of force and
unilateral actions in circumvention of the UN and international
law.” Igor Ivanov emphasized that even at the height of the Iraqi
crisis the central issue was not the confrontation between Russia
and the U.S., but a matter of different approaches for resolving a
complicated international problem.

Thierry de Montbrial, director of the French Institute of
International Relations, agreed with Ivanov. “There is no intention
whatsoever, either in Moscow or in Berlin or in Paris, to organize
an alliance between our three countries against the United States,”
he said. “The battle we have fought was not a battle for Saddam
Hussein. It was not a battle against the United States, I insist.
It was a battle for principles!” The French political scientist
admitted that the present international system would not survive
intact. The most important step for addressing this problem, in his
opinion, is to have the new rules governing international behavior
(for example the rules for preventive use of force) endorsed by all
member states. “If we do not agree on the rules, then we will end
up with a unipolar world in the worst sense possible,” de Montbrial

Germany’s ex-chancellor Helmut Kohl, citing his
40-year-long experience in big politics as an excuse, recommended
“acting openly and wisely and discussing all disputable issues with
the Americans.” This is always better than trying to act against
the U.S., he said. Kohl reminded the audience that, despite the
difficulties, the construction of the European home is continuing.
He then quoted ex-chancellor of Germany Konrad Adenauer as saying
that “anyone who plays the European card needs patience, patience,
and more patience.”

First deputy director of the Institute of the World Economy and
International Relations, Academician Alexander Dynkin,
replied that Russia has little time for patience. In the south, the
country borders unstable regions, and the situation in the Far East
is marked by a great demographic imbalance. “Russia does not pin
much hope on a united Europe as a reliable partner. Historical
circumstances motivate us to establish closer relations with the
U.S., China and India,” Dynkin said.

Vladislav Inozemtsev, director of research at the Center
for Postindustrial Studies, described European integration as the
most important and fundamental of all political processes now
underway in the world. In this context, of particular importance is
rapprochement between continental European states – France and
Germany – and Russia. “The United States is employing subtle
political methods for breaking the development of European unity…
It is only a united Europe that can become a more consistent
creator of a new political order than the U.S. – an order that will
not arouse hatred toward itself, nor aggravate conflicts between
the periphery and the Center, but will lay the foundation for a
stable world order… The continental unity of European nations and
Russia, on the one hand, and a closer union between Britain and the
U.S., on the other, would be the most adequate form of a global
configuration. It would permit the two alliances to maintain a
civilized and equal dialog with each other.”

Horst Teltschik, former head of the Foreign Policy Office
of the German chancellor, stated that “it is not the Americans who
are dividing Europe, but the Europeans themselves have divided it
because of the Iraqi conflict… The Europeans are now economically
weak. Instead of complaining about America’s strength, one should
speak about what Europe can do to become an equal partner of the
U.S.,” he said. In Teltschik’s view, a multipolar world will
function only if its poles are united by common interests
concerning the solution of global problems: “The cooperation
between France, Germany and Russia during the Iraqi conflict showed
the danger of a multipolar world, in which one pole can be directed
against another. Europeans are strong only if they have ties with
the U.S. And Russians are strong only when they side with the
United States. But if they oppose America, both Europeans and
Russians will be weaker.”

Mikhail Margelov, chairman of the Foreign Affairs
Committee of Russia’s Federation Council, pointed out that the war
in Iraq caused a crisis in Europe: the ability to conduct unified
foreign and defense policies came into question. The inner weakness
of the European Union only aggravates the situation at the
difficult Russia-EU negotiations.

U.S. Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow expressed
confidence that international organizations need to be seriously
transformed. He said any future crisis must be settled on the basis
of accord and union, as opposed to the way things materialized in
Iraq. Speaking of new instruments for combating terrorism, Vershbow
called for strengthening the inspection regime and applying
sanctions and other diplomatic measures.

The deputy director of the Institute of the World Economy and
International Relations, Vladimir Baranovsky, reminded the
audience of Karl Marx’s maxim that “jurisprudence is but the will
of the ruling class made into a law.” “International law, which we
are trying to defend, was the will of those who dominated the
system of international relations after World War II, made into a
law. And who is dominating now? And what are the mechanisms for
legalizing this domination?” he asked.

When the Cold War and confrontation ended, there was talk of a
“peace dividend,” Martti Ahtisaari, ex-president of Finland,
said. That did not happen; on the contrary, the problem of “failed
states” became even more acute. “We are no longer talking about the
international community’s right for humanitarian intervention in
crisis situations but rather of the responsibility of the
international community to protect the citizens of a country where
the political leadership has grossly violated the civilized norms
of behavior vis-?-vis its citizens,” the Finnish politician

“The change from the argument of a ‘right to intervene’ to the
‘responsibility to protect’ is a major improvement and advancement
in the fight against the tyrannies of this world.”

Lord William Wallace, professor of the London School of
Economics, also drew the audience’s attention to the problem of
failed states. He pointed to “the presence of a large number of
these states in international institutions, which vote according to
their original group.”

According to Vladimir Lukin, deputy speaker of Russia’s
State Duma, the United States, the only country capable of being an
international leader, has practically declined to be so. Lukin
explained that a real leader is not one who seeks to solve all
problems on his own, but the one who can organize a big coalition
of parties with different interests and problems. It is only such a
coalition that will be able to build a stable world order in the
21st century.

Director of the Institute of the World Economy and International
Relations, Nodar Simonia, argued that America has not
declined to be a leader, but rather the foundation on which its
leadership rested has dissolved. The notion “superpower” was
relevant when the world was structured along bipolar lines. Those
times were marked by an ideological confrontation between two
camps, and both groups objectively needed leaders. America’s
leadership was recognized on a voluntarily basis. But the end of
the bipolar world structure has made this basis practically
irrelevant, and Americans “took this turn of events very painfully,
so they are flexing their muscles to prove that they are still the

Foreign Affairs Editor James Hoge emphasized that the
“unilateral propensities” of George Bush and the neo-conservatives
in his administration are not shared by all of the political forces
in the U.S. There is the continuing belief that international
organizations, including the United Nations, have a key role to
play in international affairs, he said.

Vice president of the Reforma Foundation and political
scientist, Andranik Migranyan, quoted the old axiom: “Power
corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” He stated that
this trend is “even more dangerous in international relations than
inside a country. If the U.S. continues to rely only on ‘brutal
force’ in its relations with the rest of the world, there will
inevitably emerge coalitions opposing it.”

“America, despite its military might, needs the rest of the
world as much as the world needs America in addressing global
problems and countering new threats,” Karl Kaiser, director
of the German Council for Foreign Policy, said. “The principle of
non-interference in internal affairs, which was the basis of the
international legal order since the Peace of Westphalia, must be
looked at again. But we must do it jointly.”

Vyacheslav Nikonov, chairman of the Polity Foundation,
said that the Iraqi campaign forced Russia to choose between Europe
and America. “Russia is hardly happy about this need to choose,
especially in conditions when a pro-Western foreign policy, to
which I can see no alternatives, cannot be declared final and
irrevocable,” he said. “Emotionally, Russia sides with old Europe,
together with the advocates of a multipolar world, which many in
the world perceive as anti-American. If Russia takes a realistic
position, i.e. a position which advances its own interests, I am
sure it will have to side with the U.S., otherwise it will find
itself in the camp of the defeated.”

The Iraqi crisis “has not thrown us back in time to the years of
the Cold War or the ‘Cold Peace’ brought about by the Kosovo crisis
because Russia did not act on its own but together with major
European countries,” Nadezhda Arbatova, director of research
of the Russia in the United Europe Committee, emphasized. “There
has been much talk in the last decade about the incompatibility of
the basic principles Russia and Europe adhere to, but from the
viewpoint of political culture, Russia has turned out to be much
closer to Europe.”

Professor Alexei Malashenko, vice president of the
Academic Council of the Moscow Carnegie Center, said that
modernization of the Islamic community will be a major factor in
the formation of a new world order. Very many things will depend on
how successful this process is.

Professor Sergei Kapitsa, corresponding member of the
Russian Academy of Sciences, offered a global vision of world
developments. “What is happening in the world today has no
precedence; the world is now changing radically over a period of
time that is shorter than man’s “effective lifetime.” We do not
have enough time to work out new international laws, or to even
prepare for new conditions. This process has very serious
consequences; consciousness is breaking up, which is manifested at
different levels – from the fast collapse of empires and political
systems to the breakup of families and morals.”

The Editorial Board chairman, Sergei Karaganov, stated in
his concluding speech that international conferences held under the
aegis of Russia in Global Affairs, will be now held on an annual