№ 3 July/September 2008
  • In Anticipation of Change

    There is an anticipation of change in the world today, although no one can say exactly how things will change. This anticipation stems from the handover of power – already accomplished in Russia and which will soon take place in the United States; from new internal turbulence in the European Union; from the marked growth of China’s presence on the global stage; and from ever new signs of a crisis in various international institutions.

  • Should Russia Leave the OSCE?

    Even if Russia withdraws, the OSCE will continue its traditional activities, although perhaps on a still smaller scale than today. Moscow will no longer participate in shaping OSCE policies and it will finally lose its levers of influence over OSCE interaction with neighboring countries.

  • OSCE Battlefield

    The Kazakh path toward chairmanship of the largest European organization has been full of twists and turns and it reflects not so much the rise of the country’s national statehood, as the rivalry between Russia and the West for energy resources in the Caspian basin and Central Asia, plus the competition between Moscow and the Kazakh government for positions in energy markets and in the territory of the former Soviet Union.

  • Victory Without Confrontation

    Neither Russia nor even the United States or Western European organizations are capable of competing with China’s financial practice in world politics. China, which is formally a market economy country, de facto preserved the phenomenon of state paternalism.

  • An Untapped Political Capital

    Russian Islam is a treasure, especially regarding foreign policy. The Eastern policy was an important component of international affairs in Soviet Russia. Along with supplies of weapons and attempts to trigger revolutions in Muslim countries, Moscow wielded ideological and spiritual influence there – something that has been drowned in oblivion now.

  • Missile Defense Challenges

    Russia and the U.S. have become hostages of Cold War weapons, above all ground-based intercontinental ballistic missiles which cannot be placed in a reduced launch readiness status without violating the normal mode of operation. Therefore, the system of “mutual assured destruction” must be maintained.

  • Moratorium on the CFE Treaty and South Caucasian Security

    If NATO countries decide that continuing to comply with the CFE Treaty is senseless now that Russia has withdrawn from it, or if they start creating an alternative mechanism for arms control in Europe without Russia’s participation, all the prerequisites will emerge in the South Caucasus for a full-scale arms race.

  • Without Friends and Foes

    Azerbaijan has received greater international interest due to its hydrocarbon resources and the increased importance of the Caspian region at large as an alternative source of energy for the European market. Located at an intersection of interests of various countries, Azerbaijan has to conduct an accurate and flexible foreign policy.

  • Safeguarding the Arctic

    The global situation in the North has brought forth new challenges and one of them confronts the Russian military, which has become accustomed to viewing the Arctic as its own personal fiefdom. A hunt for mineral resources necessitates a reshaping of approaches that were typical of the era of ideological standoffs.

  • Renewable Energy in Russia’s Future

    (1)

    If the focus of Russian political leadership continues to be on gas and oil production and if the state budget continues to rely heavily on tax revenues from these industries, there will be few incentives to innovate and develop new resources on a significant scale.

  • The Energy Exception

    Despite the inherent contradictions between the WTO and OPEC, however, both organizations are indispensable. OPEC has a pivotal role in the regulation of petroleum supplies and prices and the WTO is an organization that remains the center of gravity of the multilateral trade regime. One possible means consists of establishing an interface between OPEC and the WTO.

  • Energy Animosity – Reality or Construct?

    Given their geographical proximity and at a time of increasing energy scarcity, it seems that it would be in the interests of both Russia and Europe to pursue cooperation on equal terms. Commercially, such cooperation is already being pursued. It is the political grandstanding that needs to change.

  • Europe: Self-Alignment in Time and Space

    The conflict between Russia and the European Union is much more profound than a mere collision of pragmatic, rationally formulated interests. The disagreement relates to the self-identification of both political subjects in time and space, which in turn has an inseparable link to ethic problems, to the understanding of good and evil, and to the perception of threats to security.

  • The Paradox and Dangers of “Historical Policy”

    Any nation state will seek to produce its own version of history. This history – or rather, its interpretation, will be slightly different from that of one’s neighbors. Yet the writing of “national histories” should not proceed from adversely directed historical materials, the philosophy of hatred or historical claims.

  • The Russian People and National Identity

    (1)

    In fact, while such a reality was never admitted or acknowledged by the leadership, the Soviet people actually constituted a civic nation, with the Soviet Union being a kind of nation state. The Soviet Union was in many ways no different than other large and ethnically heterogeneous states.

  • Incomplete Centralization

    The federal authorities have done much in recent years to strengthen the unity and territorial stability of the Russian Federation. However, the institutional and legislative guarantees for the country’s territorial integrity are quite unreliable. If an unforeseen political weakening of the federal center occurs, there is a high likelihood that the country’s federative structure will be shattered.

  • Don’t Throw Stones in a Glass House

    A “machismo” – completely down-to-earth, highly anti-idealistic and rigidly pragmatic – position by Russia cannot but evoke a strong response from the majority of the national elite and the general public. This hard stance looks especially appealing if one recalls the na?ve idealism of the late 1980s and the political tossing about and humiliations of the 1990s.

  • The Undying Echo of the Past

    There is a great risk of getting mired in counterproductive discussions about the frontiers of the European model of historical development. References to the history of one region or another or one nation or another as “European” or “non-European” are unscrupulously used today inside the EU itself and along its periphery when it comes to discussing whether the region or nation deserves to be a member of a united Europe.

  • Russia and the World in the 21st Century

    The end of the Cold War marked the end of a longer stage in global development, which lasted for 400 to 500 years and when the world was dominated by European civilization. This domination was consistently led by the historical West. Now competition is becoming truly global and acquiring a civilizational dimension.

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