№ 4 October/December 2008
  • Two Crises on the Way to Reshaping the World

    Two crises have occurred one after the other in the past few months that have had a significant impact on Russian foreign policy. The Russian-Georgian war in August and the upheavals on global financial markets in September and October are not related. Yet both events, each in its own way, have contributed to the formulation by Russia of its national interests. One can say that the two crises have set a conceptual framework of interests, defining a vector for the indispensable and boundaries for the possible.

  • The Flipside of September 11, 2001

    The reality that developed after September 11, 2001 and August 8, 2008 is such that the “catches” of self-defense, self-determination and peacekeeping in ambiguous UN documents can be used to justify war against sovereign states.

  • A New Entente

    The time has come to discuss methods of international regulation. From an objective point of view, the United States, in crisis conditions, should not be interested in stepping up military-political competition in the world arena, but in productive cooperation, including with Russia.

  • From the Megaphone to the Microphone?

    If we are to deal sensibly with each other, we need predictability; we need an accurate understanding of each other’s interests and intentions; and we need the ability to communicate rationally. These are the elements which need to be restored.

  • From a Post-Soviet to a Russian Foreign Policy


    The post-Soviet foreign policy paradigm rested on the exclusive role of interaction with the West. A foreign policy course that meets Russia’s national interests in earnest could become an alternative to the post-Soviet approach. Its goal might be a return of foreign policy attractiveness to Russia – something that is known as ‘soft power’ today.

  • Paradigm Change in Russian Foreign Policy

    The present global interdependence makes any conflict take quite new, hitherto unknown shapes; so it is simply impossible to predict how events will develop if one simulates them on the basis of the experience of the “first” Cold War.

  • Traveling in Different Boats

    Relations between Russia and the United States are acquiring a new quality. Moscow and Washington can cooperate on certain individual issues, but strategically they are now on their own – certainly not in the same boat.

  • Multipolar Hegemony

    If the hypothetical Sino-American alliance expands beyond the economic framework and takes on a political dimension, this may motivate Europe to expand the geopolitical base by forging a union with Russia.

  • The Caucasian War and Public Interest

    The West will see that the demonization of Russia as a country – as distinct from criticizing its rulers – is very harmful not only for the people of Russia but also for the West, which is witnessing a further growth of the already influential right-wing conservative political forces.

  • The Logic of South Ossetia Conflict

    By winning this victory, Russia tapped the limit of capabilities of its armed forces. We run the risk of sliding into a more or less overt standoff, for which Russia does not have the resources, ideology or geopolitical opportunities right now.

  • The End of Multi-Vector Policies

    The territory of the former Soviet Union has completely lost its former contours and has turned into a field for an open struggle involving major players. The inter-state relations slide into total chaos and there are no clear rules of conduct.

  • Regional Conflicts Reloaded

    The territory of the former Soviet Union changed on August 26, 2008 with the creation of a precedent in redrawing the borders of former Soviet republics. The groundwork of the post-Soviet world, functional since 1991, has collapsed.

  • A New Chance for Leadership

    Some noticeable changes have taken place recently in Russia’s policy of promoting its interests in the territory of the former Soviet Union. But this is only a small part of a bigger policy required to form friendly lobbies in the territory of the former Soviet Union. However, the social aspect of this policy, which is vital for success, is nowhere in sight yet.

  • A Nation-State or a State-Nation?

    Nobody knows what may happen if the Ukrainian policy continues developing along the nation-state course. For the more than eight million people who consider themselves to be Russians, the important thing is not the change to Ukrainian identity, but the loss of living comfortably in case they maintain their Russian identity.

  • The Limits of Rational Choice

    History is really only made by big deals. It is only a “big deal” – energy in exchange for full-scale common institutions – that can make relations between Russia and Europe stable for a long time.

  • The World Crisis – A Time for Creation

    The matter at hand is not just a deep financial and economic crisis. This is an overall crisis of the entire system of global governance; a crisis of ideas on which global development was based; and a crisis of international institutions.

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Publisher's column

A new world order: A view from Russia

Since around 2017–2018, the world has been living through a period of progressive erosion, or collapse, of international orders inherited from the past. With the election of Donald Trump and the rapid increase of US containment of Russia and China—which is both a consequence of this gradual erosion and also represents deep internal and international contradictions—this process entered its apogee.

Editor's column

Will US pullout from Syria increase risk of conflict with Russia?

The announcement of the US pullout from Syria was received with caution in Moscow. Besides the security and political challenges it may bring about, the Trump decision could mean the end of a practical, relatively constructive US-Russian approach to conflict at flashpoints.

Russia has 3 messages for Turkey over operation in Syria

Russia has its eye on long-term opportunities following Turkey's operation in northeast Syria.

The East’s Rise and the New Russian Foreign Policy

Russia is bracing to turn from its centuries-old foreign policy model (dating back to the Moscow Principality) to maintain direct control over its immediate periphery as a way to provide for its security. How new self-defense methods get integrated into the nation’s strategic culture can play a crucial role in the future.

Russian Interests in the Context of the Iranian-Saudi Crisis

Provocations benefit everyone. They allow strong states to express anger, reaffirm their supremacy, and to even use force but without resorting to war.

Developing the Far East and Chinese-Russian Relations: New Perceptions and New Practices

Developing the Russian Far East and Siberia has been an important step in state-building for Russia. Although there have been debates about appropriate ideas and policies in the strategy, developing the vast frontier region and promoting relations with Asian countries has set a steadfast direction of development for Russia. Chinese-Russian cooperation in the border region during the early stages of imperial Russia’s policies in the Far East holds enlightening significance for today’s bilateral cooperation.

Japan and the Development of the Russian Far East

The main objective for the Shinzo Abe administration’s active engagement in supporting the involvement of Japanese companies in the development of the Russian Far East is to create favourable environment for resolution of the territorial issue and conclusion of a peace treaty with Russia. Japan–Russia cooperation in the Russian Far East is part of Abe’s 8-point cooperation plan with Moscow.