№ 3 July/September 2009
  • No Lull in Sight

    There has been no traditional summertime lull in Russian politics this year. The breath of the crisis is felt everywhere. In Russia, it forces the government to take preventive measures – many analysts predict a hot autumn prone with social problems. But in the international arena, new opportunities are opening up, which Moscow does not want to miss.

  • An Exhausted Resource

    The Russian state itself became actually the only source for the modernization efforts. This is the major problem of modernization projects in authoritarian states: the government has to face social problems alone. Even with the tacit support from the public, it is difficult to address large-scale tasks in the absence of active civil society.

  • Is There a Demand for Modernization in Russia?

    The consumer adaptive individualism and mutual mistrust within elites, together with the specifics of “sovereign democracy,” are a major obstacle to a normal political withdrawal from the crisis through the establishment of effective parties or factions within the ruling party.

  • Russia’s Modernization: At Another Fork in the Road

    Solution to the problems of power and the destiny of modernization has been put off until the 2012 election, when the final choice of the parameters of future development could be determined by either Vladimir Putin’s return to the Kremlin or Dmitry Medvedev’s continued presidency.

  • How to Overcome the National Crisis


    The theory and history of international relations abounds in the misconception that the bigger a country, the greater its freedom of action. In reality, it is the other way around.

  • Energy Markets in a Turbulent Zone

    The anti-crisis strategy is universal for all sectors of the economy – the main emphasis is placed on reducing costs. This is particularly important for the Russian oil and gas industry. The short respite given by the ruble devaluation is drawing to a close.

  • Approaching the Far Away

    The presence of an influential and consolidated Russian community abroad meets Russia’s national interests. A community interwoven and integrated in the public and political life of the country where it lives – rather than an assimilated or marginalized one – could make up a full-fledged part of the global Russian world.

  • Russia and the U.S.: Reconfiguration, Not Resetting

    It would make sense for Moscow to offer its own package of ideas to Washington regarding the improvement of relations, and this package should be bigger than the one proposed by President Obama. The two countries must take a course towards a “big deal” based on the analysis of vital interests of the sides and their priority ranking. The parties should pledge respect for each other’s interests in the areas where these interests are truly vital, while making concessions on secondary issues.

  • Rethinking Security in “Greater Europe”

    The proposal to build a new European security architecture, which Russian President Dmitry Medvedev put forward in Berlin in June 2008 and which he followed up in November in Evian, was Moscow’s first attempt in 20 years to formulate a coherent foreign-policy vision.

  • Towards Legal Universalism

    The very idea of reviving the intergovernmental dialogue on security in Europe reflects the legal universalism of Russian politics that has been characteristic of this country throughout almost all of its history since Peter the Great and that is typical of Medvedev’s political style.

  • Labyrinths of the Arctic Policy

    The creation of a regional security system, such as a Baltic Union, would help to consolidate Russia’s positions in Northern Europe and in the Arctic, as this system could be a prototype for a new, co-operative security system in Europe.

  • The Return of Turkey

    The Georgian-Russian war became a momentous event as it caused other countries to revise Russia’s role in world politics, the practice of conflict management, and other factors. The war has produced a new situation, which requires a comprehensive analysis of the roles of other regional actors, above all Turkey.

  • The Fundamental Conflict

    If Israel annexes the Arab territories it occupied in 1967, it will soon cease to be a Jewish state as the ratio between the Jewish and Arab populations in it will inevitably change in favor of the latter due to its birth rates.

  • The Afghan Problem in the Regional Context

    Russia by no means is interested in a defeat of the international forces in Afghanistan, as it would create new security problems. But Moscow does not see prospects for a military victory. And if these prospects appeared, they would give a green light to “Greater Central Asia” infrastructure projects that would be economically disadvantageous for Russia.

  • The Post-Crisis World: Searching for a New Framework

    This century will be neither “American” nor “North Atlantic” – but neither the Americans nor the Europeans or the Russians are interested in seeing the 21st century becoming “Asian” and especially “Chinese.” Today as never before all of them need unity.

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Publisher's column

Where to Go and with Whom to Go: Russia’s Foreign Policy on the Threshold of a New Decade

Russia is entering a new decade with significant (and I am even tempted to say brilliant) foreign and defense policy achievements, and with a substantial margin of strength. But the challenges and problems lying ahead are fraught with deceleration or even rollback.

Editor's column

Roaring Twenties again: 'Global impeachment' and the end of the era of liberal globalization

Now that another decade has flown by and the world awaits the arrival of 2020, it is only appropriate to look back at last century's 'Roaring Twenties'. Those twenties started globalization; these could see the end of its era.

How Cozy Is Russia and China’s Military Relationship?

Russia and China’s strategic military cooperation is becoming ever closer. President Putin has announced that Russia is helping China build an early warning system to spot intercontinental ballistic missile launches.

A “Synchronized Downturn” Calls for a “Synchronized Response”

This year’s Annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank in Washington DC revealed a growing preoccupation with the mounting signs of a slowdown in the world economy.

How to Stop NATO

Catherine the Great is credited with saying that the only way to secure the borders of the Russian Empire is to expand them continuously. This logic is to some degree applicable to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which embarked on a path of geographical enlargement quite literally from the very first days of its existence.

The Asian Mirror for the Far East: an Indian Perspective

India and Russia have long shared geopolitical perspectives on the balance of power in Eurasia. In the post-Cold War era both turned their attention to the West. However, over the past decade India has pursued the Look East Policy, seeking to regain its political and economic influence in Southeast Asia and building new strategic partnerships with East Asian powers like Japan and South Korea. Russia’s Turn to the East and India’s move from the Look East to the Act East Policy have created a new framework for closer India–Russia geo-economic and geopolitical relations.

Russian Far East Development from the Korean Perspective

This chapter focuses on analysing Korea’s position on development of this region. To this end, the paper deals with the significance and strategic value of the Russian Far East, the current status, and determinants of the Russian Far East policy, as well as the direction and tasks of Korea’s Russian Far East policy.