№ 1 January/March 2012
A Focus on the Middle East
The Nature of Power
  • Russia in Global Society


    A power resource (a component of power) is important not by itself but when applied to circumstances where it can be used, or to a specific form of relations between states. The component of power that plays the key role in specific relations is viewed as the key indicator, and a new balance of power can be defined on its basis.

Post-Soviet Moods
  • An Eternal Ghost

    At this point the ambitious Eurasian project promising to unite Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus into a single economic space is not so much an attempt to generate an original economic model and, consequently, an economic strategy, but rather is an attempt to integrate into an intensive exchange of commodities between the EU and Asia by offering a shorter route for cargo shipments.

  • Returning to a Place That No Longer Exists

    Entire generations of people born in the former Soviet Union would wholeheartedly support unification, but a logical question arises: With whom are we going to unite? A country that has assimilated the worst from Western capitalism, rampant with xenophobia and domestic racism, and which is suffering from a demographic and technological decline? A country whose economy is controlled by the mafia and oligarchs?

  • The SCO as a Rising Master of the Heartland

    Russia and China make up the backbone of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Equating the ongoing search for a positive balance of Russian and Chinese interests with an incessant tug of war for asserting one’s hegemony would be a biased conclusion that would be contrary to the way the SCO is organized and functions.

Not-So-Newly Independent States
  • The Spiral of Independence

    The irony of history is that it was Lukashenko – a fighter against nationalism and a politician who promised to restore the Soviet Union – who became, in a sense, the founding father of the modern independent Belarusian state. Even within the framework of quasi-Soviet national ideology, pro-European attitudes in Belarus keep growing.

  • Between Adolescence and Adulthood

    Ukraine is always said to be at a “crossroads.” It has so many existential dilemmas of national identity and foreign policy direction. But this time its partners are demanding answers and its options really are narrowing. It is in danger of becoming a dysfunctional semi-autocracy and a double periphery rather than a mutual neighborhood.

  • Each Unhappy in Its Own Way


    After gaining independence, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan have been plagued by wars and ethnic conflicts, they have lost transport links, and government agencies have collapsed. Yet the respective political regimes have had diverse fates: although the starting points and international situation were similar when they launched their policies, the outcome is fairly different.

The Caucasus in Transitions
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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

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.