The values put forward by Putin are not traditional values, but rather their imitations. These false offerings can only discredit the new values of freedom, solidarity, and mutual help that are taking root among some segments of the Russian population.
As a Euro-Pacific nation, Russia is in a good position to connect directly with all important economic, technological, political, military, and cultural players in the world—and keep the right balance among them in its foreign policy.
The Ukrainian elite has reached consensus on what it does not want—it does not want to be suffocated by the Kremlin’s embrace. For Putin the growing readiness of Ukraine to turn to Europe despite the formidable costs of this decision is a real disaster: his Eurasian Union cannot be a serious entity without the second large Slavic state limping along.
As Russia proceeds with its massive rearmament program, its arms exports, a lifeline in the 1990s, will be important, but no longer critical. The truly critical question is, what Russia itself will be arming against.
The tenth-anniversary Valdai Club meeting was named “Russia’s diversity for the Modern World.” Nevertheless, the issue of diversity was put to the side by other hot current issues: the recent Russian elections, corruption, and Syria.
The administration of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan embraced a Russian takeover of the nation’s economy that left political control in Armenian hands. As Sargsyan began to have second thoughts about this bargain, he found himself short of options.
The Kremlin appears to have found its distinct international role. It is based on conservative nationalism; support for traditional international law with its emphasis on national sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs of states; and a strong preference for evolutionary path of development over revolutionary upheavals.