The program covers a broad spectrum of foreign policy and security issues, including Russia’s relations with the U.S. and Western Europe, the creation of a common Euro-Atlantic security system, Russia’s cooperation with its neighbors, the evolving relationship with Central and Eastern Europe, and the development of ties with China, Japan and other Asian powers.
While Russia repositions itself as a stand-alone power in the north-central portion of the world’s largest continent, its leaders are seeking to create a distinct national entity amid a vast and highly diverse neighborhood.
It is not enough for China and Russia to work to reduce US dominance in “the grand Eurasian chessboard.” They have to work on a new continental order that other countries, not just the two of them, would find an improvement over the current situation.
Should Trump be ready to offer Kim Jong-un US security guarantees for his regime in exchange for limiting North Korea’s missile program so that the US West Coast remains safe from North Korean projectiles, Russia could also offer to host a six-party summit in Vladivostok so close to the two Koreas, as well as China and Japan.
Russia has played it cool in the current North Korea crisis, convinced that the spike in tensions will soon subside. Moscow, however, is under no illusion: The security situation on the Korean Peninsula continues to deteriorate and the next alert is just around the corner.
The window of opportunity for improving Russo-Japanese relations is still open, at least for now. Russia’s main objectives are to attract Japanese investment into its national economic development programs and to continue to diversify its policies in the Asia-Pacific and on the international stage, where Japan plays an important and increasingly independent role.
The US-Russian relationship under Trump will mainly focus on reducing risks of collision, taking confidence-building measures, and engaging in other forms of war avoidance. Improved relations can only result from a change in the basic attitude of either of the two countries toward the other.
The risk of a confrontation has increased since Friday, but, paradoxically, greater American involvement in Syria may also bring about closer US-Russian co-operation there, leading eventually to a political settlement and an end to the bloody six-year civil war.