Presidency of the BRICS will allow Moscow to position itself as a participant of an association that offers an alternative to the global world order, and the grouping’s summit in Ufa will give the Russian government an opportunity to present the country as a leader of the non-Western world.
The Ukraine crisis was not just about Ukraine, or even Europe. It was about the global order, which promises a long competition with a yet-unforeseen result.
Perhaps the most important document signed by Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping on May 8 in Moscow is the joint declaration on the unification of the Moscow-backed Eurasian Economic Union and the Chinese Silk Road Economic Belt.
The EU needs to remold its support for fundamental political reform in Eastern Partnership partner states—and use this as a firmer base from which to assuage tensions with Russia.
Japan’s national interests need to be front and center, rather than subordinated to the not always clear vision—or lack of it—of a particular administration in Washington. These interests demand that Tokyo keeps a viable relationship with Moscow.
The Victory Day parade in Moscow has sent a number of important messages, which outsiders would do well to reflect upon.
The Russia-China rapprochement is a sign of the changing world order, in which the West is still very relevant, but no longer dominant.
The intensity of Moscow’s current contact with Tehran is unprecedented in Russia’s post-Soviet history. Yet despite the potential for improvement, there are serious obstacles that may hamper or even halt cooperation.
There is no doubt that Nursultan Nazarbayev will win Kazakhstan’s early presidential elections. He will stay in power for an indefinite number of years to come, and the country will implement its planned reforms under his patronage.
The tensions in Russian-Western relations will not lead to a direct collision between Russia and NATO. The current surge of mutual psychosis has no relation to the military security.
The Ukrainian crisis has threatened the stability of relations between Russia and the West, making it all the more critical for Russia and the United States to talk, to relieve the pressures to “use or lose” nuclear forces during a crisis and minimize the risk of a mistaken launch.
On May 9—the Victory Day—the majority of top-level visitors will come to Moscow from the non-Western countries. Russia’s quest for acceptance in or by the West is finally over, and its foreign policy will require a new identity and new orientation.
The Sino-Russian entente—with its unstated, but transparent goal of reducing U.S. global dominance—is easily the most important result of the Ukraine crisis and the preceding deterioration of Russian-Western relations. The West needs to take this seriously.
President Putin’s decision to lift the ban on the transfer of the S-300 air defense system to Iran signals a new departure for Moscow’s policy in the Middle East.
To avoid a dangerous meltdown in Ukraine, the West must lean hard on Kiev in support of economic and political reform.
Russia is tilting toward China in the face of political and economic pressure from the United States and Europe. This does not presage a new Sino-Russian bloc, but the epoch of post-communist Russia’s integration with the West is over.
There is little reason to believe that the Russian middle class will react to the ongoing financial and economic crisis with protests or renewed calls for change. Instead, it seems almost certain that it will opt for strategies of survival and perseverance.
The prospect of a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran in the next few months, if executed rigorously and embedded in wider strategies for regional order and global nuclear order, can be a significant turning point.
Russia’s “pivot to Asia” is meeting with a number of challenges, such as bureaucratic inertia, lack of workable ideas, and high levels of corruption. However, there are ways of dealing with all of them.
The Western approach to Russia is predicated on the supposition that continued pressure on the country will cause Vladimir Putin’s regime to make concessions or even crumble. However, this is far from the truth.
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