If Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump are able to find a common language of respective national interests, then in spite of the fundamental differences and the unavoidable rivalry, Russian-US adversity may become more manageable. Under the current circumstances, one could call this an achievement.
Recent developments in Russia-Pakistan relations seem to create a false impression of solid cooperation, which simultaneously irritates a few third countries. This is why Russia needs to rethink not only its policy towards Islamabad, but the region as a whole.
The president embodies the ambitions of a country that is proud of its history and means to retain its role within the international community.
Today Russia and the West perceive each other as political opponents, in fact. And one should treat one’s opponent very seriously. After all, if you don’t take your adversary very seriously, it might lead to underestimating your opposing side’s potential and overestimating your own capabilities.
Both China and Russia are led by leaders acting out of the national interest, which should mean that even if President Xi or President Putin will not be able to resolve their differences with President Trump, they will at least speak the same language.
A quarter-century after the dissolution of the Soviet Union Russia has moved away from Europe. Russian leaders regard their country as a self-sustained civilization related to Europe yet clearly separate from it.
Any ideology, not just communist, is a poor guide for foreign policy. Foreign military misadventures result in disappointment at home and loss of prestige abroad.
To Putin, Trump is a person who has not exactly had anything good to say about Russia, but has at least refrained from attacking or blaming Russia, which has become the norm in America today.
Speculations about the U.S. policy in South Asia may be right or wrong. But at least one thing is clear. In his policy toward South Asia, Trump will follow his understanding of pragmatic and realistic interests of the United States, and not seek how to please leaders of South Asian countries and beyond, including Russia.
Putin is creating the environment that can provide him with security and insurance and control the wars with the Kremlin’s inner circle. Russia’s political elites have already received a lot of signals from him: If somebody behaves in a wrong way, he will be either dismissed or accused of corruption.
Nobody in the U.S. believes that relations with Russia will be improved until the kremlin changes its foreign policy course and stops its political rebellion against the system of international relations, established by the United States.
If Putin tried to use the figures of Stalin and Ivan the Terrible in the same way, he would be regarded as an impostor. That’s why he is far more comfortable with Vladimir the Great. Besides sharing a name, Putin, like Vladimir, who baptized Russia, believes he is saving Russia’s Orthodox soul.
Going forward, Xi, Putin and the next US President will be largely responsible for the state of the world. China's and Russia's leaders will not only work closely with each other, but also learn from each other, in economics as well as in politics.
India and Russia need to undertake a fresh and frank appraisal of each other if their strategic partnership is to deepen and endure beyond high-level weapons and energy cooperation.
What Russia may seek in the long term in Southeast Asia is a position of a respected and seemingly disinterested outside power helping maintain an equilibrium in a potentially highly volatile region.
Russia badly needs to produce a long-term strategy towards India and the region of south Asia, and to stop thinking about India and Pakistan tactically and separately.
The “turn to the East” has dramatically changed Russia’s strategy towards China and many underlying assumptions. It has also dramatically influenced the mainstream analysis of Chinese security intentions in Northeast Asia. The influence of this major shift in national policy, as well as policymakers’ and scholars’ perceptions of China, was felt throughout 2015.
Russia's recent military exercises with Pakistan showed that Moscow still views many international issues through the prism of its relations with the U.S. Such a position might put Russia-India relations at risk.
Before India and Pakistan enter the SCO, Russia and China should make an effort to help them prevent future conflicts. Failing to help manage the relationship now carries a serious risk for the entire SCO project started by Beijing and Moscow 15 years ago. So, China and Russia owe it to themselves to begin defusing tensions between their partners.
So far, Moscow and Washington have proved incapable of ending Syria’s civil war. But a settlement is impossible without them.