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.
China and Russia have learned lessons from history: great powers lead or abstain, they don’t jump on the bandwagons of others, and in bilateral relations, great powers seek to maintain equilibrium-they may come close to each other if interests or circumstances demand, but not so close as to become followers.
It will be a long time before the U.S. and Russia will reach a new normal in their relationship. The most important thing is that they keep their current confrontation cold, just as they managed with the previous one.
Moscow and Beijing will continue to have their differences, and they are not entirely free from reciprocal phobias, but the chances of a China–Russia collision over those differences are being minimised by the US policy of dual containment.
A broad public discussion on Moscow’s foreign policy goals and objectives is long overdue. International issues are affecting the interests of Russian society as a whole more and more, making it necessary for private citizens to take a greater interest in their country’s conduct abroad, especially in the single continental space that is Greater Eurasia.
The Kremlin needs to understand clearly that it is up against not just Japan but also the Russian public—and based on public opinion surveys, two-thirds of Russians do not want to hand over the Kuril Islands. The Kremlin will not be able to coerce the people into accepting its point of view.