Those looking at Russia’s foreign relations would soon discover that the country is essentially a loner. It is not part of any international large family, whether Europe, the Atlantic community or the West. Asians do not recognize Russia as Asian, either.
Russia’s relations with the West are not about to get any better.
While broadly perceived as a blow to the EU and its values, Brexit will actually benefit a future democratic Russia. Britain’s exit will create a new model of Europeanness, in which a country can strive to achieve European standards without EU membership. That is a niche Russia can fill.
The U.S.-Iran crisis of January 2020 did not lead to a major war in the Middle East, but it did reveal a number of new trends reshaping the world order.
Many Brits continue to believe that Russia interfered in the Brexit referendum campaign by financing and promoting the Leave campaign. In addition, the legacy of the poisoning of the Skripals will impact bilateral relations for years to come, with no mutually acceptable resolution in sight.
Alex Gabuev, Robyn Dixon and Max Seddon discuss the work of the foreign media in Moscow.
The world is probably entering a period of new bipolarity, in which the main players will be the United States and China. The situation will prompt various states to address the question of how they relate to the new central axis of global rivalry, this time between Washington and Beijing.
Macron is right about the need to see relations with Russia in the context of a changing international system. At the same time, there must be a sober assessment of what is and is not possible between the EU and Russia.
Multilateralism should not be conceived as necessarily cooperative: one set of multilateral institutions can be used to challenge another set.
Russia is back and here to stay. Others had better accept it and learn to deal with it — without undue expectations, but also without inordinate fear.