Between East and West
In international relations growing serious conflicts and exacerbated long-standing conflicts. In these circumstances, Russia has a chance to become a pillar of stability and to pursue a balanced — between East and West — policy, promoting respect for international players. The main challenge that Moscow will have to cope with, is domestic economic problems. To such conclusion experts of the Council on foreign and defense policy (SWAP) in its report “Strategy for Russia”.
Document (there), the presentation of which took place on Monday, prepared under the leadership of honorary Chairman SWAP of Sergey Karaganov and the organization’s Chairman Fyodor Lukyanov. Many of the authors of the report are also members of the discussion club “Valdai”, founded under the auspices of the SWAP. “We do not claim to be exhaustive truth, but the debate on foreign policy is necessary,” — said Lukyanov, in presenting the report.
Members of the working group of the SWAP, the paper said, generally support the existing foreign policy of Moscow: “We are in awe of our foreign policy in difficult economic conditions,” — said during the presentation, the Karaganov. At the same time, the experts offer an alternative assessment of past events and options for further development. Including such proposals as “due to official status can’t afford colleagues from the state authorities”.
The mistake of the Democrats
The report’s authors stress that popular in the 1990 s theory of the “end of history” liberal democracy as the final stage of development of society — not only proved incorrect, but also led to the collapse of global world order, creating along the way a number of serious socio-political problems. We are talking primarily about the migration crisis. “Installed by the West after the cold war rules will be reviewed by other players, in particular China,” said the Karaganov.
According to the report, the current international situation resembles the chaos of the period of the Thirty years war in the early seventeenth century, and in many ways only the presence of nuclear weapons in several powers holding back the world from sliding into a “hot conflict”. The reluctance kompensiruet military confrontation, economic warfare as a key weapon of diplomacy: sanctions, trade barriers and other things.
In parallel, the role of the players in international politics returns from blocks and unions to nation-States. Therefore, according to Karaganov, the most successful can be the cooperation of Russia with the United States rather than with Europe. The EU, experts say the SWAP is in the process of degradation because of the growing number of external and internal problems of administrative chaos.
Earlier in may, analysts close SWAP club “Valdai” stressed that Moscow needs a stable and predictable partner in the EU, and now the cooling of relations allows to restart them “from scratch”.
In the context of the collapse of the world order Russia, according to the authors of the report, can take on the world’s Legitimist” power, calling for the most transparent and legitimate tools of international politics (primarily on the basis of the UN Charter). Not bound by the commitments with the West and the East, Russia needs to be more of a “Northern Eurasia”, rather than “Eastern Europe” and seek to implement its policy largely within the framework of the Shanghai cooperation organization (SCO).
However, modification of the foreign policy of the Kremlin is not an end in itself in the eyes of the authors of the report, but only as a tool for solving the most important at the moment, Russia’s problems. According to experts SWAP, the problem is the economic condition of the country. “We must put the problem not improve relations with the West, and strengthen the economy, — said Lukyanov. If you want to develop cooperation with the West, so be it”.
This objective is in direct connection with the idea of economic development and welfare as a new main indicator of greatness of the country. The States and China has shifted the focus of its activities in this sphere, in Russia, the “most elites are not ready to such turn overripe”. The priority of Economics over diplomacy is a practical reflection of the theory about the leading role of national interests in policy — the theory, the experts SWAP and “Valdai” mentioned in previous reports.
Speaking of examples of such weighted diplomacy, the authors of the report note: use the slogans “protect the Russian world” as a justification for the use of military force abroad “unrealistic and counterproductive”. Good relations with Europe needed, but prospects for cooperation between the EU and the emerging EEU vague. Finally, the reconstitution of the Council Russia — NATO experts believe the SWAP even “harmful”, saying it was a revival of the illusions of the 1990-ies.
However, the text of the report, according to Karaganov, is not final and will be further developed. Concrete proposals on economic reforms of Russia, the authors have not suggested such a goal, according to them, was not.
The Council on foreign and defense policy was formed in 1992 as a non-governmental Advisory community, bringing together diplomats, politicians and foreign Affairs experts. Leading SWAP project (in collaboration with the Agency “RIA Novosti”) — discussion club “Valdai”, founded in 2004. SWAP members are former and current Russian foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and Sergei Lavrov, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, former Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin and economist Sergei Aleksashenko, journalist Dmitry Bykov and about 200 experts and politicians.