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Russia's foreign policy: challenges, strategy, outlook.
Material posted: Publication date: 05-11-2015
The current situation of Russia in the international arena is characterized by increasing global instability associated with "deep-seated changes in the geopolitical landscape, which has become a powerful catalyst for financial and economic crisis." Since the end of 2013 - beginning of 2014 the determining factor in determining the nature of relations between Russia and the West, is the Ukrainian crisis.

1. The basic risks and threats to foreign policy interests of Russia at the present stage

Revolution, and then and war in the east of Ukraine have provoked the largest since cold war geopolitical opposition between the modern West on behalf of the USA and EU and Russia. Complexity of modern Ukrainian crisis is caused by variety of factors. First, any inside the state opposition based on etno-konfessionalnoj or tsivilizatsionnoj to a component basically extremely difficultly gives in to fast settlement. Secondly, the conflict in the southeast of Ukraine occurs at unprecedented external pressure which appears to Russia from EU and the USA, on the one hand, and with the active help of the given players to the Kiev mode, with another.

Important aspect of the given crisis with reference to a foreign policy of the Russian Federation is that fact that the revolution which has occurred in Ukraine has carried out red line under the policy, foreseen by Russia throughout all Post-Soviet period, connected with attempts to be built in the western economic-political structures and safety structures. [2] Ukrainian crisis has visually shown that, despite various opinions in EU and sympathy of separate politicians and the first persons of the states in relation to the Russian Federation (such as M.Zeman in Czechia, the chancellor of Austria V.Fajman and a number of others), in aggregate European Union adheres to a policy of the Atlantic solidarity with the USA in questions of Ukraine and Crimea.

For today, despite relative calm on Donbass to speak about a high-grade armistice it is premature: periodically occur item boestolknovenija and bombardments practically on all line of contact of the parties, besides, the grouping of the Ukrainian armies in the Southeast tends only to number escalating, rotation of separate parts and divisions is produced, as a whole the Ukrainian grouping generates an offensive fighting order. [3] this data say that as a whole the Ukrainian generals are ready to renew active offensive actions in territory DNR and LNR - only political the decision in Kiev for this purpose is required. Thus, for today the situation in unrecognized republics of Donbass can be characterised more likely as balancing on grane wars, than advancement to a little steady world.

Entering by a number of the western countries of economic sanctions against our country became one more serious consequence of the Ukrainian crisis for Russia. Sanktsionnoe pressure of the West upon the Russian Federation, first of all cutting of the Russian economy from financing sources in Europe and the USA, the termination of cooperation with the western companies in such questions as the geological prospecting and oil extraction, in particular on a shelf, creates serious difficulties for the Russian economy and forces the Russian Federation to search, on the one hand, for effective replacement to the West in the economic plan, and with another, to continue active attempts of settlement of the Ukrainian crisis and removal of sanctions. [4]

Besides it, the Ukrainian crisis became the aggravation catalyst of "a gas question» both in a format of the Russian Federation - Ukraine, and between the Russian Federation and the West. It is obvious that EU intends to use instability in Ukraine with a view of rendering of pressure upon the Russian Federation in two directions. First, the western politicians count on reduction of price on gas and constraint of Russia to sell gas on border with Ukraine. Secondly, ruined by war and an economic crisis, Ukraine, nevertheless, stays in association from EU, in this context of EU does not want to defray restoration of the Ukrainian economy and supply by its energy, and aspires to restack this burden to the Russian Federation.

The situation on a southern direction of the Russian foreign policy also has undergone considerable changes lately. Sharp activization of radical grouping «Islamic state» in Syria and Iraq in the summer of 2014 has led to a sharp aggravation of military conditions in region. For Russia growth influence of YOKES on territories of Syria and Iraq represents danger on following positions. First, under threat the Russian oil projects in Iraq (the company Lukoil, Gazpromneft) get. Secondly, strengthening influence of YOKES can cause destabilization of conditions not only in the Near East, but also in the Caspian region and Transcaucasia that directly infringes on interests of the Russian Federation and its nearest ally in region - Armenia. As it is necessary to notice that, according to special services, in the ranks of YOKES is at war to several thousand citizens of the Russian Federation [5] that in the long term can bear serious threat of origin of cells of this organisation in the Russian territory, first of all in the North Caucasus, in the Volga region, in Moscow and St.-Petersburg.

Other important region in a context of national interests of Russia is the Central Asia (TSA). Post-Soviet modes of these countries should cause concern of a foreign policy management of Russia in connection with variety of problems: the decaying water conflict between Uzbekistan and Kirghizia with Tajikistan, a problem of Fergana valley. A serious call of safety in TSA is general instability of political-economical systems of the states of region: in the majority these countries represent rigid authoritative modes where in a power format any opposition chokes, but thus institutes of the central power are not to the full arranged and steady. In such countries as Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, basically is absent the mechanism of removability of governors; in Kirghizia similar changes have turned back two revolutions for 10 years.

In such conditions any possible destabilization is fraught with serious threats of statehood of the countries TSA. Threat of Islamic radicalism also remains actual for region as a whole. A permanent source raspolzanie religious extremism in the Central Asia is Afghanistan where the basic terrorist groupings having interests in region such, for example, as Islamic movement of Uzbekistan are based. As a negative trend in the given context penetration of the Islamic State into Afghanistan and in the countries TSA that has already caused serious concern of some the region countries can act further. [6]

The given risks are especially strong for such countries as Tajikistan and Kirghizia who represent not only unstable political formations, but also are rather weak economically. It is necessary to consider that in case of situation escalation the basic costs connected with safety and support of the states of region, unconditionally, will lay down on shoulders of the Russian Federation.

Also the Russian Federation cannot disregard amplifying penetration (first of all economic) China to the Central Asia that in the long term can call into question influence of the Russian Federation on these countries, it is especially actual in a context of development of the Euroasian economic union which Kirghizia recently has joined. Attempt of the Peoples Republic of China to tear off the country of region from Russia and to reformat system of mutual relations in TSA from a multilateral format within the limits of the CIS and EAES, offered by our country, in a format of two-way communications with Beijing can create serious threat to projects of the Euroasian union and ODKB which the Russian diplomacy built in tsentralnoaziatskih republics throughout last time.

Thus, for today Russia faces set of calls and threats of safety both economic, and military character, as a matter of fact on all perimetre of the borders, therefore modern foreign policy conditions around our country can be characterised as strained.

2. Modern foreign policy of Russia

The modern foreign policy of the Russian Federation is aimed at transformation of Russia into one of leading global players of a formed new world order into the XXI-st century. The foreign policy of our state is «one of the major tools of forward development of the country, provision of its competitiveness in the globalized world». [7] Proceeding from tasks in view the foreign policy of Russia at the present stage can be subdivided into a number of components.

Unconditionally, one of the major elements of a foreign policy of the Russian Federation is the integration component. The post-Soviet territory is the vital region for Russia - in due course the USSR between the Russian Federation and the former union republics there are strong economic relations, except that, preserving of these countries in a zone of influence of the Russian Federation in many respects solves problems of safety of the country. The first attempts of reintegration of republics of the former USSR took place in 90th: originally for a role of such integration structure applied the CIS, then there were attempts of creation of Custom union, Union State of Russia and Belarus which de jure acts till now. Nevertheless the solving stage of forming of the integration block took place in second half zero when on the basis of EvrAzES it was accepted decision to generate Custom union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Further integration has passed a stage of Uniform economic space and in 2015г. The Euroasian Economic union has started to act. For today Armenia and Kirghizia have joined the Union.

For the Russian Federation the given project has all-important value as it, as a matter of fact, last attempt really to keep the Post-Soviet countries in an orbit of the Russian influence if the given integration project fails, undoubtedly, Post-Soviet republics in TSA will be included into a zone of exclusive influence of China which as already it was told above, already actively economically gets into the given states. In the Eastern Europe there is a competition integratsy between EUROPEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY and EU, a number of the Post-Soviet countries (Moldova, Belarus, Ukraine) have joined the project East partnership, and Moldova and Ukraine were included into association from EU. Influence of Turkey and Iran grows in the countries of Transcaucasia.

Other important direction of foreign policy of the Russian Federation is active participation in development of such organisations, as SHOS and BRIKS. Interaction with the countries BRIKS creates serious alternative to influence of the West on worldwide policy and reduces influence of leading western institutes (the World Bank and IMF) in a context of creation by the Development Bank countries BRIKS. Coordination in format BRIKS allows the leading not western countries to formulate a uniform position and to exchange opinions on the basic questions of the international agenda without participation and pressure from the USA and other leading countries of the West.

Cooperation within the limits of SHOS allows to undertake practical steps on counteraction to three basic threats: to terrorism, extremism and separatism [8], and also drug-dealing, mainly in region of the Central Asia, strenghtens mutual relations between the Russian Federation and China, besides, creates real alternative of the NATO in region.

One more important component of a foreign policy of the Russian Federation at the present stage is its policy concerning the United Nations. Russia which as the continuer of the USSR, has inherited an armchair of the permanent member of UNSF, pursues a policy, directed on maintenance and strengthening of authority of the United Nations. The Russian Federation believes that the United Nations for today are a unique reliable regulator of the international relations. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation repeatedly underlined danger to the international stability which is born «by attempts to regulate crises by application outside the limits of UNSF unilateral sanktsionnogo pressure and other measures power influence, including the armed aggression». [9] In this connection the Russian Federation considers as threat application of force bypassing decisions of UNSF which show the USA and other countries of the West, in a context of intrusion into Iraq, bombardments of Libya etc.

For today does not lose an urgency a vector external a policy of the Russian Federation, connected with relations about the USA and EU. In the light of proceeding Ukrainian crisis, the western sanctions, the Russian Federation is interested in forming of constructive relations with the western partners. Despite the essential pressure rendered by the West to Russia, at present not in interests of the Russian Federation to go on rigid confrontation as the West, first of all EU, continues to be the basic economic partner of modern Russia. In this connection efforts of the Russian diplomacy on adjustment and strengthening of relations with those EU Member States which are interested in partnership with Russia are key. V.Putin's visit to Hungary, its meeting with the Greek prime minister A. Tsiprasom are perfectly an illustration of the given policy. One of the major points of forming of a policy with the West for today is diplomatic attempts of the Russian Federation to permit the Ukrainian crisis. Negotiations in Minsk and consultation in the Norman format underline once again high concern of the Russian Federation in a situation in the east of Ukraine.

In the Russian foreign policy military-air operation Russian VKS in territory of Syria became essentially new begun in the autumn of 2015. Actions of Russia in the Near east show a new tendency on transformation of our country into more active military-political player on the world scene. It is necessary to notice that similar shares as a whole keep within general sense of the Russian foreign policy doctrine which key directions on a global scale are ideas of counteraction to disintegration of institute of the sovereign national state, oppositions of anarchy and to revolutionary changes of modes of the various countries, beginning from Libya and finishing Ukraine. In this sense Russia represents itself as the leader of a conservative direction in the worldwide policy, aimed at gradual careful transformations and not considering, unlike atlantistov, democratisation as the guarantor of a sustainable development. [10]

Thus, the modern foreign policy of the Russian Federation is characterised mnogovektornostju and necessity to answer various calls and threats of safety and at the same time effectively to advance interests of Russia as in regional, and on a global scale.

3. The forecast: a foreign policy situation in medium-term prospect

Speaking about the political forecast, it is necessary to notice that in the conditions of the modern world where conditions can change cardinally for few days, it is rather difficult to speak about forecasts for the remote prospect. A fine illustration of the given thesis is the Ukrainian crisis and reunion of Crimea with Russia about which possibility, for half a year before events on the Square of Independence in Kiev, the most courageous political analysts could not think even. Arguing on development of a foreign policy situation round the Russian Federation, it makes sense to speak only about probabilities of development of this or that of set of possible scenarios.

In short-term prospect in relations of Russia about EU and the USA succession of events in the east of Ukraine will be the determining factor. Experience of previous attempts of peaceful settlement has shown that between the conflict parties there are cardinal distinctions in vision of the future development of the Ukrainian state and thus fast the terminations armed opposition it is improbable.

Nevertheless, the question on how the Ukrainian conflict will develop, remains opened. Now among possible scenarios of development of a situation the most probable the scenario of escalation of intensity and the scenario of the refrigerated conflict look.

The first variant recognises that internal political conditions in Ukraine remains to the extremely difficult. Taking into account an accruing economic crisis, growth of unemployment, increase in migratory flows both internal, and external, the probability of strengthening of influence of radicals on a policy of the central power essentially increases, except that, the government in Kiev itself osoznanno can go on escalation of the conflict with a view of derivation of attention of the population from economic problems. Besides, any flashes of violence on Donbass automatically become argument of Ukraine in negotiations with the West on allocation of new credits in the area of IMF, to rendering of other help, including the Ukrainian army directed on reequipment. Similar escalation of intensity can result as in a military victory of Kiev and a complete control establishment over territory of republics, and, on the contrary, to a checkmate and disorganisation of the Ukrainian army and as consequence of all Ukrainian state.

Nevertheless, such variant is represented undesirable to Russia at the given stage as, unconditionally, will cause a new coil of intensity in relations with the West. Besides it, even in case of victory DNR and LNR to Russia cargo on restoration of an infrastructure and economy of republics, acceptances of an additional flow of refugees and other expenses which, considering a modern state of affairs in the Russian economy will lay down, can entail rather negative consequences.

The second variant - conflict freezing is one of the most probable and during too time of the most acceptable for Russia. Possibility of this scenario is caused by that today any of the conflict parties cannot warrant to itself an unconditional victory in case of renewal of full-scale operations, and costs from failure, on the contrary, are excessively high. Also Minsk negotiating process going with variable success allows the parties to speak at the expense of various treatment of the reached agreements about the success, without translating the conflict in a hot phase. At realisation of the given variant of development of a situation it is not necessary to expect any cardinal changes in relations of the Russian Federation and the West in the near future: the question on Crimea and removal of sanctions will be hardly settled, until then while the Ukrainian subjects will be actual for the western countries, first of all the USA. Conflict freezing has long-term prospect, and in this plan the main role will be played by economic and social situation both Ukraine, and in DNR and LNR. [11]

On a southern direction the situation will continue to remain stably strained. Struggle against YOKES as well as any war in the Near East has no fast termination. Insurgents of YOKES have broad support among sunnitskogo the population of Iraq which does not aspire to return under the control of the Shiit government in Bagdad. Taking into account that struggle against YOKES inseparably linked with civil war in Syria and a Kurdish question, will not be found in medium-term prospect of a way to high-grade settlement. It means that instability from the Near East will extend on adjacent regions: to Transcaucasia, the North Caucasus, Pakistan, Afghanistan. Thus, in front of the Russian Federation there is a strengthening task as country cross-border security, and in the field of fight against terrorism, traffic in drugs and the organised crime. In Transcaucasia the given policy can be implemented through cooperation with Armenia within the limits of ODKB.

In the Central Asia in short-term prospect conditions will not undergo considerable changes. However in the nearest 3-5 probably to expect change of modes in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan where leaders of the countries are in power since 90th years. In this connection Russia should be a situation ready to sharp deterioration in region, to occurrence of the new centres of instability, influence growth islamizma. Also the friction connected with questions on water resources In the long term will accrue, taking into account aggressive rhetoric of Uzbekistan and a suspension of membership of the country in ODKB, probably to expect conflict transition in a hot phase. Here the Russian Federation it is necessary to put a maximum of efforts, acting in a role of the intermediary and the peacemaker not to admit intensity escalation.

Role BRIKS and SHOS in short-term prospect will not render essential influence on foreign policy conditions round Russia. It is necessary to notice that despite verbal support, in a reality the countries BRIKS and SHOS, the basic allies of the Russian Federation in the CIS (Belarus, Kazakhstan) did not recognise reunion of Crimea with Russia and whenever possible try to separate from the Ukrainian summons. At the same time in the long term the Russian Federation can take considerable advantages from cooperation within the limits of BRIKS, first of all at the expense of creation of alternative world financial institutions (Development Bank) and forming of a common opinion leading not the western countries, alternative to positions of the USA and EU. At the same time taking into account possible destabilization in the Central Asia interaction with China within the limits of SHOS can make essential positive impact on conditions in region.

Interface of Russian project EAES and the Chinese Economic belt of the Silk way (EPSHP) becomes an important direction of the Russian policy the next years active advancements of idea. In the Russian expert community the opinion that «an overall objective of Russia - to make EPSHP the strengthening and enhancement EAES tool was generated, not to admit their competition, and further - to put resources EPSHP in a basis of forming of economic-political Community of the Big Eurasia». [12] the Similar community, on the one hand, is capable to create a counterbalance to the Atlantic powers under head from the USA, on the other hand, minimises risks of economic absorption by China of the countries TSA about what it has been told above.

In a context of sharp deterioration of relations with the West in short-term and medium-term prospect activization of mutual relations of Russia and Turkey is possible. Turkey which and has not achieved membership in EU, now actively positions itself as the state the leader in the Near East and the Balkans in this connection the Russian Federation as one of the largest economic partners of Turkey can give it essential support. As an example of activization of bilateral cooperation the new gas project «Turkish flow» which is at present considered by a management of the Russian Federation as the basic alternative to the blocked EU to the project «Southern flow» can serve. Nevertheless, between Turkey and Russia the Russian military operation in Syria as Turkey from the very beginning of the given conflict has openly supported displacement of a mode of Asada, except that can objectively prevent cooperation strengthening, strengthening of positions of YOKES as from territories controllable this grouping through the city of Rakka to Turkey the considerable flow of cheap oil from the Iraq deposits arrives is partially favourable Turkey. [13] on the other hand, YOKES objectively weakens positions of the irreconcilable opponent of Ankara - Kurds.

The used literature and sources

  1. The concept of foreign policy of the Russian Federation 2013 the Official site the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation//the Electronic resource. 2013. <http://archive.mid.ru/brp_4.nsf/0/6D84DDEDEDBF7DA644257B160051BF7F>
  2. Charter of the Shanghai organisation of cooperation. Official site SHOS//the Electronic resource. 2002. <http://www.sectsco.org/RU123/show.asp?id=86>
  3. Bordachev T.V.new evrazijstvo//Russia in the global policy. - 2015. - №5.//electronic resurs.//<http://globalaffairs.ru/number/Novoe-evraziistvo-17754>
  4. Guschin And. The Ukrainian call for Russia / Guschin A, Markedonov S, Tsibulina A; the worker tetr. No 24/2015 / [gl. red. I.S.Ivanov]; the Russian council about the international affairs (RSMD). - M: Spetskniga, 2015. - 48 with.
  5. V.L.Ostorozhno's foreigners, door are closed. The following sanction …//Biznes-zhurnal.2014. ³12 (225).
  6. nebolsina M. IGIL - threat to the post-Soviet territory states. The Russian council about the international affairs (RSMD).//an electronic resource. 2015.//http://russiancouncil.ru/inner/?id_4=5667#top-content <http://russiancouncil.ru/inner/?id_4=5667>
  7. Timothies And. New predictability of Russia. The Russian council about the international affairs (RSMD).//an electronic resource. 2015.//http://russiancouncil.ru/inner/?id_4=6754#top-content <http://russiancouncil.ru/inner/?id_4=6754>
  8. O.Data nachala's nightingales of approach to Donbass it is already specified. Information-analytical portal Free News.//the Electronic resource. 2015//<http://free-news.su/politika/4083-data-nastupleniya-opredelena>
  9. Who buys oil «Islamic state»?. To lead. Ekonomika.//Electronic ресурс.2014.//<http://www.vestifinance.ru/articles/47615>
  10. Hrennikov P «the Islamic state» grows Russia.//the Electronic periodical «MK.ru//<http://www.mk.ru/politics/2015/02/20/islamskoe-gosudarstvo-prirastaet-rossiey-bortnikov-nazval-kolichestvo-grazhdan-rf-voyuyushhikh-v-irake.html>

_______________________________

[1] Concept of foreign policy of the Russian Federation 2013 the Official site the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation//the Electronic resource. 2013. <http://archive.mid.ru/brp_4.nsf/0/6D84DDEDEDBF7DA644257B160051BF7F>

[2] Guschin And. The Ukrainian call for Russia / Guschin A, Markedonov S, Tsibulina A; the worker tetr. No 24/2015 / [gl. red. I.S.Ivanov]; the Russian council about the international affairs (RSMD). - M: Spetskniga, 2015. - 48 with.

O.Data nachala's [3] Nightingales of approach to Donbass it is already specified. Information-analytical portal Free News.//the Electronic resource. 2015//<http://free-news.su/politika/4083-data-nastupleniya-opredelena>

V.L.Ostorozhno's [4] Foreigners, door are closed. The following sanction …//Biznes-zhurnal.2014. ³12 (225).

[5] Hrennikov P «the Islamic state» grows Russia.//the Electronic periodical «MK.ru//<http://www.mk.ru/politics/2015/02/20/islamskoe-gosudarstvo-prirastaet-rossiey-bortnikov-nazval-kolichestvo-grazhdan-rf-voyuyushhikh-v-irake.html>

[6] Nebolsina of M. IGIL - threat to the post-Soviet territory states. The Russian council about the international affairs (RSMD).//an electronic resource. 2015.//http://russiancouncil.ru/inner/?id_4=5667#top-content <http://russiancouncil.ru/inner/?id_4=5667>

[7] Concept of foreign policy of the Russian Federation 2013 the Official site the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation//the Electronic resource. 2013. <http://archive.mid.ru/brp_4.nsf/0/6D84DDEDEDBF7DA644257B160051BF7F>

[8] Charter of the Shanghai organisation of cooperation. Official site SHOS//the Electronic resource. 2002. <http://www.sectsco.org/RU123/show.asp?id=86>

[9] Concept of foreign policy of the Russian Federation 2013 the Official site the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation//the Electronic resource. 2013. <http://archive.mid.ru/brp_4.nsf/0/6D84DDEDEDBF7DA644257B160051BF7F>

[10] Timothies And. New predictability of Russia. The Russian council about the international affairs (RSMD).//an electronic resource. 2015.//http://russiancouncil.ru/inner/?id_4=6754#top-content <http://russiancouncil.ru/inner/?id_4=6754>

[11] Guschin And. The Ukrainian call for Russia / Guschin A, Markedonov S, Tsibulina A; the worker tetr. No 24/2015 / [gl. red. I.S.Ivanov]; the Russian council about the international affairs (RSMD). - M: Spetskniga, 2015. - 48 with.

[12] Bordachev T.V.new evrazijstvo//Russia in the global policy. - 2015. - №5.//electronic resurs.//<http://globalaffairs.ru/number/Novoe-evraziistvo-17754>

[13] Who buys oil «Islamic state»?. To lead. Ekonomika.//Electronic ресурс.2014.//<http://www.vestifinance.ru/articles/47615>

Astapenko Ilya


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