June 16, 2016 Special Dispatch No. 6478

A Comprehensive Memorandum By The Pro-Kremlin Council On Foreign And Defense Policies: 'Russia's Foreign Policy: From The Late 2010s - To The Early 2020s'

June 16, 2016
Russia | Special Dispatch No. 6478

In May 2016, the pro-Kremlin Russian think tank Council for Foreign and Defense Policies published a memorandum, titled "Russia's Foreign Policy: From The Late 2010s - To The Early 2020s." The report was written under the guidance of Fyodor Lukyanov, Chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policies, Editor-in-Chief of Russia in Global Affairs, and Research Director of the Valdai International Discussion Club, Sergey Karaganov, Honorary Chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policies, and Dean of the School of World Economics and International Relations at the National Research University-Higher School of Economics. Senior officials in the executive and legislative branches participated in drafting the memorandum's theses.[1]

The memorandum was presented during the XXIV Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policies (April 9-10, 2016), which was attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The memorandum analyzes global and regional trends, assesses the achievements and failures of Russian policies, and also offers a few helpful suggestions for future Russian foreign policy.

Following are excerpts from the memorandum:[2]

The Still Existent Risk Of Russia Getting Dragged Into An Arms Race

"1. Introduction

"1.4. ... Despite the escalation of international competition and the fact that it is becoming increasingly ideological in character, foreign policy debates are vitally important. In the world of total propaganda and mythmaking, where the actual is replaced by the virtual, it is even easier than ever to overlook what is really occurring and fall hostage to one's own or others' icons and ideological attitudes. The experience of the American and Western elites of the past two decades, who believed in the myth of ''liberal democracy', as the highest and final stage of human development ('the end of history'), and tried to impose this democracy by force and 'accelerate' the natural course of development, provides an example of this. Not only did this produce a series of defeats; it also spurred the destabilization of enormous regions, and then - the next step - caused a wave of refugees. We remember what the myth of socialism as ''the highest and ultimate stage" did to our country, as well as another idea propounded without any alternative - the ''new political thinking' [of Mikhail Gorbachev], which seriously even included the idea of global nuclear disarmament...

"1.5. Without re-evaluation and disputation, the current policy (hitherto tough but relatively cautious and productive on the whole) may degenerate, become a method of  diversion from the broad tasks of national revival and ascent, or bring about a new 're-involvement', capable of undermining the strength of the society and state, as occurred with the USSR. The risk of getting dragged into an arms race still exists; and, for example, exacerbation of the confrontation with Turkey carries the dangerous potential of another ''Crimean war'. To be sure, the latter gave impetus to necessary reforms [most notably the liberation of the serfs] that created the basis for national progress in late 19th century. But it is better to start reforms without an external impetus in the form of yet another military conflict."

The XXIV Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policies held on April 9-10, 2016.(Source:

Economic Competition Can Escalate And Become An Even More Important Part Of  Global Rivalry

"2. Global Trends

"2.1.1. Economic competition can escalate and become an even more important part of global rivalry due to a a recently commenced shift in the technological paradigm: the digital revolution, a new wave of robotization, and almost revolutionary changes in medicine, education, and the energy sphere.

"2.2. The technological revolution will most likely accelerate another pivotal trend - an unpredictable, ultra-rapid redistribution of power and, , with a resulting increased potential for world conflict. This time it could be related to the new shift in global GNP away from  energy carriers and raw materials producers, the crowding out of mass professions from industries, even in the developing world, and aggravated inequality within and between countries.

"2.3. It is unclear whether the technological revolution will lead to a revival of sustainable economic growth. In the foreseeable future, one should expect it to slow down; a new crisis of the still unstable international financial system should also be expected, as well as economic shocks,  in their broad definition.

"2.3.1. The old West will no longer lead development. But the explosive shift of influence towards 'the new' observable over the past 15 years will most probably attenuate.  Competition will escalate due to a general slowdown and the accumulated disproportions. New countries will be increasingly vociferous in demanding a place in the world economic system corresponding to their achieved level of economic development . The old ones will desperately try to protect their positions.

Honorary Chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policies Sergey Karaganov, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and Chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policies Fyodor Lukyanov, at the XXIV Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policies. (Source: 

"2.3.3. A process of rapidly re-formatting, and perhaps even destroying the global economic regulation system that was created mostly by the West after the Second World War, has begun. Realizing that the established pattern gives equal benefits to the rising competitors, the old West started to depart from it. The WTO is gradually withdrawing into the shadows, making way for bi- and multilateral trade and economic agreements. The IMF-World Bank system is being supplemented (and gradually pushed out) by regional structures. A slow erosion of the dollar's domination is starting. Alternative payment systems are arising. The almost universal failure of the 'Washington Consensus' policy (that Russia tried and is still partially trying to follow now) has undermined the moral legitimacy of former regulations and institutions.

"2.3.4. The competition has moved to the sphere of technical, ecological and other standards. In addition to regional economic alliances created in the past decade, macro-blocs are being formed. The U.S. and a group of US-oriented countries are launching the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). China and the ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] countries are creating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). At the same time, the USA is trying to keep Europe in its orbit and not allow it to draw closer to Eurasian states by means of forming the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Since use of military force, especially in relations between major states, is extremely dangerous, the application of sanctions and other economic tools without UN Security Council legitimation are becoming a widespread instrument of foreign policy. The situation is reminiscent of past ages, when blockades and embargoes used to be common, and often led to wars.

"2.6. (The decades-long) structural destabilization for many decades) and descent into chaos of the Middle and Near East, parts of Africa, and other surrounding areas, as well as the growth of Islamic extremism, terrorism, and mass migrations have provided a catalyst for conflict in the contemporary and future world.

"2.7. A fundamental tendency of the early 21st century is the Western reaction to the abrupt weakening of its position in the early 2000s - [a weakening that is] military and political (due to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya), economic  (following the crisis of 2008-2009), and moral - because of the declining efficiency of modern western democracies as a method of government suitable for the modern world (Europe), its diminished legitimacy in the eyes of its own population (the rise of the extreme left and right), the inconsistency between avowed values and reality (Guantanamo, Assange, mass surveillance), the elite schism  (U.S.). This weakening causes extreme sensitivity because it followed what appeared to be a decisive and glorious victory at the end of the 20th century.

"2.8. Economic, scientific and technological factors are still dominant in determining the international agenda, and the weight and influence of states. But now they are being pushed aside by politics, including power politics. There are many reasons for that. The key ones are the growth of instability and turbulence, "re-nationalization" of international relations (the return of nation states as major players in global politics and economics instead of the predicted dominance of international institutions , TNCs or NPOs). The rise of Asia - a continent of nation states - played an important role here. And states, especially new ones, operate according to classical rules. They first  and foremost seek to ensure their security and sovereignty.

"Undoubtedly, transnational factors (global civil society, giant companies) are very influential. But they influence the conditions in which states exist and operate, they pose challenges for the states; they do not replace states (they are incapable of it) as a fundamental element of the international system.

An increase in the number of unsolvable global problems also contributes to the return of the state to a central position in the world system - old of international administration institutions are incapable of managing these problems.


Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova at the XXIV Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policies. (Source:

 "2.8.1. As previously mentioned, the increased relevance of military force in international relations is limited. At the highest, global level - between great powers - the use of direct force is almost impossible. The factor of nuclear deterrence is at work. Most of humanity's changed mentality and values , information transparency, concerns that conflicts may escalate to the nuclear level - all prevent the mass use of military force "at the middle level". And when it happens, it most often leads to political defeat (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya). although contrary examples exist- Russia in Chechnya and Georgia, and so far in Syria. Therefore, the use of force descends to lower levels - destabilization, provoking internal struggles, civil wars and sub-regional conflicts and their subsequent settlement on terms beneficial to the external powers.

"2.8.2. The role of military force may possibly grow due to the long-term destabilization of the Middle and Near East, North and Equatorial Africa. and in any case, because of the increased dynamics and unpredictability of international relations, ultra-rapid and multi-directional changes in the global power balance , between and within regions.

"2.8.4. Military force combined with responsible and skillful diplomacy is becoming a crucial factor in maintaining world peace and preventing accumulated structural, economic and political contradictions from escalating towards a global war. The responsibility, role and influence of countries (including Russia) capable of stopping the slide towards such a war and escalation of conflicts, are growing. It is ever more important because for the last 7-8 years the world has been, in fact, in a pre-war state - because of the accumulated imbalances and contradictions that are not offset by appropriate policies and competent institutions. As the memory of the 20th century horrors fades, the fear of a large-scale war diminishes. Some world elites even exhibit an implicit desire for it - they see no alternative for solving the numerous contradictions that have piled up. The situation in Asia is alarming. Conflict intensity grows, but insufficient experience in preventing clashes exist and a dearth of security agencies. It is quite probable that the "security vacuum" around China creates a demand for creative, responsible and constructive diplomacy on Russia's part.

"2.8.5. In the world of traditional politics, such rapid re-distribution of economic and political powers and of moral influence would almost inevitably trigger a series of large-scale wars or even a new world war. But so far, this has been prevented by the most important structural factor that has determined the world's development for the past seventy years - nuclear weapons, especially super-powerful arsenals in Russia and the US. They only prevented the Cold War from becoming a nuclear war. Had it not been for the sobering threat of a nuclear Armageddon, the "old" world establishment would hardly have agreed to the explosive growth of influence of rising powers, primarily China and India. But the proliferation of nuclear weapons goes on, whereas the level of trust, dialogue, and positive cooperation in the military and strategic sphere is extremely low. Taken together, all this increases the probability of a nuclear war. Sustainable international strategic stability has decreased.

Honorary Chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policies Sergey Karaganov, and Chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policies Fyodor Lukyanov, at the XXIV Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policies. (Source:

"2.8.7. The top priority task now is preventing another large-scale war as a result of a mistake, escalation of tension, some conflict, or provocation. The likelihood of provocations is growing, especially in the Middle East.

"2.10. Instead of the Cold War model (throughout most of it, it was not bi-polar but tri-polar, when USSR had to oppose both the West and China) and the short "unipolar" moment that followed, the world seems to be moving via multipolarity towards a new (soft) bipolarity. With the help of remaining military and political alliances, TPP, T-TIP, the USA is trying to consolidate the old West around itself and pull a number of new developed states to its side. At the same time, the prerequisites now exist for the emergence of another center - Greater Eurasia. China may play the lead economic role there, but its supremacy will be balanced by other powerful partners - Russia, India, and Iran. Objectively, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization could be a possible center for consolidation.

"2.11. So far, it is unclear what place Europe will occupy in the new configuration. It will hardly be able to play the role of an independent center. Possibly the struggle over it will resume or has already resumed..

"2.11.1. If the current chaotic and unstable multipolarity gives way to bi-polarity, it is important to avoid another severe schism, especially a military and political one - a new round of structural military rivalry.

"2.12.1. A new and relatively unexpected factor of world development is the ideological revival in international relations. About 10-15 years ago, many believed that the world had arrived at a single ideology of liberal democracy. But the growing underperformance of the democratic world countries and the relative success of the authoritarian capitalism states or illiberal democracies with strong leaders, have revived the question of who is winning and whom to follow. In the USA and some European countries that are losing their position in the world, defensive democratic messianism is on the rise. It is opposed by a nascent ideology of new conservatism (although it is not yet conceptually formalized), the rise of nationalism, the cult of sovereignty, and the model of leadership democracy."

The European Union Has Entered Into An Era Of Multi-Level Crisis

"3. Regional Trends

"3.6. After achieving impressive results, becoming an example of the post-historical, non-violent, humane international order, and providing comfortable life for most its citizens, the European Union entered into a period of multi-level crisis in the mid-2000s. The reasons include: a decline of competitive performance for the economies of most EU countries in the world markets; excessive for the modern world, the welfare state orientation" of most countries that undermines their competitive performance; excessively fast and grandiose expansion following the 1990s euphoria, which aggravated cultural and economic differences within the union; politically motivated decision to introduce the euro without [first securing] the common economic management requisite for a common currency; the decision to move towards a common foreign and defense policy that resulted in a lowest common denominator policy that has weakened the EU countries still further vis-à-vis the rest of the world; the de-facto failed model of multiculturalism; the departure by the EU elites from many traditional European values, including Christianity; the deepening political and cultural gap between the masses and the elites; the "democratic deficit" - transfer of authority from states to Brussels, which arouses increased resentment and opposition. At the same time, the level of democracy attained in most EU countries means that the elites are unable to make long-term and difficult decisions, and that leadership is becoming progressively weaker. Finally, the world surrounding Europe went the "non-European" way - towards re-nationalization, military and political destabilization, return to power politics. Europe lacks the tools to influence this world.

"...There is a growing desire by some European elites to hide under the wing of the USA, which is withdrawing from the Old World; this desire even comes at the expense of confrontation with Russia. Even now, one of the major reasons for fomenting tension in relations with Russia is the desire to self-organize against "the foreign enemy" in order to direct the energy obtained inward, to save the Euro-project. Threats to Europe emanate from within and from the South - from the Arab East, and in the longer term - from Africa. But the policy makers are trying to pretend that the true danger is in the East. They have almost achieved confrontation, but not salvation. The turbulence inside the European Union will make it an even more difficult and unreliable partner. Many functions have been delegated to Brussels. And it is losing its ability to perform.

"3.8. The USA remains the world's economic, technological and scientific leader for the foreseeable future. But this supremacy will be eroded by both the structural problems in the American economy, primarily its debt, and - even more so - by the polarization of the political system, and its diminished effectiveness. In foreign policy this polarization is expressed in the dominance of the Neo=Conservatives on the right and the liberal interventionists, in the erosion of the relatively realistic center, in the sharp fall of political competency and responsibility. One can clearly see the departure from the liberal models of a desired world order in favor of the openly neo-imperialistic ones. At the same time, one can see the growing signs of isolationism. So far, this combination has found expression in an [American] attempt to form new blocs around it and continue to dictate rules. Domestic schisms have undermined the quality of American politics. Another explanation for the escapades of the past years - a conscious attempt to destabilize the world, to increase dependence on the US - seems less obvious. Although this objective is also apparently present, for instance, in the American policy in Europe."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and Chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policies Fyodor Lukyanov, at the XXIV Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policies. (Source:

In Comparison With The Former Soviet Union And Early Russia, The Morale Of The Russian Society Has Changed

"4. Russia: Policy Results

"4.1. Russian foreign policy of the last decade was, on the whole, successful; its diplomacy - truly masterful. The weakest link remains domestic economic development. So far, foreign policy has more than compensated for this weakness. But its powers are not infinite. One of the most important indicators of a country's global weight and influence - its share of the global GNP - is dropping again.

" The Russian leadership emphasizes that it will not allow Russia to be drawn into an arms race. But the risk persists, especially after 2020, when the U.S. will start a new cycle of renovating its strategic potential. The declared Russian plans - modernization of its strategic nuclear missile potential, tactical capabilities, and ABM systems, and especially the creation and deployment of high-precision long-range non-nuclear systems - each of them makes sense separately. But taken together, they may prove unsustainable. Especially alarming is the risk of being drawn into a race of non-nuclear but effectively strategic  weapons, which favors the wealthier side , or is even largely a bluff like Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, which plunged the Soviet leadership into panic. There are much more effective, mostly nuclear capabilities to neutralize or even prevent such threats.

"4.1.11. In comparison with the former Soviet Union and early Russia, the makeup of Russian social morale has changed. The irreligion and dying communist ideology of the 1980s and the situation of the 1990s when the revolutionary minority imposed the locally unviable (as it subsequently became clear later) 'liberal 'values on the majority, have been replaced with patriotism, state nationalism and more or less normal traditional values, that are globally widespread . They are generally supported by the vast majority of the population and a large part of the elite; they feel that their country's position is morally right. This is a fundamental change compared to the shame and desire to please of the late 1980s-1990s.

"4.1.14. Russia, in fact, began offering most of the world's people , including even those in the West, a viable set of values. They are, for the most part, inherited from the past, but the past is returning. It is political and cultural pluralism, freedom of choice instead of western universalism, state sovereignty, national dignity, non-interference in internal affairs; reliance on traditional social, individual and family values, support of religions, rejection of militant secularism.

"4.2.1. We keep repeating: our major problem is the economic stagnation, which has been worsening the last 8-9 years, which can undermine the geopolitical successes, and which is provoking external pressure.

"4.2.2. We have not succeeded in building mutually beneficial and hence  stable relations in Europe, a viable system of European security. There have been objective reasons -divergent vectors of values systems development, the West's desire to impose its rules and models, its expansionist drive . But Russia too has committed mistakes. The main one is the illusion (until the second half of the 2000s) that one can obtain respect for one's interests by concessions, by desire to "be liked". Russia, when it proposed alternative solutions, practically never insisted on them and was satisfied with promises to consider them or by polite brush-offs. The signing of the 1997 Russia-NATO Founding Act was a tragic blunder; it de facto legitimized the bloc's [eastward] expansion . This weakness was only partially justified.

"4.2.4. Reliance on the Russian-American 'reset' was  mistaken; at its basis was a problem that is considered secondary by all: the reduction of strategic offensive weapons. Moscow did not insist on solving a fundamental issue of stopping the expansion of Western alliances to the territories that Russia considered vital for its security.

"4.2.6. There is danger of Russia's prolonged involvement in the dead-end tangle of problems in the Middle East. External forces will push our country into conflicts, including direct confrontation with Turkey."

One Should Consider The European-Eurasian Prospect An Open Possibility

"5. Future-Oriented Policy

"5.1. Considering the above-described trends in global development and, primarily, the growth of unpredictability and conflict intensity, Russian foreign policy should be guided by the following principles and objectives (in addition to and for further development of the officially declared ones):

"5.1.1. [It is necessary to] prevent another global military confrontation, Russia's deep involvement in conflicts, and their escalation.

"5.1.3. [The policy] [should be] oriented exclusively towards our national interests in their modern and realistic sense. They cannot be secured without active participation in international cooperation. Our rivals want to isolate us. We must not play into their hands. Maximum self-sufficiency, especially in food supplies and a number of technologies, is desirable. But self-isolation will condemn the country to retrogression.

"5.1.5. Consistent commitment to preventing new political and military rifts in the world, and especially regarding a return to structural military confrontation in Europe that some forces in the Euro-Atlantic world are pushing for, as inadmissible. If a Cold War-like confrontation is revived in Europe, but to the east of its former boundary, it will be much more dangerous and unstable than before.

"5.1.6. [It should be] resolutely orientated towards re-establishment and maintaining the supremacy of international law, particularly, the UN Charter. Intervention into internal affairs is possible only by the decision of the UN Security Council (with possible increase in the number of its permanent members). Russia should regain its status as the leading legitimist power.

"5.1.7. Russia is a bulwark of international stability and peace, ensuring free development for all countries and peoples, preventing the imposition of alien practices and values on them, especially if it is done by force or via intervention into their internal affairs. Countries and peoples must have an opportunity for organic, normal development. Imposition of any "-isms" should be relegated to the past. Russia should actively "raise the banner"  [which extolls] the value of cultural and civilizational diversity, and aspires towards harmony (rather than unification) as the most important stabilizing factor in a polycentric world.

"5.1.8. Taking into account the relative weakness of economic components of power in the coming years, it is advisable for Russia to use its competitive advantages - restored and upgraded military potential, high-quality and competent diplomacy - and focus on the role of security provider for the international community, especially for our partners and neighbors, in order to increase its global cumulative power. It should also act by means of deterrence, as well as constructive and active participation in conflict resolution (as in Syria) or in their prevention. This role is especially clear in Central Asia, where Russia can create a tandem with China, in which the latter would primarily provide developmental resources, and Russia - security. Of course, [this would be predicated] on the terms of mutual and common benefit.

"5.2. As for specific policies, we propose the following priorities:

"5.2.1. Maintaining a high level of combat readiness and flexibility in armed forces, especially nuclear, to prevent any countries or alliances from harboring illusions that applying military and political pressure on Russia, not to mention [achieving] victory [over Russia] in a military confrontation, is possible. Such forces are necessary to maintain international strategic stability and peace, and regional balances.

"5.2.4. Foreign policy primarily oriented towards the entire post-Soviet area should be gradually consigned to the past. 25 years have passed since the USSR collapsed. It is pointless to remain nostalgic about it.

"5.2.5. Ukraine will, most probably, continue to deteriorate. It is important to restrict the negative and diversionary influence of the Ukrainian factor on Russian politics. The minimum goal has been achieved -stopping the Western alliances' further expansion of to Ukraine, and other countries and territories vital for Russian security. Now it is expedient to disregard Ukraine (as far as possible) in the years ahead, ensure the boundary regime and push for compliance with the Minsk agreements. The Donbass problem is unsolvable for the moment. It is better to have a semi-independent, though formally Ukrainian, territory that Russia helps, i.e., in effect, a 'frozen' conflict.

"5.2.6. Further intensification of the policy of support for the Russian culture and language abroad and establishing connections with the Russian diaspora are sorely needed. This is not only an affair of state, but is also [a duty] of NPOs.

"5.2.7. We need an honestly defined aid program. Not subsidies or often pointless and expensive /symbolic functions, but directly targeted aid to people and NPOs capable of promoting Russia's interests. Not complaints by functionaries about the oppression of the Russian language, but increasing real support for it in the countries of the former Soviet Union and Russian Empire, contributing to maintaining and developing our common cultural heritage, significantly -upscaled preparation of foreign students in Russian universities. If the creation of Slavic universities is desired, they have to be adequately financed. Russian business companies that invest abroad should automatically incorporate humanitarian projects in their business plans- support for schools, hospitals, student scholarships, etc.

"5.2.8. Russian citizens abroad must know for sure that their homeland will, if necessary, fiercely defend them . Punitive measures against Turkey for the murder of Russian military personnel could have been harsher, up to and including using force. But using the slogan of "defending the Russian world", as a rationale for the use of military force outside Russia, is unrealistic and counterproductive. This is not tantamount to an appeal for renouncing the use of military force abroad in case of a clear threat to our vital interests.

"5.2.9. Work with countries that used to be part of the USSR and the Russian Empire should be increasingly conducted on the level of supporting mutual security arrangements, including protection from external interference in domestic political processes, into the sphere of business contacts, student exchange, and establishing connections between organizations and cultural figures. It is also the sphere of work, primarily, of NGOs supported by the state and Russian business.

"5.3. It is advisable to restore and develop good neighborly relations with the European countries. A restoration of the European security system on the old bases is impossible. Now it makes sense to develop a broad pragmatic economic, cultural, scientific, educational, human cooperation to the maximum - as far as possible, without politics or ideology. [Policy should be] oriented towards cooperation with specific countries. Considering the European Union's future situation, an EU - EEU [Eurasian Economic Union] dialogue is hardly productive. Close dialogue with the EU, but not 'integration of integrations. As for NATO, professional discussions between military leaders on the issues of maintaining peace and preventing conflict escalation [should take place], but the previously useless (and even harmful, because it created a false impression of healthy relations) political Russia-NATO Council) should definitely not be restored. The further militarization of European politics, which may result in particular from our Western partners' proposals for renewed armaments reduction negotiations, should be prevented. . At the same time, a professional dialogue between military leaders is useful for preventing accidental mishaps and conflicts, reducing military activity, and preventing the emergence of a new system of military confrontation in Europe.

"5.3.2. In our relations with Europe during the coming decades, we must depart from the realization that it is no longer a model, but neither is it a threat. It is a kindred culture and a partner in economic and human cooperation. For the moment, we have drifted apart, but a new rapprochement is desirable and possible as Russia develops towards a more diversified political and economic system, and the rest of Europe - towards more conservatism and realism and a retreat from democratic messianism.

"5.3.5. The option of creating a single economic and human space with the EU countries over the long term, should not be dropped from the agenda. Of course, [this will] not [be predicated] on the previously suggested Brussels principles, but in a larger Eurasian context. The EU has lost its strategic vision, it does not have any large project. This is one reason for the crisis. One should consider the European-Eurasian prospect an open possibility.

"5.3.7. The goal of our relations with the U.S. is to firmly restrain dangerous activities, especially during the period of its adaptation to the new reality, and stimulate the necessary rejection of revolutionary democratic messianism. But the most important goal is a long-term commitment to cooperation in avoiding and settling crises, and preventing their escalation to a global level. Our major instrument is intensive, including multi-lateral, dialogue on preventing the erosion of international strategic stability. The optimal relations, following the long and difficult period ahead, are constructive, possibly friendly ones. The fact that on certain issues Russia and the U.S. are capable of cooperating productively even today (Syria), provides some bases for optimism.

"It is possible that the U.S.'s already commenced partial retreat from its failed role as the world gendarme will create in the long term a foundation for  positive and equal great power cooperation in solving important global, military and political problems.

"Our dialogue should lead to increased transparency and trust, and eliminating the accidental use of military, and especially nuclear, forces. But one must not re-enter the path of arms-reduction negotiations, as in the Cold War years and then, shortly, replayed during the 'reset'. Such negotiations are either practically useless or even serve to justify the arms race, militarizing political relations and exacerbating elements of confrontation and mistrust."




[1] In addition to Lukyanov and Karaganov the task force included: A. Baklanov, counselor to the deputy chair of the Federation Council,  A. Vysozky, representative of Russian Federation's international cooperation department, L. Grigor'ev, chief counselor to the head of the Russian Federal information analysis  center , distinguished scholars and ambassadors. 

[2], May 23, 2016.

Share this Report: