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Alexander Yakovenko: “New Threats in the Development of the International Situation. Beyond the Horizon of the Future” Part 2

Александр Яковенко
© Форпост Северо-Запад

Part one of this article was published on May 27, 2023. You can read it by clicking here.

In an environment of steadily increasing global threats posed by the policy of the collective West, it is of key importance for Russian foreign policy that the countries of the Majority World are not in the mood to be embedded in the American-centered scheme of governing world politics. They prefer to take a neutral position on the agenda imposed on them and develop a dialogue with Moscow and Beijing, proceeding from a sovereign understanding of national and regional interests and problems.

In this regard, it should be noted that the current situation implies the prospect of Russia having a number of opportunities to strengthen its position in the international arena.

First, when the U.S. de facto refused to constructively continue working on global projects such as combating climate change, strengthening the arms control regime (including in space and cyberspace), maintaining food security, the settlement of local conflicts, Russia has a chance against this background to realize its historically unique mission to maintain the global balance of power by working closely with the global South in addressing key issues for it. Moreover, in the current Foreign Policy Concept, Russia for the first time is defined as "an original state, civilization, Eurasian and Euro-Pacific power", which is an important step in the cultural and civilizational self-determination in the order of historical continuity and restoration of the connection of times, breaking with the tradition of Eurocentrism and approval of a truly multi-vector foreign policy.

© Алексей Ларионов,

Second, the situation around Ukraine can contribute to the long-term consolidation of Russian society, allowing it to accelerate the reorientation of the country's politics and economy toward the East, strengthening the value base of the Russian state, which will have a positive impact on its international positioning, including the accelerated development of cooperation with the BRICS and SCO partner states.

In the case of stabilization (at least relative) of the international situation and confirmation of the basic principles of international relations based on polycentricity, justice, mutual respect and indivisibility of security and development, new opportunities will open up that will ensure the sustainable development of mankind.

Of course, significant challenges to Russia's international and national security associated with the hybrid war of the collective West are not easy to overcome, it will take time and concentration of efforts. The West's policy of destroying Russian statehood through the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis underscores the essential degradation of Western foreign policy thinking. With the United States and its allies experiencing multiple domestic crises on the one hand, and growing anxiety over the inevitable loss of dominance in many areas on the other, the risk of the collective West making ill-conceived, adventurous decisions that could bring the world to World War III has increased.

In this situation, Russia needs a high level of composure and strategic vision to avoid emotional reactions to Western provocations and to take advantage of the ongoing processes to defend the national interests of the countries of the World Majority.

© Ant Rozetsky,

Russia's strategic goal under these conditions is to strengthen its status as a politically sovereign and economically independent state. This presupposes, first of all, comprehensive security interests of the country, including the presence of adequate armed forces with a global range of application and preserving the ability to inflict unacceptable damage on any potential adversary. Another key element is the presence of an adequate socio-economic structure in the country, based on the production of breakthrough technologies and overcoming the export orientation of the economy.

The response to Western sanctions is for Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) to turn "eastward" toward Asian countries. The main priority in the context of the sanctions war is the development of the Russian and related Eurasian market. In the emerging environment, the task is to deepen regional integration and through it create an updated architecture of international economic relations, in this regard, Russia's initiative to form the Greater Eurasian Partnership (GEP), based on mutually beneficial and mutually respectful cooperation, as repeatedly emphasized by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin has repeatedly stressed that the GEP is of particular importance.

The GEP is designed to become a guarantor of stability and prosperity throughout the Eurasian continent, taking into account the diversity of development models, cultures and traditions of all peoples. The idea of the GEP is supported by the heads of state and government of the EAEU, SCO, ASEAN and other organizations. In modern international relations, the resources of regional organizations create serious opportunities for the development of political and economic interaction even in the face of sanctions and trade restrictions by part of the world community. The concept of the Greater Eurasian Partnership is beginning to take legal, economic and social forms.

© Oriento Gy,

The core of the formation of the Greater Eurasian Partnership could be the EAEU countries, whose domestic market covers the economic space of Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan and unites 184 million people. According to expert estimates, the EAEU ranks second in the world after the EU in the depth of economic integration. The ultimate goal of this strategy is the formation of the EAEU as one of the significant centers of development of the modern world.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the world's largest regional organization, which is the most important institution for international cooperation in the Eurasian space, acquires particular importance in the implementation of the GEP concept. The SCO unites a huge geographical area and more than half of the population of our planet. The key to the international legal attractiveness of the SCO is its non-bloc status, openness, non-targeting against third countries or international organizations, equality and respect for sovereignty of all participants, non-interference in domestic affairs, avoidance of political confrontation and confrontational rivalry.

The SCO countries also advocated getting rid of dollar dependence in trade relations and adopted a road map for a gradual increase in the share of national currencies in mutual settlements. Against the backdrop of anti-Russian sanctions, the structure of the global energy market began to change actively. Mutually beneficial cooperation of the SCO in the field of energy has great potential and broad prospects, because the SCO has both suppliers and consumers of energy, there are energy exporting and importing countries. The main tasks of this organization are the formation of transport interconnection between its members, as well as energy, food and environmental security, innovations, digital transformation and green economy. The overarching strategic partnership of two major and influential world powers, Russia and China, as well as the participation of India, Pakistan and Iran, guarantee the SCO's sustainability.

Thus, a new global center is being formed in Eurasia, which is ready to conduct an independent foreign policy and pursue its economic interests. However, we can not ignore the fact that the achievement of this goal will face significant challenges of geopolitical and geo-economic nature, both globally and regionally. The collective West, represented by the United States and the EU, takes extremely negatively any integration projects in the Eurasian space without their participation. Nevertheless, integration processes in the Eurasian space are gaining momentum, since they meet the general trend of regionalization and the formation of macro-regions in the global economy.

Rector of the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia,
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the UK (2011-2019) Alexander Yakovenko.