Russia, Post-Soviet Integration, and the EAEU: The Balance between Domination and Cooperation
The Russian leadership promotes a vision of a multipolar world where major powers must have their own “zones of influence.” This implies that other “great powers” have to recognize Moscow’s sphere of dominance over the post-Soviet realm. It also makes Russia’s neighbors increasingly reluctant to delegate their sovereignty to institutions of regional integration, as those are likely to become instruments of Russian domination. As the partners do not trust Russia, they insist on a limited character of integration projects. Russia is more likely to be successful in using asymmetric bilateral bargains rather than multilateral institutions to dominate the post-Soviet region.
The advent of the new coronavirus hinders the fragile welfare of migrant workers. Those economic sectors with a large migrant workforce appear to be those hit hardest during the lockdown, resulting in surge in migrant unemployment and a plunge in the volume of remittances. This has become yet another factor putting pressure on the gross domestic product (GDP) growth, balance of payments, and budgets of countries that are net remittance recipients, while also triggering rising poverty levels. This paper evaluates the impact of the current pandemic (and respective economic downturn) on remittance inflows to recipient countries and tackles the potential contribution that international financial institutions could make to alleviate the adverse economic aftermath. In Central Asia and Southern Caucuses (except Azerbaijan) emergency financing granted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank covers 9–20% of the overall size of the annual remittances received. This financial support could be rendered insufficient due to the sharp decrease in the volume of remittances, decline in tourism revenue, and weakening economic activity, while the poor quality of state institutions may hinder the efficient distribution of accumulated resources. In Europe, the IMF and the World Bank provided approximately $7.7 billion in financing to low- and middle-income countries for such purposes as economic stabilization, support for population welfare, and financing of internal/external deficit, of which $5 billion is represented by the new Ukraine-IMF Stand-By Agreement. With the exception of Ukraine, Macedonia, and Bulgaria (the latter having received no loans/grants so far), the cover index for European remittance-recipients stands within a range of 2–18% over 2019 remittance inflows.Therefore, it is most feasible that the current 2020 GDP growth forecasts made by the IMF, the World Bank, and local governments are inaccurate in the light of the insufficient financial support provided by international financial organizations. Additional pressure on the GDP figures might stem from further extension and/or toughening of the lockdown period, as well as from uncertainty regarding the revival of regular business activity and the timeline for resuming migrant remittances.
Russian-Chinese relations in the last 20 years are a story of slow but steady progress. Both Moscow and Beijing have made multiple attempts to radically accelerate this progress, generally ending in failure. That being said, neither the breakdown of individual projects, nor the short-term rapprochement between Russia and the United States after September 11, nor the economic crises of 2009 and 2014 could stop the development of bilateral relations.
There is a striking opposition within the current discourse on Russia’s position in the world. On the one hand, there are well-known arguments about Russia’s “weak hand” (relatively small and stagnating economy, vulnerability to sanctions, technological backwardness, deteriorating demography, corruption, bad institutions, etc.). On the other hand, Russia is accused of “global revisionism”, attempts to reshape and undermine the liberal world order, and Western democracy itself. There seems to be a paradox: Russia with a perceived decline of major resources of national power, exercises dramatically increased international influence. This paradox of power and/or influence is further explored. This paper introduces a new complex Index of national power. On the basis of ratings of countries authors compare the dynamics of distribution of power in the world with a focus on Russia’s national power in world politics since 1995. The analysis brings evidence that the cumulative resources of Russia’s power in international affairs did not increase during the last two decades. However, Russia’s influence in world politics has significantly increased as demonstrated by assertive foreign policy in different parts of the world and its perception by the international political community and the public. Russia remains a major power in today’s world, although some of its power resources are stagnating or decreasing in comparison to the US and rising China. To compensate for weaknesses Russia is using both traditional and nontraditional capabilities of international influence.
The article deals with the processes of building the information society and security in the CIS in accordance with modern conditions. The main objective is to review existing mechanisms for the formation of a common information space in the Eurasian region, regarded as one of the essential aspects of international integration. The theoretical significance of the work is to determine the main controls of the regional information infrastructure, improved by the development of communication features in a rapid process.The practical component consists in determining the future policies of the region under consideration in building the information society. The study authors used historical-descriptive approach and factual analysis of events having to do with drawing the contours of today's global information society in the regional refraction.
The main result is the fact that the development of information and communication technologies, and network resources leads to increased threats of destabilization of the socio-political situation in view of the emergence of multiple centers that generate the ideological and psychological background. Keeping focused information policy can not be conceived without the collective participation of States in the first place, members of the group leaders of integration - Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Currently, only produced a comprehensive approach to security in the information field in the Eurasian region, but the events in the world, largely thanks to modern technology, make the search for an exit strategy with a much higher speed. The article contributes to the science of international relations, engaging in interdisciplinary thinking that is associated with a transition period in the development of society. A study of current conditions in their relation to the current socio-political patterns of the authors leads to conclusions about the need for cooperation with the network centers of power in the modern information environment, the formation of alternative models of networking, especially in innovation and scientific and technical areas of information policy, and expanding the integration of the field in this region on the information content.
This special publication for the 2012 New Delhi Summit is a collection of articles by government officials from BRICS countries, representatives of international organizations, businessmen and leading researchers.
The list of Russian contributors includes Sergei Lavrov, Foreign Minister of Russia, Maxim Medvedkov, Director of the Trade Negotiations Department of the Russian Ministry of Economic Development, Vladimir Dmitriev, Vnesheconombank Chairman, Alexander Bedritsky, advisor to the Russian President, VadimLukov, Ambassador-at-large of the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry, and representatives of the academic community.
The publication also features articles by the President of Kazakhstan NursultanNazarbayev and internationally respected economist Jim O’Neil, who coined the term “BRIC”. In his article Jim O’Neil speculates about the future of the BRICS countries and the institution as a whole.
The publication addresses important issues of the global agenda, the priorities of BRICS and the Indian Presidency, the policies and competitive advantages of the participants, as well as BRICS institutionalization, enhancing efficiency and accountability of the forum.