International Affairs Vol. 69, No. 3, 2023


Nonpolarity: An Intermediate Stage on the Road to Multipolarity?
A. Dmitrichenko               

Read More

GLOBAL political forecasting, given the difficulty of its empirical testing, is often on the periphery of those working in diplomacy. In light of the growing number of challenges facing foreign ministries, many international relations practitioners believe that it is more important to deal with current problems and that the task of thinking about the future is best left to those in academia, who have more time for intellectual constructs and abstractions.

Nevertheless, even amid the difficult conditions presently facing Russia, when it is even more difficult to plan out actions and reactions in advance, it seems relevant to pose the question: What if the current models and trends that we regard as generally correct and inevitable are not quite right?…

Priorities of Modern Russian Diplomacy:  Between the UN and a “Rules-Based Order”
O. Lebedeva

Read More

AMID the current international turbulence, there is a lot of talk about necessary changes to the foreign policy courses of certain countries. Such changes are impossible without qualitative adjustments to the diplomatic toolkit, the driver of a state’s foreign policy. It is natural that today’s Russian diplomatic service is also undergoing both regional and functional evolution.

This article will focus on the key challenges facing Russia’s foreign policy and on methods of adapting Russia’s diplomatic service to them, using the example of promoting one of the key ideologies of Russian diplomacy: the UN-centric world order…

Russia Will Lead the Fight for a Just International Economic Order
A. Baklanov

Read More

Keywords: new international economic order, Group of 77, OPEC, Socialist International, South Commission, WTO, Russia-EU Energy Dialogue

THE new Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation, approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 31, 2023, explains the basic principles, strategic goals, and priority areas of Russia’s foreign policy…

Missiles as an International Security Problem: A Mad Race or Cooperation in Dealing with Challenges?
G. Mashkov

Read More

Keywords: Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), nonproliferation, export control, intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), intermediate-range nuclear weapons, tactical missiles, multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), missile defense, air defense, Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM Treaty), Hague Code of Conduct (HCOC), global missile nonproliferation regime, global control system for the nonproliferation of missiles and missile technology (GCS)

AMBIGUOUS events are taking place in the missile field that, considering modern realities, are rather difficult to assess in their entirety. They could have major ramifications for the formation of the global security architecture in the future, as well as for determining Russia’s role and place in it…

Changes on the Western (Diplomatic) Front
O. Karpovich, A. Grishanov

Read More

DURING its centuries-old history, Russian diplomacy has addressed many complex, challenging tasks. However, the challenges facing it now are unique and largely existential in nature. The policy of isolating Moscow that Western countries have pursued since the start of the Ukrainian crisis has transformed into a policy of inflicting a “strategic defeat” on our country, by which more and more advocates of this policy mean the disintegration of Russia in its present form.1 As Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s ambassador to the US, rightly noted, the question of wiping the Russian state off the world map is being raised.2 Needless to say, preventing this scenario is a key goal of our country’s entire state apparatus, especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In order to successfully stand up to such pressure, we must radically revise the current approach toward diplomacy with the West. Over recent decades, during the post-Soviet period, Russian diplomacy in this area has gone through several phases. At the first stage, in keeping with the political leadership’s directives at the time, the essence and concept of the country’s foreign policy under the new conditions were clearly formulated, as was its position in dialogue with countries of the collective West. Andrey Kozyrev’s famous request for Richard Nixon to explain the essence of Russia’s national interests adequately reflected the to-and-fro of…


Russophobia: The Roots and the Crown 
A. Volodin, S. Filatov

Read More

FROM an analytical perspective, Russophobia is not all that different from other social phenomena. Like other forms of xenophobia, Russophobia operates on two levels: public fears and state policies. The boundaries between these two levels are often relative, fluid, and subject to change.

The authors suggest that Russophobia is a significant yet specific form of xenophobia, which represents a rejection of something foreign, unfamiliar, and therefore potentially dangerous to the established way of life in a given society. This perceived threat may be viewed as endangering the very existence of the established order of things. As historical experience has shown, xenophobia can arise from a sense of inferiority (either genetically inherited or acquired), stem from a “failed great power” complex that places the blame on a disliked neighboring state (or a perennial geopolitical rival), or emerge from the constant fear of the territorial size and military potential of the “demonized” power, etc…


The EU’s Global Ambitions: The Maritime Agenda
M. Kolesnikova

Read More

Keywords: European Union, “blue” economy, global actor, international ocean management, sustainable development, “blue” partnership.

THE European Union is steadily increasing its participation in shaping the global maritime agenda and asserting itself as a leading international player, setting key trends in the development of ocean governance. This trend can be seen in many EU conceptual and policy documents. In particular, the European Commission’s 2022 Blue Economy Report uses the word “global” in various combinations 204 times and reflects the EU’s main interests in modern international affairs, including “global food security,” “global challenges,” “global engagement,” “global sustainable blue economy,” “global leadership,” “global partnerships,” “global security and stability,” etc…

New Developments in the Persian Gulf
G. Doroshenko, A. Shelkovnikov

Read More

THE unprecedented escalation of the international situation in 2022 along the axis of confrontation between the US (the collective West) and Russia makes the parties to the conflict particularly interested in luring over to their side countries in the Middle East, primarily the Persian Gulf- a region that is very important to the global economy. Amid tough sanctions, stable energy prices are becoming increasingly important to Russia, making its relations with oil-producing countries in the region strategically vital. The effective format of interaction with the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, in particular Saudi Arabia as part of the OPEC+ deal, creates opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation.

In this situation, the US is adopting a more assertive foreign policy in ensuring security, fostering military-technical cooperation, and leveraging diplomatic tools to change the positions of countries in the region on several sensitive issues for Washington. In recent months, the US has taken a series of diplomatic and symbolic actions: [US] President [Joe] Biden has nominated the next US ambassador to the UAE – Martina Strong, a career diplomat who is very familiar with the region. The US administration has facilitated the implementation of arms contracts valued at $5 billion with Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The US has held several high-level meetings with regional heads of state, exploring the possibility of expanding [US] military infrastructure in Saudi Arabia, with several…

The Special Military Operation in Ukraine: A New Patriotic War – Scattered Thoughts (FREE content!)
A. Kramarenko

France: From Pension Reform to a Crisis of the Fifth Republic?
Ye. Osipov

Read More

Keywords: higher retirement age, Macron, parliamentary elections, NUPES, Art. 49.3 Constitution of France, The Republicans, The National Rally parties

AS COULD be expected, discussions of a higher retirement age that began in France in 2023 stirred up wide-scale protests across the country. After several failed attempts to draw the National Assembly, the lower house of the French parliament, to her side, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, supported by President Emmanuel Macron, had no choice but to rely on Article 49.3 of the Constitution of France and sign the pension reform into law in circumvention of parliament…

Democracy and Spiritual and Moral Values
K. Gasratyan

Read More

Keywords: democracy, autocracy, religion, morality, culture, multiculturalism, postmodernism, intercultural dialogue

THE development of democratic institutions has gone hand in hand with the evolution of human ideas about spiritual and moral values, natural rights, freedom, justice, and systems of government. It has also been simultaneous with the development of civil (written) law…

BRICS Enlargement Prospects
V. Glebov, B. Agonnoude

Read More

Keywords: enlargement of BRICS, candidate member countries, New Development Bank (NDB), BRICS Plus, South-South cooperation

THE appearance in 2006 of the organization known today as BRICS was met with skepticism by analysts and experts in the West and in the association’s member countries themselves. Skeptics pointed out a host of seemingly insurmountable obstacles – the vast geographical distances between some of the member countries, territorial disputes (between China and India), ideological rifts, mutually incompatible political and legal systems, and finally, major cultural differences [12, p. 17]. Nevertheless, over its 17-year history, the group has shown stably increasing mutual economic interaction and has become a pillar of the emerging multipolar world order…


Digital Sovereignty in International Relations
Ye. Zinovyeva, S. Shitkov

Read More

IN THE global digital transformation age, the principle of state sovereignty has acquired an extra, digital dimension. Digital sovereignty, which in the broadest sense means the independence of a country in its digital domestic and foreign policy, is becoming a key criterion for measuring a country’s viability, security, and economic status. To better understand the nature of digital sovereignty, it is essential to fully understand the concept of state sovereignty in general.

STUDIES of sovereignty date back to French jurist and philosopher Jean Bodin’s 1576 book Six Books of the Commonwealth that defined sovereignty as the supreme, absolute power that a monarch had over his subjects as God’s representative on Earth. At first, state sovereignty meant control of a specific territory. Hugo Grotius, Thomas Hobbes, and John Locke were founders of key theories of sovereignty in political science and jurisprudence…

Social Media and Information Security
V. Bulva

Read More

THE global technological revolution has fundamentally changed human communication capabilities. Since 2005, there has been a transition from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0, from static to dynamic content (not just readable but also editable). Social networks have become the main platforms for interaction among Internet users.

SOCIAL networks serve first of all as platforms for receiving and exchanging information. They are unique in that they have a dual purpose. On the one hand, they are a catalyst for social and interpersonal communication development, as well as an influence tool. On the other hand, they are often used as a tool of information counteraction that changes the balance of power in the international arena and undermines international stability. Studying social media through the lens of threats to national and international security reveals key areas for improving Russian policy to neutralize these threats, as well as prospects for strengthening international cooperation in this area…


On the 65th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations Between Russia and Ghana
S. Berdnikov

Read More

Keywords: Kwame Nkrumah, intergovernmental agreements, economic cooperation, scientific and technical cooperation, IGC

IN 2023, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Ghana are celebrating an important anniversary: 65 years ago, Ghana Acting High Commissioner to the United Kingdom John Ernest Jantuah and Soviet Ambassador to Great Britain Yakov Malik officially agreed to establish diplomatic relations between the two countries…

African Meetings: On Sergey Lavrov’s Trip to Africa
G. Sidorova

Read More

Keywords: Africa, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov’s tour of Africa. South Africa, Eswatini, Angola, Eritrea, Mali, Mauritania, Sudan, Western countries

THE myth of the indestructibile primacy of Western countries – former metropolises in world affairs, including on the African continent – is crumbling day by day, proving its groundlessness. The colossus’s feet turned out to be clay, unable to stand the test of time. Today, the West is at a loss over Russia’s practical steps to strengthen friendly relations with the states of Africa and the East in the name of international security and cooperation for the benefit of all peoples.1

Russia and Armenia: 195 Years After the Turkmenchay Treaty
D. Dadayan

Read More

Keywords: Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh, alliance, cooperation, interconnectedness of interests, peacekeepers, regional security

THE unprecedented external challenges facing Russia today mean we must focus on not only the main front of these challenges but, considering their interconnectedness, other areas that have both functional and regional dimensions…


How Russia Opened Its Consulate in Crete in 1860
V. Zanina

Read More

Keywords: Russian diplomacy, Dendrino, Cretan Greeks, Catholicism, Turkish officials, monetary aid, geopolitical plans of Britain and France, preservation of Orthodoxy

RUSSIA has done a lot to help Greece become an independent state, providing decisive and freely given aid to the people of Greece to save Greek lives and protect Greek interests over the centuries. This is a fact of history. Russian diplomats who served in the Greek provinces of the Ottoman Empire spared no effort to support and encourage Orthodox Christian Greeks. These diplomats did so not only in their line of duty but out of their own convictions and sympathy toward coreligionists. The work of the Russian consulate that opened in Crete in 1860 is one the best examples of the above. Russian diplomats saved Cretan Christians from extermination, prevented their conversion to Catholicism, and thus preserved the canons of Orthodoxy in Crete…

Italian World War I Veterans as an Element of the Social Basis of a Totalitarian State
K. Terentyev

Read More

Keywords: Italy in World War I and World War II, PSI, Mussolini, squadristi, the Italian Fasces of Combat, the National Fascist Party

“The first bomb, the first explosion, burst in our hearts. We are cut off from activity, from striving, from progress. We believe in such things no longer, we believe in war.”…


Sergey Nikolayevich Lebedev Turns 75

Read More

You are known in the country and the world as a great Russian politician who has consistently defended the interests of our Motherland while serving as head of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Russia and, before that, working abroad for many years. The rank of Army General and the rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary awarded to you are an assessment of your undisputed merits.

Today, as secretary general of the Commonwealth of Independent States, you are competently and professionally working to strengthen the Commonwealth in all aspects. Largely thanks to your efforts and initiatives, the CIS continues to develop dynamically, providing conditions for the equal and mutually beneficial cooperation of member countries…


Vladimir Churov: Memory in the Context of the Diplomacy and Paradiplomacy of the Last 30 Years
N. Mezhevich

Read More

VLADIMIR Yevgenyevich Churov passed away on March 22, 2023. The editorial board of International Affairs expresses its sincere condolences to the family and friends of Vladimir Yevgenyevich. We will remember him as an energetic politician who made a significant contribution to the creation and development of a new Russia, a researcher who opened new pages in the history of our great Motherland, a patriot who loved Russia selflessly We mourn him.

I FIRST met Vladimir Yevgenyevich in 1990. I was working at the Geographical Society of the Soviet Union as head of the lecture hall. Next door, Vladimir Yevgenyevich was working at the Mariinsky Palace as a deputy of the Leningrad City Council and came to us with a proposal to give a lecture on the ecology of the Eastern Baltic in the context of international cooperation. This may not surprise anyone today, but in 1990, it was something new. We got to know each other and discovered that we had dozens of common acquaintances and friends, though half of them were from Soviet Estonia. A long conversation then began and ended more than 30 years later. Despite our difference in age, we discovered that we had very similar civic and academic approaches. Only many years later did I learn from archival documents and told Vladimir Yevgenyevich that his father was a flagship navigator of the group of ships that landed on the Finnish island of Lunkulansaari in July 1941. My grandfather participated in that same landing as a captain lieutenant…


Archimandrite Makary. The First Russian Tsaritsa
P. Multatuli

Read More

Keywords: Archimandrite Makary, P.Yu. Zakharin-Koshka, gold embroidery workshop, Kazan campaign, poisoning of tsaritsa

THE scholarly publication* under review is dedicated to the life of the first Russian tsaritsa, the wife of Tsar Ivan Grozny [the Terrible], Anastasia Romanovna, and is the culmination of years of research by Archimandrite Makary (Veretennikov), a resident at the Svyato-Troitskaya Sergiyeva Lavra [Holy Trinity Monastery named for Sergius of Radonezh], a scholar of the history of the Russian church. He has authored many works on Canon law, liturgy, biographies of important figures in the church, and lives of the saints. The author has more than 900 publications to his name…

M.S. Grigoriyev (supervisor), V.N. Deynego, A.R. Dyukov, S.A. Zasorin, A.A. Malkevich, S.A. Manko, V.L. Shapovalov. History of Ukraine: A Monograph

Read More

THE monograph A History of Ukraine* is a relevant and comprehensive work of scholarship based on an analysis of historical facts; events; cause-effect relationships between them; the activities of historical actors; and the political, social, economic, and cultural development of territories from the perspective of the historical unity of Russians and Ukrainians. It is this position, which stands in opposition to active attempts to rewrite history and artificially divide and contrast the Russian and Ukrainian peoples, that corresponds to an objective and unbiased analysis of our common history.

In his article “On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians,” Russian President Vladimir Putin noted: “Our spiritual, human and civilizational ties formed for centuries and have their origins in the same sources, they have been hardened by common trials, achievements and victories. Our kinship has been transmitted from generation to generation. It is in the hearts and the memory of people living in modern Russia and Ukraine, in the blood ties that unite millions of our families. Together we have always been and will be many times stronger and more successful. For we are one people.”1


Armen Oganesyan Receives “Golden Pen of Russia” Award

Read More

Armen Oganesyan, editor-in-chief of International Affairs, was awarded the Golden Pen of Russia award for the second time in the “journalism” category.

The award, the most prestigious among Russian journalists, was established by the Russian Union of Journalists and is awarded annually for outstanding professional achievements; long-term work in the national press, on radio and on television; and for active citizenship…