As Russia seeks a resurgence of power under the tandem leadership of Putin and Medvedev, its foreign policy reflects both internal and external influences, especially US and Chinese factors. The objectives of this paper are three-fold. The first is to illustrate key features of the Putin-Medvedev foreign policy, including a review of Richard Sakwa's remarks on Putin's “new realism.” The second is to trace how Russia's foreign policy has evolved in relation to the United States, Europe, Central Asia, China and Japan. The third is to assess Russia's diplomacy under the tandem leadership of Putin and Medvedev. As to the external factors, the US factor plays a central role in the formulation of Russian foreign policy. Moscow tends to weigh the probable responses of Washington as it pursues its global foreign policy goals. Russia's policy towards an expanding Europe, including the eastward expansion of NATO, is no exception. Russia's policy towards the Asia-Pacific region, as well as in Central Asia, is increasingly influenced by the Chinese factor. In this regard, Moscow tries to maintain relations with Beijng on a good-neighborly basis, while trying to keep a rising China in check, making use of a combination of the Japanese, Indian, and US cards. According to Dmitry Trenin of the Moscow Carnegie Center, Russia saw itself as the Pluto of a Western solar system in the aftermath of the disintegration of the USSR. Now, however, it has begun to create its own Moscow-centered system. Although Russia has not been successful in this attempt, the foreign policy of the Putin-Medvedev regime has resulted in several achievements: (1) the prevention of the early entry of Georgia and the Ukraine into NATO; (2) the alienation between Washington and its allies in the Old Europe; (3) the demonstration of a resurgent Russia in the Southern Caucasus through the realization of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia from Georgia; (4) the closure of the US Manas Airbase in Kirgiz. Currently, Russia is facing significant challenges in dealing with the global economic crisis, ignited in the US. In this case, Russia appears to be attempting to mend fences with the US, while seeking, at the same time, to reduce US influence in the Caucasus and Central Asia. The US and China factors, together with domestic concerns, are likely to continue to drive Russia's foreign policy under the tandem leadership of Putin and Medvedev.
During the interwar period, several thinkers and politicians intellectually challenged the so-called “Western state system”—an international order comprising nation-states. Some of the ideas, such as Coudenhove-Kalergi's “Pan-Europe” or Aristide Briand's “the United States of Europe” bore fruit later on in the form of regional integration. Other ideas failed or simply vanished into oblivion. In this paper, I examined and reevaluated Russia's Eurasianism as one of those challenging ideas that advocated the significance of a “region” to overcome the antagonism derived from the nation-state system. Eurasianism, which emerged among Russian émigrés in the 1920s, is usually regarded as a variation of Slavophiles in Russian intellectual history. However, on the basis of Eurasianists' various descriptions of contemporary international relations, one can elicit their critical view toward the nation-state system. As is often said, the concept of a nation-state which originated in Western Europe presumed national homogeneity within a particular territory. However, many other parts of the world such as Russia are actually multinational regions. According to Eurasianism, Europeanization (nation-building modeled on Europe) leads to the destruction of the inherent diversity in the region. Therefore, they attached considerable importance to Russia's national and cultural diversity. Moreover, this is the reason why they named Russia as “Eurasia”: Russia's vast region had served as a place of exchange between Europe and Asia through its history. They believed that, as a result, it fostered a multicultural character. In their viewpoint, “Europe” meant homogeneity and “Eurasia” meant diversity in contrast. With this notion as a background and focusing on the ideas during the interwar period, it can be stated that there are many similarities between Eurasianism, Pan-Europeanism, and even Asianism in Japan. Regardless of the differences in the context, they all emerged as a criticism to the concept of a nation-state and to modern international relations. Of course, Eurasianism was different from Pan-Europeanism in some respects. For example, mentioning a map (an appendix of the book Pan-Europe), one Eurasianist criticized that Coudenhove-Kalergi's “Pan-Europe” was an expression of colonialism, because his “Pan-Europe” included colonies in Asia and Africa. Another Eurasianist pointed out the practical difficulties in European integration. In short, Pan-Europeanism reflected the interest of victorious European states after World War I. With regard to the criticism of the modern nation-state, the Soviet Union also appeared as a challenger. Eurasianism held a positive opinion on the federalism which could be a suitable governing system for the multinational region. However, on the other hand, they found internationalism and the rule by the Communist Party to be equally dubious. During the 1990s, immediately after the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, we witnessed Eurasinism being revived in Russia. It was certainly the consequence of an “identity crisis”; however, at the same time, a reexamination of the regional concepts was a simultaneous phenomenon worldwide. “Eurasia” as well as “Europe” and “Asia” were reconsidered under the new circumstances that arose in the transitional period.
The nature of pipelines is to form a “natural monopoly” due to the huge investment required and its superiority through taking precedence against late comers. Russia, the second largest oil producer in the world, has a history of constructing oil exporting networks to ports on the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea as well as an inland pipeline system to Eastern Europe named “Druzhba”. Russia has also made a plan to construct several new pipelines. That is not only to cope with future oil demand but to expand its transport capacities to access future oil markets. Among Russia's planned new pipelines there is a new oil supply system from East Siberia to the Pacific Ocean (ESPO) to access new markets in Northeast Asia. Russia is also the largest gas producing country in the world, which confronts competition of gas suppliers set by Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan for the market of China and the South Europe respectively, on the other hand Russia made China a gas-market competitor against the traditional European market, which allowed Russia to win a series of long-term sales and purchase agreements from European gas distributors. As the gas demand soars, Russia may notch a stronger position against both East and West due to its magnitude and flexibility of deliveries.
This paper attempts to analyze politico-military relations in Russia, providing a perspective on the Putin-Medvedev duumvirate. Political leaders from Boris Yeltsin to Vladimir Putin had needed support from the military for governing the state. The military had expanded its influence on politics, based on this politico-military cooperation. The political leadership had placed its foremost priority on military policy, which had coincided with the military's interests. However, the political leadership is currently seeking to put more emphasis on economic development than military policy, for stabilizing Russia's domestic and external environment. This policy shift may provoke dissatisfaction from the military, which regards the national security as Russia's top concern. Therefore, the political leadership will strengthen its control over the military, for the purpose of keeping political superiority on military. Nevertheless, strengthening control over the military contains a dilemma in which strong objection from the military would lead to secession of the military from the political leadership, losing military support for politics. When the duumvirate collapses, a problem on which leader the military chooses will emerge. Therefore, unless the dilemma is settled, the politics will have to give way to, or pay the price for pacifying the military in case of confrontation with the military.
On March 10th, 1952 the USSR sent a document called “Stalin's Note” to the representatives of the Western Powers; the USA, the UK and France. It proposed both making a “peace treaty” with Germany and unifying Germany. For seven years following the end of World War II, Germany had been divided into two states. The separate governments of West and East Germany were provisionally formed in 1949. To resolve this situation, “Stalin's Note” proposed that Germany form a Unified Government and establish a “peace treaty” on a principal of neutrality. However, the USA, the UK, France and the West German leader, Konrad Adenauer, were pursuing a policy of West European Integration of West Germany, and rejected “Stalin's Note” forthwith. Since the Western Powers didn't accept “Stalin's Note”, the real intention of the USSR has remained a big mystery in post WWII history. Academic disputes continue to this day, as to the real intentions of the Soviet Diplomacy. These disputes are roughly split into two groups. One group, the positive group, argues that “Stalin's Note” was a peaceful attempt to establish a “Neutral German State”, while the other, negative group, believes that it was an “Obstructive Operation” to disturb Western diplomacy and cut off the military connection between West Germany and the Western Powers. Following the end of the Cold War, historical materials were released in the former East Germany. Researchers had hoped to find the truth of “Stalin's Note”. Many papers have been presented by historians specializing in diplomatic history of Germany and the USSR, but the disputes have not ended between the positive and the negative groups. This paper investigates the truth of “Stalin's Note” and its relation to the Cold War through rethinking its problems from the viewpoint of the East German leaders. As a result, this investigation finds that East German leaders had formed two groups; supporters of “Stalin's Note, ” the domestic group, and dissidents, the Moscow group.
In June 2008, Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereafter Bosnia) signed the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU. The signing of SAA, however, does not mean reconciliation among nationalist parties who had started the war came to an end successfully. Instead these parties are still dominant in political sphere of Bosnia. On the other hand, as Bosnia comes closer to the EU, Bosnia will inevitably need to express ownership, that is, to have will and capability to tackle reform agenda necessary to join the EU. Although the term‘ownership’ can be used in the context of politics, civil society and business, ownership in this article limits its scope to political one. The main agenda of ownership is, thus, capability to cooperate, discuss and come to an agreement among politicians of Bosnia. Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) installed in Bosnia the Office of the High Representative (OHR) as a representative of international community. OHR is responsible of supervising civilian aspects of peace implementation with extremely huge authority. In addition, DPA provided Bosnia with consociational democracy. As is shown in this article, Bosnia lacks cooperation among political elites, in other words, ownership. Recently OHR has been moving from regulation with coercive power to that of EU integration requirements. Therefore, this article tries to figure out current situation and future prospect of ethnic division in Bosnia, taking police reform as a case. At first, Bosnian state structure set by DPA is analyzed from consociational democracy perspective. Secondly, it clarifies international community's approach towards Bosnian ethnic division. Thirdly, the extent to which Bosnia politicians showed the sense of ownership and international community's influence on it are examined.
The aim of this paper is to interpret Daniil Kharms' poem “Khnyu”, by analyzing its mysterious eponymous central character. Kharms wrote four poems in which this character appears; among these works “Khnyu” is the most important. In this poem a town, which lives according to conventional logic, is seen in opposition to water. The plot is that Khnyu leaves a forest, which is filled with images of life and liquid, enters the town, and takes control of its water. If its water is controlled by Khnyu, this is a threat to the town, for water is the opposite of logic. Another feature of the poem is that a literary group called OBERIU, which Kharms once belonged to, also appears in it. This group is on the same side as Water, for its members also try to deny the accustomed rule of “reasoning about meanings” Additionally, in the poem when OBERIU has the power to transform people into trees; they lose their ability to use conventional logic and come to belong to the forest which Khnyu comes from. In creating the character Khnyu, Kharms was thinking of the ancient Egyptian God Khnum, the God of creation who can cause floods in the River Nile so as to make plants flourish. At this stage in his career, Kharms was insisting that we could grasp “things-in-themselves” by depriving them of any conventional meaning, grasping only their bare existence. From Kharms' point of view this amounted to the creation of the World. There is a similarity between this thought and the attribute of the god Khnum, and Kharms invented the character Khnyu in order to symbolize this thought in the poem. In the end, however, Khnyu could not completely deny conventional logic, but one of the other characters, her companion, supported her policy. Kharms, in writing this poem, might have been thinking about his own fate. Shortly before the poem “Khnyu” was written, OBERIU had been banned; Kharms, however, believed in himself and never gave up writing.
Undoubtedly, the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union played an important role in modern Balkan history. In international politics, the treaty of Kuchuk Kainardji (1774) is considered as one of the most significant points for Russian advancement into the Balkans. This article outlines the significance of this treaty by analysing its background and stipulations. After the Ottoman Empire lost its predominance over the West European countries and Russia at the end of the seventeenth century, the Ottoman Empire, Russia, the Habsburg Empire and the newly emerging Prussia coexisted in the first half of the following century and these four countries gradually strengthened their ties. In this situation, Russia attempted to expand its influence into the Balkans. However, at that time the Ottoman control over the Balkans was still so firm that such attempts were unsuccessful. This situation, however, changed when the Russo-Ottoman war broke out in 1768. In this war, the Russian troops defeated the Ottoman troops at most fronts including Greece and the Danubian principalities. As Russia's victory continued, the orthodox subjects in the Balkans began to expect Russian protection. Consequently, the Habsburg Empire and Prussia sensed an impending crisis due to the expansion of the Russian influence into the Balkans, and they began to intervene in this war as mediators. In the peace negotiations, although Russia occupied most of the territory of Wallachia and Moldavia, it was obliged to return both countries to the Ottoman Empire because of immense pressure from both the mediators. Nevertheless, Russia attempted to maintain its influence on the Danubian principalities and to obtain some clues for its advancement into the Balkans in the future. In 1774, Russia and the Ottoman Empire signed a peace agreement at Kuchuk Kainardji. Then, we analyse the contents of this treaty. We consider that there were three articles that enabled Russian advancement into the Balkans. Firstly, Article 16 stipulates Ottoman protection for the local subjects in Wallachia and Moldavia and in this article Russia obtained a voice concerning the affairs of both principalities. This right allowed Russia to officially involve itself in the issues pertaining to the Danubian principalities, and these two countries provided the base for Russia's further advancement into the Balkans. Secondly, some researchers have conjectured that owing to this treaty, Russia obtained the right to protect the orthodox Christian subjects in the Ottoman Empire; however, this is not true. Article 7 states that the orthodox Christian subjects in the Ottoman Empire must be protected by the Porte and not by Russia. The above-mentioned misunderstanding was caused due to Russia's exaggerated insistence on the eve of the Crimean War that in this treaty, it had obtained the right to protect the orthodox Ottoman subjects. However, it is true that this treaty was indirectly the beginning for Russia's insistence. Thirdly, Article 11, which stipulates the activities of merchants, provides Russia the right to open consulates anywhere within the territory of the Ottoman Empire. Using this right, Russia opened consulates and vice-consulates in the Danubian principalities in the 1780s, followed by those in the other Balkan areas in the nineteenth century. These consulates played an important role in Russian advancement into the Balkans by collecting information, maintaining contact with local leaders, ecclesiastics and other local influential men. Thus, this treaty was of great significance for Russian advancement into the Balkans.
Environmental problems accompanying oil development in Russia has attracted a great deal of attention in recent years especially in the field of construction of oil and gas pipeline. These problems have a considerable impact on the advance of oil and gas projects, a good example of which is the issue of Trans Sakhalin Pipeline in 2006, bringing, as a result, an essential change to the structure of the operator company. This paper focuses on the essence and the solution of environmental problems with oil and gas development in Russia, analyzing the construction of the ESPO pipeline. In Russia, a series of laws have been issued and many administrative agencies have been set up to cope with environmental problems. The Federal Environmental, Industrial and Nuclear Supervision Service (Rostehnadzor) and the Federal Supervisory Natural Resources Management Service (Rosprirodnadzor) are taking charge of the environmental expertise of oil and gas projects including the construction of the ESPO pipeline as representatives of the federal government. The construction of the ESPO pipeline is planned to be carried out by two phases. ESPO-1 is under construction and divided into four sections, while ESPO-2 is in designing process. Environmental problems occurred in both ESPO-1 and ESPO-2, including the construction method past Lena River and the design of the route passing Khabarovsk and Primorsky Krai. There are four groups of actors participating in resolving these problems: environmental administrative agencies, pipeline operator company, local governments and social environmental organizations. Four conclusions are derived from the analysis on the environmental problems of the construction of the ESPO pipeline. Firstly, because oil and gas development and pipeline construction is going on in underdeveloped areas under the harsh natural conditions, many environmental problems do and will occur in the construction of the ESPO pipeline Secondly, the social consensus on environmental problems has not been achieved yet and the resolution of these problems, therefore, are still depending upon confrontation of political powers of different actor groups. Thirdly, a distribution of authority between environmental administrative agencies has not been explicitly defined. Fourthly, attracting international interest to the ESPO construction is a promising method to promote adequate resolution of environmental problems.