• Position : Professor
  • Affiliation : Department of Integrated Communications, The Higher School of Economics
  • Affiliation : Director General, Russian International Affairs Council
complete list

The Security Index Occasional Paper Series came out with a polemic on the way the Russian foreign policy should be in the era of strategic instability


MOSCOWNOVEMBER 27, 2020. PIR PRESS. The Security Index Occasional Paper Series came out with an article of Dmitry Evstafiev and Andrey Kortunov “What should the Russian foreign policy be in the era of strategic instability: polemic”.

International security is not a center of the world, but a reflection of profound processes that nowadays are characterized by a growing randomness and shrinking planning horizon. Confidence, privacy and confidentiality of diplomacy are deteriorating. Ensuring security requires not only technical, but also political decisions. Under such circumstances the aim of the Russian foreign policy is to find a balance between development and security amidst an incoming new wave of globalization. To secure its status of a great power, Russia needs to preserve its relevance among other players and play a role of additional element to the situation of unsteady equilibrium.

The text of the article is based on the polemic of Dmitry Evstafiev, the professor of the School of Integrated Communications of the NRU HSE, and Andrey Kortunov, the Director General of the RIAC; which took place during the opening of the 20th Anniversary International School on Global Security of the PIR Center dedicated to the global security problems. Discussion “What should the Russian foreign policy be in the era of strategic instability?” took place in Zvenigorod (Moscow region) on the 27th of September 2020. Further text updates were made by the authors and its editing was approved by both authors of polemic.

Key findings:

  • Unipolarity as such is already impossible. Nevertheless, we see a residual unipolarity that cannot be preserved for a long time. A Cold war bipolar system is also impossible since rigid hierarchies are gone.
  • The world will face serious changes. In the middle of 2020-s in key countries, there will be a change of elite generations. The coming elites will have different views on life and death, on war and peace, which means there will not be political and psychological factors that were a key component of military and political deterrence of the Cold war era.
  • In the U.S. and the U.K., there is a process of gradual legalization of nuclear weapons as an instrument of foreign policy.
  • Provision of security must be seen not as a merely technical, but also as a political problem.
  • Russia has an opportunity to play in the “Major League” of world politics despite its lack of resource potential. It is possible because Russia is in demand for other players and plays a role of important addition in the situation of unstable development.
  • There is a demand for new ideas, new ideology in the world, but the answer to this question is yet to be provided, which may lead to the formation of new radical ideas.

Read (in Russian)