Russia at a Strategic Juncture

Posted in Russia | 11-Aug-04 | Author: Dieter Farwick

We have covered "Russia“ several times from different angles.Why ? Russia will play an important role in the geostrategic and geopolitical role in the northern hemisphere – ranging from Vancouver to Vladivostok. Russia can and should be a pillar for stability and security in this region.

Without any doubt, Russia has the potential to play this role. Huge reserves of strategic resources – crude oil and natural gas – create opportunities. However, the political mood in Russia at present and the behavior of the government run the risk of leading Russia in the wrong direction.

The war in Chechnya, the fight against the independent media, the attacks against independent entrepreneurs, the negative demographic development, bureaucracy, corruption and “guided democracy” hinder development in the right direction. The profits being made at present in the energy sector are not sufficiently invested in modern technologies, health care and social stability.

Security and stability from Vancouver to Vladivostok?

It is in the interest of the US and Europe that Russia changes its present politics. As strategic partners, the US and Europe should push Russia into a learning curve leading to real democracy based upon a federal structure and a market economy.

We are able to present a thoughtful analysis of Russian politics and the impact for Russia’s future. The analysis is written by Robert Robejsek, Director of the renowned “Haus Rissen“ - International Institute for Politics and Economics - in Hamburg, Germany. “Haus Rissen” is well known for its in-depth political and economic research as well as for high-level seminars – especially dealing with Eastern Europe and Russia.

Our WSN Proposals for Russia:

  • Start a fresh reconciliation process in Chechnya, with OSCE involvement, to win the hearts and the minds of the people.
  • Strengthen the weak roots of democracy by enhancing the freedom of the media.
  • Start a new dialogue with the EU and US to secure Russia’s place in global politics as a true partner in the next decades.
  • Establish a strategic partnership with the European Union as Russia’s natural geopolitical ally.
  • Balance the strong authority needed to manage the political and economic transformation with the needs of an open and democratic society.
  • Adopt a more international and reconciliatory approach to the Caucuses and the Baltic republics, including OSCE and EU involvement in managing ongoing disputes.
  • Integrate Russian forces in ISAF in Afghanistan and further NATO-Russia-Council efforts.
  • Guarantee the rights of domestic and foreign investors, with the exception of the oligarchs who should return illegally acquired assets to the Russian people.
  • Reform Russia’s bureaucracy by scaling it down to 20% of current staff and increasing substantially their pay. Give more responsibility to the new Russia young elite in administrative reforms and political decisions.