Trump plans to increase the U.S. nuclear potential and doubts the New START's usefulness. How should Russia react?

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Foreign Affairs: Analysis

15 december 2016

Rising Nuclear Dangers: Steps to Reduce Risks in the Euro-Atlantic Region

Sam Nunn Co-Chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, Former Democratic US senator

Desmond Browne Vice Chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, Executive Board Member of the European Leadership Network, Former British Defense Secretary

Igor Ivanov President of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (1998–2004)

Wolfgang Ischinger Chairman of the Munich Security Conference

Robert E. Berls, Jr. Senior Advisor for Russia and Eurasia at the Nuclear Threat Initiative

Leon Ratz Program Officer with the Nuclear Threat Initiative’s Materials Security and Minimization Program


International statesmen Des Browne, Wolfgang Ischinger, Igor Ivanov, and Sam Nunn call on Western and Russian leaders to take immediate steps to reduce the risk of a dangerous military confrontation. This report offers recommendations to avoid accidents, enhance predictability, and build confidence.

14 december 2016

International Perspective on the Retirement Age Increase

Viktor Katona Oil Supply Specialist at MOL Group, RIAC expert


Retirement age in Russia has to be raised. That’s the verdict of the majority of sociologists, political analysts, and of the Ministry of Economic Development, who have been supporting the retirement age increase up to 63-65 years. However, according to opinion polls, the population of Russia is against any retirement age rise. People of 25–34 age group mostly tend to oppose the retirement age rise, which is surprising. And even if some people advocate for a later retirement, they definitely link it to the rise of the pension funds.

13 december 2016

Russia and the West, Trapped by Their Own Double Standards

Andrey Kortunov Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council, RIAC member


On the sidelines of a recent Moscow think tank debate, “Hypocrisy vs. Diplomacy: How Insincerity Undermined the World Order After the Cold War,” Russia Direct sat down with Andrei Kortunov, general director of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), to figure out how Russia and the West can get past accusing each other of engaging in double standards when it come to the implementation of foreign policy.

12 december 2016

Britain Seeks Closer Links with China in a Post-Brexit World

Donald Gasper Councillor, Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society


It was Lord Palmerston, the Victorian-era British Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister, who said that nations had no permanent friends or enemies, only permanent interests. (The same man in 1841 famously dismissed Hong Kong as “a barren rock”.) It is these “permanent interests” which seem to have triumphed in Sino-British relations after a minor hiccup which followed the Brexit referendum in the summer.

08 december 2016

Italian Referendum Result: A Headache for Rome, or for Brussels?

Andrey Kortunov Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council, RIAC member


From the dim and distant days of the early Republic up to the era of the late Empire, the bright red standards of the Roman legions always bore four big letters embroidered in gold — SPQR. Historians still disagree over what this abbreviation means, but the majority share the view that SPQR stands for Senatus Populus Quiritium Romanus or Senatus Populusque Romanus — the Senate and Citizens of Rome or the Senate and People of Rome. It is significant that both these phrases start not with “the people” or “the citizens” but with “the Senate” in the sense of the chief symbol and foundation of Roman statehood. It was against the Senate — to be precise, the Italian Senate rather than the Roman one of old — that Prime Minister Matteo Renzi pitted himself in the 4 December referendum.

07 december 2016

Migration Crisis: International Cooperation and National Strategies

Vladimir Malakhov Doctor of Political Science, Leading researcher, RAS Institute of Philosophy


Migration has moved to the top of the global political agenda in recent times. The unprecedented influx of refugees to Europe, on the one hand, and the high rate of South–North economic migration on the other, have led to sharp political and public opinion divisions. Over the last year-and-a-half, the expressions “migration crisis” and “refugee crisis” have become firmly lodged in the political and journalist discourse. However, to what extent does the term “crisis” reflect the real state of affairs?

07 december 2016

The Northern Sea Route: National Regime in the Changing International Context

Julia Bobrova Ph.D. in Law, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law under the Government of the Russian Federation


Both the Arctic states and other members of the global community are becoming increasingly interested in the Arctic. The issues of developing the Northern Sea Route (NSR) and the legal regulation of navigation in its waters are pending both for the Russian interests and in the international context, especially since the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code) comes into force on 1 January 2017.

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