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Andrey Kortunov

Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council, RIAC member

Column: Longreads
Ivan Timofeev

PhD in Political Science, RIAC Director of Programs, RIAC Member, Head of "Contemporary State" program at Valdai Discussion Club, RIAC member

Column: Longreads

This report reflects the results of the work conducted by the Working Group for Forecasting. A systemic approach has been taken to identify the most important areas of Russia’s foreign policy for 2018, as well as the key threats and opportunities for the country on the global arena. The geographic scope of the forecasts covers the West, the Asia Pacific, the Middle East and the post-Soviet states.

The authors hope that the ideas and conclusions provided in this report will be of use to the Russian authorities when making foreign policy decisions, and will come in handy for experts in international affairs, researchers and journalists.

This report reflects the results of the work conducted by the Working Group for Forecasting. A systemic approach has been taken to identify the most important areas of Russia’s foreign policy for 2018, as well as the key threats and opportunities for the country on the global arena. The geographic scope of the forecasts covers the West, the Asia Pacific, the Middle East and the post-Soviet states.

The authors hope that the ideas and conclusions provided in this report will be of use to the Russian authorities when making foreign policy decisions, and will come in handy for experts in international affairs, researchers and journalists.

The 2018 presidential elections will mark the beginning of a new foreign policy cycle for the Russian Federation. In the context of the elections, the main areas of foreign policy expected to be revised (with a certain amount of continuity), and these changes will be reflected in the respective conceptual foreign policy documents. The Russian presidential elections just so happen to coincide with the political cycles in a number of countries, including China, the United States, and several EU and Middle Eastern states. The "naked wire" or "dead wood" effect will only increase in international relations. Crisis scenarios may appear as a result of the intentional or unintentional actions of individual countries, or because of poor coordination in resolving issues that affect the entire world. Russia's key interest lies in creating favourable conditions for the country's internal development. Economic backwardness is a growing threat to Russia's sovereignty, narrowing the window of opportunity in foreign policy.

Project page: russiancouncil.ru/en/forecast2018

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Poll conducted

  1. Korean Peninsula Crisis Has no Military Solution. How Can It Be Solved?
    Demilitarization of the region based on Russia-China "Dual Freeze" proposal  
     36 (35%)
    Restoring multilateral negotiation process without any preliminary conditions  
     27 (26%)
    While the situation benefits Kim Jong-un's and Trump's domestic agenda, there will be no solution  
     22 (21%)
    Armed conflict still cannot be avoided  
     12 (12%)
    Stonger deterrence on behalf of the U.S. through modernization of military infrastructure in the region  
     4 (4%)
    Toughening economic sanctions against North Korea  
     2 (2%)
 
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