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On September 26, 2018, the Museum of Contemporary History of Russia launched a new series of lectures by Russian International Affairs Council «Outlines of the New World Order». It was opened by Andrey Kortunov, RIAC Director General, with his lecture on the following topic: "Is there a Future in Relations between Russia and the West?"

On September 26, 2018, the Museum of Contemporary History of Russia launched a new series of lectures by Russian International Affairs Council «Outlines of the New World Order». It was opened by Andrey Kortunov, RIAC Director General, with his lecture on the following topic: "Is there a Future in Relations between Russia and the West?"

Andrey Kortunov set the intriguing tone for his lecture, starting with the question of what exactly each of us means by the word "West". What is the West? United States of America or maybe Europe? Maybe it is Afghanistan for scientists from Japan? The underscored ambiguity of the definition of the West made it possible to identify the main approaches to its definition. And first of all, geographic approach is among them, the principle of which is to define the West depending on the geographical location. The second approach defines the West as an international economic system, however, to date, this approach has lost its relevance due to the interweaving of various economic systems as a result of globalization. "The economies have become interdependent, and in order to speak about the existence of the Western economic system, it is necessary at least to have, the Eastern economic system," A. Kortunov said.

Thirdly, defining the West as a Christian civilization includes Russia in the concept. And, finally, the West can be represented as a system of international institutions, such as NATO and the European Union. That is, what was historically created in the North Atlantic region or under the patronage of the United States. In this case, Russia is not the West. Thus, if we summarize all approaches, the West can be represented in the form of a nesting doll.

The tense relations between Russia and the West result from different visions of the world order after the end of the Cold War. Russia advocated for the creation of a new system of international relations and weakening of old institutions, such as NATO. The West, in turn, did not want to give up what constitutes the basis of its security. This position resulted in the expansion of NATO instead of dissolving the organization.

A different vision of the nature of international relations is only one of the reasons that worsened political climate in the relations between Russia and the West. Other factors were the crisis of statehood in the East and in Asia; the emergence of new international actors who aim at destabilizing the situation on the international arena; the growing inequality and identity crisis following the globalization process; as well as deficit of resources.

At the end of the lecture, Andrey Kortunov reverted to the headline question: "Is there a Future in Relations between Russia and the West?». It is to be hoped that there is a future, at least because they are influential international players. However, it is not yet clear, when it will be possible to defuse the tensions between them. Today, the vectors are changing radically: Russia is making attempts to integrate into Asia, that is attractive by its flexible structures, unlike the West (primarily the United States). If speaking of the West we imply the U.S., then the probability of improving relations is extremely small. It is more advantageous for Russia to seek common ground with Europe. At the same time, the U.S. has already begun to hinder such interaction.

The event was organized with the support of Znanie Association.

International Affairs journal is the information partner of the lecture series.

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