Abstract of the journal number 2, February, 2011
We Regard Strengthening the Ethic Foundations of International Relations as an Element of Global Politics
S. Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
We regard strengthening the ethic foundations of international relations as an indispensable element of global politics. Awareness is growing that neglect for the moral dimension of human nature and for the underlying values and norms of mankind's solidarity is bound to have catastrophic consequences. In our epoch, the very nature of global threats which all of the world's countries without exception are facing necessitates a collective and concerted response based on solid ethic foundations.
Keywords: Cooperation between Russian diplomacy and the Russian Orthodox Church, interactions with countrymen abroad, peacekeeping in CIS, dialog between religions and civilizations
Defending the Truth Can Be Russia's Unique Mission in the World
His Holiness Cyril, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia
Now that modernization is on the list of Russia's stated objectives, the country should – drawing the best elements from the global experience and putting to work its uniqueness – formulate an optimal development model that would help it march towards stability and prosperity. What Russia needs, therefore, is a multi-faceted modernization which should, in addition to its technological and economic dimensions, be provided with a profound axiological basis.
Keywords: Russian Orthodox Church, Russian world, dialog between religions, cooperation between church and state, preservation of Europe”s Christian legacy, relations with the Muslim world
Vienna-Based International Organizations and Russia's Modernization
The Vienna-based international organizations combine serious technical expertise with vast experience of innovation in various sectors and can contribute to Russia's modernization and long-term development.
Keywords: Vienna-based international organizations, IAEA, nuclear technologies, Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, UN Industrial Development Organization, modernization of Russia, global anti-criminal partnership
Central Asian Geopolitics: the US Role
Central Asia attracts the attention of an array of global players. While Russia traditionally maintains strong positions in the region, China's influence over it is also growing and the EU is offering Central Asia a partnership in the framework of Europe's own strategy. A Japan-Central Asia dialog has come online, and regional players – Turkey, Iran, India, Pakistan, South Korea, and a number of Arab countries – are expanding cooperation with Central Asian republics. Naturally, the US is also taking a role in the Central Asian developments.
Keywords: EU strategy in Central Asia, Central Asia - Japan dialog, Central Asian region, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Collective Security Treaty Organization, Grand Central Asia concept
The Biosphere: A Reservoir of Mineral Resources or a Shrine?
A Roundtable hosted by Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The deteriorating condition of the biosphere ranks among the world's four top-urgent problems along with the shakiness of the global economy, nuclear proliferation, and armed conflicts. Not fully realizing what is happening, mankind is about to face the new reality in which control over the biosphere, which has for millions of years evolved according to its inherent laws, is being increasingly taken over by humans. In the XXI century, the state of the biosphere – and, consequently, the future of mankind – will largely depend on human behavior and attitudes.
Keywords: Biosphere, noosphere, Convention on Biological Diversity, the buiding of environment problems awareness, Man and Biosphere UNESCO program, international program for ecosystems, antropocentrism
There Will Be No Cheap Oil
Armen Oganesyan, Editor-in-Chief, International Affairs
There will be no cheap oil, projects Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of the Vienna-based OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) Suleiman J. Al-Herbish. Mr. Al-Herbish, former chairman and board member of Saudi Arabia's major oil companies, offers an assessment of the current state of the global oil market and describes the strategies behind the oil sector development.
Keywords: OFID, OPEC, Suleiman J. Al-Herbish
The World Around
The Institute Where Research and Diplomacy Collide
Detlof von Winterfeldt
The idea to establish an International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis reportedly originated during a conversation between US President L. Johnson and Soviet premier A.N. Kosygin at a UN session. The discussion touched upon the interrelation between research and diplomacy, and the plan was that the USSR and the US, jointly with their allies, create an institute to probe into issues of common interest.
Keywords: International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, re-assessment of the condition of global energy systems, energy and climate, energy and security, energy and poverty, environment-friendly technologies, water resources
What Drives the Human Poverty Index
The understanding that poverty is a complex socioeconomic phenomenon and that the political decision-making should take the problem of poverty into account took a long time to emerge, but at the moment the poverty issue tops the agendas of quite a few international organizations. It is widely recognized that the problem of poverty is global and that it existed in various forms in all epochs. For millenniums, living in poverty and struggling for physical survival used to be the destiny of the majority of the world's population.
Keywords: Per capita income, aid programs, mass poverty in Southern countries, deprivation, poverty index, UN Development Programme, human development index, gender inequality, multidimensional poverty index
The Model of Neoliberal Statehood
The neoliberals' rejection of traditional society, critical perception of democratic institutions, and calls for near-total privatization altogether combine into a political philosophy which, if implemented, should simply help boost the business grands' revenues. Therefore, the statehood which is fully market-oriented gets reduced to a mechanism serving the interests of transnational corporations.
Keywords: Neoliberalism, Keynesian economics, Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, economic freedom
Back to Gold. Monetary Functions of Precious Metals are Returning to the Agenda
Brazil's minister of finance Guido Mantega expressed the view that the world currently finds itself in the state of a currency war as 25 countries took various steps including direct liquidity injections to devaluate their currencies. The unprecedented situation is being described as a global monetary earthquake. In the long run, the competitive devaluation will exert downward pressure on the respective currency-to-gold ratios, gold being the means of a last resort in the settings of widespread currency depreciation and hyper-inflation.
Keywords: Reserve currency, Bretton-Woods agreements, World Bank, US Federal Reserve, World Gold Council
The Balkan Direction
Dayton: the Setbacks and Dilemmas of the Peace Deal
While the Dayton Accords should be credited with the termination of the hot phase of the conflict, the deal stripped Bosnia and Herzegovina of a large part of sovereignty in favor of international organizations for years to come and left the republic with a bloated and inefficient administrative system.
Keywords: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dayton, peace accord, protectorate, NATO, EU, Russia, the Serb Republic
The Objectives Behind the Establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia were an Open Secret
The Balkan crisis abounds with examples of both fairly successful and completely botched peace-keeping missions and highlighted the inaptness of international organizations attempting to contribute arbitration and judgment to multilateral ethnic conflicts. Crisis control efforts were the key element in the activities of various international bodies and individual countries which sought to squeeze the crises into a priori scenarios regardless of how biased and unfair their underlying approaches could be.
Keywords: Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Serb republic, ICTY, Milosevic trial, the trial of Gen. S Galic
The Kosovo Case: A Unique Combination of Circumstances or a Corrosive Precedent?
The UN International Court's opinion on Kosovo, purely advisory and vaguely worded, drove the situation around Kosovo into a quagmire by proclaiming that the unilateral declaration of the breakaway province's independence did not violate any applicable norm but stopping short of actually recognizing Kosovo as a subject of international law.
Keywords: UN Court of International Justice, Kosovo”s self-proclaimed independence, International Contact Group, Balkan problems, Eurasia
Moscow Diplomatic Corps
Panama Waiting for the Advent of Russian Business
Julio Ernesto Cordoba De Leon, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Panama to Russia
In part thanks to the Canal, our country became an important transit and trade hub. Despite the global economic downturn, Panama boasts a successful construction sector, active free trade zones, and a petroleum free zone. The republic established and is cultivating the City of Knowledge as well as serves as Latin America's number one transit hub and re-export warehouse center.
Keywords: Panama, Panama Canal, Latin America, Panama”s Ambassador
Archives of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Russia's Triumph and Bitterness Merged in a Single Line Inscribed by Emperor Alexander III
This time, Emperor Alexander III whose comment on documents used to be markedly laconic, was evidently hurt – he must have wondered what Bulgaria's Prince Ferdinand, unrecognized by Moscow, imagined himself to be...
Keywords: Bulgaria”s Prince Ferdinand, Emperor Alexander III, Treaty of San Stefano, the Congress of Berlin
The Russian World
Austerlitz: Pain and Memory
The Peace Memorial on Prace Hill – the resting place of French and coalition soldiers - was built on the initiative of priest A. Slovak from Brno with the money from the Russian and French governments and the donations collected in Austria-Hungary.
Keywords: The battle of Austerlitz, “the battle of three Emperors”, Kutuzov and Napoleon, the Peace Hill, Russian Consulate in Brno, the 205th anniversary of the battle of Austerlitz
Soviet Cinema in Sweden
Visiting Sweden recently, I met my friend V. Unsson who used to work for the Swedish branch of Sovexportfilm, introducing his countrymen to the world of the Soviet cinema and meeting many of Russia's top producers and actors as part of the job. My impression was that the vivid memories of quite a few of the episodes of the epoch were still alive.
Keywords: V. Junsson, S. Bondarchuk, M. Kalatozov, S. Gerasimov, Soviet cinema, L. Orlova, Soviet cartoons
Russian Poet's Wife and Guardian Angel
A seminar dedicated to the 200th birthday of Ernestine von Pfeffel, the wife and guardian angel of Fyodor Tyutchev, convened on the eve of Christmas atthe Russian Consulate General in Strasbourg.
Keywords: Ernestine Tyutchev, Muranovo museum, von Pfeffel
A. Borodavkin, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation
The Veterans Council of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation came up with a highly commendable initiative to publish by the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Vietnam the memoirs by A.S. Zaitsev, Soviet Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Hanoi.
Keywords: Vietnam, the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam, M.S. Kapitza, economic assistance to Vietnam
Ambassador A.I. Stepanov's Alpine Story
The Bern Diaries make the third part of the trilogy depicting the history of Russia's relations with the Swiss Confederation and the Principality of Liechtenstein. In the piece, the author boldly oversteps the limits of his usual genre and adopts a strictly chronological approach, describing the day-by-day activities of the Embassy. The narrative combines vivid depictions of teamwork with deeply personal overtones.
Keywords: The Bern Diaries, Liechtenstein
Hoping that the Barbarians Will Help
Le Monde Diplomatique published an annual issue of The Atlas, the paper's Russian-language addendum with an analysis of the current geopolitical situation and global balance of forces laid out against the backdrop of escalating economic, social, and inter-ethnic tensions.
Keywords: Le Monde Diplomatique, Atlas annual magazine, global balance of forces, multipolar world, modern geopolitics
The Key Concepts of the 2000ies
The Prime Russian Magazine made an attempt to summarize the key concepts and trends that came into the spotlight over the first decade of the XXI century. The search for a new philosophy capable of reflecting the globalization epoch unites thinkers from all walks of life — from renown scientists to underground musicians and radical intellectuals.
Keywords: First Russian Journal, Douglas Coupland, human genome and other 19 key ideas of the 2000ies, Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine
Leaders Magazine — Addressed to Decision-Makers
Leaders is a magazine writing for leaders and about leaders, in the Czech Republic and elsewhere. It features publictions dedicated to ministers, ambassadors, CEO's of private and state-owned companies, academicians, and artists. Leaders is published in English, sells 20,000 copies, and should be of interest to a broad audience.
Keywords: Leaders, the Czech Republic