Russia’s Foreign Policy Document is a regular issue which spells out Russia’s foreign policy direction and expectations. The initial parts of the current one in vogue(issued in 2017) explains the trends Russia notes in the global power dynamics. One would note that they present a summary of all the troubles the world is facing, the direction the global power dynamics is taking and as a by-product, the way forward for a more amiable and better world. They can be summarised as thus –

  1. A Multipolar International System centred around Globalization and Decentralization of Economic and Political Power.
  2. Erosion of Political and Global Economic Dominance of the Traditional West in favour of Asia-Pacific and attempts to counter it by imposing their point of view on every global thing. A striking observation from elsewhere in the document – to counter attempts to use human rights theories to exert political pressure and interfere in internal affairs of States, including with a view to destabilizing them and overthrowing legitimate governments;
  3. More clarity in cultural and civilizational diversity of the world and identification of multiple development models
  4. Domination of Civilizational Identity and attempts to impose/deride civilizations through xenophobia, intolerance and conflict in international affairs, leading ultimately to chaos and an uncontrolled situation in international relations.
  5. Rising Tensions due to disparities in global development and growing competition for resources, access to markets and control over transport arteries.
  6. The struggle for dominance in shaping the key principles of the future international system
  7. Force as a rising commodity in international relations amid escalating political, social and economic contradictions focusing on arms race in a system of arms control treaties and agreements.
  8. Interconnectivity of people and states means attempts to ensure stability and security within a single territory are doomed to fail.
  9. Network diplomacy has gained prominence as a flexible approach to participating in multilateral mechanisms for the sake of finding effective solutions to common issues.
  10. In addition to traditional methods of diplomacy, “soft power” has become an integral part of efforts to achieve foreign policy objectives. This primarily includes the tools offered by civil society, as well as various methods and technologies – from information and communication, to humanitarian and other types.
  11. Lower growth rates, volatility on financial and commodity markets and fragmentation of the global economic space into regional structures with competing tariff and non-tariff restrictions.
  12. As financial, information and migration flows become increasingly globalised, domestic social processes are having a greater effect on international relations.
  13. The growing threat of international terrorism – the spread of extremist ideology and the activity of terrorist groups in a number of regions (primarily, in the Middle East and North Africa) are the result of systemic development problems that globalization processes have laid bare. This necessitates creating a broad international counter-terrorist coalition with a solid legal foundation, one that is based on effective and consistent inter-State cooperation without any political considerations or double standards, above all to prevent terrorism and extremism and counter the spread of radical ideas.
  14. Transnational organized crime and other cross-border challenges

As a corollary, one can note the Russian views on terrorism also fit into the general pattern over the observations.

  1. condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and believes that there can be no ideological, political, religious, racial or any other justification for acts of terror;
  2. categorically opposes any reliance by States on terrorist organizations in pursuit of political, ideological or other aims;
  3. takes all necessary measures under international and Russian law to prevent and counter terrorism, protect the State and its citizens from terrorist attacks and fight the spread of terrorist and extremist ideology;
  4. diligently seeks to unite all States and the entire international community in the fight against terrorism without politicization or preconditions and in accordance with the UN Charter as well as norms and principles of international law;
  5. prioritizes international cooperation in countering terrorist organizations and groups, including through the use of military force, with the participation of all States and organizations to the extent of their ability and subject to agreement by the States where the fight against organizations and groups of this kind is taking place;
  6. advocates the central role of States and their competent bodies in countering terrorism and extremism and in any related international cooperation;
  7. recognizing that it is impossible to defeat terrorism through military and law enforcement action alone, advocates working proactively and effectively with civil society institutions in the fight against terrorism, including research and educational institutions, business communities, religious associations, non-governmental organizations and mass media;
  8. believes that the struggle against terrorism will not be effective unless the sources of terrorist financing are eliminated, supports the efforts undertaken within multilateral structures to identify States, individuals and legal entities with economic ties to terrorist organizations and seeks to block financing channels used by terrorists;
  9. advocates consolidating the UN-led collective efforts to defeat foreign terrorist fighters by blocking all forms of material support available to terrorist organizations.

Though the observations are Russian, one would note that they are more relevant to India than any country in the world because it is one of the main pivots of that Rising East and the only major country beset by cross-border terrorism of epic proportions.

The cover picture, a sliced up version of World Economic Forum’s interactive chart over Global Governance, echoes a major part of the Russian view, especially over the importance of the Rising East and Multipolarity in a world which hates Globalism but can’t live without it.

In fact, the theme of Rising East is observed for a considerable time and it makes much sense to adjust the thinking to accommodate the change than try to fight it. A plethora of reports over the past decade point towards that as like the PwC’s World in 2050 report below.

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