INSOR Russia: Institute of Contemporary Development
Updated June 28, 2019

Analytical Bulletin, Issue 2 (9), February 2013

February 21, 2013

The Institute of Contemporary Development has published its monthly analytical bulletin for February. The main topics of this issue are: Russia’s foreign policy strategy and domestic development; the future of resource economies; US foreign policy; Great Britain and EU; and, the expert community and global processes.

The annotation of Analytical Bulletin No.2 (9) can be found below. The full text of the bulletin in Russian can be found here.

Igor Yurgens. Washington’s Ongoing Problems and the Long-Term Challenges Facing Moscow

Disagreements between Russia and US on arms reduction issues do not change the fact that “the main threats to Russia are not of a military nature. We continue to make an effort to maintain the domestic and external status quo without doing anything to improve our international competitiveness. The conservative part of the Russian elite is resisting the reallocation of the rent generated from natural resources for the benefit of a new economy. Maintaining resource dependency has already led to us falling behind, and going forward this lag will transform into threats of greater consequences than military threats.”

Sergey Kulik. On the International Pause in Russia’s Development

Interest in cooperation with Russia in economic and technological fields is clearly declining “with the exception of enabling the ‘resource addiction’.” This has been dictated by the emphasis on Russian self-sufficiency to make the next leap forward as seen in the recent comments of Russian politicians and experts. “The real problem lies in the fact that without expanding the format of modernization alliances, without norm (as opposed to cool) relations with the leading world players the objective of catching the new technological wave could largely remain only on paper. In the list of measures which could become easier to implement in this ‘comfortable pause’, the priorities could be reduced to simple technological and industrial espionage and the recruiting of a handful of foreign specialists.”

Igor Yurgens. Joseph Biden on US Foreign Policy

An overview of the speech by the US vice president on February 2, 2013, at the Munich Security Conference. The core declared principles of American foreign policy; the main achievements of the past four years and the objectives for the upcoming four years. “Experts agree that the US foreign policy of Obama’s first term can be characterized as ‘treading lightly’… This phrase embodies administration’s lack of a desire to get involved in a major military conflict, he need to reduce military spending, and an aim to where possible apply special means and special operations to minimize the loss of troops. On the whole, the approach of ‘treading lightly’ found support among the majority of American voters. However, even Obama’s proponents of emphasize that in the second term he will be faced with serious difficulties.”

Igor Yurgens. Is Great Britain Leaving the European Union?

On the remarks of the British Prime Minister regarding the future of the European Union and the role of Great Britain in this integration alliance. David Cameron on the “island psychology” of the British and a decentralization program for the EU. The main theses, conclusions and experts’ reactions. “Observers note that the prime minister’s speech to a large degree is connected with the domestic political balance of power: given the low level of popularity of the European Union, political points can be made with voters ahead of the anticipated early elections in Great Britain. The second reason for Cameron’s remarks is said to be an attempt to reinforce the British position ahead of the adoption of final and far-reaching decisions of the EU on the creation of a more rigid political and economic system of governance.”

Sergey Kulik. The Expert Community in Global Discourse

The world expert community in coordination with national authorities and nongovernmental institutions continues to work on the formation of a topical global agenda. Analysts “continue to find themselves at dead ends for a number of problems. But these expert efforts are quite substantial in scale and are being applied with increasing force.” It follows that a “maximally broad” return of Russia to expert platforms “would be useful to us and to our partners.”

Nikita Maslennikov. The New Political Economics of Resources and Global Governance

“The structural transformation of the world economy now proceeding in full force brings to forefront questions concerning the current and future condition of the world’s resource base. Assessments and expectations for the next 8-10 years are not sufficient. Development strategies must be based on a horizon of at least 20 years.” “Planning of the ‘resource future’ as a subject of global governance is impossible without an understanding of how the world economy will respond to the ‘sixth technological wave’ during which the dominant energy source will be natural (liquefied) gas.” The new global energy resource market forming before our eyes should provide a basis of a “revolution of new materials” – “one of the main components of the ‘new wave’ which will substantially change the core concept of raw materials. Here it is thought that in the future we will be dealing with ‘smart raw materials,’ that is, a new generation of resources which in fact are products of third- and fourth-level processing of primary hydrocarbon resources. For Russia this is an historic, all-azimuths challenge.”