INSOR Russia: Institute of Contemporary Development
Updated April 18, 2019

Analytical Bulletin, Issue 3 (10), March 2013

March 28, 2013

The Institute of Contemporary Development has published its monthly analytical bulletin for March. The main topics of this issue are: visits to Moscow by José Barroso and Xi Jinping; the state of US-Russia relations; the middle class in developed and developing countries; climate change on the G20 agenda.

The annotation of Analytical Bulletin No.3 (10) can be found below. The full text of the bulletin in Russian can be found here.

Igor Yurgens. EU and Chinese Leaders Visit Russia

The March meetings of José Barroso and Xi Jinping with Russia’s leadership: results and resonance. “The contrast in the official assessments and coverage in the press was striking. In the case of the talks between the Russian president and Chinese leader – ‘strengthening the strategic partnership with the signing of 30 highly important bilateral agreements’; and the meeting with Barroso – ‘despite the all the positive achievements in relations between Russia and the EU in recent years, it cannot be denied that the present level of cooperation corresponds to potential of both sides.’ However, the raw numbers for trade turnover between these two giants speak for themselves – $470 billion in trade with the EU and $87 billion in trade with China. The discrepancy between the official commentary and the real numbers is a manifestation of a serious dilemma in Russia’s foreign political and foreign economic positioning. For the time being it seems that the emphasis is on bolstering the Asian vector, although not to the detriment of the efforts focused on Europe…”

Sergey Kulik. On Russia’s New Foreign Policy Concept

On the reasons behind the passive discussion by experts of the new foreign policy concept of the Russian Federation, certain emblematic new features in the text and the prospects for achieving the outlined goals. “It should not be forgotten that the goal of acquiring a “civilizational identity” beyond our national borders is very directly linked with the perception there of the Russian state. In the process of achieving the objectives of the new concept, those directly involved could end up hostages of those who are responsible for the lack of a understandable domestic development strategy for Russia.”

Nikita Maslennikov. The New and Old Middle Classes of the Global Economy

On the results and prospects of multidirectional processes in the development of the middle classes in developed and developing countries. “The condition of the middle classes of various parts of pax economica has already become a critically important feature of the social dimension of globalization. It would be logical to expect that this reality will in the very near future find a place in the agenda for global governance. As a part of the Russian presidency of the G20 for the first time in the history of the group there will be a joint meeting of finance and labor ministers of the member countries. But this is just the beginning. The difficult lot of the new and old middle classes in the global economy, determined in part by their growing competition, deserves its own place among the priorities of international cooperation at all levels and from all angles.”

Igor Yurgens. Seminar at the Center for the National Interest

Participants of the seminar in Washington DC hosted by the Center for the National Interest (February 26, 2013) discusses prospects for US-Russia relations in the near future in light of events of recent months. In the remarks it was noted that “in Russian-American relations were witnessing a serious cooling. The impressive successes of the Obama-Medvedev “reset” following the transfer of power in Russia, which was not warmly welcomed in the West, have been replaced by a drawn out pause, complicated by the Magnitsky List and Dima Yakolev Law, as well as tensions over missile defense and the Syrian crisis. At the same time, all without exception noted that the number and quality of the problems where Russia and the US have shared interest and that can be resolved much more effectively in cooperation and coordination indicate that our partnership is rationally inevitable.”

Sergey Kulik. The G20 and Climate Change

Growing public skepticism and the issue of financial support for poor countries in their efforts to deal with environmental challenges are beginning to have an ever greater impact on the policies of leading countries with regard to climate change. But “even with all the problems and low level of engagement of the international community the issue of climate change will with increasing force push itself toward the top of the agenda of international mechanism.” The G20 could make certain contribution to resolving differences and mobilizing ‘climate financing’.