Analytical Bulletin, No.3 (34), March 2015

April 2, 2015

The Institute of Contemporary Development has published its most recent analytical bulletin. The main topics of this issue are:  Russia’s image abroad, cooperation between Russia and Latvia, the perspectives of the Asian economy, Chinese investment activities in the European Union.

The annotation of Analytical Bulletin No.3 (34) can be found bellow. The full text of the bulletin in Russian can be found here.

Issue 3 (34)

In this issue:

Igor Yurgens. Cooperation between Russia and Latvia: Current Challenges and  Inveterate Problems.
Latvia is a part of the West and a member of the European Union. Thus, Russia’s cooperation with this country can not be developed only on bilateral basis.  Our relations to a great degree depend on Russia’s dialogue with the European Union. Also, new, even positive political changes do not guarantee a return to previous levels of trade and investments until Russia manages it’s economic crisis and implements structural reforms.

Sergey Kulik. Russia’s Image Abroad: To a New Statement of a Partially Forgotten Theme
Moscow’s activities to improve image of Russia as a country have obviously slipped to the periphery of the official agenda. The latter has been and would be rather focused on positive image of the State and the Russian leadership. Also due to the current and possibly continuing information warfare another emphasis in addressing outside public  is made on a thesis of Russia’s positive contribution to the world stability, in contrast with some other key players allegedly undermining this stability. These changes have thrown a light on several weaknesses for effective soft power efforts. Among those required for a positive image of a country are obvious shortages in involving independent NGOs and a lack of a clear model for internal development to be presented to public outside Russian borders.

Nikita Maslennikov. Asian Growth: Prospects and Risks
In 2015 the Russian share in global GDP is expected to decrease to 1,5% from 2,8% in 2013. This stems from a lower growth dynamics than the global trends in addition to further economic slow down due to the structural economic problems and exhausting current development model. Thus, the announced “Turn to the East”, i.e. to Asia - Pacific, should be  assessed beyond simplified categories of  opening up new geoeconomic space for Russia. In making this wider step to the East Russia is on the verge of meeting new and comprehensive challenges for finding it’s place in the world economy. These challenges exceed the boundaries of the resource economy model.
Sergey Kulik. Chinese Investment Activities in the EU
One of the challenges for Moscow’s stated “strategic investment partnership” with China  stems from the dynamics of Peking’s cooperation with other key players and the increased interest of the latter in expanding negotiations’ lists and finding new compromises with China. The EU’s actions and plans are of a particular concern for Moscow due to high stakes on Chinese investments to Russia and it’s traditional close economic ties with Europe.