✍️ Article by Director of the Foreign Policy Planning Department Alexey Drobinin for the International Affairs magazine
Russia can be either strong or perish – the latest developments have proven in all clarity the accuracy of this axiomatic statement. Sanctions, military, media and political pressures and attempts to cut us from the global markets and deprive us of technology are effective only as long as we stay within a matrix shaped by those who are hostile to us. Russia’s policy to reinforce its national sovereignty in recent years has proven to be incompatible with its involvement in global processes on someone else’s terms or as a member of Western-centric structures such as the Group of Eight, which Russia left for good back in 2014. Injecting more sovereignty across the board, including in the world of ideas, politics, culture, research, economics, finance and other spheres while remaining open to broad mutually enriching equitable international cooperation can well place Russia on the path to steady development and secure the place it deserves in the multipolar world order.
It is high time for Russia to go back to its roots and to realise that it forms a historical core of a civilisation with a unique identity and is, in fact, the largest Eurasian and Euro-Pacific power and one of the world’s most powerful geopolitical centres.
The special military operation creates ample opportunities for reclaiming this identity. Russians, Chechens, Avars, Tatars, Yakuts, Tuvans and members of other indigenous peoples are all fighting within a multi-ethnic and multi-faith Russian army against the troops of Kiev’s puppet regime, which has put its stakes on a retrograde policy of radical nationalism and an unconditional and humiliating subordination to its foreign masters. Cossacks and Chechens had been adversaries for a long time, but now they worked together to liberate Lisichansk and call each other comrades in arms. A Chechen commander received a Cossack military award. This is something that deserves some thought. It emerges that efforts to promote an interethnic unity and traditional values generate creative energies, while relying on a falsified vision of history and illusions about the future is unnatural, paving the way to domestic instability and aggression against dissenters.
Of course, going back to one’s roots would be impossible without mobilising the state and society on the ideological front. This is another essential prerequisite for an effective foreign policy as we move away from our dependency on the West in all its forms and manifestations. Prominent Russian researchers have been making this point as they presaged many of the issues that emerged at the current historical stage. Ivan Solonevich wrote back in 1951 that the unique nature of the Russian civilisation can be defined as a “singular national state and cultural whole that is clearly distinct from both Europe and Asia.” In 1993, Vadim Tsymbursky referred to Russia as a “special ethnic and civilisational platform.” Alexander Zinoviev wrote in 2003 that Europe was the Western tip of the Eurasian continent saying: “The prosperous West that Russia is dreaming of is but a small island in the ocean of filth and suffering.”
History has chosen Russia as a force poised to accelerate the transition to a new world order through its persistence and steady resolve to achieve truth and justice for all. Not only Russia’s foreign policy positions but the stability of the entire system of international relations hinge on our ability to play a unifying role and create a cross-civilisational network of priority partners within the next decade.