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"Restraint instead of Assertiveness" – Report on Russia in a New Era of World

July 6, 2017

During a Lunch Talk @Academy, Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Russia in Global Affairs Fyodor Lukyanov and Alexei Miller, Professor at the European University in Sankt Petersburg, discussed the results of their report “Restraint instead of Assertiveness: Russia and a New Era in World Politics”. It is a continuing part of the preceding report “Detachment Instead of Confrontation: Post-European Russia in Search of Self-Sufficiency” which was published in 2016.

About 40 attendees from academia, civil society organizations, ministries and embassies joined the talk and lively discussion at the Berlin Representative Office. The Lunch Talk @Academy moderated by Sylke Tempel focused on the development of the political course of Russia, Europe and the United States. Lukyanov mentioned that the aim of the first report was “to address the totally unsatisfying situation between Russia and the West and to look at the things from a more independent angle”. When Lukyanov and Miller have encountered for the second report in 2017, “it was clear that a lot of findings of the last year’s report unfortunately came true”, Lukyanov noticed.

Both contributors underlined that global policy will no longer be the same as before due to the exhaustion of the previous political and economic model of international development. The world is on its way into new paradigm – Russia as well as the West existed in post-Cold War mode for the last 25 years, Russia feeling defeated and the West fallen into euphoria and self-admiration. Now it seems that the era of overpowering Western approaches after the collapse of the Soviet Union has come to an end and for the first time in years the perception of the future is vague. Miller stated that there is no reason to anticipate from Europe to pursue projects with Russia since it has been declared to be a source of problems and not a partner to solve problems with. “Russia should withdraw from any game of European politics”, Miller mentioned during his input. The country needs time and efforts to formulate a new model of development and a credible vision of the future.