The Return of Diplomacy?
Global Russia as a Synonym for ‘Balance’

History shows that during times when Russia's vital interests are affected, its people are ready to maintain confrontation for as long as necessary. The confrontation with the West around Ukraine is such a situation. At the same time, unlike other major threats that our country has faced in past eras, the current crisis is not the largest. In the current conflict, Russia is pursuing its policy without an excessive overexertion of forces: progressive economic growth is maintained, the military budget does not dominate over spending on civilian needs, and the development of healthcare, education, infrastructure and other areas of life continues. Therefore, on the current scale, Russia can maintain the military conflict with the West for as long as necessary to achieve its goals.

Russia's global mission is its prosperity - it has no other ideal than to achieve a fair place in the international order and a high standard of living for its citizens. If we analyse what Russia symbolizes for the world today, I would use the word “balance.” Russia, through its example and its firm position in defending its own interests, is resisting the pressure of the Western coalition of 50+ countries that the United States put together to support Ukraine. Russia's active line of interaction with the countries of the world majority, building new partnerships in the South, East, and Latin America indicates that Russia stands for the construction of a new, balanced international system with realism and the understanding, where the hegemony of one country is impossible, and only a search for a new balance in the international system can return it to a stable state.
Modern Diplomacy
The Crumbling of the World Order and a Vision of Multipolarity: The Position of Russia and the West
Andrey Sushentsov
The United States perceives peace, security, and stability as a given that happens on its own. According to Washington, no significant efforts are required to maintain it, and when there is a need, the United States itself initiates a military conflict. This is a big difference between the US and Russia: Russia understands that in order to save the world from catastrophe, the major powers must reach a consensus and maintain order in their regions, writes Valdai Club Programme Director Andrey Sushentsov.

The balance will consist of participation in determining the nature of this system of states with the potential for power and economic influence. Of course, Russia is one of these countries - it was the underestimation of its interests and legitimate demands that led to the current crisis. The United States cannot yet back away from the line of unilateral dominance in the international order; it is trying feverishly to form coalitions “on occasion” against the interests of Russia, China and other large countries, but it is succeeding less and less successfully.
Thanks to Russian actions, an increasing number of countries are coming to the conclusion that a new global balance is needed in which the interests of all states will be respected.

This idea is fully shared by the Russian leadership and the Russian people. Russia has no expansionist plans: it wants to prosper, develop, and reach a new level of technological development. Therefore, our country pursues the constructive goals it creates.

Russia is an important part of European civilization: we share Christian roots, we came from a single baptismal font. Through Byzantium, Russia adopted Eastern Christian teaching, writing, and many phenomena of its culture, and has itself made a major contribution to European civilisation with its science, art, artistic heritage, music and other fruits of its life. Nevertheless, Russia is constantly faced with the fact that the West perceives it as alien, “other,” projecting onto it, as psychologists from the school of Carl Jung would say, its own shadow, its own shortcomings, which the subject denies and takes out on others. If you read the modern Western media, you get the impression that Russia is a collective image of everything bad that exists in the world. Of course, this is a caricature that has nothing to do with reality.

Russia is developing its own branch of European civilization and is asking the question of what role the fundamental values that accompanied the founding of this civilization play. What place do family, God and faith occupy in a person’s life? What place in the life of society does love for the Motherland, respect for work, order and freedom occupy? What role do issues of collective security play, and what are its conditions? Russia has been forced to answer these applied questions in recent decades, since the end of the Cold War. At first, having rather uncritically accepted the package of values that the West offered, Russia soon became convinced that many of its components were already outdated and did not work. Now Russia is developing its own vision of what European civilization is, where the rights of all people and nations are respected, where the principle of humanism dominates and conditions for development are created. We see that this Russian image of the eastern branch of European civilization is beginning to resonate in many Western countries. 

The geopolitical crisis greatly shook up the Russian state system, but at the same time confirmed the strength of its foundations and created the conditions for the transition to a long-standing strategic goal of strengthening production within the country, including those items that were historically imported. Now the sanctions war on the part of the West is opening up a huge domestic market in Russia and giving impetus to the development of domestic microelectronics as well as medium and heavy industry. The military-industrial complex, a historically strong side of the Russian economy, is receiving a significant boost; construction, transport, energy, and especially Russian exports of food, fertilizer, and technology related to agricultural production are developing at a rapid pace. Russian medicine, patents, and major achievements in the form of vaccines are also becoming one of the important items which Russia exports.
In a strategic sense, all this should make Russia in a decade one of the top three advanced states in the world in terms of scientific, technological and economic development.

Some time ago, Russia overtook Germany in terms of GDP (PPP), and the goal was set to reach 4th place in the world in terms of this indicator, which, in my opinion, is an entirely achievable goal.

The Russian government has adapted to new international conditions, acting proactively, providing the Russian economy with convincing growth. For Russia, the crisis became a test of strength, which, according to external observers, including Western ones, the entire state system passed successfully. Russia’s preliminary assessments of the consequences of this crisis for the economy of our country were conservative, and despite this, the real situation constantly exceeds expectations. This is an extremely important conclusion about the strength of Russian statehood, and its ability to withstand such large-scale pressure, to independently determine the direction of scientific, technological, economic and infrastructural development, implementing large-scale strategic international projects.

The Russia of tomorrow is an advanced, prosperous, constantly improving state that shows the world a model of success and independent development. Russia will undoubtedly be the centre of gravity for many European states after the Ukrainian crisis is over. The Russian factor cannot be ignored, no matter how much the United States tries to convince its European allies of the need for this obstruction.
The Return of Diplomacy?
There’s No Hurry: The Long Confrontation Between Russia and the USA
Andrey Sushentsov
For the Americans, Russia is a key rival in determining the main question of the 21st century: will American hegemony continue, or will the world move to a more balanced, polycentric system? Few of us expected that in the course of resolving this major issue we would find ourselves in a military crisis so quickly; nevertheless, the crisis accelerates the development of events, Valdai Club Programme Director Andrey Sushentsov writes.
Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.