22:12 GMT +3 hours29 May 2016
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Russian President Vladimir Putin at the 43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy held at the Bayerischer Hof Hotel. File photo

Solid & Active: How Russian Policy Has Changed Since Putin’s Munich Speech

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Since President Putin’s famous speech at the Munich Security Conference in 2007, Russia has become far more assertive with regards to its foreign policy, forcing Washington to take heed of Russia’s opinion much more often, several political analysts told RIA Novosti.

The 52d Munich Security Conference is currently underway in the capital of the German state of Bavaria. Let’s have a look at the major developments that have been made in Russian foreign policy since President Putin's famous speech nine years ago.

Putin’s 2007 address not only outlined the basic concepts that underpin Russia’s foreign policy, but its security policy as well, Russian political analysts told RIA Novosti.

The major difference between its current policy and its previous course of action is that it has become a lot more assertive in the international arena, according to Dr. Dmitri Trenin, Director of the Carnegie Moscow Center.

“For seven years, let’s say, from 2007 to 2014, Russia clearly moved from words to deeds,” he told RIA Novost,

“We are currently at an absolutely new stage, which is a very interesting but at same time a very dangerous phase,” he added.

Away From Unipolar World

Back in 2007, the Russian President stated that the United States sought to construct a unipolar world, in which the US intended to become a superpower standing above everyone else, i.e. to become a single center of authority and power.

“The unipolar world that had been proposed after the Cold War did not take place,” the Russian leader said in 2007. “However, one might embellish this term, in the end it refers to one type of situation, namely one center of authority, one center of force, one center of decision-making. It is a world in which there is one master, one sovereign. And in the end this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within. Moreover, this certainly has nothing in common with democracy. Because, as you know, democracy is the power of the majority in light of the interests and opinions of the minority.”

For the past years, the analysts say, it has become only too clear that the unipolar world, if it ever existed, has ceased to exist.

“It is a problem of the past. I think that the unipolar world did exist but it became obsolete due to some objective reasons,” says another expert, Sergei Oznobishchev, Director of the Institute for Strategic Assessments.

The expert added that the first evidence of the above emerged far before Putin’s Munich speech, in 2003, when the US operation in Iraq demonstrated the country's inability to solve global problems on its own.

“The phenomenon of a unipolar world had surely existed but it has vanished due to certain existing restrictions. These restrictions are forcing Washington into cooperation with Moscow, as well as Moscow – into cooperation with Washington.  No matter how hard we try, we are unable to deal with the global challenges and existing threats on our own,” he added.

Taking Heed of Russia’s Opinion

Regardless of his criticism of the US back in 2007, President Putin had no intention of breaking up with Washington.

“In fact, he opened a serious conversation with the US back then, and suggested a serious reconstruction of the relations between Russia and the West,” noted Dr. Trenin.

“However, no reconstruction followed, even though there was a well-known attempt to “reset” Russia-US relations and there was a partnership in the sphere of modernization. However, each of the two failed to achieve any serious strategic purposes,” he added.

As a result, the expert added, Russia has recently moved from criticizing the unipolar world to acting in the context of a multi-polar one.

“It's a fight, in a full sense, against the global dominance of the US. It will go on for a while. We have entered an epoch of confrontation between Moscow and Washington, an epoch of estrangement.”

However, Russia is not confronting Washington for ideological reasons, thinks Vladimir Batyuk, the head of the Military-Political Research Center at the Institute of USA and Canada Studies.

“The world where the US unilaterally dominate does not comply with Russia’s national interests, that is why Russia is confronting such a mode. Apparently, it is serious and longstanding,” he said.

The expert is convinced that such a stance has already produced certain results: Washington has been forced to take heed of Russia’s opinion much more often.

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unipolar world order, address, foreign policy, speech, Munich Security Conference, Vladimir Putin, Germany, United States, Russia, Munich
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  • choticastile
    Dr. Trenin: "...however each of the two failed to achieve any serious strategic purposes.”

    While he is correct, it is not for want of trying on Russia's part to achieve not only a reset, but the development of a lasting relationship which would finally become one of trust on both sides. However, Putin's common sense approach remains ignored by the moguls in Washington, whom it is clear remain deaf to any form or shape of Russia's and that of the critical thinking World's, common sense!

    And we all know why -- because common sense, means cooperation with Russia and the world as a whole which would bring instant death to US' ambition of full spectrum global dominance -- of lording it over all on the planet.

    So what is Russia and the rest of the world to do? -- Especially Russia, singled out as the #1 threat to the US, had to turn words into actions -- as the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words --- and US it is, who is already feeling the pain delivered on it due to its refusal to embrace the realities of a changing world, a world which will continue, with or without Washington. Period.
  • Mother Gorilla
    As the article explains, Russia has been willing to work with the US in this new multi-polar world for a long time. This was clear even before 2007 already at the St. Petersburg G-8 in 2006 which President Putin generously organised and where everybody seemed to accept Russia's position. Obama is at fault for letting the relationship go down, by ignoring Russia's legitimate concerns in the Caucasus, Ukraine, the Middle East, and Asia. The problem is that the other BRICs countries and those in the Shanghai group, let alone the old CIS states have problems of their own and are being invaded daily by American and other Western companies, banks, politics and way of life. The situation is now very similar to the 1930s and right now it looks like the US will be violating the multi-polar structure regardless of who the next president is going to be. As was said before on these Sputnik pages by many of us but bears repeating, we friends of Russia all around the world are all grateful for President's Putin and chairman Medvedev's truths and leadership in these dangerous times.
  • terryjohnodgersin reply tochoticastile(Show commentHide comment)
    choticastile, Imagine what the world would now be like without Russian intervention in Syria. Washington has been stopped in its tracks and is scratching its head as to what to do next on its road to world conquest.

    All I can say is; Thank God for the Russians!
  • terryjohnodgersin reply toMother Gorilla(Show commentHide comment)
    Mother Gorilla, if Trump is elected President then I believe the whole world situation, and a precarious one at that, will completely disappear overnight.

    Trump is well aware of the power games in play and he is prepared for open dialog with Putin as he knows what the West, more particularly the US, has done to undermine the whole world.
  • jj42
    Whether true or not the Book of Revelation paints a great picture of the beast the USA and its destruction, bring it on if true.
  • choticastilein reply toterryjohnodgers(Show commentHide comment)
    terryjohnodgers, Encore! Yet look at the flack the Empire of Chaos is showering on them -- bitter that they and their bankster gangster bosses have been thwarted by one honest man -- a true global statesman through and through.
  • Mother Gorillain reply toterryjohnodgers(Show commentHide comment)
    terryjohnodgers, great, and if Hillary or Sanders make it? Any predictions?
  • terryjohnodgersin reply toMother Gorilla(Show commentHide comment)
    Mother Gorilla, Trump, if he looks like taking the Presidency may never get to actually become POTUS - it comes down to how the situation is faring for the globalists at the time of the election. If the West find it within itself to reject the globalists, and I mean through mass rallies in every Western city that will in turn tell the politicians to back off, then Trump may take his place in the WH, otherwise, Obama has already signed into 'law' a global martial law plan - do you think he did this for himself or for the next president who is likely to veto that executive order?

    Too, If Russia cannot bring the Syrian war to a finale, and quickly now because forces are now preparing for invasion - then the Globalists will push their agenda into Syria and beyond, Trump will never be president and the West will fall into Armageddon.
  • Marc Nonnenkamp
    Vladimir Putin is a true statesman, unlike the so-called "leaders" in much of the western world.
  • michaelin reply toterryjohnodgers(Show commentHide comment)
    terryjohnodgers, and all of this on St.Valentine's Day! :)

    On a serious note as has been written before, this year is going to be an interesting one.
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