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  • Affiliation : Director General, Russian International Affairs Council
  • Affiliation : President, Institute for Middle East Studies
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International Security Index iSi decreased to 2816 points. Kortunov, Satanovsky comment events of the week

15.07.2014

MOSCOW, JULY 15, 2014. PIR PRESS “Another important trend that should be taken into account when talking about Eurasian integration is the inevitability of power transition and the rise of a new generation of leaders in countries that participate in the integration processes in the post-Soviet space. It is difficult to predict how smoothly and painlessly this period of transition will pass. This is a serious issue to overcome”, – Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council, Andrey Kortunov.

The new weekly International Security Index iSi was published in Kommersant (in Russian).

During the week of July 7 - 14, 2014, the International Security Index iSi decreased to 2816 points. Israel launched a ground operation in the Gaza Strip in response to the massive rocket fire against the Israeli cities. The UN Security Council called the parties to negotiate the ceasefire. In Iraq, the army continued fighting with the Islamists; authorities accused the Kurds of supporting insurgents and taking over the oil deposits. In Egypt, clashes of security forces with supporters of the Islamists erupted. In Vienna, continued negotiations between Teheran and P5+1 on the comprehensive agreement to solve the Iranian nuclear issue. North Korea launched short-range missiles toward the Sea of Japan. In Myanmar, there had been sectarian clashes. In eastern Ukraine took place fighting between the army and militias. The EU imposed sanctions against the leadership of unrecognized Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. On the border of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan there occurred a skirmish between the border guards.

Comments on the week's events by members of the International Expert Group of the PIR Center

Andrey Kortunov, Director General, Russian Council for Foreign Affairs – by phone from Moscow: The dramatic events in the Ukraine did not influence the plans of signing documents on the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union between Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. The work on strengthening integration processes in the post-Soviet space continued. This shows the stability of the system, which is being created today. From the beginning it faces mounting difficulties, but so far it managed to pass the test. Further development of the Union will depend on many factors, both political and economic.

Another important trend that should be taken into account when talking about Eurasian integration is the inevitability of power transition and the rise of a new generation of leaders in countries that participate in the integration processes in the post-Soviet space. It is difficult to predict how smoothly and painlessly this period of transition will pass. This is a serious issue to overcome.

The most pressing task for Russia today is to find new economic development strategy, which would replace the existing one. If such a model is found, it will be a significant stimulus for further positive development of integration processes in Eurasia.

The third test that the Eurasian integration will have to take is the possibility of alternative development scenarios. In particular, from my point of view, Belarus can be more actively involved in all of the integration projects. However this scenario can create additional risks for integration in Eurasia.

Evgeny Satanovsky (Russia), President of the Institute of Middle East Studies – by phone from Moscow: The level of security in the world is rapidly declining. Disintegration of Iraq, which is falling apart under the blows of the Sunni alliance of neo-Baathists, local tribes and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, is among the most negative events of the period. Country will de facto break up into Kurdistan and a number of Sunni and Shiite enclaves. Some of them will be controlled by Islamists.

Major foreign players which tend to protect its borders will have to compete on the territory of Iraq. First of all we are talking about Iran and Saudi Arabia with particular the role of Qatar. There is no reason to believe that the ways out of conflict will be found. There are no such ways. The situation will develop in its natural way until a new balance of power is created in Mesopotamia.

Among the positive events of the period it is worth to note some improvements of the situation in Darfur and Libya, as well as reduction of intensity of Syrian civil war as extremists groups move to Iraq.

In the neighboring regions of the Middle East, particularly in South Asia, the situation is also unstable. Presidential elections in Afghanistan had no positive effect on the regional security system. Rather, they are splitting the Afghan society even further. After the departure of American troops, the Taliban will take control over Pashtun areas, and Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras will retain their territory. Drug production in the country will not fall, the terrorist threat to neighboring countries will also increase.

In early autumn of 2014 the state of security in the world will continue to deteriorate. Autumn period in the Middle East generally is followed by intensification of hostilities on all fronts. The main front in the region will remain an Iraqi. The threat of a large Shiite-Sunni war will dramatically increase.

For all the questions concerning the International Security Index please contact Galiya Ibragimova by e-mail ibragimova at pircenter.org

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