The risk of Russia’s involvement in low-intensity military conflicts has been growing since the early 2000s. Instability along many stretches of the border has forced Moscow to increase its military presence in the neighboring areas.
If we imagine Russia-West relations of the past few decades in the form of a frontier as a flexible and wide border line, we will see that this frontier has moved away from the Russian border in the past decade. The acute stages of the crises in the Caucasus (2008) and Ukraine (2014-2015) have shown that security issues in the post-Soviet space cannot be settled without Russia’s involvement and its final say. The Syrian operation of Russia’s Aerospace Forces has shifted the Russia-West dispute over Russia’s international status to the Middle East. The Russia-West frontier at the opposite end of the Eurasian continent is uncertain: the nascent Russia-China rapprochement and the recent ties between Russia and Japan have shown that Moscow will play a new role in the balance of forces in Asia Pacific.
About the authors:
Nikolai Silaev, Senior Researcher, Center for Caucasian Studies at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
Andrey Sushentsov, Ph.D. in Political Science, Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club Foundation, Director of the Foreign Policy Analysis Group, Associate Professor at Department of Applied International Analysis of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.