Valdai Paper #63: Russia, China and ‘Balance of Dependence’ in Greater Eurasia


The success of a region-building project is largely contingent on constructing a ‘balance of dependence’. The Greater Europe initiative inevitably failed as the attempt to ingrate almost exclusively with Europe deprived Russia of the required bargaining power to negotiate adequate inclusion. Russia lack of alternate partners reduced the West’s incentives to harmonise interests by accommodating its large neighbour.

Instead, the West has been induced to devise a zero-sum format for ‘European integration’ that incrementally augments its collective bargaining power to marginalise Russian autonomy and influence. While Russia’s nascent Greater Eurasia initiative appears to be more ambitious in terms of scale, it is also more feasible due to the favourable balance of dependence. As a Eurasian power, Russia will be able to increase the dependence of others and concurrently reduce Russia’s own reliance on any one state or region.

About the author:

Glenn Diesen, PhD, Adjunct Research Fellow at Western Sydney University, Australia

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