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In 2009, the United States of America wanted to “reset” its relationship with the Russian Federation, and in a symbolic gesture, the Secretary of State presented a “reset button” to the Minister of Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergei Lavrov. However, ‘Peregruzka’ does not mean reset, but rather, overload. We can see that there was an important mistake of translation from the White House in relation to the Kremlin.

In 2010, the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) was signed, which will be valid for 10 years. The maximum amount of warheads is 1 550, but in the future, we will sign similar treaties with other states such as China, Pakistan, … This treaty is more beneficial to the Russian Federation because the US has to reduce more in comparison with RU.

After the Ukraine and Crimea conflicts some of the main US-Russian bilateral agreements which had been built for decades were lost. These included: a) provision on the interrelationship between strategic offensive & strategic defensive arms, b) provision on the influence of ICBM (An intercontinental ballistic missile) and SLBM (A submarine-launched ballistic missile with conventional warheads on the strategic stability), c) provision on the deployment of strategic offensive armaments only on the national territories of each side and d) the US readiness to promote development of innovation in Russia

International relations are under provision of the US, but the Russian Federation wants to bring back a multi-polar system with India, China and other superpowers. We have to deal with many cultures and not spread only one and this is possible only through harmonising. Moreover, we also have to consider to which part of the World we can export democratic principles, and we have to accept that we cannot force democratisation in states with different kinds of regimes, as we have learned from what happened in Iraq.

The main problem of many states is that they see the Russian Federation in the same light as the Soviet Union.

In the Syrian civil war, Russia sought to weaken Daesh and try to limit its influence in Europe as well. The Russian Federation supports Syrian President al-Assad because they know that if the country does not have a strong leader then it will fall under control of a terrorist regime, which would be unacceptable. In addition, the main critical weakness of allies against terrorists in Syria is that states do not want to share their location; if they would do so, they could easily destroy Daesh.

By surveys: 57% of Americans believe that the situation between Russia and Ukraine is beyond US control while 37% of Americans believe that the war in Syria is a conflict in which the US can do something.

In this picture, we can see US missile defence systems spread over European lands. In history, the first time missile defence was deployed, was against threats from the south, but we have to ask ourselves who may be able to damage or pose a threat to Europe? We can start by talking about Iran, but Iran has already entered into negotiation with the USA.

Furthermore, there is a key NATO supply route to Afghanistan (see picture below). Russia granted permission for this to NATO. In addition, we can see other missiles across the world, including in Alaska, Greenland, Poland, Japan, Persian Gulf, Turkey, the UK and California.

These defence missiles are not able destroy any missiles from Russia; they would not work as a defence area against Russian missiles. The system is called ABM interception: the defence missiles can destroy missiles from Russia which are no faster than 5.5 km/sec, but Russian missiles are faster than 5.5 km/sec. We see that the missile defence locations are strategic defence locations. Moreover, the main threat is that these missiles will be upgraded and become more and more powerful.

The military approach derived from Otto von Bismarck considers potential and intention. It holds that if you do not have the capability to counterattack, then the intentions of different states will be more harmful. States like the US, China and Russia think in terms of this military approach. They fear each other in regard to possible missile attacks.

Public Diplomacy in the Russian perspective

Public Diplomacy can be divided into official diplomacy at the peak level, then public diplomacy and finally, citizen diplomacy. We also have five dimensions of nation-branding. Firstly, the economic dimension is an agency for strategic initiatives such as, for example, Skolkovo Moscow School of Management. Secondly, the scientific dimension, where Russia has enjoyed its greatest successes in winning many Nobel prizes. However, Russia still does not have enough campuses or better grounds for students and in this area, they have to develop further. Thirdly, the sport dimension, for example the Fifa World Cup will be held in Russia in 2018. Fourthly, the media dimension including RT, Tass, Russia Direct, Sputnik and many others … Finally, development cooperation as seem in the fact that Russia hosts more than one million refugees, and the cultural dimension.

,,Russia’s objective is not a positive image abroad”

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russian Federation Sergei Lavrov

Which challenges does Russia have in public diplomacy? To enhance their soft power and protect their common cultural heritage. At present, Russia has invested $150 billion in Ukraine’s Economy’; meanwhile the USA has invested $5 billion in think-tanks and sport centres in Ukraine – which do you think is better in terms of public diplomacy?


Discussion with Professor Oleg Ivanov (Professor of the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian MFA) about Russian Federation Foreign Policy and Anna Velikaya (employed by the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Foundation) concerning Public Diplomacy in a Russian perspective, held at Moscow, Russian Federation, provided by the Diplomatic Academy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia

-> Oleg Ivanov, „ Russian Foreign Policy“ (presentation/lecture during the certificate at Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russian Federation, 09 August 2016).

-> Anna Velikaya, „ Public Diplomacy as a Russian perspective“ (presentation/lecture during the certificate at Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russian Federation, 09 August 2016).