Questo numero 19 (2021) dei Quaderni di Scienze Politiche
è interamente dedicato alla Russia, prendendo lo spunto dal
trentesimo anniversario della dissoluzione dell’Unione delle
Repubbliche Socialiste Sovietiche. Ad esso contribuiscono studiosi, italiani e russi, di consolidata reputazione accademica, ma anche giovani validi ricercatori.
Abstract – After the end of the Cold War, the situation of the Russian Federation resembled Germany’s one in 1919: a new “Versailles” – constrained Russia. Four characteristics specific to Germany in the first post-war period recur in the Russian Federation in the Nineties: territorial mutilation and new minorities; inflation and social transformations; the soldiers and the defeat; assurances on peace conditions. The similarities are also clear comparing the German disappointment concerning the neglected expectations of a peace agreement in line with Wilson’s fourteen points after the First World War and the similar Russian disappointment in the face of the collapse of the “axis” agreed between Bush and Gorbachev in Helsinki on the eve of Germany reunification.
Abstract – Lo scopo di questo saggio è delineare i periodi principali della storia relativamente recente della politica estera russa nel suo periodo post-sovietico: dalla disintegrazione dell’URSS all’attuale periodo della Guerra Fredda 2.0, nonché il deterioramento in corso delle relazioni della Russia con l’Unione Europea, che è il più importante partner economico e di civiltà. Ciò viene fatto con l’intenzione di aumentare la comprensione razionale delle iniziative e delle azioni della politica estera di Mosca nelle sfere della sicurezza internazionale e dell’economia politica, che spesso mancano nella copertura mediatica e nel discorso politico europeo. Nonostante il fatto che negli ultimi 20 anni la Federazione Russa abbia aumentato il volume degli scambi e delle operazioni di investimento con i Paesi asiatici, principalmente con la Repubblica popolare cinese, l’Unione Europea rimane la destinazione più importante per le esportazioni russe di risorse minerarie e la principale fonte di investimenti esteri diretti e crediti commerciali a breve termine.
Abstract – The troubled post-soviet historical trajectory of the Russian Federation in the last three decades has been marked by a series of geopolitical dynamics in the wake of the relations with the West. In such dynamics, phases of détente have often alternated with more frequent phases of instability, especially with the United States and with certain countries of the former area of Russian imperial influence. The Ukrainian crisis has accelerated a reorientation of Moscow towards Beijing, Russia’s powerful and fearsome eastern neighbor. A strengthened Sino-Russian partnership, in place well before Euromajdan, has increased exponentially in recent years, arousing fears and worries in Western chancelleries, as the latest Geneva Summit between Biden and Putin also proved. With regards to Russia’s current geopolitics, and Russia’s attitude towards the West and China, the meaningful influence of former prime minister Evgenij Primakov is analyzed as well. Ultimately, two basic questions arise at this point of this strategic reflection: the first concerns the historical and geopolitical nature of the Russian state itself: which face of the Eurasian double-headed eagle will prevail in the medium-long term, the one looking westwards or eastwards? The second question instead makes us wonder whether in the great changes currently underway in the international system, there is still room for a real, lasting rapprochement between Europe, the United States, NATO, and the Russian Federation.
Abstract – After the collapse of the Soviet Union, hopes for a future devoid of constant competition between great powers have gradually faded. In particular, the deterioration of the relations between the Russian Federation and the United States is one of the main reasons for the «return of geopolitics»1. In the United States the role of Congress, even if not well investigated, has often been pivotal to shape the foreign policy of the country toward Moscow. This paper examines the U.S. Congress’s approach toward the Russian Federation during the past thirty years and, specifically, the evolution from the cautious but optimistic attitude in the Nineties to the open hostility after the Russian occupation of Crimea. Noticeably, in the past five years – also due to the election of Donald Trump as U.S. President – the role of the Congress has been preeminent in the elaboration of Washington’s response to Russian assertiveness; however, the election of Joe Biden could restore the previous balance between the White House and the Congress, bringing back to the former the leadership for what concerns the relations between the Russian Federation and the United States.
Abstract – Since the 19th century, Russian-Armenian relations have been intense and on the whole positive, thanks to a real, though not complete, coincidence of interests. It was precisely the Russian conquest of the north-eastern territories of ancient Armenia that made it possible not only for part of the Armenian people to survive the genocide carried out by the ‘Young Turks’ in 1915, but also to preserve a small territorial presence, thus establishing an independent state. At the same time, it should be noted that these relations were highly unequal due to Armenia’s obvious weakness vis-à-vis Russia. Such an asymmetry endured even after the dissolution of the USSR, at a time when the Republic of Armenia continues to heavily depend upon Moscow not only economically, but also for its own security. Armenia’s recent defeat with Azerbaijan further underlined this state of things, which looks set to continue in the coming years.
Abstract – La storia della Russia è alquanto bizzarra, come lo è la storia della maggior parte dei Paesi, del resto. Ma la domanda su come e perché l’impero sovietico abbia iniziato a evolversi in una Russia indipendente e democratica, anche se la gente di questo Paese non aveva alcuna esperienza di vita libera e democratica prima del crollo dell’Unione Sovietica, è una delle domande più interessanti nella storia recente della Russia. Sembra che la civiltà urbana russa e, di conseguenza, l’emergere di nuovi tipi di società civile sia stata una delle pietre miliari sulla via di questa transizione.
Abstract – The Savoyard Count Joseph de Maistre is famous as the greatest thinker of the counter-revolutionary school. From 1803 to 1817 he also had a diplomatic experience as Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Sardinia to the Russian Empire. The bicentennial anniversary of his death offers the occasion to sketch his mission to Russia, which took place in extremely adverse material and political conditions. Thanks to his powerful intellect and his esprit, he became a dominant personality in the high society of Saint Petersburg, an adviser of Czar Alexander I, a point of reference for the Catholics in the Russian Empire and the mentor of anti- revolutionary Europe. However, his own government, the Sardinian one, was unable to fully appreciate de Maistre’s greatness.