On September 16th, 2016 the MGIMO-University hosted an international conference on “Long-term forecasting of international relations in the interests of Russia’s national security”, which was conducted by the Center for Military-Political Studies of MGIMO-University, with the support of the Russian military-space defense holding “Almaz-Antey”. At the conference a report was given by the director of the Center for Eurasian Studies (CES) Jurij Kofner.
The conference was attended by a wide range of lheads and representatives of Russian and foreign institutions, such as the Presidential Administration, the Federation Council, the State Duma, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Economic Development, the CSTO, the Eurasian Economic Commission, Rosoboronexport, defense enterprises of Russia and embassies of foreign states and international organizations.
Jurij Kofner, director of Center for Eurasian Studies gave a report on “The geopolitical threats to Greater Europe in the medium run and the possibilities for countering them”. The young scientist named three main geopolitical threats to the creation of a continental block from Lisbon to Vladivostok: 1. The progression of NATO offensive materiel to the East; 2. The encirclement of the EAEU from the West and from the South by free trade zones with the EU (Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia); 3. The danger of a new bi-polar world system, where the main actors would be the US and China, with their “junior partners” – the EU under the US lead TTIP, and the EAEU under the Chinese lead SCO / Silk Road Economic Belt, respectively.
However, unlike his colleagues from the Valdai Club or the Russian Foreign Affairs Council, Mr. Kofner does not consider the implementation of a “Greater Europe”, i.e. a continental alliance between Europe and the Eurasian Economic Union, impossible in the medium run (by 2025), pointing to the increasing pro-Russian conservative shift in Germany and France. In response to the above mentioned threats the head of the Continental Center proposed to develop counter policies in three strategic areas: 1. Build Russia’s foreign policy and that of the EAEU member states on the basis of the concepts of “continentalism” and the “integration matryoshka” (Russia – EAEU – Greater Eurasia); 2. Significantly increase the budget for conducting Russian foreign policy through soft power and public diplomacy, including the adoption of a “Soft Power Doctrine of the Russian Federation”; 3. Accelerate the economic development of Siberia and the Russian Far East by 2025 for the survivability of Russia’s military and economic infrastructure in the event of an attack by NATO forces from the West.