The Primakov Readings–2022. Highlights of the second day of the International Forum
«Russia is now refocusing the efforts in terms of its foreign policy and economic activity. We are not willing to feed into the delusions that have already proven to be unreliable, non-negotiable, and deceitful. The West, in turn, is only willing to partake in good faith in those globalization mechanisms that were created by it, and it would not abuse them as shamelessly. Perhaps, the American version of globalization has come to an end. Simultaneously, a new system, both financial and logistical, is emerging, and it shall not and will not be dependent on the whims and the sense of superiority of our former Western partners»
  • «Apparently, it is easier to see a threat to the US national security over the Atlantic Ocean in Iraq or Libya than it is to believe that Russia has the intellectual capacity to assess the reality. Let us decide for ourselves what security means to us and how we should co-exist with our neighbors»
  • «We have real partners — SCO, BRICS, the EEU, the CIS. Regardless of what you might read, the CSTO is an important mechanism that contributes greatly to ensuring security in a significant part of the post-Soviet space.
    We cannot afford to lose the natural advantages the countries of the Eurasian continent have. The benefits of integration are obvious to everyone. The Big Eurasian Partnership must be open to all the states, including the European ones»
  • «We witness the attempts to force our partners stray from the right track. The Americans are traveling the world preaching: «Russia has lost, we – not we, Ukraine, but we, the Americans, – are going to win. You should refuse secondary methods, and then we will reimburse the damage done by sanctions with interest». I know this first-hand.
    Apart from the merely grounded and cynical reason, a great number of states have a sense of dignity. While separate countries might succumb to temptation, it is their right to do so. But, in the mid term, this choice will be a looing game for their respective economic development and sovereignty»
Session 5 «Russia and Türkiye in Emerging World Order»
The intensification of the foreign policy of the Republic of Turkiye has become a notable phenomenon in contemporary international relations. With the transformation of the world order, Ankara is building complex regional balances and pursuing a multi-vector course, striving to improve its global status. The preservation of ties with traditional allies is combined with the development of new directions. Against the backdrop of strained relations between Russia and the collective West, Turkiye is the only NATO country that has not joined the anti-Russian sanctions and continues to deepen its multifaceted engagement with Moscow.

The driving force behind the Turkish-Russian cooperation is history and geography. Historically, we have been at war several times, but geography draws us closer together. These are the factors that lay the basis for communality of interests and provide respect for and understanding of one another.

Turkey and Russia will continue to be very important actors in the Middle East and Central Asia. Russia is a major Eurasian actor. But let us not forget that Russia has been a very important European power in the past and still has a very important influence in the region.

Turkey has an important role as a Facilitator. It has ensured a platform for Caucasus stability and cooperation in the past and will continue to do so.

Unal Cevikoz
Member of the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye from the People’s Republican Party, Member of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Policy and the Committee on Relations with EU

Irina Svistunova
Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Middle East Studies, IMEMO
The reason for Turkey adhering to its autonomous position results from its history. Not one of the countries who has imposed sanctions on Russia today has been at war with Russia as much as Turkey has. Hence, not one of them has an understanding of Russia like Turkey, that no issue can be resolved by applying pressure but only through communication and cooperation.

Neither Russia, nor Turkey is trying to impose their will, values, or development models on each other. That is why, there is no value conflict between the two countries like there is between Russia and Europe or between Turkey and Europe.

The events that have unfolded in 2022 have given a new impetus to the development of the Turkey-Russia relations and trade turnover.
Session 6 «Security in Eurasia: Problems and Prospects»
The year 2022 may be a watershed in the development of the contemporary system of international relations. We are witnessing a rapid change in the global policy agenda. The system of interdependence of key global actors that has developed over the past decades is being eroded, as is the dominance of a particular group of countries in world politics. Consequently, the world is once again becoming more 'anarchic' (in the Hobbesian sense) and less predictable. There is more and more room for uncertainty and risks that accompany the inexorable march of history. The question is how the crises unfolding in global politics are changing the dynamics of development in Eurasia and affecting the security of individual countries and the region as a whole.

Anvar Nasyrov
Director of the International Institute for Central Asia (Uzbekistan)
Central Asia in global forums is more and more often viewed as a consolidated region rather than as a set of separate states united by common history, tradition, and culture.

The region is becoming an important center of economic growth. The aggregate GDP of Central Asian countries has increased by 25% in the last 4 years. The trade turnover of just Uzbekistan itself with the neighboring countries has multiplied 2,5 times.

Pressing issues relating to international terrorism and extremism, organized crime, and drug trafficking faded into the background of global politics. So did the situation in Afghanistan.

During the SCO Summit in Samarkand, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev spoke about solidarity for the sake of common security and prosperity which should cover not only Central Asia and the CIS but the entire Eurasian continent.

Monopolarity was considered in several contexts: politically, it was a convenient endeavor to try and build a system of global governance; analytically, a monopolar world was viewed as a pinnacle of human social development.

Today, we can observe two conflict cycles emerging: the first one is a confrontation between the Western countries and Russia, while the second one is a battle for leadership which includes the economic rivalry between the US and China.

The significance of middle-range regional powers is also growing these days. Countries like Poland, Romania, and Turkey are gaining more and more weight in international affairs.

Eduard Solovyev
Head of the Centre for Post-Soviet Studies, IMEMO
Session 7 «The Changing Balance of Power in the Middle East»
Against the backdrop of a multipolar world and growing international tensions, the states of the Middle East are seeking to diversify their ties and expand dialogue and interaction with the leading players – Russia, China, and the states of South and Central Asia. In addition to bilateral relations, the presence of various Eurasian platforms, most notably the SCO, serves this purpose. There is an emerging demand for a more active role for Eurasian countries in securing the interests of Middle Eastern states. There are prospects for greater logistical/transport interconnectedness between the regions.

The Ukrainian Crisis affects the whole world. Since day one of the conflict, Iran has been expressing serious concerns about the growing tensions. Russia's lawful interests should be taken into account, while the roots of the conflict should be thoroughly studied.

There is no certainty about the US finally leaving the Persian Gulf. But one thing is certain: the countries of the region do not find it possible anymore to trust the USA with their national security. This creates a whole other environment in the region.

Today, Afghanistan poses a serious threat to its neighbors, and that threat is a product of the US military occupation that has lasted for the past 20 years. Creating an inclusive government in Afghanistan is what is truly necessary for ensuring peace and stability.

Muhammad Hassan Shaykh al-Islami
President of the Institute for Political and International Studies, Iran

Irina Zvyagelskaya
Head of the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies, IMEMO
Turkey's policy in Central Asia is multi-dimensional, but we see the Turkic factor prevailing. The Turkic states are not just an ethnic community. They claim to pursue joint policies in various areas. Especially, it is worth pointing out the joint military exercise the countries have conducted this year.

Iran had recognized the necessity of building extensive ties with the Central Asian countries based not only on the ethnic factor before any other Arab country did. The relations between Iran and Central Asian states have become very advanced with cooperation aiming at creating new infrastructure and logistics chains.

Middle Eastern countries are paying more attention to the SCO, which is capable of providing political stability for them and it has become more independent.