The 5th Youth Session of the Primakov Readings: Day One
On the crisis of the European Security Architecture and the new global challenges – Today, on June 28 the 5th Youth Session of the Primakov Readings on the topic “Global Security: Looking for Dialogue Opportunities” has officially opened in Moscow.
During the opening ceremony, the Executive Director of the Primakov Centre Victoria Karslieva has personally thanked the participants for the interest they have shown for the project.

"Us meeting within the framework of this event – it is only the beginning of our cooperation. We will continue our communication even outside the expert discussions to be held within the Youth Session and, following further research, we will present to you a brand new scientific project by the end of 2022. I am certain that the dialogue will be both fulfilling and equal" – added Victoria when addressing and welcoming the participants.

Over the years, the competition to partake in the Youth Session has only been growing, much like the quality of the research papers submitted by the Russian and foreign applicants, added Alexey Davydov, Cand.of Sciences (Politics), Research Fellow of the Center for North American Studies of the IMEMO, Deputy Chief of the Council of Young Scientists and Specialists of the IMEMO. On behalf of the Council, he also expressed readiness for further cooperation with all the participants of the project.

The first panel of the Youth Session was dedicated to the current European Security Architecture crisis. The Director of the IMEMO Feodor Voitolovsky has analyzed the history and logic of the European Security concepts’ development having pointed out the discretion of the term itself. The first understanding of European Security is based on the balance of powers concept defined by the Helsinki Accords after the Second World War that imply that the interests of all European countries be considered equally. The Atlantist understanding is non-inclusive and suggests that only the security of the countries united by the shared values, institutions, and approaches must be ensured.

The third understanding of the concept, according to the expert, lies within the search for a new balance of powers and interests in compliance with contemporary reality. That said, all the suggestions made by Russia in this regard were neglected by the West.

«For the Atlantist concept of European Security to exist, there should be an antagonist. It will help consolidate forces as well as encourage the NATO members to fulfill their obligations concerning the joint military budget. In this regard, Russia has proven to be a rather safe yet suitable opponent. But it was only until Russia decided to show them it can use military power to ensure both its own and regional security».
Feodor Voitolovsky, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Dr. of Sciences (Politics), Director of the IMEMO

The IMEMO Director has also underlined that today we are witnessing the process of establishing a new axis system and the rules of a new world order. «The parties to the ongoing rivalry use various measures to pressure the opponent; particularly they use economic instruments as means of enforcement. But once the risks become unacceptable for both sides, we will sit down and negotiate», – concluded Feodor Voitolovsky.

The Senior Researcher at the Center for International Security of the IMEMO Konstantin Bogdanov has suggested analyzing the current situation through the prism of understanding the patterns of actions in a crisis state:

"The crisis is different from your usual situation in that the solutions that had been planned in advance now begin to come into force. The arms systems created during the peacetime become a source for conflict dynamics. The politicians are being pressured by the force potentials and the opportunity of using them. Meanwhile, the military are pushing them in that direction."

The expert has outlined the specific threats that both the Global and Regional Security Architectures are facing now:

"First off, we have lost the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which makes it extremely difficult to deal with conventional arms. Second of all, the emergence of the American non-nuclear systems of intermediate range in Europe was merely hypothetical up until 2022. What are the chances they will emerge now? Third, the presence of the NATO military units and objects in Eastern Europe was minimal before 2014. Later on, some forces were introduced that did not however exceed the limits established by the Russia-NATO Founding Act. But now the total figure may as well be exceeded and that, in turn, will be reason enough for the Act dissolution."
Konstantin Bogdanov, Cand.of Sciences (Technology), Senior Researcher at the Center for International Security, IMEMO

The presentations by speakers were followed by an expert discussion on the topic «Technological Development and the New Global Challenges».

«What is popular now is the theory of importance of technology protection. But if we view technology as a factor of power, it gets significantly easier to believe that your future depends on having control over that particular technology. As a result, we get an increasing number of conflicts of technological nature that have already begun. The states and elites must understand that unilateral possession of some kind of technology will not do anyone any good». - that was how Ivan Danilin, Head of the Department of Science and Innovation of the IMEMO defined the global issue of technological development.

According to him, technology has always been viewed as a strategic state resource, in pursuit of which the politicians often forget to resolve imperative issues. "We live in an era when future comes to life, whereas the global elites have shaped a rather strange tendency: there is an evident substitution of the logic of development by the logic of “technologization”. That happens when you wait for a technology to appear and resolve a problem for you, much like a goldfish, instead of actually looking for a solution", – he added in conclusion.

Zaur Mamedyarov, Head of the Section of Science and Innovation of the IMEMO has highlighted three branches within the industry in accordance with their spending amounts on scientific and technological research.

"The most technological branches of the industry – microelectronics, IT , and biotech – spend approximately 20% of their income on science. The middle-ranking ones are the aerospace, defense industry, and, partially, car manufacturing. The older ones are farming and agriculture: here all the innovation is mainly concentrated in the hands of small companies rather than big corporations."

The speaker has also highlighted some aspects of technological companies development in the context of globalization.

"In spheres like IT, where the scale is of great importance, the processes of globalization are still ongoing – the corporate giants are fighting to collect data and continuously confronting the regulators. Amazon is becoming the leader of global digital advertising. In spheres with no technological filling the opposite is true – deglobalization. For instance, the manufacturing of a range of antibiotics stopped in the US after small Indian companies had ceased the component shipments. Such companies are called “hidden champions” – they are relatively small but the influence they have on the market is significant."
Zaur Mamedyarov, Cand.of Sciences (Economics), Head of the Section of Science and Innovation, IMEMO

We would like to remind you that the 5th Youth Session is held by the Primakov Center for International Cooperation along with the Council of Young Scientists and Specialists of the IMEMO and supported by the Russian Presidential Grants Foundation. Young scientists from Russia, FSU and beyond are taking part in the Youth Session. Following the discussions within the expert panels, the participants got the chance to present the results of their own research on the topics placed on the agenda. The business program is to continue tomorrow, June 29. Stay tuned.