First Online session of Primakov Readings: Russia and Post-COVID World

The topic of the first online session of Primakov Readings is “Russia and the Post-COVID World”. Among the Speakers were: Academician RASAlexey Arbatov – Head of the Center for International Security, IMEMO RAS; Academician RAS Alexander Dynkin – President, IMEMO RAS; Fedor Lukyanov, editor-in-chief of the journal Russia in Global Affairs, chairman of the presidium of the non-governmental organization Council on Foreign and Defense Policy. The session was chaired by Mikhail Shvydkoy, Presidential Special Representative for International Cultural Cooperation.

All speakers were unanimous that today the bipolar disorder of the world system is becoming apparent. According to Academician Dynkin, “the Trump administration wants to return to its proposal that the strongest will survive in a world without rules”. The voice of China has emerged on the world stage, which clearly states the desire not only for economic, but also for military-political leadership. At the same time, as academician Dynkin notes, China understands that it has not yet created its “framework of technological dominance”, and therefore “is trying to come to an agreement and back off”. This gives way for structural asymmetry: “China seeks for compromises, while the United States wants to halt and slow down China’s growth, and not agree on anything. This asymmetry is a part of the post-COVID world order and, for sure, it is very dangerous.”

Academician Alexey Arbatov approached these questions from another angle. “A pandemic will pass sooner or later, but nuclear weapons will remain. And along with nuclear weapons, the threat of nuclear war will continue. And if this, God forbid, happens, what we are experiencing in connection with the coronavirus will seem like minor troubles”. He drew attention to the US withdrawal from the most important treaties and agreements related to disarmament issues. He emphasized the importance of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, calling it the most universal among all other disarmament treaties.

The second online session of Primakov Readings, will be held on Thursday, June 4, at 11:00 (GMT) at the Interfax news agency on the topic “China-USA: is there a threat of transformation of the emerging bipolarity into Cold War 2.0?”

Source: Interfax