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Russian Official Lauds the Demise of U.S. Hegemony

Published: July 3, 2014 (Issue # 1818)



  • Russia's annexation of Crimea in March was broadly hailed as a victory within Russian society.
    Photo: Tinou Bao / Flickr

A top Russian official on Wednesday welcomed the demise of the U.S. hegemony and the emergence of a new post-Cold War world order, two end-goals that experts agree have guided many of President Vladimir Putin's recent foreign policy moves.

"The hegemony of the U.S. on the world stage has come to an end," said Yevgeny Lukyanov, deputy head of the Russian Security Council, in a strongly worded interview with RIA Novosti, a state-owned news outlet that has been recently revamped into a pro-Kremlin global news agency.

"We need to sit down and agree [on a new post-Cold War world order]. There must be a global congress that includes all key players," he said.

Lukyanov rehashed Putin's notion of Russia's re-emergence as a key player on the world stage after years of post-Soviet poverty, political turmoil and weakened international influence, and the demise of the U.S.-dominated international system. Despite his aspirations to mold a new world order, Putin has never bluntly called on Western leaders to revise the international system by taking new emerging powers into account.

Through its annexation of Crimea and its ongoing involvement in the Ukraine crisis, Russia has demonstrated a willingness to preserve its influence in the country. The conflict in Ukraine has been described by some political pundits as the Kremlin's tacit invitation to the West to renegotiate the rules in a geopolitical game where Moscow's interests would feature centrally.

In addition to criticizing what Russia sees as NATO's attempts to expand eastwards and Western double standards in foreign policy, Lukyanov drew inspiration from Putin, who told Russian ambassadors on Tuesday that foreign relations should be built on the basis of "equality, mutual respect and concern for mutual interests."

"It is clear that we are not liked in some countries, that we are envied," Lukyanov said. "But we do not demand love. We insist on the need to comply with international law, the sovereign rights of states and noninterference in their internal affairs."

The Kremlin's desire to forge a multipolar international order where the views of Moscow, Brasilia, New Delhi, Beijing and Pretoria would carry as much weight as Washington's is tied to its willingness to de-escalate global tensions for the sake of its own development, according to pro-Kremlin political analyst Sergei Markov.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russia’s best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russia’s most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkin’s, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontov’s short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library System’s website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Club’s weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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