Trouble-maker or peace-maker? Russia’s role in the Middle East and Asia
Speaker: Ian Bond
Date: Wednesday, 3 February 2016
Time: 6-7pm (Refreshments served from 5:30pm)
Venue: Weston Theatre, Level 1, Crawford Building #132, 1 Lennox Crossing, ANU
With its annexation of Crimea in 2014 Russia challenged the international order in Europe. Its military intervention in Syria has helped to relieve the internal and international pressure on President Bashar al-Assad and weakened the moderate Syrian opposition.
Yet in recent years it has also played a constructive role in the international community’s efforts to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons; it allowed NATO forces to transit its territory en route to Afghanistan; and it has worked with China, Japan, South Korea and the US to constrain North Korea’s nuclear threat.
In this public seminar, Ian Bond will consider the drivers behind these different faces of Russian foreign policy in the light of Russia’s new National Security Strategy. Is Russian policy in the Middle East and Asia truly strategic, or is it opportunistic? Does the new strategy reflect the real threats to Russia, or President Vladimir Putin’s Cold War mind-set?
Ian Bond has been Director of Foreign Policy at the Centre for European Reform, a think-tank in London, since 2013. Before that, he was a British diplomat for 28 years, focusing mainly on Russia and the former Soviet Union. He was posted in Moscow, Riga and Washington, and at the UK Delegations to NATO (Brussels) and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (Vienna). His publications for the CER include ‘The EU and Russia: Uncommon spaces’ and (with Christian Odendahl and Jennifer Rankin) ‘Frozen: The politics and economics of sanctions against Russia’.
The National Security College is a joint initiative of the Commonwealth Government and ANU.