Europäische Institut für Menschenrechte - Prof. Dr. Dr. Ümit Yazıcıoğlu -
      Europäische Institut für Menschenrechte - Prof. Dr. Dr. Ümit Yazıcıoğlu -

Russia's World Perspective in Valdai

Russia's World Perspective in Valdai



Prof. Dr. Ümit Yazıcıoğlu


1. Introduction:

In recent years, international politics has witnessed the reshaped strategic visions of major actors. Particularly, Russia, through President Vladimir Putin's speech at the Valdai International Discussion Club, has clearly outlined the global transformations and Russia's position in the face of these transformations. Putin's speech demonstrates that Russia is acting not merely as a regional actor but with a global vision. In this article, we will examine what this vision implies, the kind of world order it anticipates, and the potential impacts of this vision on international balances.


2. Reshaping Towards a Global Civilization

At the prestigious anniversary meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club, the views presented by the Russian President hold critical significance in the context of international relations and geopolitical transformation. On this platform, Vladimir Putin emerged not merely as a national leader but also as an actor representing a broad global vision. This perspective was addressed not just in the context of Russia's fate but also in integration with global transformations.


In his speech, focusing on the concept of civilization, Putin highlighted the heterogeneous nature and diversity of 'Russian Civilization'. He pointed out that Russian civilization, rather than being monolithic, has a dynamic structure with deep cultural and spiritual roots. This structure was presented as a global civilization model, promoting the harmonious coexistence of different ethnic and cultural groups.


The existence and interaction of civilizations are seen as a key element in understanding the dynamics on the global stage. Every civilization contributes to the global community with its unique values and principles of coexistence.


Putin's approach to the concept of the clash of civilizations emphasizes that such a clash is not inevitable but is actually based on political and ideological choices. This stance offers an alternative view to Huntington's clash of civilizations theory. According to Putin, the attitude of the West towards other civilizations is the primary cause of a potential clash.


From a historical perspective, the West's global hegemony was built upon the resources of other civilizations and cultures. However, Putin argues that these hegemonic structures are unsustainable, and the global order cannot revolve around a single center. This indicates that the Western notion of dominance is being questioned in the face of increasing global complexity and diversity.


Looking at the dynamics of modern international relations, one can observe that the West needs a perpetual "external enemy" image to maintain its internal integrity and continuity. Russian President Vladimir Putin criticizes this approach, emphasizing that such a strategy is not in line with the general acceptance of the global community. Essentially, this is a critique against the West's "rules-based order", suggesting that many countries are questioning this order and demanding change.


The changes and transformations in today's world reveal Russia's position on the international stage and the depth of its relations with the West. Relying on a historical perspective, Putin notes that the unipolar world the West tried to construct after the Cold War is shaken by Russia's growing international influence and will undergo change. How the West responds to these changing dynamics and how Russia's role in global balances is evaluated form a significant subject of analysis in this context.


In his recent speeches, Putin extensively discusses how Russia responds to changes in international relations and global balances and its role in these transformations. As he particularly emphasized in his speech in Valdai, he indicates that the world is not only shaped through regional balances but stands on a much broader, holistic, and universal perspective.


Additionally, by introducing the "six principles", Putin aims to provide a positive vision not only for Russia but also on a global scale for all nations. These principles, indicators of a multidimensional strategy, are presented as proposals with the capacity to shape a global future.


In the context of evolving dynamics and complex relations on the world stage, Russian President Vladimir Putin has introduced six unique principles aiming to lay the foundations for a new order from a global perspective. These principles have been formulated considering the challenges faced today and the potential transformations of the future.


3. Six Unique Principles Aiming to Lay the Foundations of a New Order

These six unique principles are:


Open Communication: Advocates for communication and interaction to occur free from any artificial barriers.


Universal Diversity: Emphasizes that beyond just preserving cultural, ethnic, and ideological diversity, it should form the basis for universal development.


Democratic Representation: Highlights the importance of maximum representation and collective decision-making mechanisms.

Universal Security: Points out the need to promote sustainable security and enduring peace that serves the interests of all states.


Justice and Access: Argues that equal access and justice should be the cornerstones of international relations.


Equality and Independence: Stresses the right of every nation and individual to act with equality and independence.


While presenting these principles, Putin made criticisms about the dominance policies that the West has historically applied and its strategies of subjugating other civilizations. According to him, the arrogance of the colonial era has ended, and the modern world order will no longer tolerate such an approach. In the early 21st century, Putin is suggesting to Western countries to establish a new world order based on mutual respect, cooperation, and understanding. This vision aims to create an environment without barriers, emphasizing the freedom of individuals to communicate, produce, and experience prosperity.


In a period where global political balances are rapidly changing, Russian President Vladimir Putin has presented six unique principles to the international community for the 21st century. Based on these principles, Putin is proposing a universal approach that aims for civilizations to coexist in peace.


Global communication should be conducted seamlessly and fluidly; in this context, the diversity of civilizations should be the fundamental stone of universal development. Countries should not impose their values and lifestyles on others; instead, they should work together to build a constant environment of peace and security that serves the interests of all states. Every individual and nation should have an equitable right to access the benefits of development, and restricting this access should be considered as unacceptable aggression. Historically, equality has always been recognized as an essential principle, and no individual or country wants to act dependent on another power for their interests. In this context, the cooperation model Russia presents on the international platform does not imply submission to an order imposed by the winners of the post-Cold War era.


4. The Arrogance Brought by Colonial Rule

Putin historically emphasizes that the arrogance brought about by colonial rule will have no place in the modern world order. He states, "That era is long gone and will never return." Putin's views align with the fundamental principles he expressed in his 2007 Munich speech. However, in the Valdai speech, Putin's approach to these principles has evolved to a more integrative and positive perspective. The message here is that the international community should adopt an approach based on coexistence and collaboration. In conclusion, Putin's speech showcases that Russia's foreign policy vision and its place in international relations are shaped through an approach serving the interests of the whole world. It is an offer to reshape the international community, which we hope will benefit the world society.


Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent speech at the Valdai Discussion Club is a clear reflection of how geopolitical trends are transforming in international politics. It is important to note that Moscow's strategic vision on the global stage deviates from traditionally known paradigms. Beyond the developments in Ukraine, Putin highlights, with a broader perspective, how global balances are shifting. Criticizing the West's hegemonic stance and its historical accumulation, he underscores Russia's efforts in the international arena for a more just and holistic world order.


The frictions within the anti-Russia coalition, led primarily by the West, especially the US, display the shift in global balances. The stance of the West on international issues emerges not merely as a temporary reaction but as the result of a historical and cultural accumulation. However, there are signs that these balances are changing. Countries in the G20 resisting the West's "rules-based order" concept, the expansion of BRICS, and diplomatic clashes in the UN General Assembly indicate the beginning of a new era on the international stage. Also, the West's sanction policies and actions against international law reveal their weaknesses and vulnerabilities in power balances. There are indications, especially that the US has selected China as the next target in global geopolitics.


Russia's stance during this period should be considered as a sign that the international community is developing a united response against the West's geopolitical actions. As Putin emphasizes, we are at the beginning of a new era in international relations, and this is merely the start of the process of reshaping global balances. In this process, we see Russia following a strategic route towards a broad geopolitical objective, beyond specific military operations. This represents a critical turning point for the future of global balances.


5. Summary

Russian President Vladimir Putin's speech at the Valdai International Discussion Club has shed detailed light on Russia's global geopolitical vision and strategic objectives. Centering around the concept of civilization, the discourse demonstrates Russia's positioning as a defender of diversity, equality, and a just order in the world. Criticizing the West's hegemonic approach, Putin emphasized the inevitability of a world order that serves the interests of all nations. Russia's vision holds the potential to shape the future of global balances and international relations.



October 6, 2023, Luxembourg




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