"Especially for Europe and North America," the three authors state in the Joint Note that concludes this report to the Trilateral Commission, "the direction of Russia's external policies is probably the most important uncertainty in the evolution of international politics in the next decade." Russia faces the future burdened with a weighty inheritance from the past: its vast size delimited by no natural boundaries; its fear and suspicion of the outside world; its expansionist tendencies, which are not unrelated to that fear; and, most recently, its deep humiliation over its fall from superpower rank.
The authors agree that the Trilateral countries have not done enough since 1991 to "engage" post-Soviet Russia. They are optimistic about Russia's long-term future, and their essays focus on four broad domains in which engagement should be strengthened: associating the new Russia with the activities of transatlantic and European institutions, nuclear issues, Northeast Asia, and support for political and economic reform in Russia. Regarding the first, the authors argue for "greatly intensified NATO-Russia links." Concerning nuclear issues, they think "another Chernobyl disaster is possible at any moment" and urge Trilateral technical and financial assistance toward permanently disposing of fissile material vulnerable to purchase or theft by terrorists. In Northeast Asia, the authors favor encouragement by the Trilateral countries of Russian participation in multilateral security dialogues in the Asia Pacific region. As to Trilateral support for Russian internal reforms, the authors deem this insufficient to date and recommend technical assistance "on a much larger scale to the institutions and social forces that carry forward reform in the lives of the Russian people."
The Japan Center for International Exchange is Japanese secretariat to the Trilateral Commission.
- Russia and the West
- Robert D. Blackwill, Professor of Foreign and Defense Policy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
- Russia's Future and Western Policy
- Rodric Braithwaite, Senior Adviser, Morgan Grenfell
- The Asia-Pacific Region and Russia
- Akihiko Tanaka, Associate Professor of International Relations, University of Tokyo
- Joint Note
New York, Tokyo, and Paris: The Trilateral Commission, 1995
ISBN 0-930503-72-4; 139 pages; paper