March 4, 2014

Russia's Soft Power In Crimea; End of Superpower Era; Will FIFA Boycott Russia For Intervention In Ukraine?

Obama to Putin in a future speech: "No football for you."

An excerpt from, "Soft Power 2.0: Reshaping Russia’s foreign policy" by Anastasia Markitan, RBTH, September 2, 2013:
With the world becoming increasingly interconnected, the conventional diplomatic methods and technology are giving place to the so-called ‘soft power’. While the western countries are widely endorsing public diplomacy and international development as the soft power instruments, Russia is only developing new tools of its foreign policy.

In mid-February President Vladimir Putin unveiled an updated Foreign Policy Concept, which, among others, envisages economic diplomacy and soft power as the top priorities.

Drawn by the huge potential of soft power in shaping a country’s global agenda, on Sept. 3, Russia Direct will publish RD Quarterly Report Soft Power 2.0 which analyzes possible overlaps of international development efforts and traditional public diplomacy initiatives to suggest specific policy directions that would be most applicable for Russia to increase its international standing.
An excerpt from, "Will superpowers survive in a new world order?" by Pavel Koshkin, Russia Direct, July 17, 2013:
On July 15 former UN Secretary General and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Kofi Annan presented his memoirs, “Interventions: A Life in War and Peace,” at RIA Novosti’s Multimedia Press Center.

Igor Ivanov, Russia's ex-Foreign Minister and President of Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), joined Annan and discussed current international problems – ranging from the Syrian standoff and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the UN’s previous failures in Somalia, Rwanda and Bosnia.

Shortly after the presentation of his book, Annan and other UN Foundation officials discussed with the students of the Moscow Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) the prospects of global governance and a new world order.

When asked by Russia Direct about future scenarios of how the world will develop and what role superpowers will play in it, Annan said there are likely to be a lot of “poles” in the future and that countries will “be able to check each other”.

“I have never accepted the concept of a unipolar world,” he explained. “It’s also a disturbing concept because there are always other poles. When you believe that there is only one elephant in the room, your behavior is different. [Yet] there are other elephants; you also have to keep that [in mind]. And there is more than one elephant in the world today.”
Andrey V. Kortunov, President of New Eurasia Foundation, General Director of Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC)

The “currency” of power will change: traditional tools (military power and economic diplomacy) will be expanded and, in several cases, the tools of ‘soft power’ will replace them.

The concept of leadership will also change, in terms of the capabilities of great powers to anticipate and prevent crisis situations and put forward new ideas and proposals to increase the efficiency of global and local governance. 

In other words, the role of the “intellectual” in the measurement of foreign policy will increase. In this world order, the only big powers that will preserve their positions will be those that will be able to use their foreign policy instruments in a more efficient way.
An excerpt from, "Blatter urges against boycotts", Jan 17, 2014:
FIFA president Sepp Blatter claims both the World Cup and the winter Olympics in Sochi have been "misused" as a platform for political protest.

Blatter insists those calling for a boycott of the Olympics because of human rights issues - the broadcaster Stephen Fry has backed a boycott over Russia's anti-gay laws - will achieve nothing.

FIFA is also facing up to the prospect of widespread protests at this summer's World Cup in Brazil after last year's warm-up tournament, the Confederations Cup, was targeted by mass demonstrations.
Blatter, who is also an International Olympic Committee member, said in his column in FIFA weekly:

"2014 marks a year of celebration in the sporting world, with the winter Olympics in Sochi in February followed by the football World Cup in Brazil this summer.

"These two events have one thing in common: they have both been misused as a platform for political disputes, and in the case of the winter Olympics, this dispute is coming to a head with threats to boycott the Games.