Vol 23, No 2 (2023): Contours of Non-Western Peacekeeping


Justice in the Process of Regional Conflict Settlement: Analysis of Russia’s Strategy, 1992-2021

Kaveshnikov N.Y.


Research in the field of regional conflict resolution rarely touches on the issue of justice. This paper aims to identify what understanding of international justice underlies Russia’s actions as a mediator/peacekeeper in the process of regional conflict resolution in the 1990s-2010s. The study also contributes to the understanding of Russia’s foreign policy by clarifying Moscow’s views on the essence and parameters of a just global order. The paper provides a study of the dominant Russian views on the essence of justice in international relations. It offers an insight into Russia’s peace-making and conflict resolution activities in the context of the three concepts of global justice and taking into account the factor of national interests. The study concludes that the dominant understanding of international justice in Russia is that which corresponds to Allen Buchanan’s concept of subjective justice. In Moscow’s view, international justice is a set of rules developed in the process of consensus driven negotiations between the great powers. According to this logic, a just settlement of the regional conflict is possible only on the basis of the consensus of the parties to the conflict and in accordance with the interests of the global and regional powers concerned. The fair interaction of the great powers in the settlement of the regional conflict and the impact that the conflict resolution could have on the development of the international order were of crucial importance for Moscow within the period under consideration. Moscow’s activity in the conflict resolution in the post-Soviet space generally corresponded to the model of justice as mutual recognition, but with absolute priority of Russian national interests. The strategy for resolving regional conflicts in the post-Soviet space could only be understood in the broad context of relations with Western countries and has changed in line with the development of these relations.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2023;23(2):215-227
pages 215-227 views

Role of Russian Peacekeeping in the Pridnestrovian Settlement Process

Shevchuk N.V.


The study analyses the current situation of the peacekeeping operation in Pridnestrovie (Transnistria), carried out in conditions of a growing clash of interests between Russia and the West, the militarization of Moldova and its aspirations to join the EU and NATO, as well as the proximity of the security zone controlled by peacekeepers to the region of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine. The author summarizes the experience of Russia’s peacekeeping activities in the region of the Moldovan-Pridnestrovian conflict, highlights the key features of the Dniester peacekeeping operation and shows its importance for the negotiation process on the Pridnestrovian settlement at the political and diplomatic level. The article provides an overview of the international peacekeeping initiatives in the conflict region, assesses the status of the negotiation process and the related military component of the settlement, identifies the specific features of the peacekeeping format and its control mechanisms, and analyzes the legal status of Russian troops. The author concludes that the peacekeeping operation in Pridnestrovie is still in demand, fully functional and ready for combat. According to the author, in case of withdrawal from the operation of the Republic of Moldova, the Russian military formations stationed in Pridnestrovie may be forced to receive the mandate of a special guarantee military operation to protect the stocks of Russian weapons remaining from Soviet times in the conflict region, to prevent the resumption of armed conflict and to ensure guarantees of peace and security for the population of Pridnestrovie, at least one third of which are citizens of the Russian Federation.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2023;23(2):228-240
pages 228-240 views

2022 January Events and CSTO Peacekeeping Mission in Kazakhstan

Syssoyeva R.V.


In January 2022, Kazakhstan was faced with an attempt of a violent change of power in the form of mass protests that spread throughout the country and were organized with the basic techniques of color revolutions. The country’s own law enforcement forces were not able to cope with radical citizens, looters-rioters, and terrorists, and in these circumstances the head of state, K.K. Tokayev, decided to request the support of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) allies, who immediately sent the united peacekeeping troops to the republic. The CSTO peacekeeping mission, coordinated by Russia, successfully restored constitutional order in the country and prevented a violent coup d’état. The purpose of this research is to analyze the course of the January events and actions of the CSTO, as well as their impact on Kazakhstan, the region and the organization itself. The paper is based on interviews with experts from the CSTO member states, studies carried out in this area of research, and statements by official authorities. The synthesis of the research results is divided into thematic blocks and supplemented by the author’s conclusions. The paper mentions aspects such as the transition of power, changes in Kazakhstan’s domestic and foreign policies, the effectiveness of the CSTO organization and the expansion of its potential use. Proposals are also provided regarding the strengthening of defense integration and the need to develop a common regional identity. The research is unique in that it brings expert opinions from six CSTO member states, the results of studies carried out by researchers from Russia, Kazakhstan, and abroad, and the theoretical terminology of Western political ideology. The author presents the area of responsibility of the CSTO as a Eurasian security community based not only on collective security, but also on economic interdependence and a sense of community among the nations of its member states.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2023;23(2):241-252
pages 241-252 views

The Shanghai Spirit and the ASEAN Way as the Foundations of a New Regionalism

Honrada G.J., Bokeriya S.A.


Narratives are essential for organizations and states to provide a framework for their decision-making processes and organizational structure and bolster their legitimacy by appealing to shared values and worldviews. These narratives will play a greater role in a multipolar world characterized by a diversity of worldviews and values that shape the internal and external perceptions of international actors. The authors compare the critical narratives forwarded by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), namely the Shanghai Spirit and the ASEAN Way. Drawing on scientific works dedicated to explicating the worldview, values, and norms espoused by the Shanghai Spirit and the ASEAN Way, the authors use syncretic approaches to show how these concepts are applied in these narratives. The Shanghai Spirit is based on mutual trust, mutual benefit, quality, respect for the diversity of civilizations, and the pursuit of common development. Similarly, the ASEAN Way is based on non-interference, non-confrontation, non-use of force, and consensus-based decision-making. The Shanghai Spirit and the ASEAN Way have notable similarities, such as an emphasis on preserving sovereignty, a pragmatic approach to regionalism, and a flexible, non-binding application. Although they also have significant differences, such as the rationale behind them, different preferred means of cooperation, and an emphasis on state security versus human security. The article argues that the unique features of the Shanghai Spirit and the ASEAN Way, which promote loose regionalism, combined with the state-centric Westphalian features of the contemporary international system, result in a new form of regionalism that is open yet preserves and reinforces the individual sovereignty of states. In this sense, the Shanghai Spirit and the ASEAN Way may provide the intellectual basis for a new form of regionalism and international relations that can better respond to the emerging challenges of a multipolar world.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2023;23(2):253-264
pages 253-264 views

Southeast Asian States’ Approaches to Peacekeeping and Conflict Resolution

Vershinina V.V., Koldunova E.V., Kuklin N.S.


This paper conducts a comparative analysis of three cases - Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam - to examine the distinctive features of Southeast Asian states’ involvement in peacekeeping. These cases provide representative insights into the motivations and experiences of regional states that joined UN peacekeeping operations at different historical junctures: Indonesia in the 1950s, Thailand in the 1990s, and Vietnam in the 2000s. By identifying the common and unique aspects of this engagement, the authors argue that Southeast Asian nations’ approaches to peacekeeping are deeply rooted in the values that underpin their foreign and domestic policies. Appealing to these values, Southeast Asian states contribute conceptual innovations to existing peacekeeping models, which are predominantly based on Western perspectives. By generalizing the peacekeeping experiences of Southeast Asian states, this paper fills a gap between broader publications that focus on Asian peacekeeping practices and single-country studies. The research underscores that Southeast Asian states, following a challenging period of decolonization and nation-building in the framework imposed by the Westphalian international relations system, have been trying to infuse their own approaches into the Westernized realm of international interaction. Since the 1950s, several regional states have participated in UN peacekeeping operations. The involvement of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in resolving the Cambodian conflict in the late 1980s and the Thailand - Cambodia settlement in 2008-2011 has stimulated the development of regional peacekeeping practices. By contributing to peacekeeping operations, Southeast Asian states aspire to enhance their regional and even global influence. In certain instances, their engagement in peacekeeping has ideological, cultural or religious motivations, or stems from specific foreign and domestic policy considerations.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2023;23(2):265-277
pages 265-277 views

Positive Peace in the Islamic Perspective of International Relations: The Case of Iran’s Foreign Policy

Ranjbar D., Chikrizova O.S.


The characteristics of the interpretation of the concepts of “positive” and “negative” peace within the framework of the Islamic paradigm of international relations, as well as the application of Islamic approaches to conflict settlement by the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) are analyzed. The relevance of the study is due to the need to rethink approaches to peacekeeping and move away from Western peace strategies and initiatives, since these approaches have demonstrated their inadequacy over the past 50 years. Based on the hermeneutic method of studying the Islamic sacred texts and comparative analysis, as well as the approach to “negative” and “positive” peace of the Norwegian sociologist J. Galtung, the authors justify the existence of two strategies for achieving peace, based on Islamic ideals - “resistance strategy” and “non-violence strategy,” using as an example of the first one the foreign policy activities of the Islamic Republic of Iran to resolve regional conflicts, taking Syria, the Palestinian problem and the Hormuz Peace Initiative as examples. The authors come to the conclusion that Islam considers only “positive peace” to be true peace, capable of ensuring security, a fair world order and universal equality. Iran, guided by the ideological attitudes generated by the Islamic Revolution of 1978-1979 (spirituality, the fight against corruption and economic injustice, the protection of the ‘oppressed’ and the fight against the ‘oppressors,’ the rejection of violence in social movements, the elimination of social discrimination, governance based on the people’s decision), seeks to introduce Islamic principles into its foreign policy practice, particularly in the Middle East. However, with a number of Arab countries in the region pursuing anti-Iranian policies, some of Tehran’s initiatives remained unrealized and did not gain support. Nevertheless, in the current context where the Western-centric world order is being revised, it is more relevant than ever to explore alternative approaches to conflict resolution and to identify their advantages and significance, based on practical examples that already exist.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2023;23(2):278-295
pages 278-295 views

The Role of Mediation in Resolving Conflicts Between Ecuador and Peru

Borzova A.Y., Medina Gonzalez V.X.


The study deals with the problem of mediation in the settlement of the longest territorial conflict in Latin America between Peru and Ecuador, highlighting its origins. The main goal of conflict resolution is not only the elimination of the conflict itself, but the transformation of a real conflict situation into a peaceful process of social or political change, where mediation is a strategy or a tool to end the conflict. The authors use an integrated approach, where the most appropriate theoretical basis for considering and resolving these conflicts is neoliberalism, as well as the problem-chronological approach, the historical method, which makes it possible to trace the prerequisites and the development of the territorial conflict, and mediation efforts to resolve it. It was concluded that the Ecuadorian-Peruvian war, although it was the result of the perception of divergent territorial interests, was caused by the unsuccessful mediation activities of the guarantor countries (Brazil, USA, Chile and Argentina). The mediation activities of Brazil, the USA, Chile and Argentina in 1995-1998 led to the so-called “elegant agreement,” one way or another taking into account the interests of Peru and Ecuador. In this regard, the special importance of the mediation activities of the guarantor countries in resolving the conflict was emphasized, as well as their main tools, such as: negotiation processes, signing documents on the territorial dispute, participating in the demarcation of borders, monitoring compliance with the agreements reached, contributing to the active development of Ecuadorian-Peruvian relations after the signing of the peace treaty and preventing the escalation of the conflict in the future. As a result of the consideration of the role of each intermediary country in the settlement of the Alto Cenepa conflict, their own interests were touched and the key areas of participation in peacekeeping activities were listed, and it was concluded that Brazil’s position was the most active.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2023;23(2):296-306
pages 296-306 views


The UN - African Union Partnership on the Women, Peace and Security Agenda: Frameworks, Policies and Strategies

Bokeriya S.A., Kiamba A.


A strong partnership between the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU) is essential to achieve strategic convergence, coherence and effective solutions to Africa’s complex peace and security challenges. This article analyzes the key challenges in the UN - AU partnership for peacekeeping, including the UN - AU frameworks, policies and strategies in implementing the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda to establish equal, full and constructive participation of women in the peacekeeping process. The authors identify key challenges in the UN - AU partnership for peacekeeping and assess the effectiveness of the mechanisms and tools of this partnership in the field of maintaining peace and security. The implementation of the WPS agenda in Africa in 2003-2022 is discussed in detail. The empirical basis for the research was drawn from the UN peacekeeping website database, official AU documents, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, and AU and UN statistics on the gender composition of key UN peacekeeping missions during the period under review. This study employs quantitative methods of assessment and comparative analysis of UN and the AU statistics on women’s participation in African peacekeeping from 2003 to 2022. It focuses on the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) as a case study. The article concludes that there is a direct link between the deteriorating security situation in Africa, the effective implementation of the WPS agenda, and the level of strategic partnership between the UN and the AU.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2023;23(2):307-321
pages 307-321 views

Russian Policy of Securitization in Africa: Features of Perception

Issaev L.M., Shishkina A.R., Liokumovich Y.B.


The study focuses on the perception of the Russian military presence in Africa. The 1990s and early 2000s saw a long break in Russian-African relations, linked to Russia’s priority of establishing a dialogue with Western countries. Largely as a result, Russia managed to avoid getting involved in conflicts and maintain respectful relations with African countries. In recent years, however, Russia’s “return” to Africa has revitalized Moscow’s interests in the region. One of the key elements of this process has been the intensification of the activities of Russian private military companies (PMC) on the continent. This, in turn, is the relevance of the present study. The study conducted a qualitative content analysis of the publications of the most quoted media sources in African countries where Russian private military companies have been observed: Central African Republic, Mozambique, Sudan and Mali from 2018 to 2021. Based on an analysis of the African media, it can be seen that the first experiences with the arrival of Russian PMCs were initially accompanied by a predominantly neutral-negative tone in the local media. Later, however, there was a shift from neutral to positive, particularly in the case of Mali. It was also found that the framing of the Russian presence in African countries with experience of interaction with Russian PMCs is changing from a purely local context (struggle for resources, protection of the regime, etc.) to a more global one, implying that Africa is an arena of confrontation between major world powers. It is shown that the experience of Russian involvement in conflict resolution plays an important role in shaping a positive image of the Russian “military” presence in Africa. Thus, the transfer of significant areas under central government control, first in Syria and then in the Central African Republic after the appearance of the Russian military in these countries, is associated by Africans with the achievement of stability, which is in demand in African societies. Another important indicator on which positive perceptions are based is the perception of a crisis in relations between France and Africa.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2023;23(2):322-338
pages 322-338 views

Regionalization of Peacekeeping in Africa: The Case of the African Union

Khudaykulova A.V.


This study examines the peacekeeping experience of the African Union (AU), which claims to be the main security provider on the African continent. Based on the case study method, the principle of historicism and a chronological approach, the author proposes a classification and a comprehensive analysis of the AU operations, from the first to the current missions. The aim of the research is to provide a balanced characterisation of the AU in conflict resolution by describing both the missions and the external environment in which they have been deployed, and by abstracting from the deliberately negative connotations associated with assessments of the potential of regional security forces. It analyses the dynamics, legal frameworks, characteristics and outcomes of deployed peacekeeping operations, both under the auspices of the AU alone (in Burundi, Comoros, Sudan/Darfur, Somalia) and in cooperation with the UN and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) (in Darfur, Mali, Central African Republic, CAR). As a result of the study, the author describes the key parameters of established models of African conflict resolution. The experience and practice of the AU - UN interaction show that the AU is ready to quickly respond to emerging crises and to contain bloodshed, often in the absence of peace processes and well before the UN intervention. The current format of interaction between the two organizations demonstrates the readiness of the UN to deploy its own contingents once the “hot” phase of the conflict is over and conditions for political dialogue are formed. However, with the launch of the first and so far only hybrid UN - AU mission (UNAMID) a new model of cooperation is gradually emerging that complements the existing simple “division of labor.” The purely regional format of peacekeeping stems from the potential of regional actors. The African Union, as a continental regional organization, plays a crucial role in maintaining the regional security regime, while sub-regional organizations carry out operational functions on the basis of regional security arrangements. The author assesses the peacekeeping missions carried out and highlights the challenges faced by African peacekeepers in their work.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2023;23(2):339-357
pages 339-357 views

Role of Military Diplomacy in the PRC’s Foreign Policy in the South China Sea

Mosyakov D.V., Shpakovskaya M.A., Ponka T.I.


The article is devoted to the peculiarities of military diplomacy as an instrument of China’s foreign policy aimed at achieving the goal of the “great revival of the Chinese nation.” A special role is given to the process of conceptualization of military diplomacy in the foreign policy discourse of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), which allowed the authors to identify the tasks and forms of this means of implementing foreign policy. The close connection of military diplomacy with ensuring the fundamental interests of the People’s Republic of China is noted. A special place is given to the region of Southeast Asia, where the PRC has unresolved disputes over maritime rights and national jurisdiction of offshore facilities and mineral deposits with several states. The authors assess the effectiveness of military diplomacy in bilateral relations with the countries of the region. The theoretical foundation of the work is the neorealist approach, which allows us to evaluate military diplomacy as a set of non-forceful measures aimed at achieving national interests. The authors conclude that the country and regional priorities in China’s military-diplomatic cooperation seem to correspond to the priorities of China’s broader foreign policy. The PRC’s intensive use of military diplomacy in the South China Sea demonstrates China’s growing leadership potential on the world stage and world-building ideas in neighboring regions.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2023;23(2):358-371
pages 358-371 views


The Peacekeeping Role of the Organization of African Unity During the Nigerian Civil War, 1967-1970

Mazov S.V.


This study examines the peacekeeping activities of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in resolving the Nigerian crisis. On May 30, 1967 the eastern part of Nigeria, the self-proclaimed Republic of Biafra, tried to secede from Nigeria. This led to a civil war that lasted from July 6, 1967 to January 15, 1970. Biafra’s army was defeated and capitulated. The reference to the history of the OAU peacekeeping experience is relevant, because it can be applied to the settlement of contemporary crises and conflicts in Africa. The author was guided by the principles of historicism, scientific objectivity and reliance on sources. The aim of the article is to clarify the nature and methods of the OAU’s peacekeeping activities, to identify internal and external factors that hindered the achievement of peace, and to assess the effectiveness of the organization’s peacekeeping efforts. The article uses for the first time information and analytical memos of Soviet diplomats found in the Foreign Policy Archive of the Russian Federation (AVP RF) on the OAU’s activities to stop the civil war in Nigeria. The author concludes that the Nigerian crisis was a unique international conflict for the Cold War period. The motives of the external actors were primarily determined by geopolitical aspirations and national interests, rather than bloc solidarity. The author identifies factors that negatively affected the OAU’s potential as a peacemaker: a split among African countries (four of which recognized Biafra’s independence) and competition from Great Britain, which vigorously promoted its own peacekeeping agenda. The OAU’s decisions were not binding on member states; it had no effective mechanism for implementing them, and it had no armed forces of its own that could be used to disengage the warring parties. The OAU succeeded in diplomatically securing overwhelming African support for Nigeria’s territorial integrity, though its mediation efforts failed to achieve peace. The Biafra leadership was not going to capitulate while there was still room for resistance and the federal government was not inclined to question the country’s territorial integrity. The results of the OAU’s peacekeeping can be assessed as positive: it prevented the legitimization of separatist Biafra, which could have had a domino effect with disastrous consequences for the entire African continent.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2023;23(2):372-392
pages 372-392 views


Book Review: Charbonneau, B., & Ricard, M. (Eds.). (2022). Routledge Handbook of African Peacebuilding. Routledge, 308 p.

Amuhaya C.A.



Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2023;23(2):393-396
pages 393-396 views

Book Review: Fujishige, H. N., Uesugi, Y., & Honda, T. (2022). Japan’s Peacekeeping at a Crossroads: Taking a Robust Stance or Remaining Hesitant? Palgrave Macmillan, 264 p.

Melkonyan L.A.



Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2023;23(2):397-400
pages 397-400 views

Book Review: Salleh, A., & Idris, A. (2021). Malaysia’s United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (1960-2010). Springer, 231 p.

Honrada G.J.



Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2023;23(2):401-403
pages 401-403 views

Book Review: Markakis, J., Schlee, G., & Young, J. (2021). The Nation State: A Wrong Model for the Horn of Africa. Berlin: Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften, 184 p.

Bayeh E.



Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2023;23(2):404-407
pages 404-407 views

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