Sergey Karaganov

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Sergey Karaganov in 2015

Sergey Alexandrovich Karaganov (Russian: Серге́й Алекса́ндрович Карага́нов, born 10 September 1952 in Moscow) is a Russian political scientist who heads the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, a security analytical institution founded by Vitaly Shlykov. He is also the dean of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs at Moscow's Higher School of Economics. Karaganov was a close associate of Yevgeny Primakov, and has been Presidential Advisor to both Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin.[1]

Karaganov has been a member of the Trilateral Commission since 1998, and served on the International Advisory Board of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has also been Deputy Director of the Institute of Europe at the USSR (now Russian) Academy of Sciences since 1983.[2]

Political activity[edit]

Karaganov is known as the progenitor of the Karaganov Doctrine, which states that Moscow should pose as the defender of human rights of ethnic Russians living in the 'near abroad' for the purpose of gaining political influence in these regions. After Karaganov published an article advocating this stance in 1992, Russia's foreign policy position linked Russian troop withdrawals from the Baltics with the end of 'systemic discrimination' against Russians in these countries.[3]

In addition to his Doctrine, Karaganov has advocated for a united Sino-Russian strategy to unify a Eurasian bloc. He argues that the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and China's One Belt One Road Initiative (OBOR), will work together to promote economic integration throughout the region.[4][5] Many experts[who?] disagree with this judgement, claiming that China, as a far more powerful economy, will simply dominate this Eurasian bloc. This would counter Russian ambitions to regain their foothold as a global power.[6]

Role in Russia/Ukraine War[edit]

In a 2019 interview with Time Magazine, Karaganov considers not allowing Russia to join NATO was the “one of the worst mistakes in political history. It automatically put Russia and the West on a collision course, eventually sacrificing Ukraine”.[7]

Karaganov, who is known as a close advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin, formulated many of the core ideas that led to Russia's invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022. In an interview published in the journal "Russia in Foreign Affairs", Karaganov defined Russia's main foreign policy goal as forcing its own dominance on the globe and breaking the security order put in place at the end of the Cold War in 1991.[8] Karaganov explained that "the situation is so dire" that "war is inevitable", as Russia could only achieve its goals by military means, since, unlike the United States, the dominant post-Cold War power, Russia had no political, cultural, ideological or economic benefits by which to bring other states under its influence. Karaganov lamented that Russia's neighbors generally saw the West as offering more attractive political and economic models, and Russia therefore had no choice but to gain their submission by force.[9]

Regarding Ukraine, Karaganov claimed that it was necessary to subdue it in order to prevent the further expansion of NATO. As justification for an unprovoked invasion, Karaganov suggested that Ukraine was not a viable state anyway, and "most likely, the country will slowly disintegrate," or, alternatively, it will be broken up into smaller parts, and "something may go to Russia, something to Hungary, something to Poland, and something may remain a formally independent Ukrainian state."[9]

However, he later said that "occupying" Ukraine was "the worst-case scenario".[10]

He has also said that "we need a kind of a solution which would be called peace, and which would include de facto the creation of some kind of a viable, pro-Russian government on the territory of Ukraine, and real security for the Donbas republics".[11]

Additional notes[edit]

Karaganov is the only intellectual from the former Soviet Union listed in the 2005 Global Intellectuals Poll, and only one of four, with Pavol Demeš, Václav Havel and Slavoj Žižek, from Eastern Europe.


  1. ^ "Biography - Sergey Karaganov". Archived from the original on September 19, 2007.
  2. ^ Feifer, Gregory (April 2, 2002). "Putin's Foreign Policy a Private Affair". The Moscow Times. Archived from the original on April 26, 2005. Retrieved February 22, 2022.
  3. ^ Smith, David James (30 November 2017). The Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Psychology Press. ISBN 9780415285803. Retrieved 30 November 2017 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ "Toward the Great Ocean – 3: Creating Central Eurasia - Kazakhstan - International Politics". Scribd. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  5. ^ Karagamov, Sergey (October 26, 2015). "The Promise of Eurasia". (in Russian). Retrieved 2022-02-22.
  6. ^ Remington, Thomas F. (April 6, 2016). "One belt, one road, one Eurasia". Asia Dialogue. Retrieved 2022-02-22.
  7. ^ "Breaking Down the Complicated Relationship Between Russia and NATO". Time. Retrieved 2022-03-05.
  8. ^ Feifer, Gregory (April 2, 2002). "Putin's Foreign Policy a Private Affair". The Moscow Times. Archived from the original on April 26, 2005. Retrieved February 22, 2022.
  9. ^ a b "Система опасности: необходимо её ломать". Russia in Global Affairs. Retrieved February 26, 2022.
  10. ^ "How are Russian media outlets portraying the Ukraine crisis?". Al Jazeera. 31 January 2022.
  11. ^ ""Russia cannot afford to lose, so we need a kind of a victory": Sergey Karaganov on what Putin wants". New Statesman. 2022-04-02. Retrieved 2022-04-03.

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