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Sergei Lavrov has been representing Russia as foreign minister in two dissimilar epochs, one marked by a fairly convincing growth of the world's economy, the other — by a deep global crisis which will likely continue into the foreseeable future. While those of the watchers who attempt to sound optimistic maintain that no causes for a lasting slide are inherent in the objective economic reality, it is an open secret to what extent subjectivity factors into modern history. As a result, the apprehension is running high that irrationality and chaos may easily prevail in today's world which, by the way, has never quite turned the page on its previous historical crisis triggered by the collapse of the bipolar system.

Paradoxically, the world shaped by untamed subjectivity must also depend increasingly on the balancing input from ahead-of-the-curve persons who generate unanticipated ideas and bold solutions. Credit must be given to S. Lavrov for offering a wealth of such ideas and solutions in his Between the Past and the Future, a collection of essays which, bearing a distinct imprint of Lavrov's unique personality, blends fluid policy analysis and much more fundamental philosophical regards.

The alleged killing of the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has brought several crucial issues of international law to the forefront. Though it is evident that many pieces of video footage featuring Gaddafi`s last hours are fake, still there are some which may prove real. It is easy to explain why fake videos have been made: they were aimed to suppress courage in the rebels, and – if we suggest that the video showing Gaddafi`s killing are fake – to prevent a new wave of uprising set for the nearest future.

As the tide of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations sweeps across European cities, the impression is growing that the future holds a lot of unexpected for the EU. The protests which are carefully coordinated via social media can't but evoke memories of the recent uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East, especially since the coordinators readily cite parallels between the gatherings in Tahrir Square and Times Square.

Economically and politically embattled, the EU nevertheless struggles to retain whatever influence it has over the post-Soviet republics. In the process, Brussels mostly relies on its already floated initiatives including the Eastern Partnership, a project which  reflects the European Union's attempt to outpace the US in pulling FSU countries out of Moscow's orbit and securing a grip on the post-Soviet space.

It is not going to be forgotten any time soon how, at the 43rd  Munich Conference on Security Policy in 2007, V. Putin charged the US with building a unipolar world at the cost of “frequently illegitimate actions” and “new human tragedies”. A key point that loomed through the energetic speech delivered by the Russian leader was that the global proliferation of armed conflicts was in fact attributable to Washington's “almost unconstrained hyper use of force” and disregard for international law.

The escalation in the Serb-populated northern part of Kosovo, paralleled by the deepening of the EU crisis, underscored the inefficiency of the efforts and approached supposed to help resolve the bitter dispute over Serbia's breakaway province. It became abundantly clear that the attempts made since late 2010 to reach compromise via technical talks between Belgrade and Pristina radicalized both parties to the conflict and put in jeopardy the fragile political balance across the Balkans rather than produced appreciable results.

One might be tempted to regard Russian premier V. Putin's paper “A new integration project for Eurasia: The future in the making”, which saw the light of day in Izvestia on October 3, 2011, as the presidential front-runner's sketchily laid out program, but upon scrutiny that appears to be only one part of a wider picture. The opinion piece momentarily ignited wide-scale controversy in and outside of Russia and highlighted the ongoing clash of positions on global development.

On Tuesday, October 4th, Russia and China vetoed the UNSC resolution on Syria, which – if adopted- would have offered the implementation of the Libyan scenario in the country. The US ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, however, warned against any parallels between Libya and Syria, saying that the Libyan precedent was used 'as an excuse' by some countries which wanted to sell arms to Bashar Assad`s government.

The coming visit of Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to China on October 11-12 will be aimed at giving stability to the Russian-Chinese strategic partnership in the economy. Energy industry traditionally tops the list of complicated and sometimes pressing issues of the Russian-Chinese partnership…

This September was marked with a recurrence of pipeline disputes between Russia and the EU. On September 16, Russian premier V. Putin blessed in Sochi an agreement on the construction of the marine section of South Stream, the pipeline intended to rid Russia of the dependence on Ukraine for gas transit to Europe.