Alexander Vorontsov is Head of the Korea and Mongolia Department at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Seoul believes that South Korea, with its advanced port infrastructure, is a natural gateway to the Pacific, opening access to the entire continent of Eurasia all the way to the Atlantic.
The political intrigue has another side to it, namely, the deterrence of China’s growing ambitions in the Korean peninsula and across the region. The minimum objective is to put Beijing in front of a stark choice: whether it prefers to team up with the North Korean “provocateurs” or with the “civilized community.” Whichever option the Chinese may choose, according to the American logic they will find themselves in the losing position.
At a roundtable event in Moscow, top experts debated the “hypocritical” and “insincere” foreign policies of both Russia and the West in the post-Cold War era.
Vladimir Putin has mentioned several times that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a geopolitical mistake. Although these words were often interpreted as his desire to constitute that country, there is little reason to believe this.
The April 16 referendum will focus on power distribution rather than institution building. In other words, the organizers saw it as an opportunity to expand the President’s powers and allow him to rule longer. In their turn, Turks perceived it as an institutional choice to contribute to the development of the state.
If the larger picture defies prediction, the immediate future is scarcely more transparent. In the U.S. case, the known unknowns are numerous. They begin with the question of how much deck furniture Trump is willing to overturn in order to pursue an “America First” strategy.
In the wake of the For Fair Elections protest movement in Russia in 2011-2012, the Kremlin initiated a new strategy of state-society relations that was aimed at diminishing the propensity for protest in the next election cycle.
Belarus’ traditional structural dependence on Russia is increasing, and Minsk’s freedom of maneuver continues to shrink.