Irina Kobrinskaya is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) at the Russian Academy of Sciences.
China’s Silk Road Economic Belt initiative has been developing at a fast pace since its launch a few years ago.
Russia’s policy in the Commonwealth of Independent States is likely to remain the focus of future discussions and a source of heightened tensions with the West until the end of 2004. The development of a realistic national strategy with regard to the CIS in general, and the European CIS countries (Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova) in particular, is still a problem for Moscow; the way this problem is solved will determine Russia-West relations and the future development of the political and economic picture in Russia.
Preparation for the new parliamentary and presidential elections began more than a year and a half ahead of the elections. Why so early? Because at stake is not only or largely the outcome of the elections as the development of the country in the next four years. One of the key issues in the election campaign is foreign policy whose various aspects are analyzed in this personal review.
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.