While only recently the West’s dominance looked absolute, now the roles of the teacher and the student, the leader and the straggler are no longer definitely assigned. Сompetition in interpreting reality, defining meanings, and translating values will increasingly grow.
The oil- and gas-rich states of the Caspian Sea basin—Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan—registered phenomenal growth throughout most of the 2000s. However, the heady days of resource-fueled development now appear to be over, and local governments are suddenly struggling to overcome massive budget deficits, devalued currencies, and overall economic stagnation.
Despite its geographical remoteness from conflicts involving radical Islamists, the Russian Far East is not completely isolated from them. Preventing the growth of extremist threats in the Russian Far East and the Asia-Pacific region as a whole requires joint efforts of all states concerned.
The migration corridor that has formed between the countries of Central Asia and Russia is one of the largest and most stable in Eurasia and the world.
Numerous international competitors see the use of force as a solution to their challenges. In relations between Russia and NATO, China and Japan, Iran and Saudi Arabia, power plays unfold with unpredictable repercussions.
Last year’s incident with the Russian Su-24 jet instantly changed the very nature of Russia-Turkey relations. What used to be viewed by the leaders of the two countries as a strategic partnership was replaced with harsh confrontation.
Due in part to the legacy of the Soviet system, in which the state allocated housing to families and individuals on the basis of non-market principles, and in part to endemic housing shortages in the post-Soviet era, housing concerns are an important potential source of political grievances in post-Soviet states.
Russia’s active involvement in the Syrian conflict and, specifically, employment of its Caspian Flotilla for destroying Islamic State targets, has changed the balance of power in the Caspian region significantly, and highlighted the need to re-examine its legal status and security.
“Urban boosterism” is defined as the active promotion of a city, and it typically involves large-scale urban development schemes, including constructing iconic new buildings, revamping local infrastructure, and creating a new “image” for the city.
Armenia, opting for self-restraint of its own accord, minimized its risks and losses. As to whether the Armenian-style Finlandization can be an example for other former Soviet republics would depend not only on their own choice.
Yerevan would have shown greater interest in the problems of security in Central Asia if it were certain that its Central Asian allies would take symmetrical and proportionate actions in the Karabakh conflict.
Hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan were terminated in 1994, but the sides remain divided over the status of Nagorno-Karabakh. Baku argues, with reliance on European practices, that the sole way towards reconciliation between the two neighboring peoples lies in the self-determination of Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan and the highest degree of self-government granted to it.
The main and only goal of conventional deterrence, used by the Armenian parties, and political containment, owed largely to the positions of the international community and influential external actors, is to maintain stability and fragile peace in the zone of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
After gaining independence, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan have been plagued by wars and ethnic conflicts, they have lost transport links, and government agencies have collapsed. Yet the respective political regimes have had diverse fates: although the starting points and international situation were similar when they launched their policies, the outcome is fairly different.
For many centuries, rivalry among Turkey, Iran and Russia determined the geopolitics of the South Caucasus. In the 19th and 20th centuries other actors asserted their presence, too.
Russia has made a concerted effort since the fall of 2010 to break the stalemate in Armenian-Azerbaijani negotiations over the disputed Nagorny Karabakh region.
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.
Contemporary international relations are experiencing a period of turbulence and transition from a unipolar world to a world with multiple centers of power with strengthened role of regionalization. In these circumstances relatively small states try to maximize the resource of geopolitical identity to conduct their foreign policies.
In the old days coal miners took a caged canary down into mines. If the canary suddenly dropped dead, that meant that the deadly gas, carbon monoxide, was slowly seeping into the shaft... An order of magnitude increase in killing rampages in America over the last several decades is like canaries suddenly starting to drop dead all around us. It is an early indicator of much worse troubles to come.
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.