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.
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.
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.