Russia has used its military beyond its borders with unprecedented frequency in the period since the invasion of Crimea in February 2014.
For the UN to continue to be truly indispensable, international officials and national governments, members of the academic elite and civil society leaders will have to reach consensus on the way ahead, avoiding over-ambitious plans, but also half-measures portrayed as full-fledged reforms.
The global energy market continues to be driven by the political economy of oil production and trade. Energy markets have come full circle returning to their fundamentals: oil is there to stay and play an important role in the era of slow melting of the oil surplus.
The G20 meeting in China was a milestone in international relations. Until only recently, world leaders were certain that the global economy and increased connectivity had helped stabilize and define the new world order. Now, however, the pendulum has turned back towards a classic game between the great powers, and Russia is again feeling right in its element.
This article reviews key dynamics in the Middle Eastern oil and gas to explain how they shape the global energy picture. The author makes sense of the Saudi-Iran relations and the role OPEC is set to play in the emerging energy landscape. Finally, political developments in the broader region, including Turkey, are discussed.
The talks between Erdogan and Putin herald a new era in Russian-Turkish relations, as Turks now see Russia as a true friend and admire Russia’s motion to support the Turkish President in the midst of a coup, Valdai Club expert Huseyin Bagci believes.
In the future, a duumvirate may emerge in Central Asia, in which China will provide investment and resources, and Russia will contribute security and geopolitical stability.
Despite its deep crisis of identity, spawned by nihilistic elites who are both unable to give a sense to existence and to act in favour of the common good, France is marked by a discreet renewal.
From the beginning, Turkey was one of the most active and ambitious players in the so-called Arab Spring that shook the foundations of the Middle East from 2010-2012. It is no surprise that such outward instability has seeped inward.
It is unlikely that the current impasse in Russia-EU relations will be resolved within the next few years. It appeared long before the Ukrainian crisis. It is so deeply rooted that it will persist even if the con?ict in Donbass deescalates and the Minsk agreements are fully implemented. Both sides advocate fundamentally incompatible models for Russia-EU relations and for the economic and political order that should prevail in both “Wider Europe” and Eurasia.
Every legitimacy dispute revolves around a special combination of the internal and the external. International or external legitimacy is a resource for self-assertion in the global community and it is also a resource for those who wish to challenge the state system.
The only strategic response to the global water challenge and international competition for water would be to improve water use efficiency by redistributing water intakes and introducing new water use technologies. Importantly, these measures do not require redistributing water flows among countries.
Russia and Iran have found themselves to be partners of convenience in Syria. Their interaction is limited due to different motives behind their interference in the conflict and the possibility to harm their relations with third states.
The Syrian conflict has provided an example of the profound virtualization of politics (and even its power component) and of creating stable pre-engineered actors exclusively for the communication space. The “moderate opposition” is the most noteworthy one.
The analysis of the Russian Navy’s involvement in the Syrian campaign suggests two conclusions. The first one is rather optimistic: the Russian Navy has begun to recover after a long period of decline. The second one is less comforting: the Navy is already facing a shortage of ships of almost all major classes.
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.
Life is never dull. The results of the British referendum, hardly expected by anyone, came as a new wake-up call clearly signaling that there is not a place left on Earth where politics could be predictable. Now everyone is waiting with bated breath for the outcome of the presidential election in the United States where all think that Donald Trump simply cannot win, but are no longer certain.
Islam is one of Russia’s four traditional religions – faiths with longstanding presence in the country. Unlike many European countries, where immigration contributes to the growth of the Muslim population, Russia’s Muslims are local people, long-established populations with ethnic traditions reaching centuries back.
The era of bipolar confrontation ended a long time ago. But the unipolar moment of U.S. dominance that began in 1991 is gone, too. A new, multipolar world has brought more uncertainty into international affairs.
As Russia begins to wind down its military operation in Syria, it is time to assess what it has taught us about how the Russian military operates.
When it comes to Russia’s geopolitics, the international community has a lot to grumble about.
The Valdai Discussion Club hosted the 5th meeting of the Valdai Middle East dialogue, «The Middle East: From Violence to Security.» The following is a summary of the discussions and conclusions reached by its participants.
Civil society actors have become key players in conflicts, especially in intra-state ones. This has been facilitated by the transformation of conflicts, increasingly characterized by high-intensity intra-border ethno-religious tensions and strong international influence by proxy.
The hackneyed saying “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future” is as relevant today as never before, but there is no stopping to the audacious flight of imagination. Popular as it is, extrapolation of current trends to future periods does not work as something always gets in the way, while attempts to draw a completely different picture look like imaginative writing. And still we have taken the risk.
The very idea of “the national” takes a peculiar form in Russia. The nation’s intellectual and political elites obstinately look away from grassroots concerns and demands, and focus instead on a set of “eternal Russian questions”.
The Russian military campaign in Syria has been a major military and political event with significant regional and global consequences. It is post-Soviet Russia’s first openly-conducted full-scale military operation abroad.
The three pillars of Saudi power projection, namely Islam, oil, and the U.S. patronage, have grown considerably weaker in recent years. The era of checkbook diplomacy is truly over and Riyadh will have to invest more in diplomacy.
Whereas the short conflict with Georgia in 2008 resulted in a radical reform of Russia’s Air Force, the participation of Russian military aviation in the Syrian campaign will have even more far-reaching effects since the experience acquired during it is immeasurably greater.
The fast build-up of China’s military power is a natural and inevitable process, albeit belated. China is only bringing its military capability into line with the scale of its economy, territory and population. More importantly, it is taking systematic and very costly efforts to make its armed forces ready for active combat operations in remote regions of the world.
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 13th annual meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club includes a special session on the theme “What if… the Soviet Union had not collapsed?”
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is by far the most ambitious project in the field of contractual formats of regional economic cooperation, combining traditional measures to liberalize mutual trade with regulatory rules of economic activity on the territories of member states. If successful, this project will influence on the development of both the world economy and its regulatory mechanisms.
Belarus’ traditional structural dependence on Russia is increasing, and Minsk’s freedom of maneuver continues to shrink.
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.