It is still unclear whether the sensational story of Dominique Strauss-Kahn's alleged sexual assault of a maid at New York's Sofitel hotel is more of a tragedy or a farce, but it is bound to have repercussions.
NATO can survive for a fairly long time in its present condition because it is to the benefit of its participants, especially the Europeans.
Greater Europe is at a crossroads. Twenty years after the fall of the Iron Curtain, it remains divided, unable to unify into a global force.
The CIS countries will correlate their integration efforts among themselves and with the European Union. In the long run, this will help create conditions for preparing a general agreement on the principles of free trade in the vast area from the Pacific to the Atlantic. After that, this construct could be proposed to the Asia-Pacific region, where trade policy issues are discussed very actively.
Re-economization of the EU’s energy security benefits both Russia and the EU, as politicization of the sphere leads but to an impasse. Still, we must be prepared for an activation of somewhat forgotten or yet incompletely shaped contradictions – the problems of legal approximation and liberalization, differing perceptions of reciprocity, and the dissimilarities in building dialogue between the private and public sectors.
The normalization of Russian relations with neighbors is rather a steady trend, than a string of casual diplomatic successes. The question is what this normalization is all about “technologically,” so to say, and not from the standpoint of content. Is there a reason to say that this successful experience may furnish a solid basis for an overall strategy of building relations with neighbors west of the Russian border?
Russia and the West have lost a great deal of trust in each other, and trust is proving hard to restore, the maintenance of existing arms control regimes such as CFE remains an important political objective, even if the military rationale behind their establishment at the end of the Cold War has largely vanished.
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.