We will live in a highly competitive and increasingly unpredictable world. Russia should start economic growth and development in order not to fall behind the new technological revolution again. Economic weakness provokes external pressure.
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.
NATO and Russia have failed to develop institutionalized relations that would bind each side to predictable patterns of behavior. As a result, Europe is now locked in a dangerous spiral of security competition. In order to avoid conflict in the future both sides need to find new ways to make institutional binding work.
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.
Russia’s use of soft power in Georgia has become an obligatory talking point in discussion of the two countries’ relations.
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.
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.
Neither Ukraine nor Syria has eased psychological tension so far. The United States and partly Russia do not think they have reached the dangerous point. Apparently they still need a bigger crisis to finally settle their issues.
A scenario similar to the Euromaidan protests may again take place and threaten to turn into an international crisis. It is in our common interest to stop making Ukraine a battlefield between Russia and the West, and encourage it to become a bridge between them.
Opinion polls show the fragility and inconsistency of many attitudes towards war. Currently, it is tentative catastrophism or, using the terminology of Shlapentokh, catastrophism of judgments but not action. It is hard to predict what will happen next.
Russia is seeking to consolidate itself and enhance resilience in preparation to defend its interests. This is not a traditional form of mobilization—that of a “nation in arms,” which is no longer politically sustainable—but represents more a “nation armed” to face the problems of the 21st century.
There can be no return to the status quo ante. “Militant Russia” is here to stay. The U.S., EU and other powers will have little choice, regardless of current attitudes towards Putin and the regime, but to work towards a new modus vivendi with a stronger, more self-assured and demanding Russia.
Russia has nothing to gain and nothing to lose in Europe. By contrast, Russia has much to gain and everything to lose in Asia. Asia is dynamic and growing. But to realize its potential Russia must focus on internal development, not external posturing. And the obvious place for it to focus first is the Far East.
Can Turkey become another Ukraine for Russia? Such speculation would be premature at this point. Today the choice of Turkey as a transit country for the transportation of Russian hydrocarbons to Europe looks strategically sound.
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.
Given decades of East-West encounters, the latest EU-Russia diplomatic row is “just another classic.” Nearing November’s Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, it will be the match to watch. Question: what happens in December?
Russia and Georgia’s clash over South Ossetia happened five years ago, but today it feels like an age away. Much has changed since then in Georgia and Russia, as well in all the countries that were indirectly involved in the conflict.
Normalizing relations with Georgia is simple for Russia, which only has to ease entry and import restrictions and to show that it is open to cooperation.
Georgia has entered a new political era that will show how much the “rose revolutionaries” have managed to achieve. Have they laid the foundation for new developments that will endure in a new social environment or is their activity mere labeling and blowing bubbles? In any case, the experience will be instructive.
If Georgia becomes the fourth post-Soviet country to undergo a democratic transfer of power, this will be Mikheil Saakashvili’s main achievement.
Georgia was the first sovereign state to recognize the genocide against the Circassians. However, the recognition did not occur all of a sudden; certain steps were made back in the 1990s by parliaments of the North Caucasian republics.
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.
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili finally got what he couldn’t get for several years: an official visit to the White House.
President Dmitry Medvedev made a remarkable statement during a speech to military officers in southern Russia early this week.
The Georgian parliament has voted to recognize the 1864 genocide against the Circassian people in the Russian Empire.
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.