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19.04.2018
Sanctions and Retaliation: Where Russia-U.S. Relations Are Headed

Sanctions and Retaliation: Where Russia-U.S. Relations Are Headed

Many more Russian oligarchs, bureaucrats, companies, and businesses can expect to appear on future U.S. sanctions lists. Russia, not seeing an immediate catastrophic effect, will respond to new sanctions by searching for more enemies within and ramping up anti-American propaganda. The United States, which loses nothing from this policy, isn’t likely to initiate change, so it will be up to the Kremlin to change its approach—before it’s too late.
18.04.2018
Moral Protests: How Citizens are Born in Russia

Moral Protests: How Citizens are Born in Russia

It’s a cliché in the Western discussion about Russia to portray Putin as a god-like force in Russian life who demands unfailing obedience from oligarchs and little people alike. Yet recent spontaneous protests in Siberia and a small town near Moscow show how quickly average citizens can mobilize to rail against injustice and the stunning incompetence of their country’s rulers.
12.04.2018
Who Wins From Russia-West Tensions in the Post-Soviet Space?

Who Wins From Russia-West Tensions in the Post-Soviet Space?

The surge of third powers in the post-Soviet space is propelled by the twin engines of rising demand for alternatives to Russia and the West, and growing supply of new ambitious economic and political regional players. The overall effect of these trends is to offer most post-Soviet states an increasing array of foreign, economic, and political options, and a wider and more stable foundation for much-coveted multi-vectoral foreign policies in which they can more often say no, if they want to—to both Moscow and Western capitals.
11.04.2018
A Needless Rivalry? Russia and the EU in Central Asia

A Needless Rivalry? Russia and the EU in Central Asia

Central Asia currently resembles parts of the Middle East before the Arab Spring. In contrast to other parts of the post-Soviet space, where Russian and EU interests are in direct competition, the region has the potential to be a place of cooperation in the name of common goals.
10.04.2018
The Southern Vector: Russia’s Need to Upgrade Its Policy in the South Caucasus

The Southern Vector: Russia’s Need to Upgrade Its Policy in the South Caucasus

To ensure its national security, Russia needs a comprehensive strategy in the South Caucasus region.
4.04.2018
Donbas Businessmen: From Victims to Peace-Builders?

Donbas Businessmen: From Victims to Peace-Builders?

A well-established private sector makes the Donbas conflict different from the separatist conflicts of the early 1990s in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Private business is a strong pro-peace force because lawlessness, a fragile security environment, and a shrinking population and its impoverishment can be crippling to business operations. Engaging the private sector in conflict prevention can contribute to the recovery and consolidation of peace in the region
30.03.2018
Antonov: The Unsung Victim of the Russia-Ukraine Conflict

Antonov: The Unsung Victim of the Russia-Ukraine Conflict

Russia and Ukraine have discussed joint aircraft industry projects numerous times, but in the context of other problems, such as their gas disputes. The two sides brought more and more resources to the table, trying to get a better deal in the conflict. Antonov was just one of the tools used as a bargaining chip in gas price negotiations. Ultimately, the plane manufacturer found itself on the losing side.
28.03.2018
The Yuan’s Russian Vacation: Why Chinese Tourism Barely Benefits Russia’s Budget

The Yuan’s Russian Vacation: Why Chinese Tourism Barely Benefits Russia’s Budget

Contrary to popular belief, Chinese tourism generates very little revenue for the Russian economy. The reason lies in the inner workings of the Chinese tourist economy in Russia, in which visitors are limited to package tours where most payments are made in China or through Chinese banks. The Russian authorities should recognize this problem and stop treating Chinese tourism as the new engine of economic growth.
22.03.2018
A Mandate for Stagnation: After Russia’s Presidential Election

A Mandate for Stagnation: After Russia’s Presidential Election

Vladimir Putin is beginning his fourth term as president of Russia. Andrei Kolesnikov, the head of the Domestic Politics and Political Institutions program at the Carnegie Moscow Center, discusses the elections results, some surprises in the presidential race and what comes next for Russia.
22.03.2018
Nothing to Discuss: Munich Conference Highlights Russia-West Stalemate

Nothing to Discuss: Munich Conference Highlights Russia-West Stalemate

The Russian authorities refrain from engaging with the West’s military and political intellectual elite at the Munich Security Conference and similar forums because they’re convinced that the Russophobe audiences there will never change their minds. This belief is more a reflection of the Russian political system, in which the government doesn’t really consider expert and public opinion when formulating its foreign policy. This approach is to a large extent responsible for the miscalculations and errors that led to the current situation in Russia’s relations with the West.
21.03.2018
Russia and Ukraine: From Brothers to Neighbors

Russia and Ukraine: From Brothers to Neighbors

Russia is parting ways with both Ukraine and Belarus. This did not have to be a tragedy with Ukraine, and can still be handled amicably with Belarus. Moreover, an independent Ukrainian state and a Ukrainian political nation ease Russia’s transition from its post-imperial condition and facilitate the formation of a Russian political nation.
20.03.2018
Russia’s Impossible Coalition: Putin’s New Politics

Russia’s Impossible Coalition: Putin’s New Politics

The conflict that will dominate Putin’s fourth term is not between the doves and hawks, but between two economic schools: the industrialists, who believe the economy is made up of manufacturing machines, and the liberals, who are convinced that it consists of money. No technocrat will be able to form an efficient team from people who have fundamentally different ideas of what the economy actually is.
19.03.2018
A Historical Interlocutor: How Willing is Italy to Support Russia?

A Historical Interlocutor: How Willing is Italy to Support Russia?

Virtually all of Italy’s political forces want to increase cooperation with Russia. But the Kremlin would be unwise to read too much into this. Rome values preserving mutual understanding with the European Union and the United States over advocating for lifting sanctions. A positive relationship with Italy is an important asset for Russian foreign policy, but it isn’t a game-changer.
16.03.2018
Donbas Diplomacy: Ukraine Bides Its Time

Donbas Diplomacy: Ukraine Bides Its Time

The Minsk agreements are not dead, nor is the conflict in Donbas frozen. Despite a recent diplomatic push, and given the lack of trust between Russia and the United States, and Ukraine’s resistance to the Minsk accords, the status quo is for the time being an acceptable option for all sides. Mired in the upcoming election cycle in 2019, Kiev can’t meet the political requirements of the agreements, and considers Donbas as collateral for its ongoing nation-building project. The recently approved deal to send U.S. lethal weapons to Ukraine will not change the situation in the conflict zone, but plans to increase Western aid directly to Donbas may slowly sway public opinion in eastern Ukraine.
15.03.2018
Conflicting Realities in Russia and the EU’s Shared Neighborhood

Conflicting Realities in Russia and the EU’s Shared Neighborhood

Precisely because the conflict with Georgia now has a lower profile than Ukraine, the EU and Russia might start exploring ways to minimize the risk of confrontation and even test approaches for accommodation. Using the provisions of the Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement signed with Georgia EU can underscore its commitment to human rights and propose technical solutions that would improve the lives of residents in Abkhazia and South Ossetia in terms of access to education, healthcare, and freedom of movement and trade.
12.03.2018
Ukraine at a Crossroads: Scenarios for the Reintegration of Donbas

Ukraine at a Crossroads: Scenarios for the Reintegration of Donbas

The priority now is not only a ceasefire, but also the articulation of strong political incentives for the breakaway regions to finally begin disarmament and reintegration. This is first and foremost a task for the Ukrainian authorities, who will have to overcome the taboo and establish a legal framework for reintegration.
9.03.2018
A Hi-Tech Russian Doll: Putin’s Fourth-Term Reboot

A Hi-Tech Russian Doll: Putin’s Fourth-Term Reboot

Putin’s goal is now neither to recreate the USSR, nor to become part of the West. Rather, the ambition is to build an economic and technological “West” inside Russia, while continuing an aggressive posture towards the West on the outside.
7.03.2018
Saving the INF Treaty

Saving the INF Treaty

Washington has accused Moscow of violating the INF Treaty. The Kremlin has threatened to withdraw. Without new agreements and measures to ensure compliance with INF amid changing technological and political realities, arms control is in trouble.
5.03.2018
Why Spain Doesn’t Fear the “Russian Threat”

Why Spain Doesn’t Fear the “Russian Threat”

Spain is a member of both the EU and NATO, yet its stance on Russia remains surprisingly benevolent. Even rumors of Russian interference in the Catalan crisis have not changed this. Moscow’s ties with Madrid could provide a valuable foundation for future engagement with Europe.
20.02.2018
The Karabakh Conflict as “Project Minimum”

The Karabakh Conflict as “Project Minimum”

Moscow has never pulled the strings in the Karabakh conflict, but it remains the most influential outside actor. A Karabakh peace process will remain “Project Minimum” for Russia, the United States, and France, unless its key actors, local and international, decide to rethink their strategic priorities.
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