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  • 24.05.2016
    Don’t Rock the Boat: How Long Can Putin Avoid Capsizing? Commentary

    Some Russian experts are predicting that the current Russian regime will last another ten years. Change is inevitable, but no one can forecast what form it will take. In the short term, the trend is for inertia and no change.

  • 23.05.2016
    Point of No Return: Finland and Sweden Weigh Up NATO Commentary

    Russia’s unpredictability means there is a lack of clarity on the direction the country will take after 2018. Is NATO membership really crucial for Finland and Sweden in the long term if Russia follows the best-case scenario, or even if it enters a state of inertia?

  • 19.05.2016
    Russia Still Seeking a Role in ASEAN Commentary

    Twenty years after Russia was first declared a partner of ASEAN, its economic role in Southeast Asia is still limited. Moscow’s position in the region is largely guided by its strong relationships with Vietnam and China.

  • 19.05.2016
    Is a New Japanese-Russian Rapprochement in the Air? Commentary

    After an uncharacteristically friendly Japanese-Russian high-level meeting in Sochi, there is speculation about new efforts to solve the two countries’ dispute over the Kuril Islands.

  • 17.05.2016
    Crossing a Kremlin Red Line: The Attack on RBC Commentary

    The RBC media group had developed a distinctive line in investigative fact-based journalism, which was much more dangerous to the authorities than radical opinions. It could no longer be tolerated by the Kremlin or supported even by its liberal oligarch owner.

  • 17.05.2016
    The Tip of the Ukraine Iceberg: After the Dutch EU Referendum Commentary

    Despite Kiev’s official rhetoric, the national consensus on integration with the EU is increasingly fragile. Pro-Russian forces are reasserting themselves in the southeast, while ultra-right activists are campaigning against the European Union in the west. On top of that, the current pro-European government has no real achievements to boast of.

  • 13.05.2016
    Splits Force Russia’s Opposition to Rethink Commentary

    It did not need the intervention of the Kremlin for Russia's liberal opposition alliance to fall apart. A clash of personalities and ambitions looks to have doomed the alliance before the parliamentary election campaign has even got underway.

  • 11.05.2016
    Uzbeks in Russia: Not Homesick Yet Commentary

    Uzbek President Islam Karimov has begun to make an issue of getting Uzbek migrant workers to return home from Russia. He wants political control. But the current situation, where migrants send millions of dollars in remittances and provide cheap labor in Russia, suits everybody.

  • 10.05.2016
    Is Russia Losing Its Logistics Edge? Commentary

    New freight routes through Kazakhstan have fundamentally altered the logistics of Eurasian commerce. If Russia wants to retain its stake in transcontinental shipping and transport, it must develop its logistics infrastructure in the Far East to accommodate goods moving westward from East Asia.

  • 02.05.2016
    Peacekeepers Can Unlock Donbas Impasse Commentary

    The past two years have shown that in order to reliably end the fighting, an essential condition for the implementation of the Minsk agreements is a full-scale peacekeeping mission under the mandate of the UN Security Council with the use of military contingents of OSCE countries, equipped with armored vehicles, artillery, helicopters, and drones.

  • 28.04.2016
    The Static Regime: Russia’s Reversion from Popular Autocracy Commentary

    Russia has generally been a static autocracy throughout its history, rejecting the dynamic popular activism of Mao’s China or revolutionary China. The hybrid war in the Donbas was the occasion for a flirtation with extreme politics led from below. But the Kremlin has reverted to the norm, sensing the danger of giving its most loyal supporters too much power.

  • 28.04.2016
    Is Investment in Infrastructure the Answer to Russia’s Economic Problems? Commentary

    It will be nearly impossible for Russia to revive its economy through state investment in infrastructure alone. Conservative estimates suggest that Russia would have to invest 15 percent of its GDP in infrastructure annually for many years to have a significant effect on the economy.

  • 26.04.2016
    Asia’s Rise, Russia, and the Future of the Global Order Commentary

    This week, Kevin Rudd, president of the Asia Society Policy Institute and former Australian prime minister, will be visiting Moscow. Speaking at the Carnegie Moscow Center on February 18, 2016, Kevin Rudd outlined Chinese foreign policy under Xi Jinping. In a new article written exclusively for, he articulates his vision for Russia’s possible role in Asia.

  • 22.04.2016
    A Pivot to Nowhere: The Realities of Russia’s Asia Policy Commentary

    Two years after the Kremlin’s rift with the West, Moscow’s hopes that a new business relationship with Asia would make up for Russia’s losses have not materialized. President Putin and other members of the elite did not commit themselves strongly to the idea of a “pivot to Asia.” Only certain parts of the private sector have benefited.

  • 20.04.2016
    China Steps Into the Soccer Spotlight Commentary

    Unlike Russia, China has succeeded in creating a sports industry that is more than a prestige project: it has the potential to accelerate China’s international integration and to cultivate national unity and a shared passion for the game among China’s growing middle class.

  • 19.04.2016
    What Would Economic Disintegration in Russia Look Like? Commentary

    Russia’s economy will likely contract gradually over the next three to four years and then become increasingly socialized, as the government implements price and currency controls, monopolizes foreign trade, embarks on a large-scale nationalization of private industries, and increasingly regulates salaries and consumption.

  • 15.04.2016
    Putin, the Caring Candidate Commentary

    Vladimir Putin’s performance at the annual nationwide “direct line” phone-in shows he is again prioritizing domestic politics. His answers signaled the start of a 2018 reelection campaign, as he presented himself not as the global strategist of last year but as a domestic manager once again concerned with ordinary people’s problems.

  • 15.04.2016
    Unfreezing the Status Quo in the Caucasus Commentary

    The warring parties in the Karabakh conflict, especially the Azerbaijani side, have decided to shake the status quo in the Caucasus. Violence could recur at any time and the latest fighting clearly demonstrates that the combined goodwill and cooperation of Moscow and Washington is no longer sufficient.

  • 14.04.2016
    Economic Triage: How Russia Could Cope With the Crisis Commentary

    The Russian government will attempt to increase state revenues without meaningfully reforming its economic or social welfare system. Its main objective will be to preserve the stability of the regime while continuing to provide support and sources of substantial profits for elite interest groups.

  • 13.04.2016
    Putin’s National Guard Gambit Commentary

    President Putin’s formation of a new National Guard gives him extra powers as a time of political uncertainty begins. It also helps him cut some strong individuals down to size.

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