As the focus is all on Putin's effort to reshape his neighborhood this week, a Kazakh and a Belarusian silence is an awkward reminder that the Eurasian Union was supposed to be a collaborative project and that the more Putin grabs the headlines, the less that is the case.
Regarding finances, the Russian government has used three methods to keep the Ukrainians from signing the Association Agreement with the EU: bullying, bribery, and defending Russian national interests.
As Russia and Japan are carefully embarking on a fresh attempt to fully normalize their relations, closer and more regular contacts in the foreign and security field, including military exercises, may be useful as confidence-building.
Now that Saakashvili is finally history, the chances that Russia will soon take an active interest in Georgia are going up. This would concern the settlement of the main issue in Georgian-Russian relations—the status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
The Netherlands filed a claim against Russia in the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, in connection with detaining the activists and crew of Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise. Acting by challenging the state that no one wants to irritate, the Dutch decided to take a principled stand and stick to it to the very end.
In May 2012, the arrest of ordinary demonstrators on Bolotnaya Square and the riot charges pressed against them signalled the authorities’ shift from soft authoritarianism that tolerates limited discontent to a more repressive style of government.