Vladimir Putin’s decision to lift a ban on the exports of the S-300 air defense missile system to Iran has caused shockwaves in the West and Israel. However, the Kremlin’s move was quite predictable with a rather clearly discernible logic behind it.
President Putin’s decision to lift the ban on the transfer of the S-300 air defense system to Iran signals a new departure for Moscow’s policy in the Middle East.
The Ukraine crisis has made Europeans see Greek foreign policy as particularly threatening and divisive. In reality, Greece is simply acting in line with its long-standing political traditions. The question of European unity still lies in the hands of Brussels and Berlin
Russia is tilting toward China in the face of political and economic pressure from the United States and Europe. This does not presage a new Sino-Russian bloc, but the epoch of post-communist Russia’s integration with the West is over.
There is little reason to believe that the Russian middle class will react to the ongoing financial and economic crisis with protests or renewed calls for change. Instead, it seems almost certain that it will opt for strategies of survival and perseverance.
On some big picture issues—like Western integration and managing Russian militarism—the ruling Georgian Dream (CD) coalition and the opposition United National Movement (UNM) have more in common than not. A GD-UNM detente seems logical, but it will depend on each party’s gray cardinal to accede—or for their official leadership to seize the initiative themselves.
Russia’s “pivot to Asia” is meeting with a number of challenges, such as bureaucratic inertia, lack of workable ideas, and high levels of corruption. However, there are ways of dealing with all of them.
The Western approach to Russia is predicated on the supposition that continued pressure on the country will cause Vladimir Putin’s regime to make concessions or even crumble. However, this is far from the truth.
The post-Soviet elites use the system that Lee Kuan Yew constructed in Singapore to justify political crackdown. However, Lee himself believed that resource-based dictatorships will fail to replicate Singapore’s success, since restricting freedoms is not the cornerstone of his model.
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