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Should Trump be ready to offer Kim Jong-un US security guarantees for his regime in exchange for limiting North Korea’s missile program so that the US West Coast remains safe from North Korean projectiles, Russia could also offer to host a six-party summit in Vladivostok so close to the two Koreas, as well as China and Japan.
In its clumsy attempt to exploit the vulnerabilities of the Sino-Russian axis, the Trump administration misunderstands not only the strength of relations, but also its own desirability as a useful ally.
Twenty-five years after the end of the Soviet Union, Moscow is certainly ready to overcome its old Soviet image. That may have been on the authorities’ minds when they drew up the redevelopment plan. But the only way the authorities could think of redesigning the urban landscape was through Soviet tactics.
In the absence of a real political contest, Russia’s 2018 presidential election will be more or less a referendum on public confidence in Putin.
At the Belt Road Forum in Beijing, Vladimir Putin once again reaffirmed his personal relations with Xi Jinping without getting into economic specifics. But still, the Russian President managed to get special attention. Russia needs to be satisfied with its political gains from the forum.
Russia has played it cool in the current North Korea crisis, convinced that the spike in tensions will soon subside. Moscow, however, is under no illusion: The security situation on the Korean Peninsula continues to deteriorate and the next alert is just around the corner.
Moscow, with its 13 million residents, is Russia’s most progressive city. But its citizens are not homogenous and cohesive. But after the authorities began intruding on their private space, Muscovites started to unite. They are no longer a resource supporting the political regime. The movement to defend private property rights just might give birth to a sense of civic pride.
A localized civil society movement in Moscow is pushing for the government to curb unfair urban development practices and give residents greater autonomy over their own neighborhoods.
The Sino-Russian swap agreement of 2014 was signed right before a major geo-political crisis and the depreciation of the Russian currency. Although the idea of an escape from the U.S. dollar in bilateral payments is quite positive, the deal could not help improve bilateral trade and investment.
Andrey Movchan explains what lessons Russia can learn from Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela to deal with the perennial “resource curse.”