With parliamentary elections slated for the fall, Georgia’s ruling party is hoping that low energy prices will ensure victory at the polls. Once relatively independent of Gazprom, the government in Tbilisi is weighing importing natural gas from the Russian energy giant
Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly accused the United States of upsetting the strategic nuclear balance by deploying a missile defense system in Europe, but closer examination of the facts reveals a more complex picture.
The North Caucasus Islamists’ wish to join ISIS makes some sense. By joining, they would cast themselves not just as regional players but worldwide jihadists. The relations between ISIS and the Caucasus Emirate, however, have been fraught with difficulties.
In the Middle East, it is the regional actors that are at the forefront. They are calling the shots—literally. And they are yet to learn the fine art of co-operation alongside confrontation.
China’s purchase of 24 Russian Su-35 fighter jets may alter the balance of power in Taiwan and give Beijing a measuring stick with which to judge the quality of its domestically produced aircraft
The Russian government continues to see the free Internet as one of the main threats to its survival. There are three realistic scenarios of how it will see to control it in the future.
North Korea has been described as the world’s last Stalinist country. The rhetoric of its officials may indeed be Stalinist, but market forces have played a major role in its economy since at least the late 1990s. The spontaneous growth of free enterprise has been crucial to the North Korean economy’s slow but steady recovery from an external shock.
The Saudi-Iranian conflict will compel Moscow to make a hard choice: stand with its Iranian partner or step aside and remain ostensibly neutral.
Ramzan Kadyrov is setting himself up to be an alternative to Putin, an improved version of the original. But the original rarely forgives the man who dares to copy him.
The main challenge of foreign policy expertise both in Russia and in the United States is to understand where the other country is coming from. The challenge to the U.S. is to be able to go beyond the ideological stereotypes. For the Russians, there is a clear need to do more serious research on the United States.
Pro-Moscow Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has begun 2016 by picking fights with Russia’s opposition. Although they see it as a sign of his political strength, the new row reveals his weakness: Kadyrov is anxious to get renewed political and economic support from the Kremlin for Chechnya’s “special status.”
A recent slight increase in Russia’s oil output is likely to be short-lived. Oil production may start to decline by the end of the year, falling almost twofold by 2035 due to a lack of financing for new field exploration and development.
The Russian system is in a crisis whose outcome is uncertain. But social protest is unlikely to deliver change. Change is more likely to come about through modernization from above.
The Russian authorities have been reluctant to admit that an attack in southern Dagestan on the eve of New Year was the work of Islamic State. The organization is making a bid to play a role in the North Caucasus.
Russians are tightening their belts and forgoing luxuries to cope with the new economic crisis. But they are conditioned to avoid protest. The government has little to fear, but the result is systemic poverty and economic stagnation.
The goal was to return to the club where the destiny of the world is being discussed, not as an ally (because given the current economic disparity, one could only be a subordinate ally) but as a “partner”—a word that is invariably spoken in Russia with phonetic quotation marks: a disobedient, sometimes blunt neighbor with whom considerations of the world order must be shared.
There is no reason to expect any serious changes in the Russian economy in 2016. The coming year is likely to see a behind-the-scenes struggle between two special interest groups: those who will profit if industries are nationalized, and those who will benefit from foreign investment.
While Moscow and Beijing are unlikely to see much political friction, three economic areas offer possible points of contention: the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, ASEAN, and the Silk Road Economic Belt project.
A recently published report examines factors that contribute to an atmosphere in which the use of nuclear weapons in the Euro-Atlantic region becomes more probable than immediately after the end of the Cold War.
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