The cancellation of a controversial ballet at Russia’s premiere theater holds dark clues as to where the country could be headed after Putin.
Mr Putin and Mr Xi have found an unlikely ally in Mr Trump. The latter’s clumsy approach to foreign policy and fractious relations with long-time allies leave the west poorly equipped to push back.
There may be tensions in the Beijing-Moscow partnership, but reverse migration trends among Chinese workers prove that worries about China’s potential conquest of the Russian Far East are unfounded.
It appears that Putin is much less of a disruptor than Trump. He is committed to the status quo at home and would rather join the global establishment than destroy it. In that, he is closer to Clinton than to Trump.
It is not enough for China and Russia to work to reduce US dominance in “the grand Eurasian chessboard.” They have to work on a new continental order that other countries, not just the two of them, would find an improvement over the current situation.
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.
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.
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.”
The US-Russian relationship under Trump will mainly focus on reducing risks of collision, taking confidence-building measures, and engaging in other forms of war avoidance. Improved relations can only result from a change in the basic attitude of either of the two countries toward the other.
Russian companies are optimistic that the sale of cheap grain and high-quality sweets will help create a climate of “comprehensive strategic cooperation” with China. However, they face completion in the Chinese market from more familiar food brands from the U.S., Australia and New Zealand.
The risk of a confrontation has increased since Friday, but, paradoxically, greater American involvement in Syria may also bring about closer US-Russian co-operation there, leading eventually to a political settlement and an end to the bloody six-year civil war.
Sino-Russian relations do not constitute a new axis of like-minded authoritarian regimes that want to challenge the West by default. But it’s an example of how tactical and opportunistic cooperation of non-Western powers seeking to boost their influence on the international stage comes at expense of the Western-led international order.
The attack in St Petersburg should push Moscow to revisit its counterterrorism strategy and be ready to meet the challenge of this evolving threat. Monday’s bombing should make Kremlin understand the need for a comprehensive strategy.
State-sector reform is crucial for the long-term prospects of the Chinese economy, but it remains unclear how Russia's experience in dealing with the state sector could be of any use to Beijing.
Russia is locked in a battle between official history (the story of the state) and counter-history (the story of civil society and the memories of the people). With the centenary of the October Revolution this year, the clash will move to the center of public life.