In the last two years the warm friendship between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping is perhaps the only reason why large deals are still being made.
In the absence of open political competition, Putin has built a system of checks and balances within the elite. This system keeps Russia’s elites from pushing for change, as it precludes the possibility of anti-Putin intrigue.
Pakistan cannot replace or even influence Russia’s strategic partnership with India. India will always play a very special role in Russia's foreign policy and Russia is very much interested in keeping the strategic level of its ties with India.
The future of Sino-Russian finance cooperation is difficult to predict, as is the trajectory of these two large countries. If the current fundamentals are still there we may expect to see deepening partnership.
If the nonproliferation regime is violated and terrorist organizations get access to nuclear technologies, it will be much easier for them to reach Russia through its neighboring borders than the United States across the Atlantic.
Beginning in 2008, Putin ushered in military reforms and a massive increase in defense spending to upgrade Russia’s creaky military. Thanks to that project, Russia has recently evinced a newfound willingness to use force to get what it wants.
Europe’s rupture with Russia has entered its third year. Trust is non-existent. As one looks into the future, one sees uncertainties. What is the way forward? Is there a way forward?
By intensifying its current activities in the Middle East, the Kremlin is pursuing three goals: economic, political, and security.
Vladimir Putin’s announcement of Russia’s withdrawal from Syria is another cynical move by the Kremlin to retain control over the situation.
The 2016 elections to the Iranian parliament and Assembly of Expert definitely brought, at least, nominal changes in the political landscape of the country. Yet, the potential impact of these changes on the future development of the country will probably be limited.
The current standoff between Moscow and Washington, should it persist longer, could have disastrous implications for nuclear nonproliferation.
Speaking in Munich, Medvedev diagnosed an ongoing slide into a new Cold War and, accordingly, an increase of dangers—both from a potential direct clash between Russia and the United States/NATO and from their inability to cooperate to fight extremism.
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.
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.
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.
In comparison to 2014, 2015 was at least a somewhat positive year for relations between Russia and the West. However, it is unlikely that these relations will improve in the near future.