The latest U.S. sanctions on Moscow and the expulsion of U.S. diplomats from Russia are not only hurting relations with Russia but also causing divisions between Western politicians.
Vladimir Putin’s recent conversations with “ordinary Russians” are not an attempt to engage in direct democracy. Rather, they are intended to present the president with a new, artificial image of the Russian people; Kremlin officials are manufacturing conversations in which ordinary Russians are shown to be concerned with the same issues as their president.
Considering the close attention that Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping are paying to their countries’ joint jumbo jet project, it is clearly political. Russia and China have grand ambitions: they want their own civil aviation industries to be on a par with those of industry leaders like the United States and France. Moscow and Beijing are willing to team up for the sake of these ambitions, since neither can catch up to Boeing or Airbus on its own.
Former president Yevgeny Shevchuk’s flight from Tiraspol may signal the culmination of Sheriff’s consolidation of power in Transdniestria, giving the country’s leaders a chance to devise a strategic development program for the first time in twenty years.
In order to force Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear and missiles programs, the international community has imposed a set of tough economic sanctions. Do they work? And what Moscow thinks about them?
The Russian president’s decision to cull 755 U.S. Embassy employees was not the act of a man ready to give up on relations with the United States.
The cancellation of a controversial ballet at Russia’s premiere theater holds dark clues as to where the country could be headed after Putin.
When the state has mineral resources, it hires a company like Royal Dutch Shell to extract the oil and share the profits. But when it has an abundant supply of labor, it turns a blind eye to its resources being used in tolling schemes right out of the 1990s. The existing penitentiary system is not in the interests of the state or the prisoners.
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.
The demise of pragmatic politics will only amplify discontent with the regime and benefit populist opposition politicians. The public will no longer tolerate the regime’s strategy of tackling material problems with spiritual discourse, and will demand immediate practical solutions. As public discontent with the old regime grows stronger, new politicians will have an easy time promising quick material gains.
While Russia repositions itself as a stand-alone power in the north-central portion of the world’s largest continent, its leaders are seeking to create a distinct national entity amid a vast and highly diverse neighborhood.
Now that Chinese big investment projects have all but dried up, Moscow risks turning its attention away from Asia. Once again, Russia may miss the opportunity to profit from one of the world’s largest markets—and an especially important one for Russia in light of continuing Western sanctions.
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.
The increased frequency in Russia of military ceremonies and parades removes the need to reflect on the real history of the Great Patriotic War against Germany. Nowadays, even the anniversary of the German invasion of June 22, 1941, no longer presents an opportunity to commemorate and mourn.
Expectations of the first meeting between presidents Putin and Trump were low, and the U.S. president stood to lose out however the encounter went. But any agreement to manage the risks in the relationship counts as an achievement.
The dispute over newly established security zones on the Russia-Belarus border reveals that Moscow no longer sees Minsk as a reliable defense partner.
In any other post-Soviet country, the president’s choice of successor would have informed the choice of the ruling party, but not in Kyrgyzstan. There is a flurry of activity in Bishkek, which foreshadows a sharp collision at the Social Democratic party convention, and possibly a fracturing of the ruling party. As a result, the authorities may back a completely different candidate.
The U.S. State Department’s effort to portray North Korean migrant labor in Russia as slavery is misguided; working abroad is one of the only ways for North Koreans to climb the social ladder and provide their families with a modicum of financial stability.
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.
China has no port of its own on the Sea of Japan, and Russia could use this to its advantage. But for Russia to attract Chinese cargo, it is essential to simplify customs controls and seriously invest in roads and ports. Considering that both of these factors are Russia’s responsibility, the completion of the Primorye transport corridors has been stalled for a long time.