The 2018 presidential election in Russia is expected to go ahead without a hitch for Putin, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t see other problems in 2018. The real challenge will be the mismatch between the public’s expectations and the decisions that the regime will inevitably have to make after the election.
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.
It will take years for Russia to increase trade with China. To do so, Russia will need to strengthen its institutions, overcome non-tariff barriers to the Chinese market, and enhance its reputation among Chinese investors.
Russia has never received so much attention from the West, but perhaps for all the wrong reasons. Overshadowed by allegations of interference in Western democracies, is the story of Russia’s own social and political awakening.
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.
The window of opportunity for improving Russo-Japanese relations is still open, at least for now. Russia’s main objectives are to attract Japanese investment into its national economic development programs and to continue to diversify its policies in the Asia-Pacific and on the international stage, where Japan plays an important and increasingly independent role.
Even as Russia officially proclaims moral conservatism, the official tactic of nominating a wheelchair-bound singer for the Eurovision Song Contest suggests a different approach. A political gambit reflects a wider trend. Much of Russian society is becoming more tolerant of difference and more Europeanized than it has been for a century.
The conflict between the United States and Russia is a conflict between dominance and leadership, as far the U.S. is concerned, and Russia’s yearning for a global oligarchy.
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 authorities are in a no-win situation as a result of their unpopular plans to demolish five-story residential buildings in Moscow. If they stick to their guns, angry urbanites are bound to take to the streets in protest. If they yield to public demands, they’ll demonstrate the effectiveness of mass protests.
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.”
Ten years after Boris Yeltsin’s death, we’re only beginning to grapple with the legacy of his transformative presidency.
Authors of more recent studies almost unanimously state that even though it’s unclear whether the resource curse generally menace on average over the group of resource-rich countries, it definitely threatens nations with weak institutions.
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.
Millennials are becoming an important force in Russian politics, one that both the regime and the opposition are trying to harness. YouTube, VKontakte, and other social media platforms present a promising way to reach Russian youth.