The conversation addressed the overlapping national interests of Moscow and Tokyo in the Arctic, possible opportunities and roadblocks for Japanese investment in the development of the Northern Sea Route, and business projects in the Russian Arctic, as well as security challenges and ways to mitigate them.
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.
Ukrainian political activists have stepped up their campaign to isolate Crimea by sabotaging its electricity supply. Ordinary residents of Crimea are hostages of a hybrid political struggle between Ukraine and Russia.
Russia’s oil and gas industry faces long-term systemic problems, even in the unlikely scenario that the price of oil rises sharply again. This has severe implications for the country’s economic prospects.
Official statistics suggest that Russia’s oil and gas industry accounts for only a quarter of the country’s GDP. However, when other factors are factored in, the economy is seen to be much more heavily dependent on hydrocarbons. With oil prices looking set to stay low for a long time, this is bad news for the Russian economy.
The Armenian protesters are motivated by socio-economic issues and the desire for social justice—not larger notions of democracy that constitute international human rights advocacy.
The Xi’s visit to Moscow was the realization of a “win-win” formula beloved by the Chinese. The negotiations between Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin can be seen as a shared symbolic victory and as a broad declaration of good intentions, but the fight over who can benefit more in practical terms has already begun
Perhaps the most important document signed by Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping on May 8 in Moscow is the joint declaration on the unification of the Moscow-backed Eurasian Economic Union and the Chinese Silk Road Economic Belt.
The intensity of Moscow’s current contact with Tehran is unprecedented in Russia’s post-Soviet history. Yet despite the potential for improvement, there are serious obstacles that may hamper or even halt cooperation.
The Ukraine crisis has made Europeans see Greek foreign policy as particularly threatening and divisive. In reality, Greece is simply acting in line with its long-standing political traditions. The question of European unity still lies in the hands of Brussels and Berlin.