To the dismay of Russian reformers, a consensus seems to be growing among Western policymakers and intellectuals that Russia is not ready for liberalism and that there are even certain advantages to dealing with the illiberal political order built by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
To dismiss Medvedev as a mere Putin puppet would be a mistake; Medvedev was chosen to recruit an internet savvy and generally more liberal Russian constituency to the Kremlin’s program of conservative modernization.
Although Putin has the coercive power of the state firmly in hand, Medvedev plays an important role in the governance of Russia, and his appeal to a younger, generally liberal demographic is key to the Kremlin’s goal of conservative modernization.
A broad array of military, political, and legal issues exert an increasing influence on the issue of nuclear nonproliferation, and they must be taken into account in any effort to strengthen the nonproliferation regime.
A new procedure in Russia’s gubernatorial elections that allows the party dominating the regional legislature to nominate gubernatorial candidates only perpetuates the worst problems of the previous system of appointments.
Whoever wins the upcoming presidential election in Ukraine must lead a country divided by identity issues and hit hard by the global financial meltdown, while maintaining a delicate balance between Western integration and Eastern cultural roots and affinities.
President Obama has had some major accomplishments in the past year, but serious challenges still lay ahead: strengthening the nonproliferation regime, climate change, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iran, and Afghanistan.
As the war in Afghanistan begins to enter a new phase, it is important to reexamine some of the premises of U.S. policy in the Central Asian region and to consider whether the conditions in the region have changed in the last decade.
As the world headed to Copenhagen to talk about climate change, Russians were largely silent on the subject; by most accounts, the average Russian citizen doesn’t think about global warming at all.
Clearly it is in Russia's interest, while maintaining its strong positions in India, to search for a way to move beyond the traditional spheres of cooperation, in order not only to maintain the strategic nature of their bilateral relations in the long run, but, using these relations, to enhance the innovative character of its own economy.
The Obama administration’s decision to abandon plans to deploy a European ballistic missile defense system has helped sooth relations with Russia and provided an opportunity for U.S.-Russian cooperation on missile defense.
Although Prime Minister Putin’s eighth annual call-in show was much livelier than the typical state television coverage of the government’s public policy, it will take much more than a yearly show to establish a genuine two-way dialogue between the government and the people.
In response to the diverse challenges facing the region, the Euro-Atlantic Security Initiative—an international commission to build the intellectual framework for an inclusive transatlantic security system for the 21st century—has been launched.
While a Nobel Peace Prize seems the occasion to address an international audience, Obama must use this opportunity to speak to his domestic constituency on the three great present challenges to world peace: nuclear proliferation, climate change and the allure of radical Islam.
In his long-awaited address, President Obama presented a series of objectives but no clear strategy. His plan will likely leave Afghanistan looking worse than it does now.
As Asian countries seek to maintain trade advantage by manipulating their currencies, the United States and Europe, who have little room to devalue, may respond with protectionist measures that will hurt global trade.
Russian President Medvedev’s draft Treaty on European Security aims to create an undivided Euro-Atlantic security space and bury the legacy of the Cold War. It is a positive step, but concrete action is needed to reconcile the differing interests and potential tensions of the parties involved.
The Obama administration must engage in a new type of dialogue with the Middle East, one modeled after the process used to improve relations with the Soviet bloc, if it wants to have any chance of impacting political reform in the region.
One of Iraq’s vice presidents, Tariq al-Hashemi, has vetoed the country's new election law, threatening to delay elections which according to the constitution must happen by the end of January 2010.
Signs of strength are emerging in the Russian economy, aided by increasing exports, oil prices, and industrial production. However, weak domestic demand may hamper the recovery’s sustainability.