Both Russia and the West may be sick and tired of the mercurial Belarusian autocrat, but they still see him as the lesser evil.
Even if AI development becomes Russia’s highest priority, Moscow has no chance of catching up with Washington and Beijing in this field. Under favorable conditions, however, Russia is quite capable of becoming a serious player and even a local leader in certain areas.
Whatever the truth behind the arrests of alleged Russian mercenaries in Belarus, the incident cannot fail to exacerbate the main problem in the relationship between Minsk and Moscow: a protracted crisis of trust.
Each new wave of Russian protests since 2011—whether political or initially depoliticized (over landfills, housing development projects and so on)—is at heart prompted by an insult to people’s dignity.
By laying the constitutional groundwork to remain president for life, Vladimir Putin is engineering a further “Francoization” of his regime. But while Francisco Franco at least had a successor in King Juan Carlos, Putin has no such thing, which could spell chaos for Russia.
To build his regime, Putin manipulated his predecessors’ crumbling institutions and the country’s economic system. Now, Putin must become his own successor—or let someone else pull his own trick on him.
In appointing LDPR deputy Degtyarev as the new governor of Khabarovsk, Putin is not promoting one of his own men, but making the LDPR responsible for extinguishing the fire of discontent raging in the region.
It’s in neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan’s interests for Russia to pick a side in their conflict: Nagorno-Karabakh would go from being a unique place where Russia and the West cooperate to yet another theater for their rivalry, with all the ensuing risks and dangers.
Serbia’s authorities broke an old taboo when they blamed pro-Russian radicals for instigating some of the recent violence in the country, and Russia-Serbia relations may never be the same again.
A further fall in President Zelensky’s ratings could become a serious demotivating factor for the former TV star. His transformation from the “people’s president” into yet another Ukrainian politician with broken promises, a state dacha, and a dodgy entourage will primarily weigh on the president himself.
For the foreseeable future, Russian-Chinese relations are likely to be closer, and more productive than Russian-American ones. This is not based on emotions, but on national interests.
Russia’s inaction on climate change could lead to new problems in its relationship with the EU. Its Green Deal, for example, envisages the introduction of an EU carbon border tax, which alarms Russian exporters.
Alexander Gabuev is joined by Dmitri Trenin and Elena Chernenko to discuss what impact the global pandemic has had—and will continue to have—on Russian foreign policy.
The Serebrennikov case reveals a split within the Russian elite, and Putin’s refusal to back one side or the other. One part of it wants to re-Sovietize culture and punish artists who do not fit with their conservative agenda, while others continue to value artistic freedom.
The coronavirus pandemic has hastened the arrival of a new era of bipolarity. The short essays in this panoramic collection examine the various implications of the pandemic for Russia’s foreign relations.
Belarus is moving toward a new geopolitical identity. Instead of its status as a peacekeeper between East and West, Minsk may soon find that it lacks a good relationship with either side.
Putin’s attempt to renew his mandate in the July 1 constitutional plebiscite is a challenge to those who surround him and a rejection of Russia’s changing reality. Essentially, he is banning his associates from looking around for a successor and from discussing their own future.
As Washington contemplates reducing its contingent in Germany, it would appear that the so-called German question is rearing its head again in European politics.
John Bolton suggests that Putin can play Trump like a fiddle. The truth is that under the forty-fifth U.S. president, the bilateral relationship with Russia is now as bad as at any time since the early 1980s.
Moscow’s trump card in the Balkans is its right to veto Kosovo’s accession to the UN. A likely agreement between Serbia and Kosovo will leave Russia superfluous to requirements.