While broadly perceived as a blow to the EU and its values, Brexit will actually benefit a future democratic Russia. Britain’s exit will create a new model of Europeanness, in which a country can strive to achieve European standards without EU membership. That is a niche Russia can fill.
The Russian public’s appetite for change has increased considerably in the past two years, according to a new poll by the Carnegie Moscow Center and the Levada Center. What kind of change do people want, and what are they prepared to do about it?
The U.S.-Iran crisis of January 2020 did not lead to a major war in the Middle East, but it did reveal a number of new trends reshaping the world order.
Many Brits continue to believe that Russia interfered in the Brexit referendum campaign by financing and promoting the Leave campaign. In addition, the legacy of the poisoning of the Skripals will impact bilateral relations for years to come, with no mutually acceptable resolution in sight.
Alex Gabuev, Robyn Dixon and Max Seddon discuss the work of the foreign media in Moscow.
Most Russians are dumbfounded and intrigued, but not necessarily angry at Putin’s strategy of commencing constitutional change before anyone expected it. This may only change if people’s current expectations are confounded, and Putin doesn’t step down as president after all.
If the thirst for political change continues to gain momentum in Russia, a full-scale demand for political freedoms and alternatives may emerge quite soon.
Belarus’s resolution to become less dependent on Russian oil has nothing to do with its economy. Minsk is making a political statement with the aim of depriving Moscow of one of its main bargaining chips in their relationship.
Russia’s new cabinet ministers are young, efficient, nonconfrontational, adaptable, and don’t poke their noses into politics. They live in the digital world that is so difficult for the country’s aging leadership to understand. With time, the victim of this technocratic dominance may be that very same leadership.
Faced with a fluctuating approval rating, President Zelensky is attempting to instill order in his party’s ranks. The voting machine that he built from his parliamentary majority is beginning to malfunction as deputies refuse to be mere cogs in that machine.
Mikhail Mishustin is replacing Dmitry Medvedev as prime minister of Russia after nearly a decade as director of the Federal Tax Service (FNS). Russians can expect a shift in emphasis from taxation to the allocation of funds as Mishustin draws on his management skills to make government spending as orderly and transparent as taxation became under his leadership.
Putin’s proposed amendments to various roles amount to something resembling an insurance policy, which suggests that the president has already decided who his successor will be, though he may not name that person for another three years.
The Russian president may never leave the political stage—but he's now ready to take a step back.
President Putin’s unexpected proposals this week to change the Russian constitution prompted the instant resignation of the Russian government. What’s he trying to achieve, and will he succeed?
Of the constitutional reforms put forward by Putin, what will really change a lot is the proposal to give the Russian constitution—including repressive Russian legislation—priority over international law. This violation of the usual hierarchy is nothing short of a legal revolution.
Having declared themselves mediators in the civil war in Libya, Russia and Turkey will try to replicate the model of cooperation and mutual accommodation they developed in Syria.
If Syria becomes the setting for a clash between Washington and Tehran, this could be a major problem for Moscow. Until now—and not without Soleimani’s help—Moscow had always managed to find a compromise with the pro-Iran forces in Syria. It’s not clear how the situation will develop now.
Alexander Gabuev discusses Gazprom's Power of Siberia project with energy analyst Sergei Kapitonov.
The concentration of pro-Russia gestures in the Western Balkans cement the impression that a major expansion of the Kremlin’s influence in the region is in the cards. But there’s another possible reading of the fallout from Macron’s high-handed behavior.
At meetings like ASEM we create the environment and the conditions to enhance the connections we have between our societies and our citizens. This is the real goal of frameworks such as ASEM