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  • Author: Tatiana Mitrova
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The fate of the “Russian Energy Strategy Up to 2035” paper—a key document defining the country`s strategic priorities in this critically important industry and submitted by Russia’s Energy Ministry every five years—illustrates well the contradictory predicament of Russia’s energy sector. In 2015, after two years of preparations, the latest version was submitted to the government, but national authorities have not approved it until now. Behind the scenes, many conflicting interests prevent the setting of a clear and coherent long-term vision.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Gaiane Safarova
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Like every country, Russia has a very specific demographic footprint; its fertility, mortality, and migration rates, as well as its age composition, all affect its performance domestically and on the world stage. Russia’s current demographics were shaped by its history, particularly crises like World War II, and its future will be deeply affected by conditions like its dropping fertility rate and aging population
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Jussi Lassila
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Kremlin has cast a cloud over the horizon for millions of Russian citizens. People do not perceive the forthcoming pension reform as a necessary measure for sustaining economic and social stability. Rather, it has ignited a collective sense of anger among the people that they have been cast adrift by the elite
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Andrew J. Tabler
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In this new Transition 2017 paper, Institute expert Andrew J. Tabler argues that Syria remains de facto partitioned, making the establishment of safe zones in non-Assad-controlled areas the Trump administration's most expedient course of action. Moreover, it would further Washington's cause to drive a wedge into the country's Russia-Iran alliance, and both isolate and pressure the Assad regime. If Washington's objectives in Syria are to defeat U.S.-designated terrorist groups and stem the outflow of refugees, President Bashar al-Assad is under no circumstances the right person to entrust with these missions. Simply in practical terms, he lacks the manpower to retake and hold the two-thirds of Syrian territory outside his control any time soon, despite having sufficient support from Russia and Iran to maintain control in large parts of the country. But more important, Assad is an avowed adversary of the West, undeserving of its cooperation.
  • Topic: International Relations, Civil War, International Security, International Affairs, Neoimperialism
  • Political Geography: Russia, America, Iran, Syria
  • Author: Flemming Splidsboel Hansen
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The basic tenet of the Russian disinformation strategy is the claim that all news is constructed and therefore contested. In the best postmodern tradition they claim there is no ‘objective news’ – only different, rivalling interpretations which purport to show different aspects of what may be called ‘reality’. And what the Russian media outlets present are merely possible explanations which serve as alternatives to the stories offered by Western media. It is a strategy which is both cunning and elegant as it preys on the enlightenment tradition and on the vulnerabilities of liberal democratic media. The Russian authorities seem to believe that (dis-) information campaigns hold great prospects. In a 2017 article, the Russian Chief of Staff informed the public about the Russian military thinking on the topic of ‘war’ and on the role of the non-military or "non-kinetic" in this. It seems premature to conclude that this thinking sees the possibility of war as an exclusively non-kinetic activity – this at least was not announced in the article – but the development points strongly in this direction and we should therefore expect to see an increased Russian focus on (dis-) information campaigns designed to bring well-defined outcomes. There will not be any easy or fix-it-all solutions to this development. Rather, liberal democracies, especially vulnerable as a result of their free media culture, should prepare themselves for a long-term commitment to countering disinformation and to building up cognitive resilience to ensure that the former has minimal effect.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Mikhaïl Souslov
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: This paper traces the evolution of the diaspora policies and visions from the early 1990s to the present, and argues that the understanding of Russian “compatriots abroad” has never been the same; rather, it travelled a long road from revanchist irredentism of the red-brown opposition in the 1990s, to the moderately liberal pragmatism of the early 2000s, to the confrontational instrumentalization of Russian “compatriots” as a lever of Russia’s soft power in the late 2000s, and, finally, back to the even more confrontational, irredentist and isolationist visions after the Ukrainian crisis of 2014.
  • Topic: International Relations, Migration, International Affairs, Diaspora
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Bobo Lo
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: The influence these great powers exert, on themselves and others, is uneven and difficult to predict. Alongside a public consensus on a “democratic world order”, there are significant differences of perspective and sometimes conflicting interests. It is far from clear whether the Russia-China-India matrix can form the basis of an emerging network of cooperation, or whether its contradictions foreshadow an increasingly problematic engagement.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India
  • Author: Yan Vaslavsky
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Rethinking Russia
  • Abstract: Vladimir Putin delivered his Annual Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly at St. George’s Hall of the Great Kremlin Palace on December 1. The state-of-the- nation address is regarded as a major speech over a 12-month period. It usually recounts the progress and outlines national priorities and the development agenda for the near future. This format is not unique1, but it tends to command attention of the general public at home and abroad as well as of parliamentarians to whom, judging by its very name, it is addressed.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Cooperation, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Global Focus
  • Author: Flemming Splidsboel Hansen
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Senior researcher and research coordinator Flemming Splidsboel Hansen explores Russia’s Syria agenda as part of a DIIS initiative to understand the geopolitics of nonwestern intervention in Syria. The Kremlin presents Russia’s political and military involvement in Syria as an unconditional success. Its overall aim of putting Russia firmly back on the geopolitical map has been met. It is now clear that the key to any negotiated settlement to the conflict in Syria lies in Moscow. Moreover, Russia now seems to be close to a position where it may dictate the composition of the future Syrian regime and, not least, decide whether Syrian president Bashar al-Assad will remain in the presidential palace or be forced into exile. The costs of the military operations have been acceptable to the Russian public. Defence observers estimate that the first year of military operations cost the Russian armed forces 65 bn Rubles (approximately one bn USD) and some 20 deaths (combat and non-combat). The financial costs may be partially offset by increased future weapons sales. There is a high probability, however, that Russia will find itself embroiled in a complicated sectarian conflict in Syria from which there is no easy exit. This would test Russian public support for the military involvement in Syria. Already now Russian media comments suggest some degree of frustration over the alleged lack of fighting capacity and will on part of the Syrian armed forces. The Russian public may want to see a plan for an orderly exit from Syria, and this puts pressure on the Kremlin to deliver. However, the Syrian regime may not be able to survive without Russian military support, and Russian policy-makers may therefore soon be facing difficult choices.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Syria
  • Author: Mark Galeotti
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Since 2014, Russia has mounted an extensive, aggressive, and multi-platform attempt to use its military and the threat of force as instruments of coercive diplomacy, intended to divide, distract, and deter Europe from challenging Russia’s activities in its immediate neighbourhood. The main elements are threats of potential military action, wargames which pointedly simulate such operations, the deployment of combat units in ways which also convey a political message, and intrusions close to and into European airspace, waters and even territory. The actual impact of these policies is varied, sometimes counter-productive, and they depend on coordination with other means of diplomacy and influence. But they have nonetheless contributed to a fragmentation of unity within both NATO and the European Union. ‘Heavy metal diplomacy’ is likely to continue for the immediate future. This requires a sharper sense on the part of the EU and its member states of what is a truly military move and what is political, a refusal to rise to the bait, and yet a display of convincing unity and cross-platform capacity when a response is required.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Chris Westdal
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: Canada and Russia are on speaking terms again. Our government has abandoned Stephen Harper’s policy of vocal disdain and the attempted isolation of Russia. We stand against Russian “interference” in Ukraine but, in the words of Global Affairs Minister, Stephane Dion, “the more we disagree, the more we have to discuss.” This paper describes the setting of Canada-Russia re-engagement in terms of current tension in East-West, NATO-Russia relations and of heightened Canadian foreign policy aspiration; rehearses the case for earnest, long-term Western and Canadian engagement, with investment of senior attention and talent; cautions that, though a bit of spring has sprung, there is a lot of ice to thaw, as bilateral sanctions are likely to be lifted only in step with allies and the implementation, halting at best, of the Minsk peace plan; assesses Russia’s vulnerabilities and the record of its interventions in Georgia, Ukraine and Syria; recommends active Canadian support, by all means, for Ukrainian-Russian reconciliation and for a better fence, a “mending wall” between Russia and NATO; and suggests formats and first steps toward the normalization of bilateral and multilateral relations with our Arctic neighbour.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Canada
  • Author: Jyrki Kallio
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Although China's statements about the Ukrainian crisis have been weighed very carefully, there are concerns that China is drawing lessons such as 'might is right' and 'geopolitics is all that matters' from the crisis. The hawks in China have adopted a similar tone to that of the Kremlin, with both wishing to see a relatively diminished Western influence in the international arena. The Chinese Dream is all about national rejuvenation, which entails redressing past grievances. Nevertheless, the Dream need not turn into a nightmare for other powers. The increase in China's military budget does not indicate growing ambitions of a global power projection. China's primary concern remains stability both within and without its borders.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Ukraine, Asia
  • Author: Sinikukka Saari
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Russia is not likely to resort to overt political pressure on Georgia in the run-up to Georgia's signing of the Association Agreement with the EU (27 June), and the NATO Summit in Wales (4-5 September). This is partly due to its weak levers and the fact that they cannot be strengthened within a short time span. Instead, Russia is likely to apply a dual strategy by strengthening its indirect 'influence tools' that are operating within Georgian society, as well as by continuing dialogue and pragmatic cooperation with the Georgian leadership - at least for the time being. Moscow is likely to stand firm on the issue of the breakaway territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In all likelihood, Russia will seek to increase its control over the territories, and to hamper any rapprochement between Georgia and the separatist territories. Despite the fact that the Russian intervention in Ukraine is likely to deter and delay substantial progress in the cooperation between Georgia and Russia, both sides seem to be willing to continue on the path of 'normalisation'. A practical compromise on the Georgian westward course seems to be emerging: in all likelihood Georgia will sign the Association Agreement with the EU without much Russian interference, but NATO will not offer Georgia a Membership Action Plan at the Summit.
  • Topic: International Relations, NATO
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Georgia
  • Author: Stephen Blank
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Neither the current US administration nor US academics recognize Russia as a major Asian power. Although Russia faces many obstacles to becoming a credible Asian actor, Moscow is making resolute diplomatic overtures to secure its Asian standing. Stephen Blank argues that these activities merit US attention because they enhance understanding of Asian international relations and offset the pronounced ethnocentrism of so much American writing on the subject.
  • Topic: International Relations, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: Anders Åslund, Andrew Kuchins
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Whither Russia? Russia's economic circumstances as well as its articulated goals hold the answer to this eternal question. Drawing on our analysis in the forthcoming book The Russia Balance Sheet, we outline here a policy approach for the Barack Obama administration. We believe our views reflect to some degree an emerging consensus for the new administration's Russia policy. Russia is important for US foreign policy in many ways. The United States needs a more constructive relationship with Russia to address many core global security issues including nuclear security and nonproliferation, terrorism, energy, and climate change.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: Enika Abazi
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Kosovo's independence has revealed shifting strategic landscapes, security concerns and domestic developments in regional and international politics with significant implications for all actors in the region. Russia calculated to restore its lost 'superpower' status and control Serbia's strategic oil industries. Turkey's prompt recognition of independence increased its impact and prevented a stronger Greek-Serb- Russian axis in the region, while strengthening its Western identity. Kosovo's independence will be a test case for keeping peace and stability in the Balkans within the new dynamics of regional and international politics.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia, Kosovo, Balkans, Albania
  • Author: Pavel K. Baev
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The self-assertive rhetoric of the Russian leadership, in which President Putin's Munich speech marked a shift towards a more aggressive style, has been translated into such demonstrative actions as the resumption of regular patrols by Long Range Aviation and the unilateral suspension of the CFE Treaty. Despite new funding and against confident self-assessments, Russia's strategic arsenal continues to shrink, and many key modernization projects, such as the Bulava missile for strategic submarines, have encountered setbacks. The need for brandishing the diminishing capabilities is driven by the desire to deter the perceived threat of a 'coloured revolution' sponsored by the West, the urge to assert a more solid status than just that of an 'energy super-power', and the complicated intrigues surrounding the on-going reconfiguration of the political leadership. Expanding demonstrations of the dilapidated strategic arsenal increase the risks of technical failures but fall far short of initiating a new confrontation of the Cold War type. The most worrisome point in Russia's ambivalent power policy is Georgia, which has been the target of choice for multiple propaganda attacks, but which now faces the challenge of an external intervention in its domestic crises since Moscow has built up usable military instruments in the North Caucasus. Russia's desire to secure higher international status does not amount to malicious revisionism; so over-reaction to its experiments with muscle-flexing could constitute a greater risk to the Western strategy of engagement than underestimating its ambitions.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Vadim Kononenko
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Russia's current foreign policy should be understood as an element of the political regime that was built under Vladimir Putin's leadership. The major domestic impact on foreign policy seems to stem from the inclination among the elites and the power groups to maintain the power status quo in the country whilst profiting from the economic ties with the West. In this context the West becomes perceived as an unwanted external political factor on the one hand, and as a source of profits and financial stability for the Russian elites on the other. The current political system has given rise to a specific kind of foreign policy and diplomacy that both actively criticizes and challenges the West in rhetoric, while furthering economic ties between Europe and Russia's major business players. This contradiction is not self-evident as it is often couched in the assertive discourse of “strong state” and “national interest”. In reality, it is the “special interests” of Russia's state-private power groups and networks that lie behind the country's international standing. As long as the internal order in the country remains as it is, it is not feasible to expect any critical rethinking on foreign policy. The scope for public and expert debate has shrunk tremendously as foreign policy-making becomes increasingly bureaucratic and profit-driven. The prevailing climate of tense relations and diplomatic bickering in Russia-Western relations may linger despite the change of president. This does not mean that stabilization of relations or even engagement with Russia should be ruled out, however. Western actors should pay close attention to the domestic development in Russia, particularly the economic side. Further growth in the economy will push Russia towards a more intense (both in terms of cooperation and competition) interaction with the West. It is in the interests of the West to respond to this development in a consistent and constructive way by anchoring Russia in the rule-based economic environment.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Hiski Haukkala
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The post-Cold War EU–Russia relationship has been based on erroneous premises: Russia has not been willing to live up to its original aims of pursuing a western democratic and liberal path; nor have the European Union and its member states been able to develop a coherent policy line that would have consistently nudged Russia in that direction. The lack of a genuinely shared understanding concerning the relationship has resulted in chronic and growing political problems and crises between the parties. The increasingly fraught nature of the EU–Russia relationship has also played to Russia's strengths. It has enabled Russia to re-assert its sovereignty and walk away from the commonly agreed principles and objectives already codified in the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement of 1994. The erosion of the original central aims of the partnership has not resulted in an atmosphere of working relations. Although Russia has been able to get its own way in most of the issues, a relationship worthy of the name “strategic partnership” is currently more elusive than ever. Instead of toning down its relations with Russia, the EU should seek to re-invigorate its approach to the country. It should also acknowledge that despite the current problems the EU's policy on Russia has, by and large, been based on sound principles. Democracy, the rule of law, good governance, respect for human and minority rights, and liberal market principles are all factors that are badly needed in order to ensure a stable and prosperous future for Russia. The EU should, through its own actions, also make it clear to Russia that it deserves respect and needs to be taken seriously. It would be prudent to proceed from the sector that seems to be the key to the current relationship: energy. By pursuing a unified internal energy market and subsequent common external energy policy, the EU might be able to make Russia take the Union level more seriously again. It would also deprive some of the main culprits – Russia and certain key member states alike – of the chance of exploiting the economic and political deals cut at the bilateral level to the detriment of the common EU approach to Russia.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
20. Putin-3
  • Author: Leon Aron
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: In the past nine years, Russian foreign policy has been examined several times in these pages. At no other time, however, has its direction been as troubling as it is today. To understand the causes of this disturbing evolution and to gauge its future course, the changes have to be examined in the context of the regime's ideological and political transformation since 2000, when Vladimir Putin was elected president.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Rose Gottemoeller
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Washington and Moscow's failure to develop a working relationship could lead to a dangerous crisis—perhaps even a nuclear one. There is an immediate need to grab onto the superstructure of the relationship through the STA RT and CFE treaties, both of which require urgent action. A new architecture should follow that to broaden the relationship, including the creation of a new future for security in Europe. Both capitals need to devise a strategy as well as a mechanism to manage the relationship and prevent future crises. A commission of past presidents—U.S. and Russian—would have the authority to confront these monumental tasks.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Europe, Washington, Eastern Europe, Moscow, Georgia
  • Author: Sinikukka Saari
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Duma election and its results reinforce the prevailing undemocratic trends in Russia. The changes in electoral laws, the election campaign and its biased coverage in the Russian media, the Russian authorities' hostile attitude towards international election observation and the so-called Putin's Plan leave very little hope of democratic pluralism developing in Russia anytime soon. Russia's political system has been built gradually over the years. The system aims at controlling the competition for power and securing the political elite's interests. The system is characterised by non-transparent and manipulated political processes, misleading doublespeak on democratic norms, and the misuse of soft and hard administrative resources. Putin's overwhelming popularity does not compensate for the lack of democratic accountability. Likewise, his possible premiership would not strengthen parliamentarism in Russia because the decision is driven by instrumentalism towards political institutions. Instead, it would create a dangerous precedent for an ad hoc separation of power. Western actors should be more aware that the stability that Putin is often praised for bringing about is not build on solid ground, and they should change their policies accordingly. Promoting democracy – and thus longterm stability – in Russia is in western actors' interests.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Dmitri V. Trenin
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Russia's recent foreign policy has taken on a combative tone and adopted a revisionist content. Moscow today speaks its mind publicly and freely, and makes clear it no longer wants to be bound by accords concluded when Russia was weak. However, while the Kremlin is clear about what it does not like or want, it has yet to articulate a positive international agenda. In fact, Russia faces a number of fundamental foreign policy choices that cannot be explained by a reference to sheer pragmatism or the show of newly regained power. In dealing with Russia at this stage, the West needs to reach beyond the binary formula of integration or isolation and focus instead on the national interests.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: Sahiba Trivedi
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Ambassador Ortwin Hennig is the Vice President and the Head of Conflict Prevention Program of the East West Institute at Brussels. His previous assignments include the Commissioner for Civilian Crisis Prevention, Conflict Resolution and Post-Conflict Peace Building in the German Government; diplomatic postings in Afghanistan, Russia, German Representation at the European Commission and the OSCE in Vienna. He has also served the Office of the German Federal President as a Foreign Policy Advisor. Ambassador Hennig is an alumnus of the NATO Defense College in Rome having specialized in arms control and security policy matters.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Development
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, India, Asia, Germany, Vienna
  • Author: Jeff Procak
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: On April 25, 2007, the EastWest Institute, together with the Kennan Institute, organized in Washington DC a two-hour roundtable discussion on the current state and outlook for US-Russia relations. The roundtable used President Putin's speech presented to the 43rd Conference on Security Policy in Munich on February 10, 2007 as a point of reference. The purpose of this gathering was to examine strategies and approaches to reverse the significant decline in Russian-American relations over the last several years. The seminar was attended by 20 prominent experts from the US and Russia, including foreign policy advisors, representatives of the academic, business, and NGO communities, and mass media. Topics discussed included the most important issues on the US-Russia geostrategic agenda: arms control and nuclear non- proliferation, international energy, Russia's WTO accession, trade and economic cooperation, mutual perceptions and role of the media.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Washington, Asia
  • Author: Gry Thomasen
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The biggest surprise in the current Danish debate is that there is still very broad coverage of EU issues involving the media and public conferences, particularly regarding the Constitutional Treaty; energy and the environment; enlargement to South Eastern Europe and beyond; and more recently the difficult relations between Russia and the EU. The public debate over the Constitutional Treaty is active, while the government looks forwards to what the German Presidency, as well as the 'No' countries, put forward as suggestions after the French Presidential elections. Following Denmark's four-point suggestion at Lahti for an EU energy policy, the Danish concerns over renewable supply, increased efficiency, a liberalised market, and more research in order to improve energy security have heightened. After the Commission's report of enlargement and integration capacity, the Danish debate has focused on support for the Croatian bid for EU membership, whilst emphasising the need for considerable reforms in Turkey. Finally, following the rebuke by Denmark, Sweden, Estonia and Poland in Lahti on the question of human rights in Russia after the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, the failure to overcome the Polish-Russia impasse at the EU-Russia summit is also important in the Danish debate.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Stefano Micossi
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The European Union is suffering a deep crisis: disdain, disillusionment and distrust top the list of prevailing sentiments towards the European institutions, as was brought home dramatically by the failed referenda on the Constitutional Treaty in France and the Netherlands.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Moldova, Middle East, France, Georgia, Netherlands
  • Author: Anders Åslund
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: On January 1, Russia became the chair of the Group of Eight (G-8), the exclusive group of the biggest industrial democracies. This chairmanship raises many eyebrows. Russia was originally included in the G-8 to help lock in its democratic reforms, 1 but Russia is no longer even semidemocratic. Last year, US senators John McCain and Joseph Lieberman sponsored a resolution urging President Bush to work for the suspension of Russia's membership until the Russian government accepted and adhered to “the norms and standards of free, democratic societies as generally practiced by every other member nation of the Group of 8 nations.” Jeffrey Garten ( Financial Times , June 28, 2005) has called Russia's chairmanship “farcical,” saying, “Two trends are changing the world for the better—freer markets and democratization. . . . But, alone among the summit member Russia is moving in the opposite direction. . . . Moscow's leader - ship of the G-8 reduces the credibility and the relevance of the group to zero.”
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: F. Stephen Larrabee, Jeffrey Simon, Jan Neutze, Steven Pifer
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Since his inauguration in January 2005, Ukrainian President Viktor Yush-chenko has repeatedly stated that his foremost foreign policy goal is his country's integration into European and Euro-Atlantic institutions. “Joining Europe” today, be it preparing a country for a bid to enter the European Union or NATO, is an extraordinarily complex business. It will require the development of a consensus on a Euro-Atlantic policy course among the country's political leadership. It will also require an effective and coherent policy coordination structure. As the experience of other Eastern European countries has demonstrated, integration into the European Union or NATO is not just the responsibility of the foreign and defense ministries. It also requires coordination with the ministries of economy, justice, agrarian policy, transportation and communications, internal affairs – indeed, virtually every ministry in the Ukrainian Cabinet.
  • Topic: International Relations, NATO
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Asia
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: In November 2006, Russia will host the Global Forum for Partnerships between States and Businesses to Counter Terrorism. This event marks the completion of a successful year of international mobilization by Russia as President of the G8. The decision by the G8 countries in St. Petersburg in July of 2006 to support the Russian initiative in this field has been one of the most important decisions in the field of counter-terrorism in a long time. This decision gives further impetus to a number of pre-existing moves in the direction of establishing public-private partnerships to combat terrorism.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, International Cooperation, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: David Makovsky, Michael Herzog, Elizabeth Young
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In the immediate aftermath of Hamas's parliamentary victory in late January, the Quartet—the United States, the EU, Russia, and the UN—set clear criteria for funding a Palestinian Authority (PA) under Hamas's leadership. The Quartet said direct funding would be a function of the new government's “commitment to the principles of nonviolence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations, including the Roadmap.” Indeed, there is no other example of taxpayers subsidizing a government run by an organization that appears on State Department and EU terror lists.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Marius Vahl
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: To describe the Transnistrian conflict as 'frozen' is becoming less and less appropriate. Although the conflict remains unresolved, there have been a number of significant and at times dramatic developments in recent years, both in the diplomatic efforts to negotiate a settlement, and in the underlying geopolitical alignments and political and economic structures sustaining the conflict. It is argued here that these changes are primarily because of the European Union.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: On the 10th of May the EU and Russia signed four 'roadmap' documents at summit level in Moscow, on the Common Economic Space, the Common Space of Freedom, Security and Justice, the Common Space of External Security and the Common Space on Research, Education and Culture. This was the culmination of two year's work since the May 2003 summit that decided in principle to create the four spaces as a long-term project. It was intended also to give new momentum to the relationship, after seeing that the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement of 1994 had not become a motor for anything very substantial, while the subsequent phase (in 1999) of swapping common strategy documents also led nowhere in particular.
  • Topic: International Relations, Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Anders Åslund
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Russia's regime has gone through a major aggravation during the first year of President Vladimir Putin's second term. The regime suffers from serious overcentralization of power, which has led to a paralysis of policy making. Putin's power base has been shrunk to secret policemen from St. Petersburg. Although his popularity remains high, it is falling. Neither unbiased information nor negative feedback is accepted. As a result, the Putin regime is much more fragile than generally understood. Russia's current abandonment of democracy is an anomaly for such a developed and relatively wealthy country, and it has made Russia's interests part from those of the United States. The United States should not hesitate to promote democracy in Russia, while pragmatically pursuing common interests in nonproliferation and energy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Lt. Colonel Gordon B. Hendrickson
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, NATO has enlarged its membership twice with countries formerly under Soviet influence and control, and the Alliance is now preparing to begin the process for a third expansion effort. During this time, Russia has watched the borders of NATO creep ever closer to its own, but has generally been powerless to prevent it. Although NATO has taken pains to include and consult with Russia regarding its actions and future plans, the Kremlin cannot reasonably be expected to continue to watch NATO's expansion eastward without eventually pushing back hard. Without question, many significant issues and challenges must still be solved before enlarging the Alliance once again. In light of this, NATO must work rigorously to continue to keep Russia engaged in a productive and mutually beneficial relationship as both sides work through the future obstacles that inevitably will arise in the NATO -Russia relationship.
  • Topic: International Relations, NATO
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Frances G. Burwell
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: For the past decade, both the United States and the governments of Europe — including the European Union — have sought to engage Russia with the goal of having a stable and democratic country increasingly integrated into the western political and economic system. Recently, however, many U.S. and European observers have become concerned that the Russian government seems to be moving in a more authoritarian direction, centralizing government decision-making, while backsliding on some reforms and neglecting others. Although economic growth has been robust, there is less confidence about the application of the rule of law. Instability persists in many of the states neighboring Russia, offering opportunities for regional conflict and for misunderstanding between Russia and the West.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Ravi Kanbur, Anthony J. Venables
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Amidst a growing concern about increasing inequality, the spatial dimensions of inequality have begun to attract considerable policy interest. In China, Russia, India, Mexico, and South Africa, as well as most other developing and transition economies, there is a sense that spatial and regional disparities in economic activity, incomes and social indicators, are on the increase. Spatial inequality is a dimension of overall inequality, but it has added significance when spatial and regional divisions align with political and ethnic tensions to undermine social and political stability. Also important in the policy debate is a perceived sense that increasing internal spatial inequality is related to greater openness of economies, and to globalization in general.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Demographics, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, South Africa, Mexico
  • Author: Orhan Babaoglu
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The Black Sea Naval Cooperation Task Group (BLACKSEAFOR), a regional maritime security initiative started by Turkey in 2001, was activated August 14-27. With world attention devoted to Iraq and the Middle East, important developments in the nearby Black Sea region involving energy politics, frozen conflicts, and new regional security initiatives have gone mostly unnoticed. The Black Sea is a stable but complex basin with vast economic resources and strategic importance as a medium for energy transportation. Is the Black Sea a bridge or a barrier between United States and Turkey? Does the issue of Black Sea security provide an opportunity to mend deteriorated relations or a new source of friction?
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, NATO, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iraq, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Beginning on July 6, British prime minister Tony Blair will host the G8 summit in Gleneagles, a hotel and golf course in Scotland. Africa and climate change are the two main topics on the agenda, but counterterrorism, proliferation, and political reform in the Middle East are scheduled to be discussed as well. The annual G8 summit has become the sole forum in which the leaders of the seven top industrialized countries (Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States) and Russia meet to discuss and decide on courses of action. Diplomatic grandstanding and expected antiglobalization demonstrations aside, the summit is an opportunity to set the international political and bureaucratic agenda for months ahead.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Oil, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Britain, Africa, Russia, United States, Japan, United Kingdom, Middle East, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Scotland
  • Author: John Feffer
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: On September 19, North Korea agreed to give up its nuclear program. As part of the same agreement, which followed the latest round of the Six Party Talks, the United States pledged not to attack or invade North Korea, to coexist peacefully with the country, and to work toward normalized relations. The United States and other parties to the agreement — China, Japan, Russia, and South Korea — offered to put together an energy package for North Korea.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Leon Aron
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Wars have repeatedly had a decisive influence on Russia's political development, and the present global conflict against fundamentalist Islam is no exception. With the murder of hundreds of Russians at the hands of Chechen terrorists—most notably, the massacre of schoolchildren at Beslan earlier this month—President Vladimir Putin has announced a sweeping overhaul of Russia's political system that would further consolidate power in the Kremlin and damage the country's nascent democracy. The United States and its allies now confront the dual challenge of assisting Russia in its fight against terrorism while simultaneously resisting the erosion of freedom there.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: Scott Wallsten
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Although success stories do exist, most high-technology cluster-development projects do little to enhance regional economic growth. The taxpayer costs for a wide array of tax incentives offered by politicians to corporations and research institutes as inducements to move facilities into their districts are rarely recouped, and often only wealthy organizations and developers benefit from the projects.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Nicholas Eberstadt
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Russia, whose birth rates have declined and whose mortality rates have dramatically increased in the last several decades, faces a demographic crisis. Thus far, Russian political leaders have focused on trying to increase birth rates, but a greater sense of urgency must be applied to diminish mortality rates and to respond to health threats, including HIV/AIDS.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 11-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: When the Russian Federation began its transition toward a market based economy, promoting competition and regulating anticompetitive behavior - issues never previously needing to be addressed - arose as new and unfamiliar subjects for state policymaking and law enforcement activities. In order to address these issues, the Russian Federation created a competition authority and basic law in 1991, quite early in its transition period. Support for competition was expressed in the 1993 Constitution, as well as in other fundamental legislation. As part of a larger study of regulatory reform, the OECD in 2003 undertook a detailed assessment of Russia fs decade of experience with competition law and policy. The Report concludes that despite early legislation on the issue and strong expressions of support for competition in the laws, the creation and protection of competition on domestic markets has not been a policy priority. Emphasis on rapid privatization limited the scope of pre-privatization restructuring to promote competition and the competition authority has been expected to serve as a general regulator of behavior in markets, assigned to fill legislative gaps and to enforce against a variety of undesirable practices in markets. Overly broad responsibilities and a lack of credible sanctions have significantly limited the impact of the competition laws.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The major economic challenge facing Russia is the achievement of long-term, sustainable growth that would allow for a relatively rapid convergence between living standards in Russia and the OECD economies. The nature of this challenge is largely determined by Russia\'s economic structure. At present, Russia\'s economy is highly dependent on the export of a limited range of natural resources, chiefly hydrocarbons and metals. This presents policymakers with a number of specific problems. In particular, resource dependence makes the Russian economy especially vulnerable to external shocks. It is therefore difficult to overstate the importance of prudent macroeconomic policies, especially as the budget relies heavily on resource taxes and is thus influenced by volatile energy prices. Hence, exemplary fiscal discipline, in particular, is crucial to reducing Russia\'s vulnerability to commodity-price cycles. Yet while resource dependence brings with it certain macroeconomic risks, economic performance will continue to depend to a great extent on the performance of resource-exporting sectors for the foreseeable future. This makes reform of the natural gas sector an urgent priority. In the absence of substantial reform, the gas industry, which is critical to both exports and the domestic economy, could well stagnate or decline.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Christine Loh, Willy Lam, Eric Teo, Steven Sun
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: If China had sufficient economic and military prowess, there seems little doubt the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership would “go teach the U.S. a lesson” for the wrongs it had allegedly inflicted upon on the country. Previous CCP administrations had used similar clauses of indignation – and the assertion of a moral high ground based on self-defense and the preservation of sovereign rights – when they went to war with nations including India, Russia and Vietnam. And while the Chinese party and military leadership may for the time being be deterred by America's superpower status from trying out something rash, tension between China on the one hand, and the U.S. and many Asian countries on the other, is expected to rise in the foreseeable future.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, America, Asia, Vietnam
  • Author: Ahmad Lutfi, John C. K. Daly, Stephen Bank, Sergei Troush
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: China's insatiable energy thirst is causing it to undertake a global search for energy supplies to sustain its booming economy. Beijing has injected itself into the complex Caspian chess match to ensure itself as large a share as possible of resources being developed there. This complex political and economic maneuvering forces China to deal with the Caspian's five riparian states - Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Beijing, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan
  • Author: Allan H. Meltzer
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: While Alan Greenspan and most analysts continue to discuss the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs since the Bush administration took office, the Labor Department Household Survey shows such claims to be either wrong or greatly exaggerated.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Zia Mia, R. Rajaraman, Frank von Hippel
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: The current South Asian crisis seems to have ebbed, but the underlying dynamic remains. The next crisis will be even more dangerous if South Asia's nuclear confrontation develops in the same direction as the U.S.-Russian standoff, with nuclear missiles on alert, aimed at each other and ready to launch on warning. As Lee Butler, former head of the U.S. Strategic Command, has said, the U.S. and Soviet Union survived their crises, "no thanks to deterrence, but only by the grace of God." Will South Asia be so fortunate?
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, South Asia, Asia
  • Author: Brent Scowcroft, C. Richard Nelson, Lee H. Hamilton, James Shlesinger
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The current stalemate between the United States and Iran, while emotionally satisfying to many Americans, does not serve overall U.S. interests well. It hinders the achievement of several key U.S. geopolitical interests, especially over the longer term. These interests include, but are not limited to, regional stability, energy security, and the broader and evolving geopolitical relationships between the United States and China and Russia in the Persian Gulf and Caspian basin. Furthermore, the leading industrial countries are moving to improve relations with Iran.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Middle East