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  • Author: Mikhail Krutikhin
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Transatlantic Relations
  • Abstract: This paper is part of CTR's Working Paper Series: "Russia and the West: Reality Check." The nature and shape of the Russian oil and gas industry is not just Moscow’s concern. The ups and downs of Russia’s energy production and exports are factors that affect the global political environment. The influx of revenues from hydrocarbon sales determines the way the Kremlin behaves in the world arena, and the notorious unpredictability of the Russian political leadership becomes even more pronounced when oil prices show an appetite for instability.
  • Topic: International Relations, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Oil, Natural Resources, Gas
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States of America, European Union
  • Author: Marcin Kaczmarski
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Transatlantic Relations
  • Abstract: This paper is part of CTR's Working Paper Series: "Russia and the West: Reality Check." U.S. domination in global politics provided a powerful incentive for the post-Cold War rapprochement between Russia and China. The worsening of Russia’s relations with the West since 2014 made Moscow even more willing to offer significant concessions to Beijing. However, closer Russian-Chinese cooperation predates the Russian-Western crisis over Ukraine and reaches back to the 2008-2009 global economic crisis. Even the growing power asymmetry has not dissuaded Moscow from deepening its cooperation with China. This challenged widespread Western expectations that Russia would be eager to cooperate with the West in order to compensate for China’s increasing advantage. Hence, a potential improvement of Russian-Western relations is highly unlikely to result in the weakening of Russian-Chinese ties
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Energy Policy, International Cooperation, Bilateral Relations, Trump, Alliance
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, United States of America
  • Author: Dzianis Melyantsou
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Transatlantic Relations
  • Abstract: This paper is part of CTR's Working Paper Series: "Eastern Voices: Europe's East Faces an Unsettled West." The new geopolitical environment formed after the annexation of Crimea and the war in the Donbas, together with emerging threats and challenges, are pressing both Belarus and the West to revise their policies in the region as well as their relations with each other. In this new context, Belarus is seeking a more balanced foreign policy and, at least towards the Ukrainian crisis, a more neutral stance.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, International Trade and Finance, War, Territorial Disputes, Foreign Aid, Sanctions, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Belarus, Crimea, United States of America, European Union
  • Author: Thomas de Waal
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Transatlantic Relations
  • Abstract: This paper is part of CTR's Working Paper Series: "Eastern Voices: Europe's East Faces an Unsettled West." Twenty five years after Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia became independent states, the South Caucasus remains a strategically sensitive region between Europe and Asia, Russia and the Middle East. It is still struggling with the legacy of the conflicts that broke out as the Soviet Union collapsed. Economic development lags behind its neighbors and unemployment and emigration are enduring problems.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Territorial Disputes, Foreign Aid, Conflict, Syrian War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eastern Europe, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Syria, South Caucasus, United States of America
  • Author: Olexiy Haran, Petro Burkovskiy
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Transatlantic Relations
  • Abstract: This paper is part of CTR's Working Paper Series: "Eastern Voices: Europe's East Faces an Unsettled West." In this chapter, Haran and Burkovskiy begin with a general analysis of mutual perceptions from both sides, then proceed to identify key interests and concerns regarding the war in Donbas, and analyze whether the political aspects of the Minsk agreements can be implemented. They then suggest some recommendations on the way ahead. The authors argue that Putin’s success in attacking Ukraine, which is impossible to achieve without undermining unity among Western powers, could embolden him to exert his power and influence in wider Europe. Moreover, as U.S.-EU ties are likely to undergo some stress after elections on each side of the Atlantic in 2016 and 2017, Russia will to be tempted to take advantage of such turbulence by pressing forward with its goals in Ukraine and pushing the so-called “grey zone” of insecurity westward before a new equilibrium is found within the Euro-Atlantic area.
  • Topic: International Relations, NATO, Treaties and Agreements, Territorial Disputes, Grand Strategy, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Crimea, United States of America, European Union
  • Author: Hans Martin Sieg
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Transatlantic Relations
  • Abstract: This paper is part of CTR's Working Paper Series: "Eastern Voices: Europe's East Faces an Unsettled West." Since Moldova's November 2014 election, the country's image has changed drastically from the “success story” of the EU´s Eastern Partnership to that of a “captured state.” Moldova's politics continue to be defined by corruption and vested interests, which take advantage of weak state institutions and public administration, an ineffective judiciary and law enforcement agencies. This environment has enabled hostile takeovers of financial companies, often through concealed offshore operations, for criminal purposes, money-laundering schemes and a spectacular banking fraud, which was uncovered in autumn 2014. Low incomes have prompted hundreds of thousands of Moldovans to leave the country in search of a better life. Rivalries for political power, control over institutions, and economic assets have generated growing crises within different ruling coalitions, resulting in rapid changeover in governments, the break-up of major political parties and the formation of new parliamentary majorities with precarious democratic legitimacy. All of these factors have subjected Moldova to an unrelenting series of governmental, economic, financial and social crises since early 2015. The deeper causes of these crises can be traced to much earlier developments, however, and are deeply rooted in local structures.
  • Topic: International Relations, Corruption, Development, Economics, Reform, Elections, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Moldova, European Union