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  • Author: Jyri Lavikainen
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Non-compliance and disputes between Russia and the US resulted in the US exiting the Open Skies Treaty. If Russia withdraws in response, European countries will lose an important source of intelligence.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Intelligence, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, North America
  • Author: Tapio Juntunen
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The current discussion on the possible repercussions of the INF crisis have largely concentrated either on great power relations or on the level of NATO-Russia relations and the future of the transatlantic ties. This Working Paper aims to broaden the present discussion by reflecting on the potential implications of the negative trends in nuclear weapons politics and arms control from the perspective of the Nordic region. One of the key concerns for the Nordic countries in this regard is Russia’s significant arsenal of non-strategic nuclear weapons in the immediate vicinity of the region. The prospect of a looming nuclear weapons buildup in the North Sea areas and around its key locations is also something that the Nordic countries should be concerned about together with their allies and key partners. The Nordic countries should also aim to increase their agency in relation to the stalling nuclear arms control agenda. In addition to supporting the efforts to open up different possibilities to salvage the INF Treaty, the Nordic countries also have self-interest when it comes to integrating other categories of non-strategic nuclear weapons into these discussions. Tapio Juntunen
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Nordic Nations
  • Author: Arkady Moshes
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The French-German-Russian-Ukrainian top-level encounter could not and did not deliver a prospect of resolving the conflict in Donbas, but the limits of the possible are now clearer. No certainty, but the “draw” may push the parties closer to a sustainable ceasefire.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Humanitarian Intervention, Peace
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, France, Germany
  • Author: Marcin Kaczmarski
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Despite concrete achievements in energy and military-technical cooperation, long-term trends, such as Russia’s growing dependence on China, India’s tilt towards the US, and tense Sino-Indian relations are not conducive to closer strategic cooperation between Moscow and New Delhi.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Energy Policy, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, India, Asia
  • Author: Leo Michel, Matti Pesu
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: One of the most notable consequences of the end of the Cold War was the diminished role of nuclear weapons in international relations. The world’s primary nuclear weapon powers, the United States and the Russian Federation, made considerable reductions in their nuclear forces. The climax of the process was the New START Treaty signed in 2010. Now, the optimism that characterized the first decades of the post-Cold War era is rapidly evaporating. Geopolitical competition again dominates global and regional security dynamics. Nuclear powers are modernizing their forces and introducing novel systems that may affect strategic stability. At the same time, existing arms control regimes are crumbling. This report takes stock of recent developments in deterrence in general, and nuclear deterrence in particular. Its main ambition is to understand how deterrence has changed in light of certain post-Cold War trends. To this end, the report introduces the basic principles of deterrence. It also explores the nuclear-related policies and capabilities of the four nuclear weapon states most directly involved in European security affairs – Russia, the United States, France, and the United Kingdom. Importantly, the report also analyses the implications of the recent trends in strategic deterrence for Northern Europe. This report is part of a research project conducted by the FIIA entitled ‘New Challenges for Strategic Deterrence in the 21st Century’. The project is part of the implementation of the Government Plan for Analysis, Assessment and Research 2018.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, United Kingdom, Europe, France, North America
  • Author: Katri Pynnöniemi
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Transport is one of those few topics where the EU and Russia seem to have come to an agreement. The common understanding is that further integration of the transport systems and the removal of bottle necks serves the interests of both parties in the face of the expected increase in traffic volumes.
  • Topic: Democratization, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Mikael Mattlin
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: A vigorous debate is raging on the EU's normative roles in the global context. The EU actively promotes its political values outside of the Union, especially with regard to prospective accession countries. Yet, a normative foreign policy approach encounters considerable challenges when confronted with major powers, such as China and Russia that do not always share the political values promoted by the EU. Attempts at pursuing a normative policy towards these countries often come across as unserious or half-hearted. This paper discusses EU normative policy towards China, identifying loss of the moral high ground, conflicting interests of EU members and lack of leverage towards China as the three main factors hampering it. The paper argues that instead of a half-hearted offensive normative approach towards China, the EU may be better off with a more determined policy of defensive normativity. More broadly, the EU faces a stark choice between its desire to be a Normative Power and its wish to be a Great Power.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe
  • 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: Arkady Moshes, Hiski Haukkala
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The West should keep a close eye on Belarus. Events during recent weeks have resulted in some unexpected shifts in Belarus' foreign policy. Apparently, President Lukashenko now sees the main challenge to his power to be coming from Russia's direction, and feels the need to look for support from the West. Over time, this could also herald some potentially far-reaching changes inside the country. One should not expect Lukashenko's regime to vanish overnight. Despite the increases in gas and oil prices, the country's economic situation is likely to remain stable for the foreseeable future. What is more, the political opposition remains weak and fragmented. The Belarusian foreign policy line is not developing within the “Russia-West” axis only. In reality, the Minsk contacts are more diversifi ed than is sometimes believed. Most visible are the ties with Venezuela, Iran, and China, as well as some other Latin American and Arab countries. The Western actors should be cautioned against taking Lukashenko's recent overtures at face value. It is quite likely that they may end up being deceived and merely help Lukashenko perpetuate his regime. More importantly, by rushing to embrace Lukashenko, the West would only discredit its own liberal agenda as well as betray the very opposition forces in Belarus that it has sought to cultivate. Despite the rapid pace of recent events, the West should be in no hurry to react. Time remains to follow the developments. The West – especially the European Union – should voice its continued support for the liberal agenda of the genuine opposition in Belarus and be ready to approach the country with a generous programme of rapprochement should the ice begin to thaw in the as yet frozen river.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Henrikki Heikka
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In recent months, several prominent Finnish politicians have criticized the Finnish government for lack of vision in its foreign policy. Liisa Jaakonsaari, Chairman of the Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee and a prominent social democrat), has argued that the government “lacks one thing, and with it, everything: a vision”. Member of the European Parliament Alexander Stubb (the Conservative party's vote puller in the last EP elections) has publicly called contemporary Finnish foreign policy as “pitiful tinkering” (säälittävää näpertelyä). Editorial writers have begun to recycle the old the term “driwftwood” (ajopuu), a term originally coined to describe Finland's flip-flopping during World War II, in their attempts to find an appropriate label for the present government's foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization, Diplomacy, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Finland, Asia