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  • Author: Heinrich Brauß, András Rácz
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: This report deals with Russia’s geopolitical objectives, policy and strategy, and their effects across the wider Baltic Region. The second part sums up NATO’s response to this evolving strategic challenge, including the potential military threat posed by Russia.
  • Topic: NATO, Military Affairs, Geopolitics, Strategic Interests
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Baltic States
  • Author: András Rácz, Milan Nič
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: In 2020, DGAP’s Strategy Group on Russia focused on Moscow’s long-term efforts to diversify its foreign policy portfolio, turn away from Europe, and build-up other non-Western vectors in its diplomacy. Against this background, this report assesses Russia’s relations with the EU, China, and the United States. While Russian relations with the West are unlikely to improve in 2021 – especially ahead of this fall’s Duma election – there is still a chance for limited engagement on issues of mutual interest.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, European Union, Democracy, International Order
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Eurasia, United States of America
  • Author: Didi Kirsten Tatlow, András Rácz
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: China and Russia want to maintain Germany’s political status quo: Centrist, at times mercantilist policies, have often worked in their favor. Now, with the Green Party ascendant and public opinion shifting, neither Russia nor China can be sure that classic "centrism” will emerge after September. Russia and China will increase their influence and interference efforts in the run-up to the election and beyond, using informational, political, and cyber tactics, and economic and political networks.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics, Public Opinion, Elections
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Eurasia, Asia
  • Author: András Rácz, Cristina Gherasimov, Milan Nič
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: As protests continue to galvanize Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko is consolidating his grip on power. Volatile domestic dynamics – and Russia’s reactions to them – will shape the discredited regime’s future. This paper outlines four possible scenarios for Belarus up to one year from now. They include options for Russia and the EU, whose strategic objectives differ, but whose short-term interests align: preventing bloodshed, avoiding open geopolitical conflict, and preparing for a post-Lukashenko transition.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, European Union, Geopolitics, Protests, Transition
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Eastern Europe, Belarus
  • Author: Jacopo Maria Pepe
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: As the coronavirus pandemic fuels technological and geopolitical competition among the great powers, Europe’s relations with China and Russia are facing new challenges and risks. Still, the reconfiguration of power in Eurasia also brings unexpected opportunities for European actors in the area of connectivity. To seize them, the EU needs to reconcile its aspiration to be a globally accepted “normative-regulatory” power with both its limited financial means and its more assertive attitude to geopolitics.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, European Union, Geopolitics, Strategic Competition, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Eurasia, Asia
  • Author: Martin Sieg
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: In Moldova, the weakness of the Eastern Partnership has been over-reliance on incentives, rather than a lack thereof. Veto players who hid their true interests by claiming allegiance to the European cause hijacked the EU’s soft power. The EaP’s shortcoming was lack of means and readiness to make these key opponents of political reforms keep their commitments. Its core challenge is how to overcome the resistance of these veto players who have been obstructing transformational goals.
  • Topic: Politics, Reform, European Union, Partnerships, Oligarchy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Moldova, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Jacopo Maria Pepe
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: As the coronavirus pandemic fuels technological and geopolitical competition among the great powers, Europe’s relations with China and Russia are facing new challenges and risks. Still, the reconfiguration of power in Eurasia also brings unexpected opportunities for European actors in the area of connectivity. To seize them, the EU needs to reconcile its aspiration to be a globally accepted “normative-regulatory” power with both its limited financial means and its more assertive attitude to geopolitics.
  • Topic: Geopolitics, Pandemic, COVID-19, Connectivity
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Eurasia
  • Author: Marina Solntseva
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: Russia postponed its national vote on constitutional changes to July 1, 2020. Due to restrictions on freedom of movement and assembly from COVID-19, mass protests are unlikely to result. Nevertheless, managing growing social discontent may well be the Kremlin’s next big challenge as it prepares for September’s regional and parliamentary elections. Given its upcoming EU presidency and Council of Europe chairmanship, Germany could make a positive difference in protecting human rights and EU values in Russia.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Elections, European Union, Protests
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia
  • Author: Cristina Gherasimov, András Rácz
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: On October 1, 2019, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy agreed to meet Russia’s conditions for holding peace talks already this autumn. Moscow’s readiness to play, however, should not be mistaken for willingness to solve the conflict. So far, the Kremlin has not made any concessions in Eastern Ukraine that would be irreversible; consequently, it seems to only be testing Zelenskiy’s limits. Both Zelenskiy and the EU need to be cautious not to reward easy-to-reverse steps with major, strategic benefits.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, European Union, Conflict, Negotiation, Peace
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eurasia, Ukraine
  • Author: Andrei Soldatov
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: Since his return to the Russian presidency in 2012, Vladimir Putin has sought to bring the Russian internet under his control. Digital businesses in Russia pay dearly for his expensive system of surveillance and censorship. This slows down the pace of innovation and puts the modernization of the economy at risk. Even then, technical control over the internet remains shaky. The Kremlin is seeking Chinese assistance to enforce restrictions and be able to cut Russia off from the global internet.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Authoritarianism, Internet, Surveillance, Censorship
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Eurasia, Asia