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Analysis

Russian constructivism: a lens for understanding Moscow’s political actions

The individual Russian citizen possesses an identity formed by their history, values and national identity. The domestic relationship between the country’s people and government rests upon the pillars of economic and national security, which naturally form an integral part of the country’s international goals. These two points have encouraged Russia to pursue competition with the West.

January 10, 2022 - Caroline Beshenich

Caucasian geopolitics: Finding a path towards stability and peaceful coexistence

The Caucasus region is a wealthy area in terms of its geopolitical position, strategic importance and history. Certainly, the geoeconomic relevance of the region has once again become clear following the end of the latest fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The Caucasus is the name of a mountain range and geographical region that includes the southwest of European Russia, as well as the territories of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. This region encompasses a 440,000 square kilometre space between the Black and Caspian Seas and has a population of approximately 30.6 million people. As a result, the Caucasus faces its own distinct geopolitical realities that could become even more important given talks of a new Cold War.

December 2, 2021 - Vakhtang Maisaia

The Central and Eastern European natural gas market 2013-19: trends and implications

Over the last decade, the natural gas market in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has changed dramatically. Today, we are seeing more cross-border pipeline routes that are bi-directional and the possibility of greater liquified natural gas (LNG) imports. These changes will bring increased economic opportunities for the full market chain under EU rules. Hungary, Slovakia and Ukraine are emerging as key players in these developments.

Not long after the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, western policymakers began to think about how to reduce European reliance on Russian hydrocarbon resources by expanding Europe’s alternative sources. Much of the energy diplomacy undertaken since then has focused on building pipeline infrastructure designed to bring new sources of oil and gas to Europe that bypass Russia. Of course, this strategy has seen many large successes, with the development of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline and the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) perhaps the most notable examples.

December 2, 2021 - Dwight Nystrom Geoffrey Lyon

The public diplomacy of the Associated Trio: Singing in unison?

This year saw the launch of the “Associated Trio” by Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Eager to pursue further European integration, the three states have prioritised public diplomacy as one of the key parts of these efforts. Yet, recent developments suggest much work is still to be done if the new group hopes to work together effectively.

Various hybrid challenges, as well as the foreign policy realities of the regions of Central and Eastern Europe and the Black Sea, have led Ukraine to increasingly promote itself as an independent and active actor in the international arena. The country’s new projects, such as the large-scale Crimean Platform and a number of regional alliances, including the Ukrainian-Turkish “Quadriga” and the Ukrainian-Polish-Lithuanian Lublin Triangle, serve as evidence of this new assertiveness.

December 2, 2021 - Maria Protsiuk

What to watch in Estonia’s upcoming local elections

The 2021 Estonian local elections will be unprecedentedly fractured and may portend major changes to the small northern European nation’s electorate. Despite the rhetoric, most campaigns seek to address everyday concerns.

October 15, 2021 - Samuel Kramer

Azerbaijan in partnership with Turkey and Pakistan braces for the looming geostrategic phantasmagoria

Azerbaijan’s decade-long balanced foreign policy between Russia and the West took a decisive turn after last year’s war in Nagorno-Karabakh, highlighted by a greater emphasis on military alignment with an increasingly assertive Turkey. Ankara and Baku also came together to shape a nucleus for tripartite configurations with countries in different parts of the globe – Pakistan being an essential one to build a solid international base for supporting Azerbaijan’s cause on the Karabakh issue.

October 7, 2021 - Mahammad Mammadov

Covering up tragedy and the myth of the Great Patriotic War

As the successor state to the Soviet Union, Russia’s great power status is arguably dependent on the legacy of the Great Victory and a sense of moral superiority. Any challenges to Russia’s status as victor and liberator in the Second World War, including an overemphasis on the Soviet Union’s failures or the high number of deaths, could potentially damage Russia’s sense of identity and geopolitical ambitions.

September 30, 2021 - Jade McGlynn

A guideline to Belarusian repressive methods. Dealing with structural roots of dissent

The 2020 mass protests took place thanks to a vibrant private sector that produced a highly-skilled, well-paid urban class not tied to Lukashenka’s social contract. Lukashenka response can be seen partly in his Soviet upbringing and political career which produced a worldview not devoid of class-based categories. Thus, he attacked the means that sustain the existence of the opposition, with an approach reminiscent of Stalin’s policies towards kulaks.

September 28, 2021 - German Carboni

Duma non-elections. A carnival of dirty tricks

The course of this year's Russian State Duma elections demonstrates that the Kremlin has finally abandoned the pseudo-democratic game of appearances. In the coming years, a further tightening of the screws is likely. However, instead of complete control over the political system, the government may face a radicalisation of the social protest mood.

September 27, 2021 - Maria Domańska

What is the final destination for Ukraine’s NATO/EU path?

Prior to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to the White House, there were a number of statements, innuendos and high hopes. Lots of efforts were taken by the Ukrainian side to have this long-awaited meeting happen despite current geopolitical challenges. But how is Ukraine prepared to access NATO/EU structures now? Will this meeting have a positive impact for Ukraine on its Euro-Atlantic integration path?

September 23, 2021 - Christine Karelska Pavlo Vugelman

The Titanic is sinking. Is this the end of the Putin-Lukashenka tandem?

The relationship between the two longest-serving European presidents has always been riddled with not-so-inconspicuous power-wrestling, wrapped in a narrative of brotherhood and sprinkled with cosy photo-ops. Up until recently, both leaders enjoyed relative stability on their own political turf, allowing them to manage their bilateral relations from positions of strength.

September 22, 2021 - Agnieszka Widłaszewska

Journalism is becoming an increasingly dangerous profession in Georgia

Media freedom in Georgia has had a turbulent history. It is worth remembering the raid on the Imedi TV station by special forces and its closure during the Saakashvili era, or the year-long dispute over ownership rights of Rustavi 2. However, there has never been a simultaneous physical attack on over 50 media employees like the one on July 5th. Is the freedom of speech under serious threat in Georgia?

September 14, 2021 - Wojciech Wojtasiewicz

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