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Tag: geopolitics

A new corridor, a new impetus

The South Caucasus has serious potential to become a full-fledged logistics hub of regional significance. While opposition to developing a new corridor remains, the potential benefits for all countries in the South Caucasus and beyond will outweigh any costs or perceived risks.

The region of the South Caucasus is located at the intersection of logistics routes leading from north to south and east to west. Of course, the countries of the region are interested in increasing their logistical attractiveness. In this regard, significant funds have been invested in the development of logistics infrastructure over the past ten years. In particular, the Alat port in Azerbaijan was recently built and is now operational. In order to ensure the smooth functioning of the International North-South Transport Corridor, Baku allocated a soft loan to Iran of 500 million US dollars to finance the construction of the Astara-Rasht railway line. The investment was also used for the creation of logistics-related infrastructure to service this line. Azerbaijan took on a long-term lease of the Iranian section of the railway, as well as a railway station and a cargo terminal located there.

December 2, 2021 - Ali Hajizade

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

Vladimir the historian: Putin’s political revision of Ukrainian history

For roughly a half a decade now, there has been a radicalising shift in the Kremlin’s understanding of its relations with Ukraine. As Ukraine continues to follow its own path, Vladimir Putin assumes an evermore extreme position that Ukraine, its peoples, language and culture simply do not exist. For Putin, Ukraine has always been and will always be a part of Russia.

Vladimir Putin, Russia’s longest-serving president and champion of post-Soviet stability, has accomplished much over the past 21 years. He has delivered Russia from the economic turmoil left by Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s, fought and won two wars in Chechnya, and brought unprecedented levels of prosperity and technological development to Russia. He has also defended traditional values the world over, once again placing Russia on the map of the world’s great powers at the expense of democracy and a fruitful relationship with the West. Putin has won many titles for this, including that of the most powerful man on earth, a modern dictator, or the greatest Russian.

December 2, 2021 - Joshua Kroeker

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

We are still searching for our strategy with Russia

An interview with Linas Linkevičius, a Lithuanian politician and diplomat and former foreign minister (2012–2020). Interviewers: Adam Reichardt and Maciej Makulski

April 11, 2021 - Adam Reichardt Linas Linkevičius Maciej Makulski

Joe Biden needs Eastern Europe as a success story

The European Union currently faces several domestic issues. It is still a union of member states, whose leaders have different approaches towards many challenges, and still has no common army or military strategy. That is why US engagement in the region is still necessary, just as it was in the 1990s after the fall of communism.

“America is back” – that is how Joe Biden began his speech regarding his foreign policy priorities. What does that mean for the world and Europe in particular? Since the Second World War, no US president has brought so much foreign policy expertise to the White House. Biden probably has the most significant international experience among current world leaders, and especially amongst American politicians.

April 11, 2021 - Vladyslav Faraponov

Moldova’s oligarch mayors go global

The experience of Moldova reveals that in Central and Eastern Europe’s highly politicised and oligarchised environment, city diplomacy can be an easy tool for wealthy politicians suspected of corruption to gain more popularity and shield themselves from the judicial system. Ilan Șor and Renato Usatîi have been particularly adept in this realm.

Orhei, a medium-sized city about an hour north of Chișinău, is an unlikely rival to Monaco. Yet mayor Ilan Șor – one of the country’s oligarchs – promised in 2018 that Orhei’s residents would “live as they do” in the European principality. Farther north, in Bălți, mayor Renato Usatîi – yet another oligarch – claimed to have started a revolution in the city’s contacts with the world.

November 16, 2020 - Cristian Cantir

China’s footprint in Ukraine: a breathing space between Russia and the West

With so much of Ukraine’s foreign policy dominated by the theme of pursuing a multi-vector balance between Russia and the West, China’s rise as a player in Eastern Europe has not been without implications for Kyiv. The Ukrainian government has inked agreements with Beijing in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative, yet has been reluctant to fully endorse China’s far-reaching economic activities.

Rising among Ukraine’s top foreign policy priorities is the geographically-distant People’s Republic of China – a country with which Ukraine’s relationship has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. For Ukraine, China is a valuable source of investment as well as a third-party actor in a foreign policy landscape traditionally dominated by the Euro-Atlantic community and the Russian Federation.

November 16, 2020 - Anthony Rinna

The Eastern Partnership enters a new decade

Despite all the input from numerous stakeholders, much remains to be seen in the future of the Eastern Partnership. The region has seen less than an ideal start to the new decade due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its multi-level implications for the EU and EaP countries.

If 2019 was dedicated to the tenth anniversary of the European Union’s Eastern Partnership (or EaP), 2020 has an intriguing question at its core: where to go next? This question loomed over the EU and decision-makers, state officials. The policy details of this question will stay with us until at least the next EaP summit in March 2021.

November 16, 2020 - Pavel Havlíček

Turkey: A littoral middle power?

When Turkey's relationship with the Black Sea is viewed through the lens of geopolitics, it becomes clear that Russia will never be far away.

October 13, 2020 - Abdulmelik Alkan

Will China’s facemask diplomacy pay off?

China has recently engaged itself in Central and Eastern Europe. Its influence in the region may become even stronger as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Central and Eastern Europe’s location is strategically very attractive – geopolitically and economically. That is why Washington has often called this region a pivot area, a term popularised by the late Zbigniew Brzeziński. With a large part of the region now part of western integration structures (especially NATO), the Kremlin sees it as a threat to its spheres of influence. Thus, the language of Russian strategists includes phrases such as the “American cordon sanitaire” or (alternatively) the “Western Limitrophe”.

September 7, 2020 - Jakub Bornio

COVID-19 not to spare Eastern Europe from great power competition

Despite official pleasantries on overcoming COVID-19 together, the pandemic still has not instilled a spirit of good faith co-operation between global actors. The crisis, to the contrary, has accelerated, exacerbated, and laid bare rivalrous trends that pre-dated its existence. While there is little reason to hope that the countries of Eastern Europe will be spared from this competition of great powers, the changes will be less profound than it might first seem. Europe, Russia, China and the United States will, in particular, be the outside players to watch.

July 7, 2020 - Alena Kudzko

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