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Tag: geopolitics

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

Post-COVID Eastern Europe: Equation with many unknowns

From the very early days of the global COVID-19 pandemic, discussions about how it will change the world began. The overwhelming majority of commentators of international affairs believe that Europe (and the rest of the world) will be a completely different place than before the coronavirus. Although the social and economic consequences of the pandemic are already obvious, it is definitely too early to tell that the crisis will fundamentally change the international political order and the way the economic system will be organised.

July 7, 2020 - Wojciech Konończuk

Bracing for impact. Shifting geopolitics in the South Caucasus

For the three countries of the South Caucasus, the sudden emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has reconfigured domestic politics, reordered policy priorities and recommitted each government to respond to the overwhelming crisis in public health. For Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, the urgency of managing the immediate crisis will soon be matched by the equally daunting task of ensuring economic recovery and enabling social repair.

July 7, 2020 - Richard Giragosian

Eastern Partnership in times of coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic affected global markets in a very similar way to the 2008 financial crisis. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the 2020 outlook does not project three per cent growth anymore, but a sharp contraction of the same number (minus three per cent), which will be worse than the loss in 2008.

July 7, 2020 - Péter Stepper

Georgia and COVID-19. The miracle of social and institutional resilience

Shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, some forecasts on Georgia’s prospects were apocalyptic – everything could have gone wrong. Although Georgia is ranked lower and lower each year (which, in this instance, means improvement) in the Fragile State Index since 2008, many had doubts if the conjunction of several factors would allow this small country in the South Caucasus to manage the incoming crisis effectively. While more than 40 per cent of the population still lives in mountainous, isolated areas, a robust inflow of tourists to the capital city as well as sea and ski resorts could have had a serious impact on the dynamic of the pandemic.

July 7, 2020 - Beata Górka-Winter

A reality check for the realists

Putin’s behaviour is not just an inevitable consequence of the fact that Russia is a great power – it is a combination of post-Cold War historical grievances and a zero-sum conception of the world that positions Russia in permanent opposition to the West.

During the third US presidential debate in 2012, then President Barack Obama mocked his opponent, Governor Mitt Romney, for a remark he had made several months earlier: “When you were asked what is the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia. Not al-Qaeda – you said Russia. The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War has been over for 20 years.” This joke got a lot of traction among Democrats who cited Romney’s comment about Russia as evidence that he was clueless about the modern challenges the United States faces around the world.

July 7, 2020 - Matt Johnson

Talk Eastern Europe Episode 40: Will COVID-19 bring a new world order?

Our experience with the coronavirus demonstrates that pandemics know no borders. Nearly every country has been affected. The economic crisis that continues to take a toll on societies shows that more than ever solidarity and global solutions are needed for global problems. Will the COVID-19 pandemic force humanity to rethink the international system and global order? Can future crises be averted by better global coordination and a more robust system?

June 11, 2020 - Adam Reichardt Maciej Makulski

Moldova (re)balancing its foreign policy

For the time being, Machiavellian principles dominate Moldova’s foreign policy. With pressure from the European Union targeting the rule of law and the need to find material benefits, the current Moldovan ruling elite is heading to the widest doors.

Since the first days of independence in 1991, the political class in Moldova has chosen to tie the country’s foreign policy to a bifurcated East-West orientation. This is reflected in the state’s governance as leaders constantly search for quick fixes from the outside. Thus, this geopolitical oscillation has become a modern Moldovan political tradition with the foreign policy dichotomy as a sort of "trademark" used to quickly interpret, not always accurately, public perceptions or the conduct of the political parties by observers both at home and abroad.

April 6, 2020 - Denis Cenusa

A cold relation: Russia, China and science in the Arctic

An interview with researchers Rasmus Gjedssø Bertelsen and Mariia Kobzeva. Interviewer: Mario Giagnorio.

March 25, 2020 - Mariia Kobzeva Mario Giagnorio Rasmus Gjedssø Bertelsen

Belarus in the multipolar world: Lukashenka bets on himself

The unflinching Belarusian leader is set on a course navigating his country through increasingly rough geopolitical seas. Lukashenka is hoping he can keep the East and West at arms length, while warming up to China at the same time.

January 21, 2020 - Yegor Vasylyev

Russia’s geopolitical greetings for 2020

In orthodox Russia, New Year's Eve precedes Christmas. The Julian calendar, still promoted by the religious authorities, sets Christmas at January 7th. In consequence, between December 24th and January 1st, when Europe and the United States are enjoying the pleasures of family gathering, Russia is still very much active.

January 6, 2020 - Cyrille Bret

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