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Tag: Russia

After years of animosity, is Russia ready to talk with Lithuania?

In November 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed Moscow was ready to cooperate with Lithuania based on “principles of mutual respect.” But did Putin signal any tangible intentions, or was it just empty rhetoric?

January 7, 2021 - Julius Palaima

The information war is here

By the end of the Cold War, the danger of military conflicts in Europe had been reduced. Nevertheless, European nations still face a number of threats to their national security, although the type of threats has changed significantly, as has the nature of war.

December 12, 2020 - New Eastern Europe Tomasz Kubiak

Our common heritage

The region of today’s Central and Eastern Europe was mostly part of the eastern half of the Roman Empire. Its religion, writings, customs and traditions came from Byzantium rather than Rome. One exception is Poland, which was baptised in the western style and not by Cyril and Methodius. This fact, however, could be interpreted as the main cause of Poland’s great tragedy.

The world we came to live in today should not have come to us as a big surprise. Neither should the internal problems of the European Union, which, the late Polish science fiction writer, Stanisław Lem, even predicted some time ago. Earlier events such as the Arab Spring, or the weakening position of the United States, and Russia’s imperial aspirations should not have shocked us either.

November 17, 2020 - Jacek Hajduk

On Russia and resignation

In Russia, it remains unclear whether the current discontent will coalesce into a lasting challenge to the Kremlin. Both journalists and analysts tend to hastily predict Putin’s downfall when protests mount. But at the very least, the all-encompassing nature of the coronavirus has provided citizens with a moment of heightened consciousness about their relationship to power.

Liberal-leaning Russians like to remind us that the most common last surname in their country is Smirnov. It is also the name of a well-known vodka brand, Smirnov, etymologically rooted in smirenie, often translated as submission or resignation.

November 17, 2020 - Natasha Bluth

What happens to Belarus after Lukashenka falls?

The current Belarusian transformation looks as if it could be having results similar to those of the 2018 Velvet Revolution in Armenia rather than of the 2013-2014 Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine. Yet, the pathological relationship of Moscow’s imperialism towards Russia’s Eastern Slavic “brotherly nations” can mean that Belarus’s future may, in the end, become more similar to Ukraine’s rather than Armenia’s present.

Ukraine and Belarus are two of the culturally and geographically closest nations of Europe. Their Eastern Slavic languages, major Christian-Orthodox churches and peculiar locations between Russia, on the one side, and the European Union (as well as NATO), on the other, are comparable and intertwined. Both are, on one level, very close to the also largely Orthodox and Eastern Slavic Russians.

November 16, 2020 - Andreas Umland

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

Spies not like us

A review of Shadow State. Murder, Mayhem and Russia’s Remaking of the West. By: Luke Harding. Publisher: Guardian Faber, London, 2020.

November 16, 2020 - Adam Reichardt

Snarky Facebook post sparks diplomatic incident between Russia and Serbia: What’s behind it?

On the recent spat between Russia and Serbia on social media and what it reveals about their relationship.

October 14, 2020 - Leon Hartwell

War in Nagorno-Karabakh. Why this time is different

The recent outbreak of fighting over the small mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh has a different context than previous clashes or the war in the early 1990s. Nevertheless, regardless of whether or not the current fighting will result in a long-lasting and all-out war, the conflict is poised to remain unsolvable for the foreseeable future.

October 9, 2020 - Tobias Schumacher

Cold friendship, or tepid panic? Behind the scenes of the Swedish narrative on Russia and NATO

An interview with Dr Gregory Simons, Associate Professor at Uppsala University, Sweden. Interviewer: Mario Giagnorio

Despite being at the political margins of Russia’s foreign policy, Sweden’s political élite is weighing the NATO option. Their choices in security will play an important role in the Baltic Sea area in terms of stability.

September 29, 2020 - Gregory Simons Mario Giagnorio

A terrible nightmare or useful conjuncture: what the Belarusian August means for the Kremlin

In addition to obsolete catchwords such as ‘the last dictatorship in Europe’ or ‘the reserve of the USSR,’ Belarus is often referred to as a mirror image of Russia. Against the backdrop of Lukashenka’s potential ousting, how does the Russian political elite make sense out of the August events?

September 8, 2020 - Filip Rudnik

Coronavirus pandemic seriously challenges Russian economy

A combination of socio-economic factors observed in Russia not only indicates that the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the country's economy will be profound, but that the recovery might take longer than it appears today. Much will depend on the authorities’ readiness to support household incomes and business activity through accumulated reserves and borrowings.

Russia has approached the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic with the economy not in great condition. Back in 2010-2012 the Russian economy was growing faster than the world economy. Yet since then, its global share has fallen by about one-fifth. In 2014, following the events in Ukraine, the Russian economy suffered a double blow as a result of lower oil prices and the impact of sanctions imposed on it by the United States, the European Union and a number of other countries.

September 7, 2020 - Oleg Buklemishev

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