Russia’s resurgence on the global stage has been motivated by desires to influence all the post-Soviet space. This is clear with regards to various political and military moves, such as those concerning Ukraine. Yet, actions of this type have not been replicated along any part of Russia’s Asian border.
Whilst a number of states have recently expressed their desire to support Ukraine, many internal critics have challenged this outlook. The West must now commit to the region in order to avoid further conflict.
Events over the past few weeks have seen relations between Baku and Yerevan once again hit a low point. Now focused on recent military clashes, both sides continue to hold very different perspectives on the Karabakh conflict and its future.
The presence of Russian peacekeepers in the Armenian inhabited part of the Karabakh region and along the Lachin corridor connecting Karabakh Armenians with Armenia remains a contentious issue. Officially tasked with normalising the situation on the frontier after last year’s war, this group has been accused of not supporting the finalising of peace accords between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
A US-China meeting in March was recently described as an “undiplomatic war”. American officials even accused China of “grandstanding”. As a result, the details of China’s rapprochement with Russia will prove to be of great interest to the US and its allies.
Russia stands to gain geopolitically from the Western failure in Afghanistan. As a meeting with the Taliban leadership in July showed, Moscow is positioning itself as a key actor in the new Central Asian reality.
NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan will leave its Central Asian neighbours with a number of challenges. Central Asian states are likely to address these issues with the help of Russia and China, who are eager to advance their status and role in the region.
In the eastern parts of the European continent, 1918 is remembered not only as the end of the First World War, but also saw the emergence of newly-independent states and the rise of geopolitical struggles which are felt until this day.
Vladimir Putin is set to win a fourth term as president of the Russian Federation. The March-April 2018 issue takes a deeper look at the consequences of Putin’s presidency and what could eventually come after…
“The price of Europeanising the Balkans is much higher than the price of the Balkanisation of Europe,” claims Zagreb-based writer Miljenko Jergović in the opening essay to this issue of New Eastern Europe.