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December 14, 2012 | US-Russian Relations: Towards The Eurasia Pivot

Cooperation between the US and Russia in international affairs still suffers from mutual distrust. ++ An improvement demands the willingness to shape a longer-term strategy addressing contemporary global challenges. ++ American …More

December 5, 2012 | The First European to Meet Obama after his Reelection

Georgi Ivanov: Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov visited President Obama on Monday and brought also the ministers of foreign affairs, defence and interior to Washington. Bulgaria is located at the crossroads of three continents and transit country for two strategic natural gas pipeline projects. Relations with the US are perhaps the best in their 110-year history. …More

December 4, 2012 | Transatlantic Security in Obama II: Gray Clouds, Silver Linings

William C. Fleeson: President Obama won a second term one month ago this week. Transatlantic security experts have predicted everything from the dismal to the miraculous. Here’s a cautiously pessimistic assessment of what the next four years could hold for defense in the Atlantic sphere. …More

November 27, 2012 | Macedonia Does NOT Deserve NATO Membership

Stewart Rowles: All I see is a country using NATO to get to the Golden Goose of the EU. What benefits are there for NATO when the majority of the FYROM’s Slav population detests NATO for kicking the fellow Slavic Serbs out and bringing the ethnic Albanians power in neighboring Kosovo? …More

November 16, 2012 | How Federal is Putin's Russian Federation?

Tabish Shah: Academics, analysts, and the international community have all recognised Putin’s increasing re-centralisation of the federal system in Russia, and have duly voiced concern over whether the extent of this re-centralisation is bordering on the undemocratic. …More

November 16, 2012 | Georgia and Russia: Radical Poltical Reset?

Tornike Zurabashvili: The unexpected Georgian elections opened up discussion on the possible future of Georgian-Russian relations. Anticipating Georgian withdrawal from its western ambitions is largely exaggerated; there are numerous reasons why a radical change in relations cannot and should not be expected with the new government in power. …More

November 12, 2012 | Realism Moving Forward

Jason Bradley: With two overseas wars winding down, the United States will reevaluate its position in the world with a new strategic focus. Now more than ever, the United States must concentrate on stability, security and balance. Realism offers the solution for these goals without conflict and protracted wars. …More

October 24, 2012 | Russian-US Relations Better than They Seem

Natalia Sharova: During this spring’s Russian presidential elections, Vladimir Putin used anti-American rhetoric to strengthen his image as a great defender against the West. Yet, when political conversations were not for public viewing, Moscow’s dialogue with the Obama administration was much friendlier and more attuned to cooperation. …More

October 5, 2012 | Celebrating Georgia's Maturing Democracy

Tornike Zurabashvili: Georgia’s 2012 Parliamentary Election marks an extraordinary continuation of Georgian democratic tradition, with power to be transferred for the first time peacefully and the loser to courteously recognize the defeat. The further consolidation of the democratic process will serve as a catalyst for its spread to other states in the region. …More

September 28, 2012 | The New Great Game in Central Asia This Article contains Flash-Video

Foreign Affairs: Managing Editor Jonathan Tepperman interviews Professor Alex Cooley on the geopolitical role of Central Asia, and how outside powers - Russia, China, and the United States - are competing for influence in the region, as the British and Russian empires did a century ago. …More

September 20, 2012 | Georgia: From Rose Revolution to Oppression

Following the Rose Revolution and the 2004 Georgian presidential elections, Mikheil Saakashvili is known for his bold stance against Russian hegemony in the region. ++ But today, he is getting attention of a different kind. ++ His …More

September 20, 2012 | Navigating the Future: NATO-South Caucasus Partnership

Valentina M. Gevorgyan: At the recent Chicago Summit, NATO made sure to prioritize partnerships on its agenda. The South Caucasus region is one that can greatly benefit from NATO partnership, especially where security and justice are concerned. NATO’s efforts in the region should aim at resolving frozen conflicts, including the Nagorno Karabagh conflict. …More

September 5, 2012 | Redefining the West's Relations with Russia

John Taylor: Although over 20 years have passed since the end of the Cold War, tensions between Russia and the West continue to exist. The West needs a new approach that takes into account Russia’s own foreign policy perspective and shows an understanding of its domestic challenges. …More

August 23, 2012 | Pussy Riot: Freedom of Speech Only When We Agree

The West’s free speech affirmation following Pussy Riot’s sentencing reveals its own hypocrisy. ++ The West, just like Putin, only supports free speech when it’s convenient. ++ If four white men stormed the East London …More

August 10, 2012 | Politics May Beat Economics in Russia's Oil Industry

With declining output from onshore fields, Russia’s oil industry is at a new crossroad. ++ Russia needs foreign partners, to stimulate competition and help develop offshore fields in its Arctic region. ++ Given that Putin …More

August 2, 2012 | Climate Change: Central (Asian) Puzzle of the 21st Century

Bobur Nazarmuhamedov: The detrimental effects of climate change can be felt throughout the world. In Central Asia, which is especially prone to these externalities, climate change primarily interrupts the regions’ ecological and socio-economic systems. The region’s leaders should devise a strong and targeted policy agenda.

July 27, 2012 | Russian-China Relations: More than Meets the Eye

Adam Charles Lenton: Russia and China have cemented a strong bilateral relationship in recent years, presenting a united stance on the international stage. But there are tensions between them and strains on their relationship which should make for interesting developments, especially in Central Asia. …More

July 26, 2012 | The Race for Eastern Europe: Russia vs. the EU

Shalva Dzidziguri: Russia’s relationship with the West has never been easy. With the end of Cold War-era animosity, Russia has continuously sought reassurance that its Soviet-inherited geopolitical interests are protected. Ironically, EU policy might be helping Russia realize its potential in the region. …More

July 11, 2012 | Who Defines the World Order?

Russia will not change its position on Syria unless the conflict’s internal dynamics shift. ++ Moscow does not view Syria as Middle Eastern geopolitics. ++ Rather Russia sees it as about who defines the world order. ++ Moscow consistently opposes …More

July 7, 2012 | Europe & Russia: Soft Power, Please

Steffen Buenau: To effectively support the ongoing transformation within Russia, Europe should put to use its most effective “soft power” tool: a relaxation of visa regulations. Such an approach is not only effective with regard to domestic transformation but will also help restore credibility in an area where Russian co-operation is crucial, namely, Syria. …More

June 8, 2012 | Trafficking in Women in Ukraine: A Concern for Kiev?

Elizabeth Zolotukhina: The Euro 2012 starts today. Beyond football in the news, many reports have focused on the sex industry in Ukraine amid an influx of sports fans. Going beyond the headlines, this paper takes an in-depth look at human trafficking and the relevant laws in Ukraine. …More

May 23, 2012 | Missile Defense Moving South is a Well-Deserved Setback for Warsaw's Dreams

Marek Swierczynski: NATO’s Chicago Summit announced the first phase of Ballistic Missile Defense as operational. The news was welcomed in Warsaw, but nobody rejoiced, as one of the country’s strategic priorities in transatlantic relations had moved far away from its borders. No one knows if it will ever come back. …More

May 11, 2012 | Return to the Empire

Gökhan Tekir: The paper analyzes how the Russian Federation uses energy as a foreign policy instrument. Russia’s main aim is to prevent Western interference in its sphere of influence. This is done by maintaining its hegemon position in supplying Caspian energy sources to Europe. …More

May 7, 2012 | Losing Democracy: Turkey under the AKP

Anonymous: The first election of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) brought Turkish citizens hope regarding the democratization of the country. Two terms later, opponents are imprisoned because of their political ideas, religious values are infringing on secular institutions, and power is being concentrated at the top. …More

May 4, 2012 | We Stopped the Killing, Now What?

The Dayton Agreement ended a war, but it also institutionalized ethnicity as the predominant feature of Bosnian social and political identity. ++ There has been little room for other minorities, since they had no seat at the negotiating …More

March 15, 2012 | James Appathurai on Central Asia, the Caucasus, and More This Article contains Flash-Video

Editorial Team: The NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy returns to answer more of your questions! In this next round he discusses NATO’s role in Central Asia, the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, and reaching out to Brazil, among other issues. …More

February 26, 2012 | Establishing a Unified NATO: The Case for Georgia

Ian Clarke Hansen: The best way to promote a communal NATO is to provide a meaningful purpose that draws upon transnational concerns and interests. The clearest and most deserving case for this is establishing a timeline of admittance for the Republic of Georgia. …More

February 26, 2012 | Improving Public Opinion of NATO in Russia

S Williams: In order to improve its public approval in Russia, NATO must analyze anti-NATO sentiment, specifically amongst youths, and identify possible methods of remediation. …More

February 26, 2012 | Kazakhstan and Transatlantic Powers: True Cooperation for Mutual Benefit

Aliya Beisenbekovna Mussabekova: Kazakhstan and NATO need a more profound exchange of values and ideas. This is importannt today because the generation of young people who had never lived under Soviet rule has already grown up. The first challenge we should address is the information barrier. …More

January 5, 2012 | Ensuring Energy Security with the Eastern Partnership

Rahim Yusif Rahimov: The vast energy resources of Central Asia have led to a growing competition between Russia, who views the region as within its rightful sphere of influence, and Western nations. To ensure the security of its energy resources, the EU should use its Eastern Partnership to downplay both the NATO and Russian military presence in the region. …More

January 5, 2012 | Internet in the Post-Soviet Space

Alex Rubin: The Western view that the Internet represents a unique force for opposition activists under undemocratic rule is too simplistic. While individuals can utilize such technology to challenge the status quo, this study focuses on how regimes, specifically in Russia and Belarus are quite capable of neutralizing online activity through a variety of techniques. …More

December 13, 2011 | History Repeats Itself with Azerbaijan's "Shah"

Shahla Sultanova: Like Iran in the 1970s, Azerbaijan’s oil wealth is being funneled into an increasingly ostentatious and autocratic regime that uses its energy reserves to curry favor with the West. Without changes soon, Azerbaijan will also follow Iran into collapse, revolution, and opposition to the West. …More

December 6, 2011 | Putin is "Russia's Mubarak"

United Russia’s electoral setback looks much worse considering that even vote suppression and neutered opposition parties could not prevent this result. ++ The writing was on the wall; United Russia was trounced in regional elections in …More

November 30, 2011 | Could a Eurasian Union be a Western Ally?

Stanislav Maselnik: Putin’s Eurasian Union is a sound initiative of regional integration and need not present competition to the EU and its allies. In contrast, it can serve EU and US interests by bringing a stabilizing force to the region and creating a strong ally to balance against the rising power of China. …More

November 2, 2011 | Russia's Long Road to the WTO

Russia’s 18-year quest to become a member of the WTO may finally be drawing to a close by the end of this year, as Georgia gave its consent under US and EU pressure. ++ The biggest barrier to admission into the WTO, however, lies within Russia in …More

October 19, 2011 | The Eurasian Union: A Threat to the New World Order

Elena Georgievna Ponomareva: While the West has been quick to cast Putin’s Eurasian project as a throwback to the Soviet Union, the prospect of functioning Eurasian Union bodes well for security and prosperity in the post-Soviet space and could undermine Western global hegemony. …More

October 12, 2011 | Russia: The Knight at the Crossroads

Maxim Miroshnikov: Russia finds itself at a crossroads facing a set of opportunities and challenges in regards to its demographic situation, military, economy and governance. Despite undergoing dramatic economic improvement, Russia remains a great power in name only. …More

October 7, 2011 | Lost Illusions: Dealing With a Stagnant Russia

Dustin Dehez: Despite Russia’s posturing as a resurgent global power, the Russian oil-based economy is vulnerable and the absence of the rule of law stands in the way of any development. Putin’s return to power will further strain Russia’s relations with the West. Now is the time to develop a new approach to Russia. …More

September 28, 2011 | Russia Will Maintain Status Quo With Western Partners

The West should not expect any major changes in Russian foreign policy upon Putin’s return to the Kremlin. ++ Russia will continue to enforce its present agreements and maintain a pragmatic partnership with the US and …More

September 26, 2011 | Russia Reveals Its True Face

Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency removes the illusion of any real political competition in Russia. ++ As president Putin is likely to aggravate relations with Russia’s neighbors and do little to tackle rampant corruption domestically. ++ …More

August 26, 2011 | "Ukraine's Future Is With the European Union"

Ukraine has come a long way from its Soviet legacy. Now, Kiev sets its sights on EU membership. ++ With an educated labor force and a “rich foundation in science and technology” along with its energy …More

August 19, 2011 | How NATO is Perceived in Russia (or Lessons in Optimism)

NATO: Robert Pszczel is the Alliance’s face in Russia. The head of NATO’s Moscow office, he now both talks about - and listens to opinions on - NATO’s evolving partnership with Russia. Here he explains some of the feedback - and why it’s positive to be an optimist. …More

August 15, 2011 | US Should End Unilateral Drone Attacks in Pakistan

US diplomats dealing with Pakistan “spend most of their time haggling over our military and intelligence activities, when they should instead be pursuing the sort of comprehensive social, diplomatic and economic reforms that …More

August 15, 2011 | Enlargement and Cooperation Agenda of the SCO

Oleg Khlopov: The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) demonstrates the way regional powers can collaborate in order to bring about economic development and become security partners in Central Asia. Nowadays the SCO members are facing two main problems: the enlargement of the organization and their attitude to the role of the US in Central Asia. …More

August 9, 2011 | Corruption Hindering Ukraine-EU Integration

Ukraine possesses massive agricultural and manufacturing potential, and Europe should support Kiev’s movement toward the EU. ++ But the trial of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, an opponent of President Viktor Yanukovich, …More

August 1, 2011 | Nagorno-Karabakh: A Frozen Conflict Threatens to Thaw

Orkhan Gafarli: Before a ceasefire took effect in 1994, the Nagorno-Karabakh War took the lives of over 20,000 people. Now, the “frozen” conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan is threatening to heat up once again. Both countries must implement democratic reform if a lasting peace is ever to be reached.

July 20, 2011 | Germany is Deeply Divided on How to Deal with Russia

Ingo Mannteufel: Germany’s political and intellectual classes are completely divided over how to perceive present-day Russia and what Germany’s policies toward the country should be. This was noticeable ahead of the Petersburg Dialogue, and even more evident during its discussions and lectures.

July 11, 2011 | Why the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is Important

Dmitri A Titoff: When the SCO emerged at the turn of the century, Western observers worried that its key founders, Russia and China, plotted an anti-NATO bloc. It turns out, however, that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s primary objective is to keep the status-quo in Eurasia. …More

June 28, 2011 | How and Why Has Belarusian Foreign Policy Been Constrained 1991-2009?

Helen Turek: Following almost two decades of isolation, this paper sets out to examine why Belarus has traditionally had such a limited range of foreign policy options, and what has changed in the last two years, causing Belarusian President Aliaksandr Lukashenka to try and appeal as a partner to the West. …More

June 4, 2011 | Turkey's Real Significance for the EU

Fintan Hastings: Ankara has a key role to play both now and in the near future in the military and regional security of the European Union. This comes down to Brussels’ shortcomings in both crisis management and peacekeeping abilities, which can be complimented by its eastern neighbor. …More

May 20, 2011 | The EU's Eastern Partnership Program and Belarus

Alex Rubin: Despite twenty years of Belarusian independence and shared borders, the EU has thus far failed to make a lasting impact on the Belarusian regime or its population. This study examines the EU’s failed approach to Minsk and contextualizes the issue by including additional factors such as Russian influence and domestic politics. …More

April 1, 2011 | Between Europe and America: Polish choices for the 21st Century

Jeremy Wysakowski-Walters: Polish strategic thinking can only be understood within a social-constructivist framework. This paper looks at Polish foreign policy, with especial regard to US/Polish relations. …More

April 1, 2011 | Democratization in the South Caucuses

Anush Hayrapetyan: The process of democratization is still ongoing in the South Caucuses . This paper identifies obstacles, challenges and achievements so far. Moreover, solutions are offered as to how the region can move forward in the future. …More

March 25, 2011 | Is It Smart to be Friends With NATO?

Aigerim Shilibekova: In order to build more constructive cooperation with Central Asia, NATO must understand the perceptions from the region. NATO can implement efficient soft power policies, but any coordination needs to benefit both sides. …More

February 7, 2011 | EU Sanctions Will Never Work on Belarus

Jeremy Wysakowski-Walters: The EU should embrace Belarus and use positive tactics to attempt to “convert” ordinary Belarusians, many of whom are still loyal to President Lukashenko. Sanctions do not work and will only reinforce his position. …More

January 24, 2011 | Romania's Strategic Role in the EU

Alexandra Dobra: Romania benefits from its geographical location, being situated at the confluence of different regional powers. The foreign policy challenges faced by the EU in this region can be partly alleviated, by placing Romania as the European “Trojan horse” in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. ‎ …More

November 15, 2010 | A United EU Approach Toward Moscow is Required

Benjamin Hanke: Germany’s economic interests are the key obstacle to a closer link between Russia and the West. Berlin is following an appeasement policy towards Moscow due to a need for energy. What Germany needs to do is to revive its European vision and spearhead a common EU approach to Moscow. …More

November 10, 2010 | A Clash of Discourses: Sovereignty vs. Integration

Alexandra Vasileva: To overcome the challenges toward closer cooperation between Russia and the West, the political dialogue must be changed. The West needs to alter its judgmental rhetoric and provide true incentives for partnership such as respecting the “shared neighborhood” and visa liberalization. …More

November 10, 2010 | Russia: Political Intrigues and Civil Rights

President Medvedev has cast himself in the role of “the guarantor of the Constitution” by vetoing a law put forward by the Duma and the Senate. ++ The legislation sought to curtail the right to free assembly. ++ …More

September 16, 2010 | The Limited Power of Presidential Popularity

Editorial Team: President Obama’s popularity in Europe does not translate into more support for US policies. According to Transatlantic Trends 2010 differences in public opinion remain on Iran and Afghanistan. Europeans are much more pessimistic than Americans regarding the ISAF mission, but they share US support for NATO being prepared to act outside of Europe. …More

September 14, 2010 | French Gypsy Hunt Sign of New Nationalism in Europe

Russians today are sympathetic to the French move to expel the gypsies. ++ “Being a nationalist is fashionable now, even though it was considered inappropriate behavior for a decent fellow not that long ago.” ++ …More

August 25, 2010 | Russia is the Lynchpin of NATO 2020

Daniel Nikolits: When looking at the twenty-first century’s global security challenges, there is more that unites NATO and Russia than divides them. The next Strategic Concept must aim to strengthen the partnership with Russia for the benefit of both sides. …More

August 19, 2010 | The Sino-Russian Border: Anatomy of a Problem Region

Eoin Michael Heaney : The Sino-Russian frontier in the Far East is rife with tension as the Russian population continues to shrink and a booming Chinese economy sends capital and labour northwards. This study explores the economic, demographic, political, and social dimensions shaping this problematic region. …More

August 17, 2010 | Floods in Pakistan: Should the West be Doing More?

Editorial Team: The Western response to the disaster in Pakistan has suffered from a certain ambivalence. On the one hand, there are fears that donations could be diverted to the Taliban war chest. On the other hand, fundamentalists could highlight the absence of Western aid in order to gain legitimacy. …More

August 17, 2010 | $460 Million Requested for Pakistan: Let's Give It

More than 20 million people in Pakistan are now homeless as a consequence of the devastating flooding. ++ A dearth of clean drinking water will likely cause the death toll of 1,500 to rise. ++ The West must use this …More

August 16, 2010 | Donor Fatigue is No Excuse in Pakistan

Osama Bin Javaid: The international response to the flood in Pakistan has been muted, despite the fact that the natural disaster is the worst in the nation’s history and has affected more than 20 million lives. The government is unable to adequately respond to the crisis alone – the rest of the world must step up. …More

August 13, 2010 | Russians Defend Against Non-Existing Air Force

Moscow has stationed S-300 air defense missile systems in Abkhazia and similar devices in South Ossetia in a curious move, as Georgia possesses no air force. ++ Instead, the systems are geared toward blocking Georgian airspace. ++ …More

August 4, 2010 | Wildfires Warm Russia to Global Warming

In the past, the Kremlin has discredited the idea of global warming as international media hype. ++ Russia’s ruling elite has regarded the climate debate as nothing more than “an invention of the West to bring Russia to its …More

August 2, 2010 | Tax Bad Behavior for the Sake of Modernization

Peter the Great should inspire the search for funds to help modernize Russia. ++ The Tsar outlawed the wearing of beards and taxed those of his subjects who refused to obey. ++ To fight corruption in Russia’s notorious …More

July 26, 2010 | Torpedoing Russian-Kyrgyz Friendship

Following the New START Treaty with the United States, the “Shkval” torpedo is more important than ever to Russian naval defense. ++ Key components are manufactured in Kyrgyzstan, where control over the factory has become an important …More

July 21, 2010 | Georgian Lessons for the Ukrainian Opposition

The fact that Georgia has had a more successful democratic transition than the Ukraine may be a generational matter. ++ Members of Saakashvili’s administration are on average ten years younger than most Ukrainian politicians. ++ To …More

July 2, 2010 | Russian Resistance to Reform Opens Window for the West

Gregory Nizhnikau: The internal problems that Russian authorities will eventually have to face, but are at present unwilling to tackle, create an opportunity for the West to engage the countries of the region that are more than willing to keep their distance from Moscow. …More

June 24, 2010 | EU Foreign Service: Bureaucracy Playing Games

The proposed elimination of the posts of EU representatives to Moldova and the South Caucasus reveals what intrigues are spun by the Union’s locomotives – Germany, France, and Great Britain. ++ They seek to expand …More

June 23, 2010 | Draft is Institutionalized Slavery in Russia

The Russian Army is fighting its record of abuse and lack of finances in vein. ++ The Army will not become professional, because there is no money to make professional service attractive. ++ “The present regime’s priority …More

June 22, 2010 | Poland Calls the Bear's Bluff

Jeremy Wysakowski-Walters: Poland must redefine its relations with Russia. Continued military provocations and brinkmanship will only lead to Poland’s position worsening. While maintaining its security interests, Poland must embrace the bear. This notwithstanding, Poland should not negate its democratic ideals. …More

June 16, 2010 | Russia: Pyrrhic Victory over Partisans on Pacific Coast

In Vladivostok, Russian officialdom scored a victory over the partisan movement that may yet turn into defeat. ++ While successful against the uprising in the Primorski federal region, local officials have done little …More

June 8, 2010 | Situation in Daghestan Escalating

In the aftermath of the Moscow Metro attacks, the situation in the supposed homeland of the attackers continues to escalate. ++ The 150 Daghestani fighters hiding out in the forests - the so-called “forest brotherhood” - receive much of their …More

June 2, 2010 | International Law and the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

Anush Hayrapetyan: International legal principles applied to the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict allow for the international recognition of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. The conflict’s resolution would promote the normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan. …More

June 2, 2010 | Double Standards in Russians' Right to Free Assembly

Russian authorities dispersed an opposition rally in defense of the right to free assembly in Moscow yesterday. ++ Ironically, the protest meeting had been inspired by recent remarks of Premier Putin, which “many …More

May 27, 2010 | Russia's New Elite Increasingly Anti-American

There is “a disturbing trend” among those set to become “the new faces of Russia.” More and more students at Moscow’s elite universities wholeheartedly embrace conspiracy theories, such as George W. …More

April 29, 2010 | Russia Fleet Pact Strands the Ukraine

The new deal on the Black Sea Fleet secures Russian dominance at the expense of other countries.++ “Kiev loses because the Black Sea Fleet and its accompanying socio-political-economic-cultural infrastructure enables Russia to keep the …More

April 20, 2010 | Belarus Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Helen Turek: Since 2008’s Russia-Georgia war, Belarus has failed to recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states. Belarus has already missed its Spring 2010 deadline to make a decision on the issue. The decision will determine whether Belarusian allegiance lies with Europe or with Russia. …More

April 13, 2010 | Killing Kyrgyzstan's Cycle of Unrest with Kindness

The US is militarily and monetarily invested in Kyrgyzstan’s future and should focus its efforts on supporting the fledgling democratic government. ++ The White House pays an inflated rate for use of a military …More

April 12, 2010 | After Tragedy, Reconciliation For Russia and Poland

The death of many Polish government officials, including the President, has raised global awareness of the Russian massacre of 22,000 Polish troops 70 years ago. ++ This truth is the first step towards genuine reconciliation …More

April 12, 2010 | What's Next for Poland?

Anna Nadgrodkiewicz: In all its sadness, the tragic plane crash that claimed the lives of many distinguished Poles in Smolensk can open new opportunities for Polish-Russian reconciliation, a less politicized presidential campaign in Poland, and a renewed sense of unity and common purpose. …More

March 27, 2010 | A Joint NATO-Russia Missile Shield This Article contains Flash-Video

Brussels Forum: NATO Secretary General Rasmussen called for Russia to be included in a new Euroatlantic missile defense shield to protect against threats from would-be nuclear states like Iran. Rasmussen was addressing the Brussels Forum, an annual high-level conference on transatlantic relations. …More

March 17, 2010 | Russia is No Longer a Predatory Soviet Power

Lev Voronkov: In regards to Russia’s influence in the region, no solution will be found to the Arctic challenges and disputes if the syndrome of the “cold war,” consisting of systematically labeling Russia as a disreputable power having predatory intentions in the Arctic, prevails. …More

March 15, 2010 | Kosovo Beyond Nationalism

Stefan G. Ducich: More than ten years after Operation Allied Force, there is no durable peace in Kosovo. The global community, and the EU in particular, has the responsibility and the influence to usher in a system of governance and accountability, whereby the entire Kosovar populace – regardless of ethnic back …More

February 26, 2010 | The Russian Energy Rule is Over

For years, Russia has largely benefited from its “energy super power” strategy. ++ Today, using gas and oil supplies as a tool for the Russian diplomacy is becoming less relevant. ++ While the European market is oversupplied and battles over the …More

February 4, 2010 | Political Pipelines as Diplomatic Fault Lines

Joshua Posaner: Europe should strengthen infrastructure across the former Soviet space as opposed to directly competing with Russia on gas pipelines. The White Stream project currently in development by Ukraine provides a possible counterweight to Moscow’s increasing energy dominance and an antidote to Eastern Europe’s increasing isolation. …More

January 4, 2010 | Ukraine and EU Expansion

Andrey Chubyk: Despite being in the center of Europe, Ukraine does not have the perspective of full integration into the Union. However, the Eastern Partnership offered by Poland and Sweden offers the possibility for both the EU and Ukraine to develop a more mutually acceptable, long-term relationship. …More

January 4, 2010 | Germany's Interests in Future NATO Enlargement

Dirk Schuchardt: Germany’s main interest in NATO enlargement lies in creating a stable European security order, while preventing a confrontation with Russia. Therefore, from the German perspective, Ukraine and Georgia should not join the Alliance. …More

December 10, 2009 | Indo-Russian Ties Strengthen

The New Delhi-Moscow relationship has reached a high with the signing of a nuclear agreement “essentially [enabling] India to start positioning its civilian nuclear sectors as a buyer’s market.” ++ Companies in the West should lobby their …More

December 3, 2009 | Why the Cyprus Dispute Still Has Not Been Resolved

Deniz Sonalp: The Cyprus conflict has been waiting to be resolved since the island was partitioned in 1963. It is not only a problem between the two communities on the island; it is also an international matter which has important effects on the political positions of many states. …More

November 24, 2009 | Limitations to Post-Conflict Cooperative Security

Jovana Jezdimirovic Ranito: As the situation in Kosovo since the end of the war has demonstrated, there is a gap between words and deeds. Furthermore, the main constraints preventing the successful development of security are the actors’ motivations, the lack of political will and a lack of civil and military cooperation. …More

November 18, 2009 | Medvedev Sticks to the Script, Almost

Joshua Posaner: Dmitri Medvedev’s second state of the nation address gave observers an indication of the complex relationship at the top of Russian politics. His different approach may appear to be shifting Russia away from ‘Putinism’ and towards reform, but this is all just smoke and mirrors. …More

November 12, 2009 | Berlin and Washington Disagree on Russia Policy

From arms reduction to Afghanistan to Iran, it is in Washington’s best interest to ensure cooperation with Moscow on a wide range of issues. Policy-makers in Washington now have to choose between different options for dealing with …More

November 6, 2009 | The Big Bear's Tight Embrace

Sonja Davidovic: President Medvedev’s generous offers during his state visit to Serbia indicate a strengthening of bilateral relations between Russia and Serbia. This generosity should not blind Serbia on its path towards EU membership. …More

October 20, 2009 | Turkey: Master of Public Diplomacy

Armenia and Azerbaijan have some lessons to learn from the Turkish-Armenian reconciliation, where the employment of soft power and public diplomacy created the enabling environment for the signing of bilateral protocols. ++ Although …More

October 5, 2009 | Georgia Sees Vindication in War Report

Both sides claimed vindication following the publication of the EU report on the causes of the Russia-Georgia conflict. ++ “But the report said Georgia violated international law and triggered the August 2008 war by shelling the …More

September 30, 2009 | Can Turkey Save a Fading Georgia?

As a younger Georgian politician rises in the form of Irakli Alasania, the US are finally losing patience with Mikheil Saakashvili. ++ The Georgian President fails to recognize that both South Ossetia and Abkhazia have effectively been …More

September 29, 2009 | The EU's Energy Security: Exclusion Is Not the Best Policy

Jakob Schirmer: If the EaP is tasked with creating a pan European consensus on energy then why does it not include Russia? Exclusion only serves to create divisions between the biggest supplier and the consumer whilst further exacerbating relations between the post Soviet states and Moscow. …More

September 23, 2009 | Europe Must Stand up for Georgia

On the anniversary of the fall of the iron curtain a group of academics advocate that Europe must show stronger support for Georgia. ++ As the EU prepares to release its report on the causes of the war in Georgia we must remember the lessons of …More

September 21, 2009 | Missile Defense System Still On

Contrary to current reports, the missile defense system in Eastern Europe will be strengthened and not scrapped. ++ The previous proposal would have been delayed until 2017 whilst the current one will see an active defense from the Iranian threat …More

September 17, 2009 | Obama Abandoning Eastern Europe? This Article contains Flash-Video

Greg Randolph Lawson: The Obama Administration’s decision to stop the deployment of the ballistic missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic is unwise. It is unlikely to yield concessions from Russia on key issues and may cause other allies around the globe to question US defense commitments. …More

September 8, 2009 | Russia's Paranoia Leading it to Distraction

Moscow still confuses NATO as being the US sphere of influence justifying calls for its own to be respected. ++ “The foreign-policy doctrine that guides today’s Kremlin is a preposterous mix of 19th-century Realpolitik and …More

September 1, 2009 | Poland's Policy Setbacks Should Steer it Back Towards the EU

Marek Swierczynski: As the US signals a reluctance to build the missile defense project, tensions with Russia develop and the deployment of troops in Afghanistan loses public support, Poland’s international standing continues to fall. With Jerzy Buzek at the helm of the EU Parliament and the upcoming presidency going to Poland, Warsaw must now turn to Europe ahead of its Atlantic focus. …More

August 28, 2009 | The Myth of Russia's Caucasus Success

The Kremlin’s strategy has not brought peace to the Caucasus. ++ Russia’s failure can be blamed on Vladimir Putin’s cynical deals with influential clans in the North Caucasus, the elimination of democratic procedures and the …More

August 28, 2009 | Will Germany Remain Part of the West?

Hans Kundnani: In a sense, the central question of Germany’s post war identity is of whether it constitutes a part of the West or not. As the historian Heinrich August Winkler tells it, Germany has completed its long westward journey. However, the reality is more complicated considering the increasing shift of the Federal Republic’s foreign policy towards Moscow. …More

August 26, 2009 | Weak Russia, Dangerous Russia

Donald K. Bandler and Jakub Kulhanek: A weak Russia constitutes a liability for the future as a scenario of political and economic upheaval becomes likely. Consequently, Moscow’s weakness domestically could then become a global crisis and pose a major threat to international peace and security. …More

August 24, 2009 | US Reset Does Not Change Anything

Moscow’s recent outspoken criticism of Ukraine threatens the integrity of Washington’s diplomatic reset. ++ “The Russian leadership has long been battling with Ukrainian President Yushchenko over what they see as his attempts …More

August 7, 2009 | Is the EU Suffering From 'Visa Liberalization Fatigue'?

Rudi Guraziu: The EU seems to have made its political decision as far as visa liberalization for the West Balkans is concerned. However, by excluding the two nations who have suffered the most during the conflict it risks stability in the region. …More

August 7, 2009 | Georgia Is Regaining Strength

One year after the Russian invasion, Georgia continues to draw nearer to its western allies. ++ “The Kremlin is forced to discover that few points of its agenda have succeeded.” ++ Despite the Georgia peace plan signed by President …More

July 28, 2009 | USA Ends Dependence on Ukraine and Georgia

Ingo Mannteufel: US President Barack Obama proclaimed a new start in Russian-American relations; now it is the Vice President’s job to initiate a new policy towards the governments of Ukraine and Georgia. Biden made it clear that the US is no longer willing to give these countries whatever it takes to counterbalance Russia. …More

July 27, 2009 | How to Defeat Taliban Insurgency

The international community must show Afghans that they will not be deserted to Taliban retribution. ++ The weaknesses of the insurgency must be considered: “It
is a… shallow coalition of convenience… [and] deeply unpopular.” ++ “Success …More

July 23, 2009 | Is Ukraine Heading for a Post Revolution Disaster?

Andreas Umland: The Ukrainian Presidential elections scheduled for January 2010 are actually detrimental to the nation’s interests. Ukrainian democracy is weak, and the nation faces the fallout of the world financial crisis and Moscow’s continuously growing imperial appetite.

July 20, 2009 | Understanding Russia

Daniel Fiott: Russia’s take on foreign affairs is determined by geopolitical fears, border security and the wish to be perceived as a great power. Thus, key-issues to understand Russia are NATO and EU enlargement, the proposed US missile defense system and energy security. Other powers have to take this into account if they want Russia to be more cooperative. …More

July 17, 2009 | Eastern European Political Elite Criticizes Obama

Former decision makers from Eastern Europe warn President Obama in an open letter about an deterioration of bilateral relations. ++ The tone of the letter is “much sharper than the usual language of diplomacy.” ++ This reaction …More

July 15, 2009 | Economic Decline Threatens Medvedev's 'Liberality'

A decline in the Russian economy caused by the global financial crisis could set off an authoritarian agenda change in the Kremlin. ++ Worker protests and societal riots against company closings are just the beginning. …More

July 10, 2009 | The US' "Reset" with Russia Is Not Enough

President Obama’s visit to Moscow must not be taken as a serious reset with Russia. ++ It “was a mix of visionary kitsch, caviar and feckless horse-trading.” ++ Russian-American agreements made this week are short sighted. ++ …More

July 9, 2009 | Rise of Resistance, Loss of Legitimacy: Communist Poland

Natalie Catherine Chwalisz: The historic revolution in Poland, now 20 years ago, is a culmination of the regime’s gradual loss of legitimacy. This paper seeks to explain the process of the authoritarian Communist regime’s collapse and stressed role legitimacy plays in sustaining ideological regimes. …More

June 30, 2009 | Jeff Gedmin, President of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Fighting tyranny through the airwaves is Jeff Gedmin’s goal. He was named president of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty on February 2, 2007. Prior to taking this new position, Gedmin had been head of the Aspen …More

June 25, 2009 | Will There be a Second Russian-Georgian War?

In the face of retreating OSCE peacekeepers, a second war in Georgia becomes possible. ++ Russia’s demand that the OSCE leave Georgia comes at the same time as it states Georgia is preparing for war. ++ Since last year, Moscow has …More

June 17, 2009 | Obama Cannot Ignore Russian Veto of UN Mission

Russia has vetoed an extension of the UN mission in the Georgian breakaway zone of Abkhazia. ++ All international monitoring organizations have left Abkhazia. ++ “Moscow clearly wants to finish what it started… Georgia had been …More

June 12, 2009 | Western Europe Should Look to Neighbors to Improve EU Vote

Rudi Guraziu: With the lowest ever turnout in European Union elections, the future of the Union has seriously been put in doubt. Conservative victories have caused major concern in membership hopeful, Turkey. If Europe fails to speak as one, its global economic and political influence could be jeopardized. …More

June 9, 2009 | A Future with Russia as a Strategic Partner?

Editorial Team: In the second part of our expert survey on relations between Russia and the West, respondents tell that they remain largely sceptical of the potential for a strategic partnership between Moscow and the EU and US, however they believe that there will be some limited cooperation. …More

June 8, 2009 | Afghanistan's Future Depends on Pakistan

The road to more
security and stability in Afghanistan runs exclusively through Pakistan. Only
if the Pakistani leadership manages to avoid the collapse of political order
and the stem the march of the Taliban out of the northwest …More

June 4, 2009 | European Elections a Precusor to Polish Domestic Vote

Marek Swierczynski: A failure by Polish political parties to create a vision or even debate on the country’s role in the European Union will mean these elections will focus more on domestic issues. The vote will be important for it will set the tone for Poland’s presidency and local elections in 2010. …More

May 19, 2009 | Killing of Journalists in Russia Must Stop

Elizabeth Zolotukhina: Speaking out on human rights issues in Russia has proved to be dangerous for Russian journalists in recent years. Now that the reset button has been pressed in US - Russian relations, it is time for the the international community to pressure Moscow to halt these killings. …More

May 11, 2009 | Pragmatic Russians Seek to Exert Influence

Janusz Bugajski: Russia’s priority will be to reinforce its national interests and exert influence over the foreign and security policies of disparate states in an attempt to distract from their domestic problems. This increases the importance for NATO and its allies to work not only with Russia, but also its border countries. …More

May 7, 2009 | NATO War Games Challenge Volatile Situation

NATO’s war game maneuvers tell Georgia that it is being considered for candidacy and warns Russia against invading Georgia, stating that the southern Caucuses remain a Western focus.++ However, the timing and nature of the event are …More

May 6, 2009 | Pakistan's Turbulent Coastal Region

Pakistan can find no peace, particularly in Baluchistan, the
border region between Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Recently the Pakistani
government has felt compelled to make wide-reaching concessions to the Taliban,
who meanwhile …More

April 30, 2009 | Poland Challenges Transatlantic Relations

A switch is occurring in US-Polish relations. ++ With two wars and the unpopular missile defense proposal, the US is increasingly seen as an uncomfortable, rather than essential security partner. ++ Public opinion is turning to …More

April 8, 2009 | Turkey's Shift Questions Brussels' Approach

President Obama’s visit to Turkey signals its importance. ++ It can serve as a model of a stable democratic Muslim country and as a strategic bridge “between energy-poor Europe and energy-rich Russia, Central Asia, and the Middle …More

March 30, 2009 | Beware of the Bear!

The approaching G20 will also be the first meeting between President Medvedev and President Obama. ++ Recently, the US has shown increased willingness to reconstruct their relations with the Kremlin whose cooperation is much needed on the Afghan and Iraqi …More

March 10, 2009 | Germany's Russia Question

Constanze Stelzenmueller: Germany is a bridge between Russia and the West, and how Berlin chooses to deal with Moscow will set the tone for how the United States and the rest of Europe manage their own relationships with Russia. …More

March 10, 2009 | Hillary Resets the Start Button

Secretary of State Clinton’s European trip set out the seriousness of the Obama administration’s commitment and marked a new era of transatlantic relations. ++ The tête à tête between Clinton and Lavrov — symbolized by a …More

March 2, 2009 | Nabucco: Azerbaijan's Chance For Prosperity

The gas war has highlighted the urgency of building the Nabucco pipeline. ++ This is good news for Baku as its role in the energy world is likely to increase drastically: it would provide the infrastructure for transporting gas …More

February 25, 2009 | Where is the Money to Help Eastern Europe?

Eastern Europe is acutely hit by the economic crisis and WB President Zoellick estimates that the region would need $120bn to recapitalize its banks. ++ Western Europe, as the main investor and credit provider in the region, is …More

February 23, 2009 | Obama, If You Play with Fire You Get Burned

Hit hard by the financial crisis, now is no time for Russia to make enemies and the Kremlin should be content that Obama opted for an extended-hand diplomacy. ++ Yet, “even if Medvedev goes for detente, he may not be able to …More

February 20, 2009 | In Defense of the Czech EU Presidency

Tobias Wolny: Do not be misled by President Klaus’s speech to the European Parliament. The Czech EU presidency has done a good job so far, managing a number of unexpected international and domestic issues over the last two months. And the Czechs deserve more credit from fellow European leaders in the current debate on protectionism. …More

February 20, 2009 | Old Europe to The Rescue!

The liberalization paradigm, mantra of Eastern Europe in the 90s that aimed to speed up the integration process, is being questioned as the region is devastated by the economic crisis. ++ Old Europe had better help these new member states through …More

February 19, 2009 | NATO-Russia War: A Possible Scenario

Andreas Umland: In Russia, a virulent form of anti-Americanism is becoming a constituent part of public opinion and foreign policy thinking. Should the current dominant trend in political discourse continue, in the future the world may witness more than a new cold war. …More

February 12, 2009 | Appeasing Russia Over Missiles in Eastern Europe

Biden’s comment at the Security Conference in Munich regarding the need for expert opinion prior to deploying defense missiles in Eastern Europe has raised fear in the Czech Republic. ++ “It’s beginning to look as though the …More

February 12, 2009 | Russia Should Learn the Rules in Ukraine

The Russian ambassador to Kiev has stated that Russian influence in the region is diminishing due to changed attitudes within the country and the large US presence there. ++ While the Obama administration will continue to lure Ukraine …More

February 12, 2009 | Europe Has to Get Serious About Energy

Jens F. Laurson & George A. Pieler: In light of the recent gas crisis, the need for a common European energy policy has risen to the top of the EU agenda. The prompt building of the Nabucco pipeline as well as diversification of resources should be incorporated to assure independence from the Kremlin. …More

February 5, 2009 | Russians Must Reject New Cold War

The recent gas crisis is remarkably reminiscent of the Cold War in the sense of fear, insecurity and intimidation which it evoked. ++ Inciting such feelings in one’s adversaries is the typical obsession of a tyrannical regime. ++ Putin …More

February 4, 2009 | Curbing Russian Anti-Westernism

The fragility of Putin’s Russia has been exposed by the financial crisis, making the need for new rules of engagement between it and the West all the more necessary. ++ Anti-westernism is rife and the West has surely played its part in …More

February 3, 2009 | Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Sonja Davidovic: Russia‘s shut down of its Balkan gas deliveries with the ink not yet dried on the Serbian Government/Gazprom deal indicates that vulnerable areas such as energy security must be reflected in a European strategy. …More

January 22, 2009 | Putin and Chavez: Partners In Crime

President Chavez and PM Putin are “enjoying a burgeoning friendship,” finding common ground in their oppression of dissidents and the violent crime ruling their cities. ++ Their regimes do little to tackle the pervasive murder …More

January 21, 2009 | Yushchenko Must Use Gas Deal for Ukrainian Unity

The two-week gas war between Ukraine and Russia was only partly about money. ++ Russia wanted to split the Ukrainian leadership, where support for leader President Yushchenko has fallen to 5%. ++ PM Tymoshenko has also been …More

January 21, 2009 | The EU is Helping Moscow's Neo-Imperialists

Andreas Umland: It appears that in the near future, the European Union monitors will systematically observe the flow of Russian gas to Europe at the Russian-Ukrainian border. Thus, the EU seems to be helping to ease the Russian-Ukrainian confrontation. Or is it? …More

January 19, 2009 | Bumpy Road Ahead for Czech EU Presidency

David Neil Lebhar: As the Czech Republic takes the helm of the EU Presidency, domestic disputes and party politics promise to “spice up” Prague’s six months in office. Yet, Czech discrepancies concerning Lisbon, the US missile shield and Afghanistan may serve to emphasize the need for a common EU foreign policy. …More

January 16, 2009 | 2009: End of the Putin System?

Rapid triumph after the South Ossetian August war and oil barrel prices reaching the stars seem to be no more than distant memories for the Kremlin. ++ The financial crisis has hit Russia hard: aside from making oil prices fall under $40 in …More

January 16, 2009 | Obama to Revive Relations With Turkey?

The US-Turkey bilateral relation is under strain due to disagreement over policy under the Bush administration and many hope that the change of Presidency will bring a change of feeling. ++ However, this might not be the whole story …More

January 15, 2009 | Euro-skeptic Czech Republic?

Unity in responding to the economic crisis and unity when negotiating a new PCA with Russia is the mantra of the Czech Republic, current holder of the EU Presidency. ++ It is time for skeptics who fear new members’ commitment towards the EU to …More

January 13, 2009 | The EU in the Midst of the Gas War

Heavily dependent on Russian gas, the EU has found itself obliged to arbitrate the Russian-Ukranian dispute in order to see its supplies maintained. ++ The difficultly reached agreement under the Czech presidency of the EU, which paves the way …More

January 13, 2009 | Georgian Leadership: The Failure to Break with the Past

Jesse David Tatum: The Saakashvili administration’s biggest failure is an inability to represent a real change from the inept post-Soviet Georgian leadership of his predecessors. …More

January 13, 2009 | Revolution Needed in Pakistan to Make State Work

Pakistan is still suffering the consequences of its colonial past. ++ The western nation-state model has failed at the internal level and led to damaging consequences: leaderships have always been more concerned with keeping …More

January 13, 2009 | Religious Repression and Antiwesternism in Kyrgyzstan

Askarbek Erkinovich Mambetaliev: Recent legislation to tackle religious extremism in Kyrgystan is a pretext for targetting Evangelicals and religious minorities. State propaganda has created popular hostility towards non-Muslims. Tackling this situation requires inclusive rhetoric from local leaders and the curbing of anti-westernism. …More

January 7, 2009 | Gazprom's Game is Modelled on English Capitalism

We “wanted Russia to be a market economy, but Russia never asked how.” ++ Gazprom is like the East India Company, from which market economies grew. ++ Other sources are unreliable; China, Japan and India look to Russia for gas. …More

January 2, 2009 | Time for a Middle Road In Dealing With Russia

Tobias Wolny: Dealing with Russia should not be left to cold warriors and Russian well-wishers. Both Old and New Europe will benefit from replacing threatening language with confidence building measures in their approach to diplomatic relations with Russia. …More

December 18, 2008 | Obama Must Take War On Terror to Pakistan

Two attacks against US and NATO convoys near Peshawar in Pakistan have taken place in the last week. ++ The Pakistani army appears to be testing Obama’s will. ++The US and NATO must take adequate steps to respond to these …More

December 10, 2008 | Arms Race Looms in Central and Eastern Europe

Marek Swierczynski: Russia’s decision to deploy mid-range ballistic missiles in the Kaliningrad zone puts an end to the era of eradication of ballistic missiles from Central and Eastern Europe. The Kaliningrad zone, already the most militarized area in Europe, will become a hot spot in a new regional arms race. …More

December 9, 2008 | Georgia and Ukraine: Circumnavigating the MAP

Jeffrey Mankoff: Washington and London have proposed dropping the NATO MAPs for Georgia and Ukraine, favoring an open-ended development plan for both countries. Germany and France protest such unorthodoxy, but this more flexible approach might allow NATO to balance its Russian interests with eventual expansion. …More

December 3, 2008 | Mounting Threat Coming From Pakistan

In light of the attacks on Mumbai, President-elect Obama’s presidency will become even more complex. ++ Indicators seem to show that the attacks originated in Pakistan and point to Lashkar-e-Toiba, a terrorist group based there. ++ A …More

December 2, 2008 | Slowing Down NATO Expansion Makes Sense

The US sphere of influence can’t extend from Iraq to Georgia. ++ “Historically, peace is maintained when smaller states show restraint in the face of large neighbors.” ++ “Finlandization,” or bowing towards Moscow, used to be an …More

December 1, 2008 | NATO MAP for Ukraine

NATO ministers meet this week to discuss a Membership Action Plan for Ukraine. ++ “Ukraine’s desire to join NATO is an aspiration to become part of the most effective system of collective security and to share joint responsibility for common space.” ++ …More

November 26, 2008 | Eastern Europe Needs Financial Protection Too

As EU banks have been stabilized, east European subsidiaries have been discarded because some don’t want to use taxpayer money abroad. ++ As a result, investors are fleeing the “wrong side of a financial Iron …More

November 20, 2008 | Don't Poke Badly Behaved Bears

Western oriented, business friendly, and governed by smart, young people, Georgia is a country on the rise. ++ NATO should not be her final resting place, though. ++ Georgia doesn’t meet NATO requirements for full control of its territory …More

November 17, 2008 | Pakistan Should Spend on Schools, Not Ministers

Pakistan should be grateful for IMF supervision. ++ President Zardari seems to think he can add 61 people to his government and magically create money. ++ With a marginal parliamentary opposition and a heterogeneous government, …More

November 6, 2008 | Don't Call Russia's Bluff, Ignore It

President Medvedev’s speech harshly attacked the United States and threatened to deploy new missile systems. ++ This threat is a bluff to trick the US or NATO allies into abandoning a plan for a simple missile system in Poland …More

October 31, 2008 | Mr. Putin, Your Economy is Showing

Commodity prices are falling, Western credit has dried up, and Russia has failed to diversify its economy. ++ Russia’s dazzlingly successful economy turned out to be just make-believe. ++ Despite the professionalism of the finance …More

October 23, 2008 | After Georgia: Russia's Anxious Neighbors

The Georgia conflict is forcing Russia’s neighbors to rethink their relationships with Russia as well as with the West. Through military action, Russia has demonstrated how far it is willing to go to protect its national interests. …More

October 22, 2008 | NATO Must Strengthen Naval Power in the Baltic

Marek Swierczynski: Russia’s naval power prevents NATO from effectively defending Baltic States. If the Alliance is serious about its commitments, it must strengthen its marine capabilities to match those of the Russian Baltic Fleet. …More

October 20, 2008 | When Russia Comes Knocking

Russia’s invasion of Georgia is not an aberration - it demonstrates a pattern of aggression, one that now threatens Ukraine as Moscow embraces PM Yulia Tymoshenko. ++ Russia’s relations with Tehran, Syria, OPEC and most recently Venezuela all threaten …More

October 17, 2008 | No Tinkering with Ukraine's Election

Viktor Yuschenko, president of Ukraine, has called for another parliamentary election in hopes of settling internal divisions symbolized largely by Ukraine’s leading three politicians - Yuschenko, Tymoshenko, and Yanukovich. ++ This must …More

October 16, 2008 | Russia Needs a Friend

The West is “pushing away” Russia, not the other way around. ++ The US needs to see Russia’s point of view for a change. ++ At the end of the Cold War, there was “no move to meet Russia partway;” instead, the US “talked away” Russian attempts at …More

October 15, 2008 | Stop the Wishful Thinking about Russia

Anna Nadgrodkiewicz: Russia’s authoritarian tendencies will continue to make it a threat to international security. Allowing Russia to define and act within a self-proclaimed sphere of interest will not make anyone safer. …More

October 14, 2008 | Russia Can "Talk Away" Georgia Conflict

Moscow’s recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia does not correlate with universal approval, and an international dialogue concerning the status of Georgia is set to begin. ++ Europe has proven itself too dissolute to confront …More

October 13, 2008 | Russia Strengthens Iran's Hand

Recent developments have greatly reduced the chances of a war against Iran. ++ Washington had planned to conduct air strikes against Iran from Georgian soil. ++ Russian intervention makes it impossible, which has “strengthened Iran’s …More

October 10, 2008 | Russia: Superpower Pretensions Unrealistic

Russia’s military is almost an obsolete force due to poor training and poor quality of armaments. ++ Russia’s defense budget is just 7% of US spending. ++ It is unlikely that Russia will be able to afford the $200 billion …More

October 10, 2008 | NATO Loses Control of the Caucasus Conflict

NATO has lost itself in the in Caucasus conflict. ++ Medvedev has repeatedly outlined his plans for a EU security architecture - he views his country’s security interests neglected. ++ The EU has almost disqualified itself from …More

October 9, 2008 | Shared Interests

Mark Brzezinski: It is unlikely that there is a Kremlin “master plan” guiding Russia’s actions toward her neighbors - her actions are driven variably by ambition and nostalgia, confusion or misinterpretation, irritation or resentment. The West’s goal should be to make Russia understand that working together with the US and EU will make it more prosperous, secure and free. …More

October 7, 2008 | Russia is Dying

We are too easily impressed by the Russian bear. ++ “Moscow remains bent on ignoring the devastating truth: The nation is not just sick but dying.” ++ The population is declining, the economy is totally dependent on oil revenues, and the public health crisis …More

October 3, 2008 | The Fog of War, The Fog of Memory

US incursions into Cambodia, which led to its destabilization and the rise of the Khmer Rouge, should be remembered. ++ The same mistake is being made in Pakistan, where the dangers are far greater. ++ Undermining Pakistan does not help …More

October 2, 2008 | Pakistani Intelligence Battles Internal Extremism

Pakistan can no longer play its “dangerous double-game”: accepting money form the US while also supporting the Taliban and other extremists. ++ General Kayani has appointed a new spy chief, Lt. Gen Ahmed Shuja, who must work to …More

September 30, 2008 | The Polish-Lithuanian Tandem

Alexandros Petersen & Ryan R. Miller: Poland and Lithuania can play an important role in advancing U.S. priorities in the “New East Europe.” …More

September 24, 2008 | Georgia: The Right Conflict, the Right Time?

Ralf Fuecks: There is a tendency to ignore discomfiting facts so as not to disturb good relations with Russia. This approach, which borders on Russian blackmail, is a categorical failure. Moscow needs to be integrated into the EU fold; but at the same time, the EU must be willing to evince a willingness to face the right conflict at the right time. …More

September 23, 2008 | The EU Can Mediate Georgia Conflict

Memo 8: Atlantic Community members conclude that the EU, acting in coordination with the UN, is in the best position to negotiate a peaceful solution. The US, Russia, Georgia, NATO, and others must consider their future strategies carefully. …More

September 22, 2008 | Pakistan: "Running Out of Time"

President Bush’s decision to allow US military operations within Pakistan shows how desperate the situation is becoming. ++ But, if the Taliban and other extremists are to be permanently subdued, it must be done by Pakistan itself. ++ The …More

September 18, 2008 | Kyrgyzstan's Lessons from the Russian-Georgian War

Askarbek Erkinovich Mambetaliev: Many commentators are looking to Kyrgyzstan to express its “creed” about the Russia-Georgia conflict, considering Kyrgyzstan a key country in Central Asia. It seems no one wants to cross the “older brother” Russia. Therefore, President Kurmanbek Bakiev must act wisely in this situation. …More

September 17, 2008 | Redefine the Concept of Independence

Hall Gardner: Moscow’s decision to recognize South Ossetian and Abkhazian independence has begun to backfire: Russia has been widely criticized for its actions and the events in Georgia could provoke nationalist claims for independence within Russia itself. Redefining the concept of “independence” might be a way out of the crisis. …More

September 16, 2008 | Russia Trusts Common Sense Will Finally Prevail

If Russia is to believe that the anti-missile base in Poland will not be used against it, US and its allies have to stop making “cosmetic political gestures” and give concrete guarantees. ++ Statements about Kremlin’s …More

September 15, 2008 | US Attacks in Pakistan Must Continue

In July President Bush decided to increase attacks by US forces against the Taliban in tribal areas. ++ This increase is in response to the Taliban’s growing strength in Pakistan, more attacks on NATO forces in Afghanistan, and an increase …More

September 12, 2008 | "The Russians Aren't Coming"

Russia’s recent actions make it look like the Cold War is back, but Russia is still a poor, weak country. ++ Russia’s military is no match for NATO and their backup nuclear arsenal is unlikely to play a role in conflicts. ++ Moscow can claim …More

September 11, 2008 | First Calls for Saakashvili's Resignation

A growing number of voices call for Saakashvili’s resignation due to his felonious decision to bomb Zchinwali. ++ In spite of the government’s rhetoric, which tries to justify any efforts to keep South Ossetia, the opposition calls …More

September 9, 2008 | The Georgian Flaw in Transatlantic Security

Colette Grace Mazzucelli: The US, acting in coordination with the EU, should address the crisis in Georgia with a strong humanitarian effort and a firm, yet non-isolating, stance toward Russia. As foreign policy concerns are compounded by domestic challenges, the next US administration must prudently tackle economic problems and re-define America’s role in world affairs. …More

September 8, 2008 | The EU Must Incorporate Ukraine

Ukraine is approaching its third election in two years, a sign of its government’s volatility. ++ In response, the EU should put Ukraine on a clear road to accession, an albeit controversial move that is nevertheless in its vital interest. ++ …More

September 8, 2008 | Russia, the West, and the Make-Believe Strategists

Christoph Bertram: No one should have been surprised at the way in which Russia has treated tiny and weak Georgia. What is surprising, however, is the eagerness with which many western governments continue to pretend that they can wield effective influence on Russia’s behavior in the Caucasus. …More

September 5, 2008 | EU Should Balance Criticism Toward Russia and Georgia

Leonie Holthaus: The EU should serve as a mediator in the Russian-Georgian dispute. This role requires that the EU does not take sides with one conflicting party but rather balance its criticism. Even if a position like this is perceived as “hesitant” in the US press, it may contribute to resolving the conflict by diplomatic means. …More

September 5, 2008 | PKK Attacks in Cities Try to Divide Turks and Kurds

Intelligence sharing between the US and Turkey has forced the PKK out of the countryside and into the cities, bringing their violent attacks with them. ++ Further security measures, such as protected bus routes and tightened …More

September 4, 2008 | Proposal for a United Policy Towards Russia

David Francis: The EU must take a strong yet cooperative stance toward Russia. The next US administration must regain its moral standing in international politics. Ultimately, Moscow must understand that its recent actions in Georgia are unacceptable. …More

September 4, 2008 | Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan Harness Natural Resources

Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan lead the region as two countries
that have successfully harnessed their natural resources allowing them to grow
their economies and avoid the apparent “natural resource curse” that plagues
many …More

September 3, 2008 | Russia Did Not Change the World After All

“The attack on Georgia will go down not as the dawn of a new era of Russian power but as a major strategic blunder.” ++ Russia thought it had little to lose, but it has driven its neighbors, like Poland and Ukraine, into the …More

September 1, 2008 | End the Isolation of Secessionist Movements

Judy Fu: The situation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia is a reflection of the sorry state of affairs for millions of people living under unrecognized de facto government or in secessionist territories. There are important lessons to be learned here in the need to engage non-state actors. …More

August 29, 2008 | Turkey Must Choose Between NATO and Russia

Will Turkey side with the US, its NATO ally, and give it access to the Black Sea to assist Georgia, or will it choose Russia? ++ Russia is warning Turkey that it will hold it responsible if US ships do not leave. ++ Turkey depends on …More

August 28, 2008 | Russian Citizenship: Moscow's Tool for Recollecting the Empire's Lands

Andreas Umland: A justification for Russia’s recent invasion of Georgia was that it had to protect its citizens in South Ossetia. There is, however, a subtle difference between a state’s protection of its citizens living abroad, and its defense of citizens creating their own state within another country …More

August 28, 2008 | Russia Was Given no Choice

It was Saakashvili’s behavior that forced Russia to recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. ++ Relations of different nations living in one state have to be handled with great sensitivity. ++ Russia respects its minorities and …More

August 28, 2008 | Risky Business Needed Between EU, US, and Russia

The agenda for cooperation with Russia looks doubtful but safe havens for cooperation still exist. ++ For instance, the entire civil and military nuclear agenda opens room for diplomacy. ++ However, no single European …More

August 28, 2008 | EU Should Handle Georgia Like Kosovo

The crucial question at the upcoming European head of state meeting is about the right of self-determination in the context of the Caucasus crises. ++ EU foreign policy towards Kosovo indicates that it is an advocate of self-determination; …More

August 26, 2008 | US Should Give up on Solving Georgia Crisis

There is little the United States can do to help Georgia. ++ Russia, with its nuclear weapons, oil, dollar reserves and seat on the UN Security Council, has too much leverage on US foreign policy, so banishing Russia from the G8 would …More

August 22, 2008 | Transatlantic Unity Should Not Isolate Russia

Matthew Derek Crosston: The West needs some serious balance in the way it analyzes and discusses the Georgian conflict. Academics, diplomats, and journalists have come forward with a united response to Ossetia: Russia is showing ‘imperialist ambitions’ and ‘a disproportionate reaction.’ This is ridiculous. …More

August 22, 2008 | End of Stalemate in Missile Defence Negotiations

Even though both Washington and Warsaw deny it, it was the Russian attack on Georgia that broke the stalemate in negotiations and pushed Polish government towards signing the missile defence treaty on Wednesday. ++ A garrison …More

August 20, 2008 | 8/8 Marks a New Era in Global Politics

Volodymyr Horbach: Consequences of the recent conflict in Georgia will be as serious and global as those after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Ukraine’s position in this conflict is especially uncomfortable as it needs to preserve good neighborly relations with both Georgia and Russia. Kiev should not, therefore, take sides but take part in the peacekeeping mission. …More

August 19, 2008 | Russian Belligerence Will Strengthen Transatlantic Relations

Marek Swierczynski: Even though technically Russia won the war, the victory will paradoxically weaken Russia’s position towards its western partners, especially the US. Military action against Georgia – however limited in scale – is a symbolic resurrection of Russia’s imperial ambitions and will thus strengthen transatlantic partnership. …More

August 18, 2008 | Central Europe's Energy Security Schism

Ryan R. Miller: Central European countries are, on balance, divided, not united, when it comes to Russian energy supply dominance. Washington should find ways to step up its involvement and combat both the symptoms of Central Europe’s energy security ‘schism’ as well as the disease itself. …More

August 15, 2008 | How America Should Respond to Resurgent Russia

Wess Mitchell: The United States should announce its intention to transfer the entire Europe-based American military establishment to new locations in Central Europe, because many of the EU’s largest states are more interested in avoiding a rupture with Moscow than in protecting the vital interests of the Union’s eastern members. …More

August 15, 2008 | Biased US Media Takes Georgia's Side

US journalism was famous for its independence and professionalism, but recent coverage of the Russia-Georgia conflict is unfair and unbalanced. ++ The so-called free press automatically took Georgia’s side and ignored or distorted …More

August 14, 2008 | The West Must Stop Power-Hungry Russia

If the world allows Russia to crush Georgia’s democracy and independence, it will give a green light to all authoritarian governments. ++ The historical echoes of Finland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia are deafening and only Western …More

August 13, 2008 | Western Policy Fuelled the War in Georgia

This week’s events in Georgia proved the failure of the Western policy of belligerence towards the Kremlin. ++ It failed to take into account the complexity of the ethnic, religious, and nationalist structures in Georgia and even …More

August 13, 2008 | A Juridical View on the Caucasus Conflict

The clashes in the Caucasus show once again how explosive secessionist conflicts can be. ++ According to international law, they endanger global peace and only the UN and the OSCE are authorized to manage the resolution of such …More

August 13, 2008 | Only Transatlantic Unity Can Stop This War

Richard Holbrooke and Ronald D. Asmus: Moscow’s behavior in Georgia poses a direct challenge to European and international order. Georgia deserves our solidarity and support. Only strong transatlantic cooperation can put an end to this conflict and begin to repair the immense damage done. …More

August 12, 2008 | Let's Open the Bosnian X-Files

Richard Holbrooke and Ronald D. Asmus: The trial of Radovan Karadzic will answer many open questions of the Balkan events during 1990’s. Some reports suggest quite a disgusting picture about “realpolitik” behind the noble statements of the international community. …More

August 12, 2008 | Georgia Fights for Our Common Transatlantic Values

Of all the post-Soviet states, Georgia has come furthest in the fight to strenghten democracy and independent foreign policy and that is precisely what Russia wants to thwart. ++ The fact that Russia was entrusted with the …More

August 12, 2008 | Russia Does not Hold all the Blame

Russia has continued to recognize Georgia’s regional unity and merely responded to the Georgian attack on South Ossetia. ++ To call it an attack on “small, defenseless Georgia” is hypocritical and inhumane. ++ Western encouragement prompted …More

August 12, 2008 | The West and the Georgian-Russian Conflict

The current conflict is not only about Russia and Georgia, but also represents the US-Russian competition for control over the strategically important transit routes for oil and gas. ++ The Georgian President must have aimed at …More

August 11, 2008 | Russia is Thwarting Georgia's NATO Ambitions

Western support of Kosovo’s declaration of independence and NATO’s assurance of Georgia and Ukraine’s eventual Atlantic Alliance membership erode Russian influence on former states of the USSR. ++ Georgia pays a high …More

August 11, 2008 | What to Expect from the Georgia-Russia Crisis

Stefan Wolff: South Ossetia might well become Georgia’s Chechnya. The current escalation of military hostilities has put the likelihood of a sustainable settlement off even further. The European Union is the best-placed conflict manager in the South Caucasus. …More

August 9, 2008 | Report from Tbilisi: Georgia Under Full Attack

Tamuna Kekenadze: On Saturday morning, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili requested the Parliament to endorse his decision on declaring martial law on the entire territory of Georgia. The Parliament has approved the presidential decree immediately. …More

August 9, 2008 | Pandora's Box Is Opened

Tamuna Kekenadze: Kosovo’s unilateral proclamation of independence played a key role in events we see in South Ossetia today. Do we still have time to close the Pandora box and if yes - how? …More

August 8, 2008 | HOT ISSUE: How to Respond to the Caucasus Crisis?

From the Editorial Team: Georgia and Russia are on the brink of a full-fledged war. How should the European Union, NATO and individual Western governments respond to the current crisis? …More

August 6, 2008 | EU Leadership Necessary to Solve Abkhazian Conflict

EU realizes it is time to solve the festering conflicts in the Union’s new neighborhood: Abkhazia and South Ossetia. ++ But Moscow has an interest in preserving this “simmering status quo” and delays anything that …More

August 4, 2008 | Russia's Neoimperial Policies Make Georgia and Ukraine Seek NATO Membership

Grigol Ubiria: NATO’s eastern enlargement is too often solely considered from the perspective of Russia’s right to defend its interests on its borders. Little or no attention has been paid to factors forcing former Soviet republics, particularly Georgia and Ukraine, to rush to join the alliance. …More

July 29, 2008 | Destructive Double Standards

America declares it stands up for human rights; it condemns the regime in Burma and calls for fair democratic elections in Zimbabwe. ++ However, it is doing so only where it is convenient: human rights infringements in China and Saudi Arabia or the …More

July 29, 2008 | Time for the EU to Let in Balkan States

It has to be said out loud that the EU project will not be complete as long as all Balkan countries are not allowed to join: letting in Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Albania is crucial for progress and peace on the …More

July 29, 2008 | Opportunity to Recast US-Pakistani Relations

Yousaf Raza Gilani, the new civilian prime minister of Pakistan, is visiting Washington this week. ++ Talks between the leaders of Pakistan and the US are an opportunity to recast bilateral relations and start a closer cooperation to …More

July 24, 2008 | The End of the Serbian Black Hole

The arrest of the Bosnian Serb leader, political mastermind of the Bosnian genocide, Radovan Karadzic on charges of war crimes is a clear indication that ultranationalists no longer speak for Serbia ++ The decision to abide by the EU’s …More

July 22, 2008 | The Future of Kosovo

Grigol Ubiria: The years to come in the Balkan region cannot be as bleak as those of the recent past. Despite uncertainties regarding developments in Kosovo, the following scenarios offer likely alternatives and demonstrate the region has a future. …More

July 21, 2008 | US Hopes for a New Accord With Moscow are Dead

Hopes for friendly relations with Russia, running high in the 1990s, were ruined by the Bush administration. ++ NATO membership offer to Georgia and Ukraine and plans to install elements of missile defense shield in Poland and the …More

July 15, 2008 | Will Kosovo Rise With 2 Billion Bucks?

Grigol Ubiria: As a result of an international donors conference, Kosovo has been given some 1.2 million euros. What for and how is this money going to be used when it reaches destination? …More

July 15, 2008 | Ukraine's Western Integration: A Slow Process

Memo 7: The members of the Atlantic Community believe that Ukraine belongs to Europe. Ukraine needs to be integrated into Western alliances without undermining Western-Russian relations. …More

July 15, 2008 | War in the Air Between Georgia and Russia

The prospect of war between Georgia and Russia is increasingly realistic. ++ We must stand up for Georgia and prevent the war as it could lead to the breakdown of Russia’s relations with the West and destabilize a territory so crucial …More

July 14, 2008 | The Gas Price of Democracy

It seems that the importance of liberty and democracy in Russia is inversely correlated to the prices of oil and gas. ++ While denouncing Mugabe, Council of Europe secretary-general recently expressed his admiration for Putin and Medvedev, whose hold …More

July 11, 2008 | Ukraine Will be Russia's Path to Europe

The elusive perception of the West as a threat is still alive in Russia. ++ But Moscow’s self-destructive confrontation with the West and its fantasy of allying with China can be halted if Ukrainian europeanization succeeds. ++ Ukraine …More

July 8, 2008 | Dead End in Sight for Poland's Missile Defense Site

Marek Swierczynski: Commotion and despair are in the air after Poland rejected the US bid to host ballistic defence system. The government is evasive in public statements and sends opposing signals in diplomacy. The MD project, once regarded as a unique historic opportunity, seems to be drifting away. …More

July 7, 2008 | Human Rights in Russia: Appealing to Outside Interference

Joerg Beige & Arianna de Mario: There are still cases of politically motivated trials that lack basic lawful principles in Russia. We should not be afraid to appear ‘russophobic’ and remind the Russian authorities that they are obliged to comply with international law standards. …More

July 4, 2008 | A New Phase of Russian Politics is Underway

Conventional wisdom which treated President Medvedev as a mere continuation of Putin is oversimplified. ++ We are witnessing one of the most promising periods in Russian history. ++ The new Russian government with two centers of …More

July 3, 2008 | EU Constitution for a "Protective Europe"

Besides a Europe of markets, trade, and economic liberalization the French President Nicolas Sarkozy calls for a “protective Europe.” ++ With this, he intends to assuage the discontent of people who feel abandonned by the …More

July 1, 2008 | Averting Secessionism in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus

Hall Gardner: NATO’s Bucharest Summit in April 2008 did not fully address the question of how to create a viable system of security for the volatile region of eastern Europe, the Balkans, and the Caucasus. As eastern Europe, the Balkans and the Caucasus are all riddled with secessionist and irredentist movements since Soviet collapse, it will require concerted US, EU, and Russian attention if a major crisis is to be averted. …More

June 27, 2008 | Russia's Western Border is a Sensitive Issue

Heinrich Bonnenberg: To Russia, its current western border is a border that stands for loss and dishonor. This border is an open, bleeding wound on the Russian body. The security pact that the Russian president recently presented in Berlin could be helpful in overcoming historical grievances and bringing Western Europe and Russia closer together. …More

June 24, 2008 | The Emergence of a Another Two-Speed Europe

Most EU leaders want to continue with the ratification of the Lisbon treaty regardless of the disastrous outcome of the Irish vote. ++ Sarkozy and Merkel in particular are pushing for the treaty to be implemented, yet only governments …More

June 19, 2008 | US Paints a False yet Alarming Picture of Russia

The USA is not performing the transition to conventional weapons, which was meant to lessen the country’s dependence on nuclear weapons for defense. ++ US politicians and media are using the claim that Russia is boosting its …More

June 19, 2008 | Natural Gas is Russia's New Weapon of Choice

In the 80s Ronald Reagan warned Europe about becoming dependent on Russian energy. ++ With Gazprom supplying over 40 percent of Germany’s natural gas, this prediction is becoming a reality. ++ A question for the future, is …More

June 13, 2008 | Regional Cooperation Better Than NATO/EU Enlargement

Hall Gardner: A move towards Ukrainian NATO membership would strain relations with Russia and have serious consequences. In the short-term, Ukraine should remain “neutral”, while the EU introduces new, and expands existing confidence building economic and political areas of cooperation with Kiev and Moscow. In the long-term, Europe should seek to develop a confederal relationship with both Ukraine and Russia. …More

June 13, 2008 | EU-Russia Relations Should be Institutionalized

Russia’s main challenge is the modernization of its economy, politics, and society. ++ President Medvedev has singled out the rule of law as a particularly significant aspect of the reforms. ++ The EU should support these reform …More

June 12, 2008 | Division of Power Shifting in Russia

Whatever Putin and Medvedev said, there is no doubt that the transfer of power towards Moscow’s White House has begun. ++ The head of the presidential administration has called for a change to the Constitution, with the purpose of …More

June 11, 2008 | Ukraine's Conditional Future in the EU

David Francis: Germany should champion Ukraine’s membership in the European Union. However, this support should come with conditions. …More

June 9, 2008 | Turkey's Geopolitical Importance for the West

For a long time Turkey has been a haven of geopolitical stability. ++ Yet the Iraq War has subjected Turkey’s virtually unquestioned alliance with the US to reassessment.++ Turkey’s general consensus on its EU candidacy has …More

June 9, 2008 | German-Russian Friendship: A Dangerous Assumption

While Medvedev “struck a friendly pose in Berlin,” future action or lack of thereof will be the true test of Russian-German relations. ++ Germany must be careful to avoid becoming “a mouthpiece of Russian interests” and …More

June 6, 2008 | Russia Wants to be a Part of the West

Russia is changing. ++ The new Russian president’s speeches in Berlin about the importance of free press, of a broad middle class, and of the acknowledgement of mistakes made during the Prague spring are more than astonishing. ++ Although …More

June 5, 2008 | Ukraine's Future Lies in the EU, not NATO

Heinrich Bonnenberg: Germany and the EU must give stronger credit to Ukraine’s emergence as an independent democracy in the tradition of Europe’s historic liberal movements. The EU should quickly enable Ukrainian accession, but NATO membership should not be pursued, as this would likely exasperate tensions with Russia. …More

June 4, 2008 | Russia Must Join a Boycott of Iran

Since economic sanctions are the best means to cause unrest among the Iranian population, they are also the most effective tool to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. ++ However, Russia needs to be on board. ++ The Western offer to …More

June 3, 2008 | The West Must Help Prevent War in Georgia

Western calls for restraint are ineffective as tensions rise in Georgia over Abkhazia, the region where Russia supports separatist aspirations that threaten Georgia’s national unity. ++ “Moscow seems determined to provoke Tbilisi to …More

June 3, 2008 | Gridlock Persists in Macedonian Name Game

Compromise has yet to be reached on the issue of Macedonia’s official name and national identity, as Greece recently blocked the country from joining NATO, out of fears that a recognized Macedonian nation state would mobilize separatist …More

June 2, 2008 | German Role in Afghanistan Overstated

Senior Afghan official, Mohammad Z. Wahdats is skeptical that there would be less stability in Afghanistan’s north without the Germans. ++ “For the issue of security, we don’t need them any more. We solve all our problems by ourselves.” ++ …More

May 28, 2008 | NATO and Russia: Relationship Must be Redefined

Memo 6: Members of the Atlantic Community are convinced that NATO needs to redefine its future role and relationship with Russia. Fundamental change, however, is unlikely to occur in the near future and the NATO-Russian relationship may worsen. …More

May 27, 2008 | The Paranoia Card: A comment on Tsygankov's "The Russophobia Card"

Andreas Umland: US “anti-Russian” rhetoric is not that particular. One can hear similar voices in both Western and Eastern Europe. In the unlikely case that Russia becomes a truly democratic country, much of what Andrei Tsygankov laments in his recent article in “The Moscow Times” would simply disappear. …More

May 27, 2008 | The Eurovision Contest is the "Epitome of Soft Power"

Though the Eurovision Song Contest should not be reduced to politics, the extent to which political considerations surpass artistic ones is undeniable. ++ Russia’s victory resulted from the overwhelming support of former …More

May 23, 2008 | Russia and China: A Rising Strategic Partnership

President Medvedev’s visit to China  has important symbolic significance. ++ Driven by their shared goals of safeguarding and promoting national interests in an era of US dominance, Beijing and Moscow have grown …More

May 22, 2008 | EU/US Could Help Solve Serbia's Divide Over Europe

Uncertainty remains as to whether Serbia will turn East or West, but the radicalization of public opinion means the emerging government will have to defend Serb interests in Kosovo and encourage the de facto partition. ++ …More

May 19, 2008 | Lukashenko May Stay but His Era is Over

Over the last 14 years, Lukashenko has secured Minsk’s sovereignty, improved the wealth of the population, and raised the interest of European investors. ++ Yet these achievements mask rampant corruption and lack of democracy. ++ Since …More

May 19, 2008 | The Russophobia Card

Andrei Tsygankov: The US presidential candidates are increasingly playing the Russophobia card in their campaigns. In addressing Russia, Senators John McCain and Hillary Clinton have resorted to insulting President Vladimir Putin as a KGB spy who has no soul. Russophobia is truly back into fashion, as Senator Joseph Biden admitted last week.

May 19, 2008 | Kiev Energy Summit: Slow Progress out of Russia's Fuel Grasp

Marek Swierczynski: One year since Poland launched key energy initiative that would decrease Central Europe’s fuel dependence from Russia, its results are less than impressive. But still declarations and documents seem much easier to prepare than pipelines, and soon new ones are to follow. …More

May 9, 2008 | Medvedev Will Not Change Russian Policy

Despite hopes for change in the West, the new Russian president is hardly going to initiate a new foreign policy. ++ While Medvedev’s liberal instincts are debatable, the forces arrayed around and against him remained the same. ++ …More

May 9, 2008 | The Two Towers of Future Russia

Andreas Umland: The rise of Dmitry Medvedev will mobilize the large anti-Western constituency in various sectors of the Russian elite. We may soon observe the emergence of another, different “tower” in the Russian state apparatus around which Moscow’s various nationalist politicians and publicists will unite. …More

May 7, 2008 | Medvedev Faces Off with Putin to Bring Change

Former Yeltsin supporters are rallying around Medvedev in the hope of setting Russia on a new, more reconciliatory course with the West. ++ After years of symbolic resistance and support of anti-American regimes, Medvedev wishes to …More

May 7, 2008 | Dire Consequences of Ukraine and Georgia Joining NATO

valentine anatolevich akishkin: The issue of NATO enlargement and membership to NATO divides the Ukrainian people. The split reflects the countries division along ethnical and geographical lines. Integrating Ukraine into the Alliance would more likely lead to confusion and conflict than democracy. …More

May 5, 2008 | Gorbachev Number Two: Dmitry Medvedev

Andreas Umland: Sooner or later it is to be expected that Medvedev’s deeper political beliefs – his apparently liberal and democratic views – will come to the fore. …More

May 5, 2008 | Can Medvedev Sustain Russia's Growth?

President-elect Dmitry Medvedev realizes that high economic growth cannot be sustained as long as Russia relies primarily on macroeconomic policy and rising oil prices, and inequality and corruption remain widespread. ++ His rhetoric …More

April 29, 2008 | Russo-Japanese Relations Are Improving

Japan and Russia’s planned cooperation in fields of energy, transportation, and the environment require settling their territorial dispute. ++ So as to expand its influence in the booming Asia-Pacific region and maintain its volumes …More

April 27, 2008 | Between the Weimar and Bonn Scenarios: On Russia's Rising Anti-Americanism

Andreas Umland: A conspirological form of anti-Americanism has become Russia’s new foreign policy doctrine. Paradoxically, the Russian elite, at the same time, wants to build closer relations with the US’s major partner in continental Europe - Germany. …More

April 19, 2008 | Ukraine, NATO, and German Foreign Policy

Andreas Umland: Don’t overestimate Berlin’s statements concerning Russian interests in the former USSR …More

April 14, 2008 | Rethinking Energy Inc.

Andreas Goldthau: The extent to which Russia’s resources are sustaining the country’s growth and influencing its foreign policy tends to be overstated. Having to adapt to domestic and geopolitical circumstances, and the rules of the global market considerably restricts the Kremlin’s room for maneuver. …More

April 8, 2008 | NATO and Russia Need a Shared Vision

Andre Kelleners: NATO membership states should consult with Russia to determine a common understanding of NATO’s role. Selected Partnership-for-Peace countries should eventually join the alliance as full members together with and at the same time as Russia. …More

April 4, 2008 | Bush in Bucharest: Failure on Timing and Execution

Mark Burgess: Afghanistan is NATO’s most pressing crisis, but President Bush distracted the Alliance with his push for NATO enlargement. Georgia and Ukraine can wait. Afghanistan cannot. …More

April 3, 2008 | Surrealistic Debate Over NATO Membership for Ukraine

Andreas Umland: It’s accepted by all Ukrainian political forces that the country’s entry into NATO will have to be decided by a referendum. Thus, no serious application for membership will be put forward within the next years. The current debate about its NATO membership is in actual fact surrealistic. …More

April 2, 2008 | Re-entering the EU

Marek Swierczynski: After a political upheaval and embarassment for President Kaczyński, Polish Parliament passed the bill to ratify the Treaty of Lisbon. The victory of the pro-EU lobby backed by overwhelming public support should not be overestimated as the debate did not touch the real issues behind Lisbon. …More

March 27, 2008 | Medvedev Will Not Bring Change to Russia

Medvedev will not transform a system created by his mentor, to which he contributed, and thanks to which he enjoys uncontested primacy. ++ Only economic difficulties and hostility to the intended modernization could bolster conservative opposition and result in change. ++ Russia’s political future will depend on the executive team’s ability to sustain growth, but liberalization remains unlikely.

March 21, 2008 | The West and the Rise of New Russia

Nothing opposes Yeltsin’s and Putin’s terms in office more strikingly than their interpretation and understanding. ++ The West’s demonization of Putin is in stark contrast with high levels of consent and popularity at home. ++ The West should …More

March 17, 2008 | US Decline is Bad for Japan

War in Iraq might decrease US ability to preserve peace in East Asia - a serious concern for Japan. ++ Japan relies on the Middle East for 90 percent of its oil - stability in the region is vital. ++ North Korea will never dismantle nuclear weapons without US influence. ++ Japan should maintain close relationship with US - decline in US power is not in Japan’s national interest.

March 14, 2008 | Proceeding Without Moscow on Missile Defense

Energy exports are enabling Russia to be increasingly assertive and object to the US’ deployment of 10 missiles near its borders. ++ If it is possible concerning terrorism and nuclear energy, cooperation between the two countries may spread to more areas, but regarding European missile defense, the US should stand its ground. ++ Giving in would only lead to
greater intransigence from the Kremlin.

March 14, 2008 | A Change in Russian Foreign Policy

Aside from entertaining international tensions to maintain high oil prices, Russian foreign policy has been dominated by ambivalence towards the West. ++ With the crucial importance of Russians’ foreign assets, the West should not be provoked …More

March 12, 2008 | Serbia's Choice: Between Integration and Isolation

Aiming primarily to qualify Serbia for membership in the EU, the Democratic Party of Tadic offers the country the most sensible economic, strategic, and diplomatic solution. ++ Kosovo’s declaration of independence may have …More

March 12, 2008 | The Disastrous Results of Selective Modernization

The development of modern western democracies in the last century linked economic growth with political and cultural modernization. ++ Russia and China seem to demonstrate there is a viable authoritarian alternative to democracy …More

March 10, 2008 | The Need for Western Engagement in Belarus

Lukashenko requires economic stability to maintain his power and popularity. ++ With Russia threatening to double once again the price of natural gas imports to the country, the president has been forced to take liberal measures and …More

March 7, 2008 | NATO Enlargement and Alliance Principles

Dora Bakoyannis: Greece supports the enlargement of NATO in the Western Balkans with the invitations to Croatia and Albania, but the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s “intransigeant stance and its actions of an irredentist and nationalistic logic” are unacceptable. …More

March 5, 2008 | Poland's Iran Option

Ryan R. Miller: Possible Polish-Iranian energy cooperation puts U.S. policy makers between a rock and a hard place, as America finds itself committed both to isolating the Islamic Republic and supporting Polish efforts to outflank Russia’s Gazprom. …More

March 4, 2008 | Reviewing Russian-American Relations

With broad-based support within Russia for the direction Putin is taking the country and high oil prices, the US can no longer expect Russia to merely acquiesce to its policy preferences. ++ America will have to choose between adamantly …More

February 29, 2008 | Dmitry Medvedev Faces an Unpalatable Legacy

The Russian economy is weaker than it appears. Inflation is in double figures and high growth has been dependent on commodity prices. ++ Furthermore political stability rests on a perversion of the meaning of democracy, and the …More

February 27, 2008 | Encouraging Secularism in Kazakhstan

The EU needs to tie Kazakhstan to the West while it still can. ++ Kazakhstan has a secular tradition that can and should be encouraged, given surrounding “Islamic arc of instability.” ++ European Parliament shouldn’t reject Kazakhstan for ENP membership. ++ Western ties should be secured before Russia and China draw Kazakhstan further into spheres of influence.

February 25, 2008 | "Dependent Independence" in Kosovo

Kosovo’s declaration of independence is equally one of dependency - but it’s the “least worst” outcome. ++ Europe is pushing for Kosovo to move from protectorate to EU member state, without allowing it to achieve full independence. ++ Kosovo’s independence does not make the region any more unstable. ++ Serbia has a choice: to sulk, or to start working towards reconstruction and the EU.

February 25, 2008 | Rethinking the Efficacy of International Organizations

Kosovo’s independence weakens international institutions, which have been waning in influence since end of Cold War. ++ UN and NATO unable to regulate international conflicts. ++ Weaker countries most likely to support …More

February 25, 2008 | The Consumers of the Future

The so called “next billion” consumers come from Brazil, China, India, Eastern Europe and even parts of Africa and Asia and represent the largest untapped consumer market in the world. The Boston Consulting Group estimates that these new …More

February 20, 2008 | Putinism: Good or Bad for the West?

With the world’s attention now focusing on the unpredictable outcome of the American elections, it is easy to forget about their more predictable, but equally important equivalent in Russia. Recently named Time’s “Person of the …More

February 14, 2008 | The Western Balkans and the EU: Attitude is Key

Ruby Gropas: Through an examination of the hopes and expectations surrounding Western Balkan EU accession, Dr. Gropas concludes that without the will to accede — on everyone’s part — the Western Balkans won’t have the capacity to do so. …More

January 21, 2008 | Kosovo: Avoid US Unilateralism, Encourage EU Leaders

Memo 4: Members of the Atlantic Community are mostly optimistic about the future of Kosovo and conflict resolution in the Western Balkans. The EU has a key role in this region and policy is in the right track, but, of course, big challenges still lie ahead. …More

January 4, 2008 | Arms Race in the Caucasus

Thomas de Waal: The simmering conflicts in Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia could easily flare up. Although they are driven by unresolved regional disputes, both the US and Russia loom large in the background. …More

December 31, 2007 | Pakistan's Nuclear Arsenal and Its Islamic Extremists

Drawing on the US Personnel Reliability Program, officials now check applicants and personnel for characteristics that might make them more likely to betray their nation’s secrets. Religious fervor is among the ones most …More

December 12, 2007 | Kosovo: It's Not as Bad as You Think

Elizabeth Pond: The EU and the UN can build on recent progress to resolve the last unfinished business from the 1990s’ Balkan wars. There is still a long way to go, though, to bring Kosovo under EU supervision and persuade Serbia to opt for a European future. …More

December 5, 2007 | "Thessaloniki 2": European Incentives for the Western Balkans

Alexandros P. Mallias: A clear prospect of EU membership is the most effective tool in helping countries of the western Balkans overcome their current challenges. Mallias presents a new strategic agenda for the western Balkans building on the Thessaloniki Agenda of 2003. …More

November 30, 2007 | Un-predicting the Russian Elections

Alexandros Petersen: I conclude that Putin’s United Russia administration has framed Sunday’s polls as a referendum on his popularity, ensuring extra support for the party. For all of the president’s finagling, however, the only certainty is that his means of retaining power in Russia next year will confound the pundits’ predictions. …More

November 29, 2007 | EU Can Prevent Versailles Syndrome in Serbia

Elizabeth Pond: I contend that the EU plan for Kosovo’s “supervised independence” will avoid the historical mistakes that could end up fueling Serbian resentment and ultranationalism. Offering eventual European Union membership to Serbia is a prudent step that will encourage Serbian cooperation. …More

November 23, 2007 | Twelve Years after Dayton: Europe and the Western Balkans

Marco Overhaus: 2007 and 2008 could be decisive years for the region. A difficult balance must be struck, between a renewed and robust EU engagement in the Western Balkans and the need to make reform efforts locally self-supporting. …More

November 16, 2007 | Russia Returns to the Baltic

Russia’s influence once again looms over the Baltic countries, and their position within the European Union and NATO is not mitigating the threat, argues International Herald Tribune journalist Adam Ellick. New Russian investments in media and …More

November 14, 2007 | EU Dependence on Russian Energy Could Jeopardize Transatlantic Relations

Europe has become heavily reliant on Russia to meet its energy needs. This trend undermines Europe’s self-confidence and jeopardizes its geopolitical position as well as that of the United States, says …More

October 31, 2007 | Leon Aron Dissects Putin's Alternatives in his Quest to Hold on to Power

Op-Ed Contributor to the New York Times Leon Aron insists Russia’s premiership does not provide Mr. Putin access to wide-ranging presidential powers, and explores Putin’s prospects of …More

October 16, 2007 | Expect More Coalition Building After Polish Elections

Anna Nadgrodkiewicz: I offer a transatlantic perspective on what early elections could mean for Poland’s international standing. Current polls suggest that despite all of the government’s blunders, early voting may not spell the end of the Kaczyński moment. …More

October 11, 2007 | Turkmenistan-Kazakhstan Ambitions For Energy Transportation

Transportation of energy resources was top of the agenda during a recent talk between the presidents of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, reports News Central Asia. Presidents Nazarbaev and Berdymuhamedov said their …More

September 20, 2007 | Putting the Squeeze on Corruption in Afghanistan

Niklas Keller: of the Atlantic Initiative calls corruption one of the greatest obstacles to development in Afghanistan. The international community must create an incentive structure at both the governmental and local levels which is more attractive than corrupt activities. …More

September 17, 2007 | Ukraine Opens a New Chapter in EU Relations

Oleksandr Chalyi: I call for an enhanced bilateral agreement between the EU and Ukraine with integration and association as its ultimate goal. Yuschenko’s New Realism must aim to meet the Copenhagen criteria within ten years, unilaterally if necessary. …More

August 15, 2007 | Rocky Road Ahead For Turkish-American Relations

Irem Köker: I identify the issues to watch for between Turkey and the United States. Although the majority party remains in power, new developments on the Kurds, the Armenian genocide question and Turkey’s energy deal with Iran could have lasting consequences. …More

August 13, 2007 | Will Kosovo End the Transatlantic Honeymoon?

Nikolas Kirrill Gvosdev: The US course of action on statehood for Kosovo will be a major test for the newly fortified transatlantic relationship. …More

July 30, 2007 | Turkey: Tough Challenges for AKP Despite Landslide Victory

Yiorghos Leventis: The AKP’s recent election victory is not simply a blessing for the party: the specter of violent reaction by the country’s military establishment still looms large. The EU should reward Turkish reforms towards EU membership. …More

July 27, 2007 | The False Choice between Cold War and Warm Gaslines

Alexandros Petersen: Russia’s recent Cold War-esque behavior is a wake-up call for the transatlantic alliance to overcome internal divisions and strengthen energy routes from the Caspian and Central Asia. …More

July 25, 2007 | There's No Such Thing As Cyberterror

James Andrew Lewis: I use the assault on Estonian computers to explain the difference between real terror and cyber mischief. Governments must take practical steps to minimize disruption in case of an attack. …More

July 23, 2007 | Germany Belongs in Afghanistan

GM Roper: If Germany expects US help in the future, it must stay the course in Afghanistan now. The Bundeswehr should carry its share of the coalition burden without complaint as part of OEF. …More

July 20, 2007 | Germany Should Reconsider Position in Afghanistan

Niels Annen: I question the sustainability of Operation Enduring Freedom. And I see deteriorating coordination between ISAF and OEF and asks whether it is time to choose between the two. …More

July 16, 2007 | The Case for German-Polish Rapprochement

Wess Mitchell: The growing rift between Germany and Poland could do damage to US and European interests. Three postwar principles could help to repair relations. …More

July 3, 2007 | Kosovo: The Next Transatlantic Clash?

Ulf Gartzke: I warn of a looming “nightmare scenario” when EU member states could split from the US and each other over independent status for Kosovo. Results from the latest Bush-Putin summit could raise the stakes. …More

June 21, 2007 | Dr. Isaac Kfir: Pakistan in a Pressure Cooker

Dr. Isaac Kfir, researcher at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, examines threats to the Pakistani state and international implications relating to Pakistan’s role in the war on terror. Islamic, …More

June 21, 2007 | Pakistan Must Seek Unity in the Face of Extremism

Anatol Lieven: The political stakes in Pakistan are the highest in 40 years. It is time to create a new, firmer and more institutionalized civilian-military relationship. …More

June 4, 2007 | Turkey Struggles with the Nature of their Democracy, reports Robert Ruby

There is growing doubt among Turks that democracy can thrive within their country, reports Robert Ruby of the Pew Research Center. Pew Global Attitudes surveys indicate that, in conjunction with recent …More

June 4, 2007 | Withdrawing German Troops Could Destabilize Northern Afghanistan

Karsten Voigt: Shifting German troops out of the north of Afghanistan would be detrimental to the country. The troops should stay with their original mission, as they are providing significant support to the allied forces. …More

May 31, 2007 | Energy: EU Should Toughen Up On Russia

The looming Russian gas deficits demand a readjustment of the European energy policy, argue Alan Riley and Frank Umbach in the current global edition of Internationale Politik. Riley, a fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies …More

May 30, 2007 | Merkel's Russian Moment is Now

Bastian Giegerich and Raffaello Pantucci: We press Angela Merkel to push through the recent gridlock in EU-Russia relations. Merkel should use the end of her EU presidency to adopt a unified and robust stance towards Russia, one more in line with the concerns of former Soviet satellites who now represent the EU’s eastern borders. …More

May 18, 2007 | Human Rights Must Be Addressed at EU-Russia Summit

Günter Nooke: The EU should use stronger language towards Russia as regards the persistent erosion of human rights in the country. The unresolved politically motivated murders, discrimination of minorities and excessive police violence against peaceful protesters in the country cannot go unmentioned at today’s EU-Russia summit. …More

May 16, 2007 | The Russia Conundrum: EU and US Should Cooperate with the "Imitation Democracy"

Alexander Graf Lambsdorff: I find that Russia must be encouraged to participate in European democracy. The EU and US must realize that interdependence with Russia can offer benefits beyond status quo diplomacy. …More

April 30, 2007 | Ron Asmus on the Importance of the Black Sea Zone

Higher engagement of the EU and the USA in the Black Sea zone could limit European dependence on Russian energy and bring stability to the region, writes Ronald D. Asmus of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. The …More

April 17, 2007 | Juggling National Interests: Russia's New Middle East Policy

Despite a rhetoric of cooperation, Russia might constitute more of an impediment than a partner in the fight against Islamist terrorism and the promotion of democracy in the Middle East. Igor Khrestin and John …More

April 12, 2007 | Rory Stewart Wonders About the West's Afghanistan Plan

NATO troops should adopt three main policies in Afghanistan, says Rory Stewart. First, they should develop a more considerate approach towards tribal communities in order to distinguish between friends and “real” enemies; …More

April 12, 2007 | Lionel Beehner Sees a Fire Lit Under Cold-War Tensions

The US-Russian relationship during President Putin’s tenure has seesawed between mutual cooperation and confrontation, says Lionel Beehner of the US Council on Foreign Relations. The three main reasons for these recent …More

April 12, 2007 | Aryn Baker on the Dangerous Rise of Islamist Power in Pakistan

Talibanistan, the tribal region of Pakistan which forms the border with Afghanistan, is seen by Time Asia correspondent Aryn Baker as the breeding ground for a new generation of terrorists and a hideaway for …More

April 12, 2007 | Anna Arutunyan on the Myth of Authoritarian Russia

Western media characterizations of Russia as an authoritarian or even totalitarian state are untrue, argues Anna Arutunyan. The Moscow News editor sets out two reasons why Putin’s Russia defies Western perceptions: first, the …More


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