Marlene Laruelle 03-26-2015
(Foreign Affairs) On March 11, 2015, the U.S. Treasury Department placed a new round of sanctions on 14 figures that Washington considers responsible for the conflict in Ukraine. Until now, sanctions had targeted either high-level Russian politicians or those who were part of President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle—his friends and their bankers. The latest list, however, includes mostly secessionist leaders from Donbas, a region in Eastern Ukraine that...
PONARS Eurasia 03-26-2015
(RAD) This edition is co-produced with the Central Asia Program at George Washington University. It considers how the Ukraine crisis and the Russian economic slowdown are impacting the Central Asian Republics, and their perspective on Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union.  Articles include: "Kazakhstan’s Posture in the Eurasian Union: In Search of Serene Sovereignty" by Marlene Laruelle and "Kyrgyzstan’s Membership in the Eurasian Economic Union: A...
Andrey Makarychev 03-25-2015
(UT Blog) (Co-authored with Stefano Braghiroli) Estonia - The annexation of Crimea and the military insurgency in Ukraine’s eastern provinces under the “Russian world” slogan triggered political and academic debates centred on the whole set of issues related to post-Soviet borderlands. Territories populated by Russian speakers and those culturally connected to Russia are obviously at the core of this debate. In this flammable context, the Estonian city of...
Samuel Charap 03-25-2015
(Financial Times) In the past year, Vladimir Putin has become almost as notorious for his falsehoods as for the truth of his actions in Ukraine. He delivered a perfect example in a state television documentary this month: "Our ultimate objective was not the seizure of Crimea or some sort of annexation," he said. "[Instead,] it was to give people the opportunity to express their opinion about how they want to live... Since we stayed below the maximum...
Samuel Charap 03-24-2015
(IISS) (Co-authored with Jeremy Shapiro) The Ukraine crisis poses vexing policy challenges for Washington. President Barack Obama has sought to strike a balance between the imperative of responding to Russian actions and the equally important need to avoid an all-out confrontation with Moscow. As he put it in July 2014, ‘it’s not a new Cold War … [It] is a very specific issue related to Russia’s unwillingness to recognise that Ukraine can chart its own...
Mikhail Troitskiy 03-23-2015
(Survival: Global Politics and Strategy) Editor's note: In the last issue of Survival, Matthew Kroenig proposed a number of alterations to NATO policy and posture, including forward deployment of conventional forces in Eastern Europe, pausing NATO expansion to Ukraine and Georgia, and upgrading the Alliance's nuclear forces. In the nuclear realm, Kroenig argued that NATO should develop a new generation of tactical nuclear weapons, and that the Alliance...
Pavel K. Baev 03-23-2015
(EDM) The postponed Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan summit took place last Friday (March 20) in Astana, but the program was cut so short that the only point for staging the event appeared to be to confirm President Vladimir Putin’s return to business as usual (Kommersant, March 21). Presidents Nursultan Nazarbaev and Alyaksandr Lukashenka spent more time together discussing their mutual problems in relations with Russia; and they had good reason to assume that...
PONARS Eurasia 03-23-2015
(South China Morning Post) China is upstaging Russia as the most influential player in Central Asia, but the mainland's huge trade and investment in the resource-rich region faces challenges in terms of suspicion, lower oil prices and its anti-graft crackdown back home. "Concerning this landlocked region, China seems destined to play the same major role in the 21st century that Russia played in the 19th and 20th centuries," said Sebastien Peyrouse...

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