Posts by Andrey Makarychev

Andrey Makarychev 02-28-2014
The Sochi Olympics, as well as verbal battles over them, are over, yet their legacy will be closely scrutinized from different policy perspectives. What seems to be of utmost importance is to place Sochi in a wider framework of the global industry of sports mega-events shifting from Western to non-Western hosts. With Munich, Stockholm, and Toronto having recently refused to bid for the Olympics, this trend is more obvious. It raises a number of issues...
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Andrey Makarychev 02-06-2014
Путин, по версии Казулы, это «пустое означающее», то есть символ, не привязанный к определенному смыслу. С одной стороны, его носитель понимает, что демократический дискурс – это способ «пристегивания» России к западному ядру современного мирового порядка. С другой стороны, эта кажущаяся универсальность тут же подрывается кремлевским тезисом о том, что каждая демократия специфична и не нуждается во внешней легитимации, что приводит к наполнению «пустого...
Andrey Makarychev 12-28-2013
Here are three comments on the key political surprise of this fall: the release from jail of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his move to Germany. Efforts behind the scenes have continued for years. The usual suspects were involved: Schröder, Steinmeyer, Westerwelle, Helmut Schmidt, plus a whole chorus of non-ideology charged experts and diplomats. The release of Khodorkowsky will smooth Russian-German relations, because the ideological campaign of the media and...
Andrey Makarychev 12-20-2013
The "Eastern Promises" seminar at the Lithuanian Embassy in Brussels a few days ago started like a detective story: the Ukrainian security services detained at the airport Vasil Filipchuk, senior advisor at the International Center for Policy Studies in Kyiv, in order to prevent him from participating. How curious. Is there a terrible truth about the Yanukovych regime that they're hiding from the EU? In Brussels, the irritation about the Eurasian Union is...
Andrey Makarychev 12-19-2013
Ambassadors' Debate Day in Tallinn brought together heads of diplomatic missions from four Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries—Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan—and also from Poland, a co-founder of the event. Tellingly, the Ambassador of Ukraine revoked his participation on short notice and a Belarusian diplomat didn't say a word. This seems to be a highly symbolic silence of these two governments who increasingly share a lot with each other. The...
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Andrey Makarychev 12-17-2013
The NATO-centrism in Russian foreign policy can perhaps best be seen through the lens of Afghanistan. Russia has no clear strategy toward this country once NATO troops withdraw. Its only policy appears to be the prevention of any growing role of the United States in adjacent countries. This outlook applies to Central Asia, which Russia considers to be part of its sphere of influence. However, the ambitions and role of China factor into this region, though...
Andrey Makarychev 12-06-2013
Perhaps the best explanation for the proverbial Russia-centrism in German foreign policy is Berlin's excessive expectations of Russia in recent years. Nowadays, however, Germany faces hard challenges in its policy toward Russia. The challenge lies in dealing with three dissimilar Russias: the Kremlin's officialdom, the anti-Putin opposition, and an emerging nationalistic Russia (which is much lesser known in Europe in comparison with the other two.) At a...
Andrey Makarychev 11-25-2013
Alongside the mainstream debates of the approaching Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, we have Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, which keep striking a precarious balances between the EU and Russia. The recent presidential election in Georgia can be seen as a confirmation of the country's European credentials, which certainly will be politically advantageous in the long run. Yet as George Mchedlishvili, a Chatham House fellow, has...
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Andrey Makarychev 11-25-2013
На первый взгляд, Германию и Россию многое объединяет. Оба государства мыслят себя в рамках "большой Европы" и пытаются найти оптимальное сочетание национального суверенитета и интеграционных проектов, односторонних действий и многосторонней дипломатии, "жесткой" и "мягкой" силы. Однако, хотя ключевым компонентом выстраивания идентичности Германии и России является идея "нормализации", итогом двух "нормализационных проектов" становятся взаимное отчуждение...
Andrey Makarychev 11-22-2013
(Guest post by Aliaksei Kazharski) In the past, the West was a threat because of capitalists. Now it is because of gays. This according to a discourse that unexpectedly took center stage at a recent East-West conference in Kaunas, Lithuania. Are Eurasianists running out of reasons for why “Europe can be bad for us?” The discussion about the purpose of the Eurasian union was occupied by active ideological proponents and advocates of Eurasian integration...

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About the author

Visiting Professor, Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies
University of Tartu, Estonia