Olexiy Haran, Mariia Zolkina 16 Feb 2017
(PONARS Policy Memo) Before 2014, the majority of Ukrainians did not view the goal of European integration as a “national idea.” Even so, most Ukrainians had positive views about developing relations with and integrating into the EU. And even though former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych refused to accept the idea of joining NATO, he officially maintained EU integration as a priority. In fact, the Yanukovych administration helped finalize...
Polina Sinovets 16 Feb 2017
(PONARS Policy Memo) The official inauguration of a European missile defense (MD) site in Romania in the spring of 2016 triggered a new wave of anti-Western rhetoric in Russia. President Vladimir Putin declared that the system being deployed in Romania and Poland was not defensive, but part of the U.S. strategic nuclear capability. Therefore, he said in May 2016, Moscow “will be forced to think about neutralizing the emerging threats to Russia'...
Pavel K. Baev 15 Feb 2017
(EDM) The annual Munich Security Conference will take place later this week (February 17–19). And it was ten years ago at this forum that President Vladimir Putin delivered an inflammatory speech detailing Russia’s deep dissatisfaction with the world order. A decade hence, Russian official media is today full of commentary on the spectacular success the country has purportedly achieved by following the course set by that speech (TASS, RIA...
PONARS Eurasia 10 Feb 2017
(Co-editors: A. Yatsyk and A. Makarychev) The conflict in Ukraine and Russia's annexation of Crimea has undoubtedly been a pivotal moment for policy makers and military planners in Europe and beyond. Many analysts see an unexpected character in the conflict and expect negative reverberations and a long-lasting period of turbulence and uncertainty, the de-legitimation of international institutions and a declining role for global norms and rules...
Arkady Moshes 09 Feb 2017
(FIIA) (Co-author: R. Nizhnikau) On February 15, 2016, the EU decided not to prolong the sanctions it had imposed five years earlier on the regime of Alexander Lukashenko in response to brutal repressions against the Belarusian political opposition. The sanctions were lifted as a reward granted to Minsk in return for the release of remaining political prisoners, for the less oppressive presidential campaign of 2015 and– perhaps above all – for...
PONARS Eurasia 09 Feb 2017
(CSM) The legal odyssey of Russia's best-known opposition leader, anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny, has been mindbogglingly complicated, full of twists and turns. Nevertheless, experts say, it has wound up with a simple and totally predictable political result. Thanks to a regional court's ruling Wednesday that upheld Mr. Navalny's embezzlement conviction and handed him a five-year suspended sentence, it will be almost impossible for him...
PONARS Eurasia 08 Feb 2017
(Co-editors: A. Makarychev and A. Yatsyk) This book focuses on the recent political trajectories within the Baltic Sea Region from one of the success stories of regionalism in Europe to a potential area of military confrontation between Russia and NATO. The authors closely examine the following issues: new security challenges for the region stemming from Russia’s staunch anti-EU and anti-NATO polices, institutions and practices of multi-level...
Pavel K. Baev 08 Feb 2017
(EDM) The sharp escalation in artillery battles in the Donbas (eastern Ukraine) war zone one day after the January 28 telephone conversation between United States President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin was certainly not a coincidence. No leaks about the content of the 45-minute-long exchange have appeared in the Russian media, and the official summary amounts to mere platitudes. But the anticipation had been extraordinarily...

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