PONARS Eurasia 16 Nov 2017
(Eurasianet) The United States is stepping up its military aid to Georgia as Washington searches for new ways to encourage Georgians to continue on their pro-Western path in spite of ever-receding hopes of joining NATO.  Starting next spring, US Army officers will train Georgian soldiers on defensive tactics. The new initiative, to be called the Georgia Defense Readiness Program, differs from previous American military aid programs in that it...
Jordan Gans-Morse 16 Nov 2017
(U.S. News & World Report) – Political polarization over the Russia hack undermines America's readiness to respond to an ongoing threat. – News about potential Donald Trump administration ties to Russia continues to leak, with the latest developments concerning former foreign policy adviser Carter Page's meetingswith high-level Russian officials. But in the midst of political sparring, a more serious story is getting lost: The political...
Pavel Podvig 15 Nov 2017
(IPFM blog) (Co-authored with A. Glaser) The Forschungsreaktor München II (FRM-II) has been using Russian-origin highly enriched uranium (HEU) for many years. It has now become clear that since 2012 Russia has used its role as a supplier for FRM-II to justify production of fresh weapon-grade HEU. This poses a major problem for German policy on HEU purchase and is not consistent with international and German nuclear nonproliferation policy. The...
Marlene Laruelle 14 Nov 2017
(PONARS Policy Memo) Western pundits tend to use the term “the Kremlin” in an undefined way that may refer to different entities: the Russian government, the presidential administration, a group of particularly influential figures (which Evgeny Minchenko calls Politburo 2.0), or the circle of President Vladimir Putin’s longtime friends. I argue that an ecosystems metaphor is useful in disentangling the notion of “the Kremlin.” An ecosystem is a...
Alexander Cooley 14 Nov 2017
(WP) (Co-authored with J. Sharman) On Oct. 27, the vice president and heir apparent to the tiny oil-rich West African state of Equatorial Guinea was convicted in a Paris court of money laundering and embezzlement. At stake is Vice President Teodorin Obaing’s $200 million Paris mansion, a 220-foot yacht and a fleet of luxury cars, which according to the French authorities represent the proceeds of corruption from his country’s oil wealth. A week...
Henry Hale 14 Nov 2017
Are American sanctions hurting support for Putin? New political science research suggests the answer is no. This study was presented at the 2017 convention of the main association for specialists on Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia (ASEEES) in Chicago, being one of many important policy relevant studies presented there. One of the most timely papers was presented by Columbia University’s Timothy Frye, whose study finds that U.S. economic...
PONARS Eurasia 13 Nov 2017
To mark the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s election as president, PONARS Eurasia and the NYU-Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia brought together leading experts to assess the state of relations and best roads forward. See the full agenda. The videos links below go to Facebook Video. Session 1: U.S.-Russian Relations at the Interplay of Foreign and Domestic Policies The lead-off panel examined different roots of the current...
Timothy Frye 13 Nov 2017
Economic sanctions have become an increasingly important tool of statecraft, but there is still much debate on whether and how they work. Supporters argue that sanctions can help raise the costs to states that threaten international stability, send signals to allies and target countries about the strength of US commitments, and reinforce international norms of good behavior by naming and shaming violators. Critics argue that sanctions rarely...

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