Policy Memos | Аналитические записки

Policy Memo # 318
Polina Sinovets 23 Apr 2014
Recent events have reinvigorated the debate about the official and unofficial use in Ukraine of the Russian language, which has long been a part of Ukrainian society. Local political parties and external actors have used Russian and Ukrainian language cards during electoral campaigns, connecting language use to identity and politics to sway public opinion. After the collapse of Victor Yanukovych’s regime, Ukraine’s new parliament repealed a...
Policy Memo # 317
Douglas Blum 23 Apr 2014
Rising xenophobia and declining educational standards are making Central Asians think twice about going to Russia for school. At the same time, and partly as a consequence, the prospect of studying in the West has become increasingly attractive. Yet many students who wish to attend university in the United States face daunting challenges that limit their ability to do so. At the present moment, therefore, an important opportunity exists to facilitate such...
Policy Memo # 316
Dmitry Gorenburg 08 Apr 2014
A great deal has already been written on the importance that Russian President Vladimir Putin attached to successfully staging the Winter Olympics in Sochi. The consensus among domestic and foreign analysts is that Putin saw the Olympics as an opportunity to demonstrate Russia’s importance in both international and domestic contexts. This memo focuses on the domestic effects of the Olympic Games. Putin’s main goal in holding the Olympics was...
Policy Memo # 315
Serghei Golunov 05 Mar 2014
The grey trade in consumer goods and raw materials has been widespread along the borders of the Russian Federation since the 1990s. In the northwest, where Russia meets EU member states, the activity is well-established, providing consumers with a variety of discount products and profit to local shuttle traders. Despite the legal, taxation, and logistical drawbacks at the state level, it might be argued that this trading is one of the more dynamic and...
Policy Memo # 314
Yulia Nikitina 27 Feb 2014
Russia and the EU have been increasingly competing for the loyalty of Eastern Partnership (EaP) states or, as Russia calls them, states of the “common neighborhood.” What is the nature of this competition, in terms of values and political incentives? Do the EaP and Customs Union projects really contradict each other? If not, what can be done to overcome this false rivalry? In this memo, I argue that EaP states misinterpret the nature of both...
Policy Memo # 313
Sergey Minasyan 20 Feb 2014
Emerging from a September 2013 meeting in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan expressed his readiness to join the Russian-led Customs Union (CU) and disassociated Armenia from plans to initial an Association Agreement (AA) with the European Union. Yerevan had spent four years in successful negotiations with Brussels, but it was clear that national security considerations were paramount and Moscow held this card...
Policy Memo # 312
Yulia Nikitina 19 Feb 2014
Since the collapse of the USSR, Russia’s position on international interventions and sovereignty has appeared ambiguous or incoherent to many observers. With the glaring exception of the Georgia war, Russia tends to pursue a strategy of non-interventionism, respecting the norm of sovereignty at both global and regional levels. Why then did Moscow react the way it did in Georgia in August 2008? Did the Georgia war represent a kind of conflict Russia...
Policy Memo # 311
Olexiy Haran, Maria Zolkina 18 Feb 2014
Different presidents have come to power in Ukraine under different foreign policy slogans, but none have been able to conduct a coherent foreign policy. Moreover, at one time or another, each of them—Leonid Kravchuk, Leonid Kuchma, Viktor Yushchenko, and Viktor Yanukovych—have issued formal declarations that state that European integration is Ukraine’s strategic goal. However, the need to deal with Russian economic and informational...
Policy Memo # 310
Andrey Makarychev, Andrey Devyatkov 14 Feb 2014
(By Andrey Makarychev and Andrey Devyatkov) The November 2013 Eastern Partnership (EaP) summit in Vilnius played a key role in the transformation of the concept of the EU as a normative power. The summit was not only a focal point for developing the EU’s eastward policy, it has repositioned the EU as a geostrategic actor. Even Germany, which is usually cast as an “advocate” for Russia, joined other EU member states in support of the...
Policy Memo # 309
Anar Valiyev 05 Feb 2014
The Azerbaijani establishment is in a bind. With two neighbors (Turkey and Georgia) now oriented toward the EU and three (Armenia, Russia, and Kazakhstan) opting for the Customs Union (CU), Azerbaijan is trying to balance between the two for as long as possible. Tilting either way has its pros and cons; neither offers a win-win situation.   The Pros and Cons of the Customs Union  At first glance, the CU would appear the preferable choice...

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