Policy Memos | Аналитические записки

Policy Memo # 476
Sergey Minasyan 26 May 2017
(PONARS Policy Memo) Since the first days of Armenia’s independence, one of its top foreign policy priorities has been the European dimension. At the same time, Russia has always held a large role in South Caucasus politics, especially in Armenia, affecting Yerevan’s relations with Brussels. Once the Ukraine conflict erupted and Russia-West relations dramatically worsened, Armenia’s cooperation with Europe stalled. However, as has...
Policy Memo # 475
Farid Guliyev 16 May 2017
(PONARS Policy Memo)The oil price shock that began in mid-2014 has continued to reverberate in Azerbaijan, sending the economy into deep recession and negative real GDP growth rate (-2.4 percent in 2016). Declining volumes of oil production, which peaked at 1 million barrels a day (b/d) in 2010, and impending depletion of petroleum reserves over the next 15-20 years, alerted the government of the need to boost the non-oil sectors of the economy. In a...
Policy Memo # 474
Oleksandr Sushko 15 May 2017
(PONARS Policy Memo) Despite years of talks under the specter of the Minsk protocols, no rapprochement has taken place between Russia and Ukraine on the “special status” of the Donbas. In fact, the situation has steadily deteriorated. Both Minsk I (September 2014) and Minsk II (February 2015) called for immediate ceasefires but deadly skirmishes have continued in a never-halting stream and spikes in violence routinely occur. Major rounds...
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Policy Memo # 473
Yuriy Matsiyevsky 03 May 2017
(PONARS Policy Memo) Since Ukraine’s independence, no government in Kyiv has ever completely become authoritarian or democratic. While many states in the region have been seized by authoritarianism, Ukraine has been trapped by political hybridity. Fairly free elections take place and new faces come to power, but informal political practices endure and pyramids of power are re-established. Three years have passed since the Euromaidan, enough...
Policy Memo # 472
Nikolai Sokov 01 May 2017
(PONARS Policy Memo) In late 2015 and early 2016, Russia demonstrated in Syria that it had acquired long-range, precision-guided, conventional-strike capability, the use of which has implications far beyond military utility. Moscow’s willingness to use this newly acquired class of military power in support of its foreign policy is a challenge both to the West’s monopoly on global power projection, which it has held since the end of the...
Policy Memo # 471
Yuri M. Zhukov 14 Apr 2017
(PONARS Policy Memo) The U.S. intelligence community’s January 6 report about Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election highlighted the role of Russian media organizations in spreading fake news and amplifying leaked materials in an attempt to manipulate public opinion. While few Americans receive their news directly from Russian sources, it is hard to dispute that a major consequence is that U.S. journalists and policymakers now...
Policy Memo # 470
Pavel Baev 11 Apr 2017
(PONARS Policy Memo) The U.S. missile strike on Syria’s al-Shayrat airbase may not signify a major change in the course of the tragic civil war (as it had momentarily seemed), but it certainly revealed weaknesses in Russia’s positions in the war zone and in the Middle East. As regional stakeholders with which Moscow had cultivated ties—from Turkey to Israel to Saudi Arabia—rushed to praise the U.S. show of force, questions...
Policy Memo # 469
Maria Popova 07 Apr 2017
(PONARS Policy Memo) There has been overwhelming rhetorical commitment in post-Euromaidan Ukraine to reforming the judiciary and battling corruption. However, despite the adoption of numerous new relevant laws and constitutional amendments, and the creation of a slew of new institutions, there has been no breakthrough in these critical domains. Nearly three years after the Euromaidan, the Ukrainian judiciary has not been emancipated from political...
Policy Memo # 468
Theodore Gerber, Jane Zavisca 05 Apr 2017
(PONARS Policy Memo) Russia has the largest Muslim population of any European country. Although precise numbers are lacking, estimates usually range from 16-20 million. To what extent do Russia’s Muslims represent a community with distinct political attitudes from non-Muslim Russians? We answer this question using data from a 2015 survey that included a purposeful oversample of residents in four heavily Muslim provinces in the North Caucasus...
Policy Memo # 467
Ora John Reuter 29 Mar 2017
(PONARS Policy Memo) In the 1990s and early 2000s, much of Russian politics revolved around relations between the Kremlin and regional elites. As Putin recentralized federal authority over the course of the 2000s, these relations became less important. However, recent developments suggest that Russia watchers should keep their eye on regional politics. Certain trends in subnational appointments—in particular, the increasing number of governors...
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