Policy Memos | Аналитические записки

Policy Memo # 615
Alexandra Yatsyk 04 Oct 2019
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Poland will hold general elections on October 13, 2019. Recent exit polls suggest that the ruling right-wing, conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party will maintain its dominant position. A key aspect to unravel is the indirect impact of Russia on the Polish political milieu in this year’s European (May) and national (October) elections. This is  particularly significant because the PiS party has extensively...
Policy Memo # 614
Mariya Omelicheva 27 Sep 2019
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Since Russia’s annexation of Crimea and invasion of the Donbas in 2014, the United States has committed over $1.5 billion in military aid to Ukraine. This past summer, the White House took special interest in the effectiveness of U.S. assistance to Kyiv, ordering a hold on a $391 million assistance package to Ukraine. Concerns with corruption and insufficient matching of funds by European allies were the expressed motivation...
Policy Memo # 613
Sebastien Peyrouse 25 Sep 2019
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Notwithstanding twenty years of increasingly prominent political, economic and security relations, China remains poorly understood and even feared among Central Asians. Despite its emergence as the second-largest economic world power in less than three decades, its development model is unpopular compared to others, in particular that of Russia, which a majority of Central Asians still view as a benchmark. Strikingly,...
Policy Memo # 612
Fuad Shahbazov 23 Sep 2019
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Often forgotten among the many post-Soviet border disputes in the Caucasus is one pitting two strategic partners against each other, Georgia and Azerbaijan. The two states have enjoyed a bilateral partnership since the beginning of the 2000s that has shaped the geopolitical landscape of the South Caucasus region. Being at the East-West crossroads, the Baku–Tbilisi axis is of geostrategic importance not only for regional...
Policy Memo # 611
Nona Shahnazarian 20 Sep 2019
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) A major step to reduce the corrupt practices that perpetually flow through the Armenian government is to legally and publicly hold officials responsible for their transgressions. The country’s peaceful 2018 Velvet Revolution presented a rare opportunity to do so. Nikol Pashinyan’s rise to power was fueled by mass resentment over cronyism, corruption, and poor governance. When he became prime minister in May 2018, his...
Policy Memo # 610
Stephen B. Kaplan 16 Sep 2019
(PONARS EURASIA Policy Memo) Nicolás Maduro has managed to contain a “military-backed challenge” from interim National Assembly President Juan Guaidó in April, but his grip on power remains tenuous given the historic economic crisis his country faces. Oil production, the backbone of its economy, has collapsed from 2.4 million barrels per day in 2013 to less than 1 million barrels today. Despite the wide-eyed promise that first accompanied new...
Policy Memo # 609
Andrei Scherback 30 Aug 2019
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) The post-Crimea national consensus in Russia is often interpreted as the manifestation of Russian nationalism. The annexation of Crimea and military campaigns in eastern Ukraine and Syria once led to a rally-round-the-flag effect that helped prompt a new patriotic majority of 86 percent support for the government. This consensus, hinging on a boosted Russian nationalism, was observed on all levels of society, among the...
Policy Memo # 608
Kimberly Marten 21 Aug 2019
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) The French government has been taking a balanced and often supportive diplomatic and economic approach to Russia in recent years, so Moscow should logically be trying to cement good relations with Paris amidst current tensions with the West. Yet since 2017, in the Central African Republic (CAR)—a poverty-stricken, violence-ridden country with enduring ties to France where neither the USSR nor Russia ever played much of a role—...
Policy Memo # 607
Arkady Moshes 20 Aug 2019
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) For approximately a year, from summer 2018 onwards, observers were paying close attention to tensions in relations between Russia and Belarus. A particular concern was caused by the assumption that Moscow might be planning to impose upon Minsk the reunification of two states, which could hypothetically allow President Vladimir Putin to circumvent the constitutional two-consecutive-terms limit on Russia’s presidency and stay in...
Policy Memo # 606
Sebastian de Quant 09 Aug 2019
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) First and foremost, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a $550 billion project designed to relieve China’s industrialized zones of surplus output and grow its less developed Western regions. Yet, its strategic and political-economic effects make it a geopolitical event. Strategic because the initiative forges powerful new foreign policy tools for China, for example: logistical control of trade routes (see Figure 1), an...

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