Policy Memos | Аналитические записки

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...
Policy Memo # 605
Polina Sinovets 08 Aug 2019
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) According to the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), Russian nuclear strategy calls for the early use of nuclear weapons in the event of a conflict with NATO. It would be meant as a coercive tool to stop a major adversary from interfering in a regional conflict between Russia and its neighbors. The U.S. NPR states that Moscow “mistakenly assesses that the threat of nuclear escalation or actual first use of nuclear weapons...
Policy Memo # 604
Mariya Omelicheva 31 Jul 2019
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) The 2016 change of power in Uzbekistan to President Shavkat Mirziyoyev prompted the deepening of cooperation between Washington and Tashkent. While rapprochement touched many areas of bilateral relations, including investments and trade, it is the military-to-military (mil-to-mil) relations that reached an unprecedented depth and frequency of collaboration. Under Mirziyoyev, Uzbekistan has been in high demand as a...
Policy Memo # 603
Hilary Appel 19 Jul 2019
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) The blossoming of relations between the Russian and Chinese presidents has been prominently on display. Images have been widely distributed of Xi Jinping awarding Vladimir Putin the newly created Medal of Friendship, the two leaders celebrating Putin’s birthday, and Xi giving Putin Chinese cooking lessons. Since Xi became China’s president in 2013, he has met the Russian president around thirty times. This warming of...
Policy Memo # 602
Brian Taylor 18 Jul 2019
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Russian President Vladimir Putin promised a “decisive leap forward in development” in his fourth term (2018-2024), claiming that Russia will create a “modern system of effective governance.” The prospects of a developmental breakthrough, however, are extremely slim. The economy remains sluggish and the political system is resistant to major institutional reforms. Over the last two decades, Putin has shown no appetite for...
Policy Memo # 601
Alexander Sukharenko 08 Jul 2019
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) The fast expansion of information-communication technology (ITC) as a requisite factor of economic development and improvement of public institutions inevitably creates new opportunities for criminals. Hundreds of thousands of cybercrimes are registered annually with associated financial losses estimated at several billion dollars. The Russian government has been trying to counter cybercrime through legislation and...
Policy Memo # 600
Mikhail Alexseev 20 Jun 2019
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Numerous academic studies have shown that economic hardship, ethnoregional divides, corrupt governance, and war are bad for democracy, particularly in states where democracy has weak historical roots. By those yardsticks, one might expect public support for democracy in Ukraine to plummet four years after the Euromaidan revolution and the onset of the Donbas war. Yet this has not been the case. Why? Drawing on mass...
Policy Memo # 599
Pavel Baev 20 Jun 2019
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) The Caucasus remained strikingly stable for a whole decade after the Russian-Georgian war in August 2008. Neither the explosion of turmoil in the Arab world from 2011 nor the escalation of the Syrian war from 2015 reverberated deeply in this region. The April 2018 revolution in Armenia, however, delivered a shock that can alter this regional stability. A year and a half into the evolution of this revolution, its...
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Policy Memo # 598
Jason Strakes 12 Jun 2019
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) As one of the most intractable and tendentious issues in post-Soviet affairs, the enduring rivalry between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh subregion presents scholars of international relations with a certain challenge. It is widely recognized that the United States, Russia, and France—the current co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group—have been unsuccessful in either imposing a settlement or convincing...

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