Policy Memos | Аналитические записки

Policy Memo # 621
Anar Valiyev 28 Oct 2019
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) With the diminishing engagement of the United States in the South Caucasus[1] and the weak position of the EU as it deals with Brexit,[2] other world powers and major centers of gravity have begun to fill the vacuum. While traditional powers such as Russia use hard power to stay in the region, others have been exploring alternative ways to strengthen their local hand. China is one of the emerging powers that has been slowly...
Policy Memo # 620
Elizabeth Wishnick 25 Oct 2019
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) As Moscow and Beijing enter into the 70th year of their relationship since the Communist Revolution in China, what does the apparent bromance between Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin portend for their countries? One short answer: increased Russian ice cream sales in China. Putin’s gift of IceBerry ice cream to Xi in 2016 after the Hangzhou G20 summit led to a 267 percent increase in sales of Russian ice cream the...
Policy Memo # 619
Mikhail Troitskiy 21 Oct 2019
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Actors in world politics often claim positions in the global pecking order on the basis of their ability to achieve desired outcomes in major areas of interest. Nations that are convinced in the effectiveness of their statecraft become worried if someone else demonstrates a better record of purposeful action. That feeling becomes stronger if the intentions of the actor with an edge in statecraft are perceived as...
Policy Memo # 618
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) On September 8, 2019, President Donald Trump cancelled his secretly planned Camp David meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s team and the Taliban. The formal pretext was a terrorist attack in Kabul that killed a U.S. soldier, among others. The next day, Trump declared the peace talks dead. This halt in talks is temporary and should not be overdramatized, especially since on September 10, 2019, Trump sacked the main...
Policy Memo # 617
Nargis Kassenova 09 Oct 2019
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) The EU connectivity strategy for Eurasia, adopted by the European Council in October 2018, is the Union’s response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its growing presence in Europe and adjacent regions. It outlines the “European” approach to connectivity as “sustainable, comprehensive and rules-based,” while implying a shortage of these features in Chinese practices. It enlists Central Asia as one of the...
Policy Memo # 616
Andrey Makarychev 08 Oct 2019
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Current political developments in Estonia are primarily shaped by the highly controversial and divisive effects of its March 2019 parliamentary election. For the first time, the right-wing EKRE Party (Konservatiivne Rahvaerakond) is participating in a government coalition. It received 18 percent of the vote but one-third of the ministerial portfolios because two other parties—the Center Party (Keskerakond) with 23 percent...
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...

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