Policy Memos | Аналитические записки

Policy Memo # 134
On September 11, 2010, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev addressed the Global Policy Forum in Yaroslavl. This speech took place almost exactly a year after his programmatic article, Forward Russia!, which launched his national project of gradual but far-reaching modernization. Developments over the past year have made the ideology of this project more clear, but there has also been a growing divide between cautious optimists and critics who see it as...
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Policy Memo # 133
In the late 1980s, Mikhail Gorbachev’s promotion of democratic liberties and values, including freedom of speech and pluralism of opinion, provided a basis for the development of a number of ethnic conflicts on the territory of the USSR. The succession of events that led to war between Armenians and Azerbaijanis began with a dispute over the jurisdiction of the historically contested Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous region of Soviet Azerbaijan. In...
Policy Memo # 132
With the May 2010 pogroms in southern Kyrgyzstan, the semi-forgotten specter of ethnic violence and state disintegration has returned to Central Asia with a vengeance. In the two decades since Soviet collapse, commentary on Central Asian affairs has focused mainly on measuring how near or far the so-called “Stans” have come in embracing the standards of Western countries. This intrinsically optimistic vision has translated into measurements...
Policy Memo # 131
The main obstacle to developing an appropriate security architecture for post-Soviet Eurasia are the number of perceptual and conceptual gaps that exist among the actors involved. Major states and regional organizations have had inconsistent and conflicting foreign policy stances. Formerly peripheral states seek patrons but also influence in shaping their own security environment. New approaches are needed to establish a security architecture for the...
Policy Memo # 130
“We have changed,” was the main message of President Dmitry Medvedev’s speech at the June 2010 St. Petersburg Economic Forum (SPEF). Trying to persuade foreign governments and investors alike to provide support for his policy to modernize Russia, Medvedev created an image of his country as open and dynamic—a society that has taken a big step forward, in no small measure thanks to the actions of the government. The language of this...
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Policy Memo # 129
How do Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s proposals for a new security architecture resonate in the foreign policy discourses of Russia’s two main security partners: the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization? This memo analyzes several expert reports that grasp the wider context of security issues in the Euro-Atlantic space. The documents focused on are the Helsinki Plus report of the EU-Russia Working Group, which...
Policy Memo # 128
President Dmitry Medvedev’s European security initiatives of 2008-2009, culminating in his draft European Security Treaty of November 2009, sparked considerable debate regarding the potential and desirability of a new European (really Euro-Atlantic) security architecture. Generally, a rising cooperative mood in Russian-Western relations has set the tone for such deliberations. Still, formal progress has not really been achieved and the most...
Policy Memo # 127
We do not hear about it often, but the phenomenon is truly unprecedented: the transition to a market economy and democracy in the 1990s in Eastern Europe and post-Soviet Eurasia caused dramatic increases in mortality rates and shortened life expectancies, which led to a depopulation trend throughout the entire region. In particular, the steep upsurge in mortality and decline in life expectancy in Russia were the greatest ever recorded anywhere in...
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Policy Memo # 126
Can countries overcome the problems associated with natural resource management through the implementation of good policies? A comparison of Russia and Brazil shows that indeed policymakers can make a difference. These two countries started in relatively similar positions in the early 1990s, but they have now evolved to the point where Brazil is in a much stronger position than Russia. [...] More (PDF)
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Policy Memo # 125
For the first two years of the Russian military reform program that began in October 2008, the top priority of the Ministry of Defense was reorganization. This involved the transformation of the military’s division-based structure into one based on brigades, as well as a shift in the ratio of officers to enlisted soldiers in favor of the latter. The last step of this reorganization was the replacement of military districts with four operational...
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