Policy Memos | Аналитические записки

Policy Memo # 68
Irina Kobrinskaya 01 Sep 2009
Developments after the August 2008 Russia-Georgia war have signaled increasing dynamism and complexity in the post-Soviet space. On August 7-8, the short period of relative calm that existed after the color revolutions ended overnight, and the region again emerged at the forefront of world politics. Meanwhile, both the disposition of actors in the post-Soviet space and Western approaches to the region began to change, influencing relations within the...
Policy Memo # 67
Kornely Kakachia 01 Sep 2009
Georgia has been one of the most vocally independent-minded countries among the Soviet Union’s successor states. As Georgia’s ambitions to draw closer to Europe and the transatlantic community have grown, its relations with Russia have deteriorated. After the Rose Revolution, Russian-Georgian relations remained problematic due to Russia’s continuing political, economic, and military support for the separatist movements in Abkhazia and...
Policy Memo # 66
Georgi Derluguian 01 Sep 2009
The present state of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno Karabagh and the surrounding territories can be simultaneously assessed in three completely different tones: hopeful, alarmist, and cynically bored. A flurry of recent diplomatic moves involving the long–entrenched belligerents, as well as Turkey, Russia, and the West, have generated optimism about an impending breakthrough in the peace settlement. At the same time, a bountiful...
Policy Memo # 65
Sufian Zhemukhov 01 Sep 2009
In 2014, the popular Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi will host the Winter Olympics, signifying Russia’s increasingly high international profile. The honor of hosting the Olympics is a challenge and opportunity for the host country, which must be ready for a number of unexpected, if inevitable, domestic and foreign challenges. Criticisms and controversy accompany the run-up to every Olympic Games. China, for example, withstood intense pressure...
Policy Memo # 64
On May 14, 2009, Russian president Dmitri Medvedev signed Decree No. 549, “On the Commission under the President of the Russian Federation for Countering Attempts to Falsify History to the Detriment of Russia’s Interests.” Though disturbing, the emergence of this document was hardly surprising and reflected a growing trend in Russian politics. In this memo, I explore the logic and political significance of this “struggle for...
Policy Memo # 63
Ivan Kurilla 01 Sep 2009
Over the past year, the memory wars of the post-Soviet space have intensified. Nation-building in the region, like elsewhere, has long involved the creation of local historical narratives and the selection of national heroes, traitors, victories, sufferings, and “significant Others.” Recently, however, a new wave of memory wars has arisen in connection with official state efforts to resolve festering historical disputes. [...] More (PDF)
Policy Memo # 62
Theodore Gerber, Sarah E. Mendelson 01 Sep 2009
Days after U.S. President Barack Obama’s Moscow summit and just before Vice President Joe Biden’s departure for Ukraine, nearly two dozen former leaders and foreign policy experts from Eastern Europe sent a letter to Obama asking Washington not to “forget” them while it tries to reset relations with Russia. The letter is out of sync with Obama’s recent message that, for instance, “Russia’s future is up to the...
Policy Memo # 61
As in the United States, Russia’s policy on Afghanistan has recently undergone an evolution of sorts, prompting speculation about Moscow’s “true” motivations for engagement. Two prominent assessments of Russia’s agenda in Afghanistan dominate the discussion. The first is that Moscow offers genuine, if tactical, support to the West on several issues of shared importance, such as antiterrorism and counternarcotics. The second...
Policy Memo # 60
Mikhail Rykhtik 01 Sep 2009
Under President Dmitri Medvedev, Russia has begun the complicated process of redefining its role in international affairs. While this process is grounded in the achievements of the pre-Medvedev era, Russia in 2009 differs greatly from the Russia of just one or two years ago, making some of Medvedev’s foreign policy initiatives appear out of place (e.g., his August 2009 open letter to Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko). To fully understand Russia...
Policy Memo # 59
Alexander Pikayev 01 Sep 2009
After a seven year hiatus, the United States and Russia have resumed active dialogue on a new strategic arms reduction agreement to replace the 1991 START I treaty, which is due to expire on December 5, 2009. During their July 2009 summit, U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev issued a joint statement outlining the basic content of this future agreement. The statement reflected the interest of both administrations in...