Emil Avdaliani

Emil Avdaliani

Emil Avdaliani

Emil Avdaliani specializes on former Soviet space and wider Eurasia with particular focus on Russia's internal and foreign policy, relations with Iran, China, the EU and the US. He teaches history and international relations at Tbilisi State University and Ilia State University (Georgia). He has worked for various international consulting companies and regularly publishes various works with BESA on military and political developments across Eurasia. He can be reached at [email protected]

With Putin’s Proposed Changes, Russia Begins Its Transition to One-Party Rule

| January 24, 2020

Vladimir Putin’s proposed changes to the Russian constitution portend a shift toward one-party rule and lay out a framework by which he can continue to be a major power broker well beyond the end of his presidential tenure in 2024.


More Distractions Loom for the US in 2020

| December 22, 2019

Impeachment hearings in the US have overshadowed important geopolitical developments in Eurasia that will affect Washington’s position in 2020 and beyond. The US’s failure to improve relations with Seoul and Tokyo strengthens China’s position in the Asia-Pacific. Similar processes are unfolding around Ukraine, where Kyiv might—in the absence of US support—be pressured into accepting Russian demands on Donbas.


Straightening Out Russian Foreign Policy

| December 15, 2019

Russian foreign policy since the mid-2000s tends to be perceived in contradictory terms: as either a negative for Russia or the product of a grand strategic vision on the part of the Russian leadership. It is also often falsely perceived as representing a break with the past. Moscow’s foreign policy moves need to be viewed with a balanced perspective and should be placed in their historical context.


The Phenomenon of “Global Russia”

| December 1, 2019

As Russia increases its geopolitical involvement across the globe, the concept of “Global Russia” has been gradually taking hold. Though Russia is inherently weak, it is likely that Moscow will continue its global initiatives throughout the 2020s. Only by the end of that decade and into the next is there likely to be a gradual decline in Russia’s adventurism abroad.


The Chinese Are Doing What the Mongols Did Before Them, Only Better

| November 24, 2019

The vast attention paid to China’s Belt and Road Initiative misses the historical precedents on which it is based. Hearkening back to the nomadic understanding of geography of medieval times, the Chinese are following through on what the Mongols, and later Tamerlane, attempted: to unify the Eurasian landmass by establishing trade routes and encouraging commercial activities from the Mediterranean to the Pacific.


China in the Middle East: From Observer to Security Player

| November 10, 2019

There is much debate both within and without China over whether or not its economic interests in the region will force it to play a more active security/military role in the Middle East. In fact, recent political and economic trends in the region indicate that a shift in China’s approach to the Middle East along these lines has already started.  


Putin’s Policies Are Not New

| October 30, 2019

It has become fashionable to link Russian foreign policy moves of the past 20 years solely to President Vladimir Putin and his close associates. But what is viewed as innovative is in fact an intensification of much older policies that long preceded Putin’s rise to power.  


A Russian-Western Rapprochement?

| October 20, 2019

There have been hints over recent months of improvement in Russian-Western relations that could have major implications for the balance of power in the Eurasian landmass.


Russian-Chinese Cooperation Is Not As Temporary As You Think

| October 8, 2019

Many believe the Russian-Chinese partnership, which functions across a variety of economic and political spheres, is only temporary. But Moscow’s disenchantment with the West, and the redirection of its foreign policy toward Beijing and beyond, is rooted in Russian historical thinking. The disagreement between Russia and the West is a full-scale geopolitical separation.


The Khazars: Judaism, Trade, and Strategic Vision on the Eurasian Steppes

| September 15, 2019

Harnessing the Eurasian lands has always been difficult. The Khazars, an obscure people from the steppes that converted to Judaism many centuries ago, stand out as an exceptional example of how geography, economy, and religion can be used to advance geopolitical interests.