Topic:

Russia

Russian-Iranian Strains Raise Possibility of US-Israel-Russia Deal on Syria

| June 14, 2019

With Israel set to host an unprecedented meeting of the national security advisors of the US, Russia, and Israel, this week’s efforts by German FM Heiko Maas and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe to mediate between the US and Iran could prove to be but a sideshow. The meeting of the national security advisors, against the backdrop of Syrian and Russian forces pummeling Idlib, the last major stronghold of Syrian rebels, takes on added significance with strains emerging in relations between Moscow and Tehran.

Putin’s Turkish Gambit

| June 9, 2019

The first-ever NATO member state to shoot down a Russian military jet has willingly fallen in line with Vladimir Putin’s “Turkish Gambit,” a strategy designed to drive a deep crack into the NATO alliance.

Russian Elites and Why They Matter

| May 23, 2019

Mainstream analysis of Russian foreign policy decision-making often neglects to factor in the influence of the Russian elites. Despite the inclination of the current Russian government to centralize, elite groups continue to exert considerable influence. Their support for the government is crucial for Vladimir Putin, and their disenchantment with him would be fatal to his rule.

Why Rapprochement with Russia Is Unlikely Under Zelensky

| May 15, 2019

Ukraine has a new president, 41-year-old Volodymyr Zelensky. While some argue that Kiev’s policy toward Russia is now likely to undergo a significant positive change, geopolitical realities suggest the opposite. Ukraine-Russia relations might in fact worsen now that Moscow has eased the citizenship process for Donbas residents.

Russians Should Question Moscow’s Foreign Policy

| May 5, 2019

Hints from the Russian media show that more and more Russians are starting to question Moscow’s foreign policy during Putin’s 19 years of rule. Russia needs to reevaluate its position in the world: Should it focus only on the former Soviet space, or should it expand its vision of itself in a world where it might play a much grander role?

The Future of the China-Russia Alliance

| April 24, 2019

Odds are that China and Russia will prove to be long-term US rivals. However, it may just as well be that their alliance will prove to be more tactical than strategic, with the China-Russia relationship resembling US-Chinese ties: cooperation in an environment of divergence rather than convergence.

Russia’s Military Should Leave Venezuela Immediately

| April 21, 2019

The Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta, as reported by Moscow Times, states that Russia is considering deploying strategic bombers full-time in Venezuela. The outlet also reports that an agreement has been reached between Moscow and Caracas to allow the deployment of Russian aircraft at a military base on Venezuela’s Caribbean island of La Orchila, where Russian advisers were dispatched in December. It is urgent that Washington act before Russia and Venezuela reach their imminent formal military agreement. At the same time, NATO membership should be offered to Brazil, a major ally, and economic aid should be provided to Colombia.

Belarus Could Be Russia’s Next Big Geopolitical Target

| April 14, 2019

Russia’s geopolitical projection has shifted over the past two decades. The country has tried to reverse its losses in Ukraine and the South Caucasus, but it is in Belarus that Moscow will most likely try to further extend its leverage to keep the EU and NATO at bay.

Mariupol: An On-Site Report

| April 9, 2019

Although Vladimir Putin has not articulated the final objective of his proxy war in eastern Ukraine, his actions seem to indicate that he is determined to create a land bridge from Mariupol to Odessa – two major seaports vitally important to Ukraine’s economy. Putin’s overall strategy in Ukraine seems to be to strangle it economically by disrupting shipping between the Odessa and Azov Sea ports, with the aim of eventually subjugating Ukraine to Russia.

Russia Positions Itself as Final “Judge” in Syria Amid Escalating Israeli-Iranian Tensions

| April 8, 2019

Russia holds the cards in Syria. Jerusalem and Tehran must spell out their desires for the Syrian arena to Moscow, who in turn must find a way to leave each side with “half its desires.”