Russia and the European Union need to imagine a more realistic goal for their relationship: a model of neighborliness, in which the inevitable disagreements will be managed in order to prevent disruptive conflicts and damaging collisions.
When the government shows that it’s prepared to use violence against peaceful protesters and to lock them up for extended periods, it plays on a preexisting mindset that perhaps protesting won't lead to any actual changes in society.
Moscow faces the question of how to respond to procrastination over reform in Belarus. On the one hand, it might seem that the crisis there has passed, leaving no leverage over Lukashenko. On the other hand, he is going to need more money.
It is not the Biden administration that Russia should be concerned about when it comes to climate, but its own inaction, which Moscow risks paying for in both economic and security terms over the coming decade.
The main thrust of U.S. policy toward Russia has not changed much with the advent of a new administration. U.S.-Russian interaction on strategic stability issues will go hand-in-hand with persistent condemnation and retribution for what Biden calls Russia’s determination to damage and disrupt American democracy.
There may be no reset in U.S.-Russian relations under the Biden administration, but what can be done to defuse tensions and avoid worst-case scenarios?
Extending the New START is only the first and easiest step in rebuilding the U.S.–Russian arms control system from its ruins.
Putin’s willingness to resort to police batons has polarized society and radicalized those who are dissatisfied with his rule. The moral cause of those taking to the streets across Russia is undermining the foundations of the Putin regime.
Mass protests have broken out in Russia once again. Will the end result be any different this time around?
Sino-Russian relations may be a marriage of convenience arranged by oil and gas, but arranged marriages have a way of lasting. It is particularly helpful if there is a common enemy, such as an overbearing West.
Hitherto content to work with Central Asia’s incumbent leaders, China is now supporting pro-China politicians: an unprecedented intervention in the region’s affairs that is shaking the foundation of Moscow’s cooperation with Beijing there.
Laschet’s personal preferences, if they even exist, will have to contend with a number of other factors shaping German foreign policy. German politicians, including those from the CDU, generally agree that establishing closer ties with Russia is unlikely in the foreseeable future.
The pandemic world has splintered into something akin to self-sufficient national bubbles, and the crisis has shown once again that the European bubble does not include Russia.
Keen to avoid an armed conflict on its own territory, Minsk still has a strong interest in preventing any further escalation of the tense standoff between Russia and NATO in the Baltic region.
Without Moscow’s participation, the treaty loses its rationale. NATO members could start conducting flights over each other’s territory or shift their flight quotas to non-NATO state parties, but in both cases, the treaty would be reduced to a symbolic function.
The authorities and their tactics—from hoarding taxpayers’ money to the blatant use of excessive force against peaceful protesters—are becoming visible and transparent.
Saturday’s protests were undeniably anti-regime, anti-elite, and anti-corruption, but not necessarily liberal, pro-Western, and pro-democracy. It’s not surprising that such protests frighten not only the authorities, but also successful members of society: even those who don’t consider themselves supporters of the regime.
Lukashenko’s post-August turn away from the West and toward Russia is no guarantee that Belarus will not return to a multi-vector foreign policy sometime soon.
The Kremlin’s approach to Navalny is a natural by-product of a political regime in which the initiative and locus of most decisionmaking concerning the real opposition or any criticism has shifted to the FSB.
Instead of blackballing Navalny, the Kremlin has turned him into the world’s most famous political prisoner.