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.
The system is consuming itself, with each part of it trying to survive separately at the expense of its neighbor. In this situation, society is a hostage of the battle for survival, and an expendable component in political experiments.
The Kremlin has consistently failed to define its vision of Russia’s future. But what about the Russian public?
For the Baltic states, a good Russia policy is one that creates distance between them and their neighbor to the east while maintaining some ties with it. Yet the few areas of cooperation that remain could easily become casualties of political battles.
China’s commitment to full carbon neutrality by 2060 means that the country needs to reduce the consumption of all fossil fuels, including natural gas. What does that mean for Russia and Central Asia?
Major Chinese tech companies are actively expanding their presence on the Russian market. They may not have the state support that state-owned development banks or energy giants do, but that isn’t stopping them from successfully incorporating Russia into a digital Pax Sinica.
Frustrated maximalism may present a window for rapprochement. The Baltic states will be more likely to look at Russia as it is, not as they want it to be. One day Russia might also look at the Baltic states as just neighbors: not as an amputated part of the Soviet Union, or Washington’s hostile lapdog.
Russia and its Baltic Sea neighbors could start repairing their badly broken relationship on a common basis of neighborliness. This would fall far short of partnership, but it would end unchecked hostility.
For all the talk of Beijing’s growing presence in the former Soviet Union, the fruits of Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova’s efforts to deepen cooperation with China have been underwhelming
This podcast episode focuses on the shift in power in Central Asia and the evolving roles of China and Russia there.
Biden’s task in the Middle East is to reduce U.S. involvement without allowing Russia to take advantage of the resulting vacuum.
Danish Ambassador Per Carlsen was recently commissioned by Dmitri Trenin, head of the Carnegie Moscow Center, to provide his view on the developments in the Baltic Sea region in a blog format. Tragically, Per Carlsen passed away a day after he finalized this blog post.
The impending reappraisal of U.S. policy on the Middle East can’t definitively be described as good or bad for Russia. In some respects, it will create hurdles for Moscow, but new opportunities may also arise.