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Foreign Affairs: Analysis

01 july 2016

New Uncertainty in Spain

Sergei Khenkin Doctor of History, Professor of the Comparative Political Studies Department of the MGIMO University


Early parliamentary elections held in Spain on June 26, 2016 largely repeated the situation of the December 2015 elections. The People’s Party failed to receive enough votes to form a new government. Six months did not bring the principal parties any closer to a compromise, and on June 26, the distribution of votes hardly changed. And little has changed in terms of the readiness of the parties to form an alliance: their statements made by their leaders during the electoral campaign demonstrate that coming to an agreement on a new government will still be a very difficult task.

RIAC Reader

Military Balance in the Black Sea Region

Military Balance in the Black Sea Region

The ongoing Ukrainian crisis have demonstrated that the use of hard power, no matter how gradual it could be, remains an option in the ‪Black Sea‬ region. The increasing naval activity of the stakeholders in the Black Sea basin has underlined the maritime dimension of the regional security. The military capabilities of Black Sea countries remain highly disparate, while recent developments have put an emphasis on NATO's and Washington's role in offsetting Russian military potential on the Black Sea stage. After having tackled Black Sea countries' defense expenditures, this paper analyzes the regional military balance in assessing and comparing the respective capabilities of the neighboring states.

Author: Igor Delanoë

Eurasian Chronicle

The “Shanghai Organization of Realists” Forms a New Pole of Attraction for Eurasia

The “Shanghai Organization of Realists” Forms a New Pole of Attraction for Eurasia

While at one end of Eurasia, the British public was deciding whether or not they wanted to remain part of the European Union, at the other end of the continent, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Tashkent was taking a step closer to forming a new pole of international relations.

Author: Segey Rekeda.

30 june 2016

Vladimir Putin’s Visit to China: No High Expectations, Concrete Results

Vasily Kashin PhD in Political Science, Senior Research Fellow at the Center of Strategic Problems of Northeast Asia, SCO and BRICS, University of Far Eastern Studies, RAS, RIAC expert


The President of the Russian Federation’s recent visit to China was one of the most successful Russia–China top-level meetings in terms of practical content. The visit was also notable for the unusually high level of thinly disguised anti-American rhetoric on both sides and the adoption of an important joint political statement that may make a difference to Moscow and Beijing’s dialogue with the United States on strategic matters.

Captain Smollet's Column

The Mightiest of the Mighty

The Mightiest of the Mighty

On Wednesday June 22, the official ceremony to mark the acceptance of the first fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II fighter by the Israeli Air Force took place in Texas. The fighter will be given the name F-351 “Adir” (which means “mighty” in Hebrew). They will be the first “Lightning” exports to be put into service outside the United States.

Author: Alexander Ermakov

30 june 2016

North Korea’s Two Allies

Alexander Yermakov RIAC expert


On July 3, 2016, North Korea will mark its first ever Strategic Forces Day. Following the fourth nuclear test that took place earlier this year, North Korea recently carried out successful tests of a medium-range missile. So, what kind of strategic forces is North Korea building?

“You Have No Place in Iraq": The Retaking of Fallujah and the Future of Iraq

“You Have No Place in Iraq": The Retaking of Fallujah and the Future of Iraq

This is not the first time since the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime in 2003 that the long-suffering city of Fallujah, dubbed the “City of Mosques” for the sheer number of these holy places that it contains, has come under siege. In 2003 and 2004 Fallujah was stormed by military contingents consisting primarily of U.S. troops. In 2014 Fallujah fell into the hands of ISIS. Two years later the city was reclaimed by the government which has announced the future recapture of Mosul. Will Iraq be content with military victory or the government has a strategy for the rehabilitation of the regions and stabilizing the situation in the country?

Author: Ruslan Mamedov.

29 june 2016

Recep Erdogan’s Letter Is an Acknowledgement that the Attack on SU-24 Failed to Achieve its Goals

Ilshat Saetov Ph.D. in Political Science, Director of the Russian–Turkish Research Centre of the Russian State Library for Foreign Literature


Recep Erdogan’s letter to Vladimir Putin opens up new opportunities in relations between the two countries. Although the apology itself can be interpreted differently (it is addressed to the families of the deceased pilots and in Turkish, sounds somewhat like “Alright, guys, we made a mistake, no hard feelings, OK?”), there is no doubt that the President of Turkey intended his letter to be taken as an apology. Judging by the reaction from the Kremlin, and given the fact that the Press Secretary for the President of Russia, Dmitry Peskov, is fluent in Turkish, it would seem that the text of the apology has been understood correctly.

MC-21. The New Hope

MC-21. The New Hope

Last week the city of Irkutsk was the venue for the widely advertised and long-awaited ceremony, the official rollout of the flight model of the Russian medium-range airliner MC-21, which is definitely the most ambitious civil aviation project since the days of the USSR. The maker is to start series production in 2020 and turn out 20 vehicles, with the planned rate of 70 planes annually to be reached in 2023. The trick is the demand.

Author: Alexander Ermakov

29 june 2016

The New Impetus for Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

Mikhail Konarovsky Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation. Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of International Research, MGIMO University, RIAC member.


The meeting of the heads of states of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states has been gaining momentum in recent years as a regional – and indeed global – discussion platform. This is testament to the growing potential and credibility of the organization. In the rapidly changing global environment, and amidst new challenges and threats, it is imperative that the SCO develop a coordinated position on the key issues of security and international development, not only so that it can determine its own activities going forward, but also in the context of the entire Eurasian space.

24 june 2016

Cooperation in Science and Education to Promote an Innovative Approach to Russia–China Relations

Larisa Smirnova PhD in Political Science, Senior researcher at CEMI RAS, RIAC expert


Amid the apparent restrictions of extensive development models in both Russia and China, bilateral cooperation in science and education appears to be an increasingly ambitious objective aiming to build up the national innovative capacity of the two countries.

23 june 2016

Li Wencong (ICBC): We Consider Russia Our Strategic Partner


Russian and Chinese economies are becoming more and more interrelated. Economic cooperation between two countries covers a large variety of spheres, including banking. The President of Bank ICBC (JSC) (the russian subsidiary of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd.) Li Wencong shares his views on the Russian investment climate, competition on the market and unveils the ICBC’s further plans.

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