In January 2015, the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) started its work. However, there is still no consensus about what the term "Eurasia" means when it comes to fostering integration.

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Foreign Affairs: Analysis

07 july 2015

Africa – BRICS common ground

Tatiana Deich PhD in History, Leading Researcher at RAS Institute for African Studies

Vyacheslav Usov Ph.D. (History), Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences

  1

BRICS has become widely known across the world. The abbreviation signifies a group of leading regional states seeking to work together to put an end to the monopoly of the West in institutions of global governance. The addition of South Africa has made the bloc even more representative of the union of non-Western powers. However, the role of Africa for BRICS – and the role of BRICS for Africa – is undervalued.

06 july 2015

Building Trust between Russia and the West — Already Impossible?

  3

Russia and the West have been dwelling upon the extremely difficult and delicate Ukrainian issue for over a year now. And no one knows for how long this matter will determine the Russia-West relations. Mass media are overwhelmed with various suggestions and prognosis for the future. Germany has for long been one of the closest Russian partners in the EU. Now Berlin and Moscow are experiencing one of the coldest periods of their friendship. RIAC has asked one of the German prominent experts, Andreas Metz, Director of Communications in the Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, to share his views on Russia-Ukraine-EU knot and to draw some parallels between Russia and Iran under sanctions.

Greece and the European Union Caught in a Game of Chicken

Greece and the European Union Caught in a Game of Chicken

Greece’s relations with the European Union are a game of chicken, or brinkmanship as it is referred to in the international relations, where both Greece and the European Union know they cannot live without the other but are increasingly uncertain as to whether they want to.

Author: Dimitrios Triantaphyllou, Director, Center for International and European Studies Kadir Has University, Istanbul.

06 july 2015

Diplomacy Is Too Important to Be Left Just to Diplomats

  2

This year one of the leading American think tanks EastWest Institute celebrates 35 years of its existence. Alongside the grand date EWI is welcoming new CEO, former US Ambassador Cameron Munter. Given his extensive diplomatic career in Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, India and Pakistan, Cameron Munter is hoping to bring a new vision of diplomacy which is not limited to traditional state-to-state concept to EWI. RIAC has asked Ambassador Munter to share his expert opinion on changing nature of diplomacy, Russia-US relations and give insight on the future plans as the new CEO in these turbulent political times.

RIAC Digest

Private Military & Security Companies

This series of digest is devoted to an extremely controversial military-political issue, the one that was formerly ushered into the world in the late 1960s and then has evolved into a complex phenomenon now generally known as Private Military and Security Companies. The comprehensive description of PMSCs' activities, the regulatory mechanisms and legally binding documents elaborated, recent numbers indicating involvement of contractors into U.S. operations Iraq and Afghanistan, the UN-private military sector cooperation directions, challenges posed and opportunities foreseen are covered below.

Digest and special projects

03 july 2015

North Caucasus — a Wall Against or a Bridge for IS?

Ekaterina Stepanova Lead researcher and head of the Peace and Conflict Studies Unit at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) in Moscow

  5

Amid the vast ocean of Islamist radicalism, the particular focus given to Islamic State (IS) is merited by its role as the main center of gravity in the transformation of transnational violent jihadism today. Before exploring how this phenomenon is linked to and affects Russia in and beyond the North Caucasus and in the broader Eurasian context, and before examining the character, scale and the contextual limits of such links, it makes sense reflect on IS itself and the plethora of views and interpretations of this movement.

Is there a role for Russia to play in the South China Sea?

Is there a role for Russia to play in the South China Sea?

Anton Tsvetov, Media and Government Relations Manager at RIAC. .

Moscow’s global ambitions will inevitably lead it to the South China Sea, but that could force Russia to choose between partners such as China and Vietnam.

02 july 2015

Russia and the International Criminal Court: Barriers and Opportunities

Alexey Ilin Recent graduate from The Bush School of Government & Public Service, Texas A&M University, Staff Intern with the Kennan Institute of Wilson Center

  5

The International Criminal Court is the most important institute of contemporary international criminal law. For the first time in history, the international community managed to create a permanent universal court for the most serious crimes. However, 71 member-states of the United Nations, including the United States, Russia and China, still have not acceded to the Court. In the U.S., there has been a substantial academic and policy debate about the utility of ratifying the Rome Statute, Russia hedged off the Court in silence. Therefore, it is important to investigate the reasons why Russia has not ratified the Statute, and give a policy recommendation whether it should or not.

Avoiding the Exclusive Integration Trap: Envisioning Russian Foreign Policy in the Asian-Pacific

Avoiding the Exclusive Integration Trap: Envisioning Russian Foreign Policy in the Asian-Pacific

Author: Kazushige Kobayashi, PhD student in International Relations at the Geneva Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Switzerland

Russia’s deepening cooperation with China needs to be an inclusive process embedded in the wider framework of Eurasian regional cooperation. Particularly since the onset of the Ukrainian crisis, Russian-Chinese cooperation has risen to a historic level. Not only have Russia and China signed a mega-energy deal, but bilateral exchanges in political, economic, cultural, educational, and humanitarian domains have also shown a significant increase. While European powers chose to stay in the “cozy Western boardroom”, for the first time Chinese soldiers participated in the grand parade on 9 May, enshrining a new era for Russian-Chinese partnership.

01 july 2015

Military Multipolarity in the South China Sea

Andrey Gubin PhD in Political Science, Director of Scientific Programs of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies at Regional Centre for Asia-Pacific Studies, Assistant Professor at the International Relations Department of Far Eastern Federal University, RIAC Expert

  3

The situation around the South China Sea is developing rapidly. However, asserting unambiguously that territorial disputes between China and the ASEAN countries combined with the regional rivalry between Beijing and Washington are bound to lead to military confrontation is too far-fetched. Despite growing U.S. military and political presence, countries in South-East Asia tend to favor enhanced economic cooperation with China. The overall superiority of the United States notwithstanding, U.S. leadership is reluctant to take extreme action. Amidst these developments, the region’s future seems fraught with strategic uncertainties.

30 june 2015

Russia and the Visegrad Group: The Ukrainian Challenge

Lyubov Shishelina Doctor of History, Head of East-European Studies Section at the RAS Institute of Europe

  2

The Eastern Partnership policy that triggered the Ukrainian crisis has provided ample opportunity to reflect on Russia–EU relations, alongside with evaluating cooperation between Russia and the Visegrad Group countries (also called the Visegrad Four or V4). The Visegrad Four have taken on responsibility for the eastward enlargement of the European Union having become its members.

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