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Foreign Affairs: Analysis

21 november 2014

Russia and Ukraine: A Corridor of Opportunities

Alexander Gushchin PhD in History, Associate Professor, Department of Post-Soviet Countries, Russian State University for the Humanities, RIAC expert

Sergei Markedonov PhD in History, PhD in History, Associate Professor, Department of Regional Studies and Foreign Policy, Russian State University for the Humanities, RIAC Expert


The Ukrainian crisis presents the most serious and dangerous challenge to European security since the collapse of Yugoslavia and the series of ethnic conflicts it gave rise to in the Balkans. What we are witnessing is the combination of the largest confrontation between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War, growing animosities between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea and south-eastern Ukraine, and the transformation of the Ukrainian government project into something closer to hard line national statehood. Ukraine is the nexus where the interests of such key players as Russia, the European Union and the United States have clashed, making this purely domestic crisis turn into a regional and even global issue. There are several possible scenarios of how the crisis might unfold: military confrontation, “deep freeze” (or maintaining the status quo), and decentralization and compromise.

21 november 2014

CIS Heads of Government to Discuss Ukraine?


The agenda of the CIS Heads of Government Summit that will take place on 21 November 2014 features a wide range of economic, military-technical and humanitarian issues and the creation of the CIS Free Trade Zone. The Ukrainian crisis is not on the agenda, but it may be discussed on the fringes. How will the meeting proceed? What are the main items on the agenda? Here to comment is Oleg Alexandrov, Associate Professor at the MGIMO Department of International Relations and Foreign Policy of Russia and Yulia Yakusheva, Vice Director general, Head of Analytical department at the Moscow State University.


President Putin, the Tsar of international relations?

President Putin, the Tsar of international relations?

Authors: Ernesto Gallo and Giovanni Biava.

According to Time, Pope Francis was the ‘person of the year’ in 2013, and with good reasons. Who else has given answers, symbolic and material, to the West’s worst economic crisis since the Second World War? Another magazine, Forbes, chose Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, as ‘the world’s most powerful man’ in 2013 (and in 2014), when Putin was often feared yet recognised as a smart statesman by the American and Western media and press. Russia had just scored a crucial diplomatic victory on the Syrian question.

20 november 2014

Arctic Shipping: A Route to Russian-American Cooperation

Henry Huntington Senior Officer, International Arctic The Pew Charitable Trusts

Roger Rufe Vice Admiral, United States Coast Guard (retired)


Russia and the United States have a shared interest in keeping shipping routes open while also reducing uncertainty and risk. Arctic waters are no place for ill-equipped vessels that pose a hazard to themselves and others and may drain the search-and-rescue capabilities of Arctic coastal states. At the same time, Arctic routes promise economic efficiencies and opportunities, consistent with the principle of freedom of navigation on the seas.

18 november 2014

In Search of Support Points: Iran in Central Asia

Irina Zviagelskaya Doctor of History, Professor of the Oriental Studies Department of the MGIMO University


Iran occupies an important place in Central Asia’s system of political and economic relations. It may not boast impressive resources such as those of Central Asian countries’ leading partners (China, Russia, the EU), and faces substantial political restraints due to the current sanctions regime, but despite this, Iran has managed to secure a prominent presence in the region.

17 november 2014

Great Minds Think Alike


2014 APEC Summit revealed strategic aspirations of all major regional players. Countries push and bid on different initiatives of regional free trade integration, thus creating a massive stumbling block – a choice between American TPP and Chinese FTAAP. RIAC team has asked experts from China and Singapore to comment on the recent summit and give their expert opinion.

RIAC Digest

Indian strategy in the Asia-Pacific, reforms in Morocco, Polish nuclear energy sector, Chinese think-tanks, Human trafficking

In this digest of international publications you will find a variety of topics: changing Indian strategy in the Asia-Pacific and the future of the US-Indian partnership, constitutional reforms in Morocco, development of Polish nuclear energy sector, new face of Chinese think-tanks, EU’s commitments in providing development assistance for the third world countries, Afghan political system after elections and a publication on human trafficking and online networks.

17 november 2014

Barcelona and Madrid: Growing Tensions

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


The question of whether the Catalan independence referendum initiated by the separatists would eventually take place remained open for quite a while. Under the Spanish Constitution, autonomous communities are not allowed to hold a referendum without the consent of the central Spanish authorities and a positive decision of a nationwide referendum. Therefore, unlike the British Government, which allowed Scotland an independence vote and promised them everything they had asked for, the Spanish authorities chose the unconstructive path of denial.

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