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The unusual side of international relations

In August, 2015 Russia, US and China in terms of UN Group of Governmental Experts have for the first time in modern history agreed on the code of behavior in the cyberspace.

Should the cyberspace be regulated by international law?

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Foreign Affairs: Analysis

26 november 2015

Argentina Turns to the Right

Pablo Stefanoni Editor-in-Chief, Nueva Sociedad, Argentina


Mauricio Macri’s victory in the second round of voting in the Argentine presidential election has caused a major political upheaval in the country. Macri’s victory marks the end of 12 years of “Kirchnerism”. Sunday’s result also has continental dimensions: centre-right party’s victory filled the opposition forces in the Bolivarian countries with enthusiasm. They believe that the triumph of a candidate who stands closest ideologically to the Pacific Alliance (Alianza del Pacífico) and who is more liberal in terms of economic policy could have a domino effect.

G20 or G2?

G20 or G2?

Antalya’s G20 was supposed to show to the world the wonders of Erdoğan’s Turkey, but reality has been different. The events in Paris have pushed terrorism high on the agenda, and the instability of the world economy was of course the other key issue. In fact little in Antalya has been achieved. An agreement between the West and Russia in fighting terrorism has not yet been finalised; and on economic issues, the USA and China dominate and leave everyone else far behind.

Authors: Ernesto Gallo, Giovanni Biava

25 november 2015

What the Second Chechen War tells us about Russia’s ‘War on Terror’ today

Hanna Notte Doctoral Candidate in International Relations, University of Oxford, Alfa Fellow at the Moscow Carnegie Center and Institute of Oriental Studies (Russian Academy of Sciences)


In the wake of the recent terrorist attacks claimed by IS in Beirut and Paris, Russia reiterated the counter-terrorist rhetoric it has been using to justify its intervention in Syria. That rhetoric echoes claims Russia made during the Second Chechen War, when it conflated Chechen fighters with international Islamist terrorists. At the time, Russia hoped its ‘war on terror’ would eventually yield strategic gains in the Russian-US relationship – to no avail. Its current counterterrorist claims on Syria are, again, unlikely to produce such gains in the long-term.

RIAC Reader

Extremist Groups in Middle East and North Africa

Extremist Groups in Middle East and North Africa

The crisis developments in Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Syria are destabilizing countries in the Middle East. The growing turbulence and unpredictability threaten the very model of the nation state, which is struggling to react to the challenges posed by non-state actors in international relations – primarily by extremist groups. The inability of the state to counter the terrorist threat leads to an increase in the activities of radical elements, whose actions take on a regional character, aggravating long-standing problems, including the Arab–Israeli confrontation. All this prompts the need for a comprehensive analysis of the actions of extremists since this will allow us, first, to identify the origins of crisis phenomenon, and second, to predict further developments in the region more accurately.

Main groups and leaders brief overview

25 november 2015

The U.S. and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East: An Alliance of Competing Powers, Too Risky to Break?

Maxim Suchkov PhD in Political Science, Associate Professor at Pyatigorsk State Linguistic University, columnist to Al-Monitor (Russia Pulse), visiting fellow at Georgetown (2010/11) and New York (2015) Universities , RIAC expert


"Daesh has a mother: the invasion of Iraq. But it also has a father: Saudi Arabia and its religious-industrial complex. Until that point is understood, battles may be won, but the war will be lost. Jihadists will be killed, only to be reborn again in future generations and raised on the same books." This is an excerpt from the op-ed in French daily Le quotidien d’Oran by renowned Algerian journalist Kamel Daoud and recently reprinted by the New York Times, which has not just become the most cited piece this past weekend but also stressed a point rarely mentioned in the U.S. public discourse.

Discussion: 1

RIAC Debates

Russia in Syria

Russia in Syria

What are the core aims of the Russian military campaign in ‪Syria‬? What risks ‪Russia‬ is facing when plunging deeper and deeper into the Middle East conflict? Is there a way to settle this crisis? If yes, what needs to be done? RIAC experts Gevorg Mirzayan and Vasily Kuznetsov are taking part in the newly relaunched column "RIAC ‪‎debates‬"

24 november 2015

Battle for Iran – No Hope from Intergovernmental Agreements


In the current extremely complicated international situation, Russia has to look for new trade partners. However, it is well known that the new is often the well-forgotten old. On November 23, 2015, President Vladimir Putin paid a state visit to Tehran, where Russia and Iran will seal numerous trade and industrial agreements and projects that are aimed at expanding and strengthening trade between the two countries. The visit has been preceded by many days of work carried out by various intergovernmental commissions in Russia and Iran, as well as by national companies seeking broader access to the Iranian market. Below, Alexander Sharov, Director of Rusiranexpo State Corporation, speaks about the visit and the potential of bilateral economic relations.

24 november 2015

To Explore and Develop

Ivan Panichkin Lecturer, Department of Legal Regulation of Fuel and Energy at the International Institute of Energy Policy and Diplomacy, MGIMO University, RIAC Expert


The continental shelf plays an important role in sustaining global oil and gas production. Over the past ten years, more than two-thirds of the world’s hydrocarbon reserves have been discovered on the continental shelf. All the Arctic states have passed legislation securing the strategic importance of the area, primarily in terms of hydrocarbon reserves. That being said, the Arctic states have barely even begun to explore and develop these resources. Shifting international tensions to the Arctic, and refusing to lift the sanctions, may force the Russian Federation to look at attracting other states to cooperate in the region, primarily those from Asia.

23 november 2015

The New APEC Agenda: Inclusive and Sustainable Growth is More Important than Integration

Natalia Stapran Associate Professor at the Department of Oriental Studies, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University)


The APEC Economic Leaders’ Declaration signed on November 18, 2015 highlighted the shift of the Forum’s focus towards domestic economic development and qualitative growth, putting an end to the five-year period of geopolitical and economic heavyweights. Between 2010 and 2014, APEC was chaired successively by Japan, the United States, Russia, Indonesia and China – all major global players whose ambitions reach far beyond the region’s boundaries. These countries, being members of G20, were able to link the work of APEC with issues on the global economic agenda.

23 november 2015

The Syrian Zugzwang

Georgi Asatrian Freelance journalist


The Syrian conflict has been underway for over four years. Numerous terrorist organizations together form a disparate and splintered but significant proportion of the key forces in the conflict. Regional and Western powers have contributed to this process as well. On the other hand, the developments in Syria that followed the Arab Spring had their own domestic roots. In order to achieve a successful resolution of the Syrian crisis we not only need the destruction of radical underground forces but also a keen insight into its social and political roots.

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