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Foreign Affairs: Analysis

02 december 2016

Russia and NATO in the Baltic

Ivan Timofeev PhD in Political Science, Director of Programs at Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), Head of "Contemporary State" program at Valdai Discussion Club.

  4

The Baltic of today is a most intricate area for Russia-NATO interaction. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, all of them members of the alliance, serve as its frontier zone in direct contact with its Eastern neighbor. The Ukraine events have drawn the Russia-NATO relationship into a deep systemic crisis, with Moscow seen by Brussels as the key security challenge, which implies that its containment has become an inherent component in their bilateral activities. The Russian view is symmetric, the only difference being in the fact that NATO and prospects for its expansion had been seen as a challenge long before the Ukraine predicament.

Day Figure

71% of Russian Citizens Support Westward Cooperation at the Height of Information Warfare

71% of Russian Citizens Support Westward Cooperation at the Height of Information Warfare

According to the data from Levada-Center recent public-opinion poll, 71% of Russian citizens support the course of cooperation with the West (21% more than in July, 2015). It can be assumed that the peak of the anti-western trend is over. It is worthy of note that the atmosphere of the information warfare between Russia and the West remains tense, which can be observed in the contents of the leading media resources on both sides.

Author: Andrey Kortunov.

Captain Smollet's Column

Not Getting Any Better Come at Once. Canada and F-35

Not Getting Any Better Come at Once. Canada and F-35

The issue of Canada purchasing American fighters F-35 has been open for discussion for several years, used by the Liberal government to almost accuse the Conservatives of corruption on a massive scale. One of J. Trudeau’s pre-election promises was an urgent and complete refusal to purchase the «Lighting II». And one year after winning the elections, the new government made a proposal to buy a different aircraft–was this a planned action or a confusing half-measure?.

Author: Alexander Yermakov.

RIAC Reader

Anti-government extremist organizations in Syria

Anti-government extremist organizations in Syria

This longread describes the main anti-government groups – parties to the Syrian conflict (both currently existing and those which have already merged with other groups). The longread's authors attempted to trace their connections and the dynamics of their development. This is clearly a very ambitious task which goes beyond the current study. Yet the review covers the basic range of the main extremist groups participating in the Syrian crisis, thus enabling the reader to get as complete a picture of the current events as possible.

Cybercolumn

The Balkans of the Internet

The Balkans of the Internet

The UK Parliament has just passed the Investigatory Powers Act 2016, also known as The Snooper’s Charter, on its third attempt; it is the most extreme surveillance initiative ever, giving government security services the power to hack and monitor information online traffic. This law brings about a drastic regulatory mechanism of Internet traffic monitoring into action (an innocent typo could lead to an administrative penalty). This way akin laws will soon appear in the countries of the Old World — that’s just a question of time, while the Internet segmentation has already started.

Author: Maria Gurova.

01 december 2016

Jiri Valenta: Deal-maker Trump Will Likely Choose Persuasion

  4

In the time of international challenges, the collaboration between Russia and US become even more important. Many experts express concerns over Trump policies and his possibility to address key international agenda issues such as protracted conflicts in Syria and Ukraine. In an interview with RIAC Director General Dr. Andrey Kortunov, Dr. Jiri Valenta, CFR member, reflects on what made the victory of Donald Trump possible and shares his perspective on US – Russian rapprochement under President Trump, cooperation on security matters as well as relations between the leaders of Russia and the US.

Beyond the Ocean Column

With Fear and Reproach

With Fear and Reproach

While Russia is popping champagne to celebrate Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential elections, Latin America is taking safeguard measures in order to neutralize the potential political and economic risks from the billionaire’s presidency.

Author: Anastasia Borik.

29 november 2016

Dual Containment: Trump’s Foreign Policy Dilemmas

Ivan Timofeev PhD in Political Science, Director of Programs at Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), Head of "Contemporary State" program at Valdai Discussion Club.

  10

Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election has generated an enormous amount of speculation about the future of US foreign policy. Indeed, the campaign rhetoric of the president-elect featured a large number of high-profile statements. Clearly, his real policy should and will be characterized by much greater restraint and caution. Ultimately, the president does not make decisions all by himself. He is constrained by Congress. His opinion is filtered through the sieve of intelligence agencies, the government, the interests of US companies and, to some extent, even overseas allies. Provocative behavior is to be expected from Donald Trump. However, public politics and actual politics are two fundamentally different things.

Eurasian Chronicle

Error Correction on the Compatriots Issue

Error Correction on the Compatriots Issue

Some days ago Russian and Baltic media outlets published articles where Russia is said not to no visa entry across its border to non-citizens of Latvia and Estonia. Similarly, some weeks ago the media disseminated the news that Moscow reportedly denied visa-free entry to non-citizens from the Baltic region. This was breaking news, but the reasoning was insufficient—the journalists were right only partially correct.

Author: Sergey Rekeda.

24 november 2016

Gazprom Gaining Ground in Europe

Viktor Katona Oil Supply Specialist at MOL Group, RIAC expert

  12

Gazprom seems to be serious in its intention to smooth out differences with the European Commission. After breakdown of the «South Stream» pipeline project, «North Stream-1» multi-year obstructionism, and numerous attempts by Brussels to deprive the Russian gas giant of a competitive advantage in prevent its dominance, events in recent months might boost new projects of the Russian export monopolist in Europe.

Oil and Gas Today
Coloumn

Will Ukraine be Gas Self-Sufficient?

Will Ukraine be Gas Self-Sufficient?

From time to time, Ukrainian energy companies management voice an idea that should certain regulatory conditions be met, Ukraine will be able to provide itself with gas in the upcoming 5-10 years. Ukraine being self-sufficient with gas is an achievable aim. Though it is not due to the gas production growth, or discovering fabulous resources in the grounds of Ukraine, or massive improvement of the Ukrainian economy. It can be real, primarily because of the gas consumption steep fall in the recent 10 year.

Author: Vikor Katona.

23 november 2016

Natalia Gandurina: The Decline of Print Media Should Stop

  4

Amidst the development of Internet technologies and the economic downturn, more and more media are going online and becoming web-based. Does this trend testify to the decline of print media? Natalya Gandurina, Vice President of ARTCOM Media Group (Forbes, L'Officiel, OK!, GEO) shared with RIAC Website Editor Maria Smekalova her views on why print magazines continue to sell, what should be published on the Internet, and why we need ratings.

23 november 2016

Russia and the European Union in the Baltic Sea Region

Vladislav Vorotnikov North European and Baltic Studies Center at the MGIMO University

Igor Yurgens President of the All-Russian Insurers Association, Member of the Board of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs

Ivan Timofeev PhD in Political Science, Director of Programs at Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), Head of "Contemporary State" program at Valdai Discussion Club.

Sergey Kulik INSOR Director for International Development

  4

Expert assessments of Russia’s cooperation with the countries in the Baltic Sea Region, and with the Baltic States in particular, traditionally focus on bilateral relations. At the same time, they tend to overlook the membership of these countries in the European Union, with all the attendant obligations in terms of implementing common decisions. In analysing the interaction of these countries with Russia, experts usually mention the European Union within the context of energy policy, with a recent emphasis on the sanctions regime and on Russia’s countermeasures. The fact that the political voice of the countries in the Baltic Sea Region in forming and implementing the common EU policy has noticeably strengthened on the back of the Ukrainian crisis, while at the same time taking on undertones that are unfavourable to Moscow, is worth taking into consideration.

22 november 2016

Sanctions on Russia: the Risk of a Divided Europe

Daniele Fattibene International Affairs Institute (IAI) in Rome

  3

The latest European Council meeting has showed (once again) that relations with the Russian Federation are still a dividing element within the European Union (EU). Different threat assessments and interests among Member States risk to hamper the efforts to build up a common approach towards Moscow which has emerged with the sanctions over Ukraine. The decision not to impose new “restrictive measures” against Russia for “attacking the civilians in Aleppo” very well epitomizes this internal cleavage. This step has been the result of a strong opposition of several countries, leaded by the Italian Prime Minister Renzi.

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