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Foreign Affairs: Analysis

31 july 2015

Africa: Obama’s Last Chance

Anastasia Tolstukhina Diplomatic Academy, RIAC Expert


During Barack Obama’s first presidential term, Africa was not among the U.S. foreign policy priorities. In spite of his African roots, America’s first black president, contrary to expectations, focused attention not on Africa but on tackling such problems as the U.S. economy, Iraq, Afghanistan and so on. Yet, during his second term, Obama has tried to strengthen Washington’s engagement with African affairs and to put Africa back on the U.S. foreign policy agenda.

The Truth about Srebrenica: From Debate to Geopolitics

The Truth about Srebrenica: From Debate to Geopolitics

Author: Daria Basova, student in the World Politics Department, MGIMO University, RIAC intern

On July 7, Great Britain submitted a draft resolution on Srebrenica to the UN Security Council, seeking to have the July 1995 killing of Muslim population by the Serb army commanded by Ratko Mladic qualified as genocide. Russia vetoed the resolution, a move welcomed in Serbia and the Republic Srpska and the utterly opposite response in the West, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The resultant heated wrangling seems a manifestation of Russia-West geopolitical confrontation in the Balkans – this time in the form of a debate aimed to win the hearts and minds of the region’s population. What are the sides’ motives and what long-term consequences are in store for Russia?

30 july 2015

Hypersonic Warheads for Ballistic Missiles

Maxim Shepovalenko Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies


In the first half of 2015, international media outlets reported the successful Russian and Chinese testing of hypersonic flight vehicles, i.e. gliding hypersonic warheads carried by ballistic missiles. The Russian Project 4202 and the Chinese project WU-14 point to a new spiral in the nuclear and nonnuclear technologies race.

RIAC Digest

The Balkans - At the Glance

The Balkans - At the Glance

Once again, restless Balkans is in the center of the world politics. While all eyes are on the Greek crisis, some less interesting, but nonetheless significant events are happening in the other countries of the Balkans. This Digest aims to present the current attention-grabbing articles on this region - the region that never stands still.

29 july 2015

The Obsolete Legacy of Antarctica

Alexei Fenenko PhD in History, RAS Institute of International Security Problems


The Antarctic has long been of marginal importance for Russia, although Antarctic issues are closely linked to higher-profile ones involving the Arctic. Moscow is adamant about preserving the revised system for sectoral division of the Arctic and maintaining its exclusive rights to the Northern Sea Route, while also rejecting the mechanical application of the principles of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea to the Arctic Ocean. At the same time, Russia supports the Antarctic’s international status, the Southern Ocean as a neutral zone, and a ban on economic activity on the southernmost continent. As a result, diverging approaches to both the Arctic and Antarctic complicate Russian diplomacy.

RIAC Digest

Researching BRICS

Hardly ever has the BRICS format been so hot as it is now due to certain geopolitical changes taking place in the world. Tensions between Russia and West have stimulated additional interest for the block whose development perspectives remain ambiguous even for the most experienced and profound experts. We would like to provide the digest's readers with the issues that have been raised on the threshold of the BRICS Summit and dealing with political and economic, social and cultural spheres of collaboration.

Digest and special projects

29 july 2015

Are We about to Witness the Biggest Oil Crisis since 1986?

Yuri Barmin Analyst on Russia and its Middle East policy, MPhil International Relations, University of Cambridge, RIAC expert


Recent reports released by analysts suggest that the situation in the oil market, already highly volatile, could get much worse in the near future. Morgan Stanley in particular argues that the oil crash that we are witnessing now may be even worse than the oil glut of 1986. In December that year oil prices fell from $23.29 to $9.85 sparking chaos in the markets throughout the globe. Some even argue that the 1986 oil crisis predetermined the collapse of the Soviet Union.

28 july 2015

Turkey: The Missing Link?

Igor Delanoë Ph.D. in History, Research affiliate at the Ukrainian Research Institute (Harvard University) and the Center for International and European Studies, Kadir Has University, Istanbul


The events that took place on the border between Turkey and Syria in late July 2015 prompted Ankara to join the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). Today, Turkey is reaping the fruits of its anti-Damascus, pro-Islamist policy. However, bombing ISIS positions will not weaken the organization, nor will opening U.S. air bases on Turkish territory. The only thing that will do this is closing the border between Turkey and Syria, which will deprive it of its main source of logistical, military and financial support.

28 july 2015

Kyrgyzstan Rejects U.S. Humanitarian Aid


As reported on the Kyrgyz government website, Prime Minister Temir Sariyev has signed the executive order on the termination of the Agreement on Cooperation to Facilitate the Provision of Assistance of 1993 between Kyrgyzstan and United States, with the decree coming into force on August 20, 2015. Both domestic and international observers were startled by the decision. Below are comments by Denis Berdakov, Political Scientist, Bishkek, and Yulia Yakusheva, Deputy Director General, Head of Analytical Sector at Moscow State University Information and Analytical Center.

28 july 2015

The Pentagon’s Compelling Arguments

Victor Katona Oil Supply Specialist at MOL Group, RIAC expert


The United States, skillfully taking advantage of the phobias and vulnerabilities of countries that until just recently had been part of the socialist bloc, is considering the possibility of taking the military and political confrontation with Russia to a new level.

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