Trump plans to increase the U.S. nuclear potential and doubts the New START's usefulness. How should Russia react?

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Foreign Affairs: Analysis

23 january 2017

Russia–Qatar “Rapprochement”: A Tactical Move Driven by Geopolitical and Economic Concerns

Mikhail Skovoronskikh MA, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University


The traditionally sour relationship between Moscow and Doha showed some signs of improvement in 2016. This, however, does not imply that Russia and Qatar have embarked on a way for a closer, strategic relationship. Rather, the Syrian crisis and oil market situation have forced the two countries to soften their rhetoric and cooperate on a select number of issues. It remains to be seen how sustainable the “rapprochement” really is.

23 january 2017

Middle East at the regional security crossroads

Alexey Khlebnikov Middle East expert and Russian foreign policy analyst, MSc Global Public Policy, Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota. PhD candidate, RIAC expert.


Syrian civil war can be seen as the key to the stabilising the entire region. Serving as a magnet for jihadist fighters from all over the world and being the arena where interests of global, regional and local powers have been clashing for the last six years, Syria has become a crucial regional issue. This is why Syrian crisis resolution will have a huge impact on the entire region and will help to bring stability to the Middle East.

20 january 2017

Trump and Russia

Igor Ivanov President of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (1998–2004)


Donald Trump is the 45th president of the United States. How could this happen? Politicians, experts, journalists will long be debating this question. But no matter how analysts assess this event, they all agree that American society and the US political system are experiencing serious, even fundamental shifts. The presidential election held in November, 2016 became the starting point of a new era in the American political and public life development.

19 january 2017

Judging the Effects: The Shaping Iranian Perspective on JCPOA and Trump's Options

Abdolrasool Divsallar PhD Candidate of Political Science/Iranian Issues at University of Tehran, Research Fellow at Institute for Middle East Strategic Studies


The second year of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action implementation is marked with serious uncertainty about its future. Critics in Tehran call the agreement ineffective and Trump considers it to be a historically bad negotiation. But as election days in Tehran approach, it's becoming more important to have a look at Iranian perspective on JCPOA. Iranian Public opinion positively reacted to JCPOA. This article is an inside view to provide a better understanding on how Iranian perception of JCPOA is shaping.

18 january 2017

2017 Foreign Policy Outlook

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


Most foreign policy forecasts open with statements about the uncertainty of the international situation. This is a convenient starting point, as it allows the analyst to hide behind and avoid taking responsibility for his or her forecasts. But if we really want to get an idea about what might await us in the future, we have to understand the “corridors of certainty”, which are visible for 2017. They are far from rosy and speak about the necessity to develop fundamentally new solutions to the accumulated problems.

17 january 2017

Russia and China Respond to THAAD

Vasily Kashin PhD in Political Science, Senior Research Fellow at the Center of Strategic Problems of Northeast Asia, SCO and BRICS, Institute of Far Eastern Studies, RAS, RIAC expert


On January 12, 2017, in Moscow Russia’s and China’s representatives agreed to take joint measures against the US missile-defense system in South Korea. Vasily Kashin shares what missile-defense system deployment on the Korean peninsula would mean for regional security and what countermeasures Moscow and Beijing may take.

16 january 2017

Much Cry and Little Wool

Anastasia Borik Postgraduate student, MGIMO-University


On January 9, Venezuela's National Assembly declared that President Nicolas Maduro had "abandoned his post”. With catchy headlines spreading quickly around the world, the recent vote resulted to be very limited, and the Venezuelan opposition did not manage to make a single step to push the Chavez’s followers away from power.

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