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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

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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?

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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.

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)

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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

OSCE PA, German Marshall Fund and RIAC Discuss the Impact of Helsinki Act on Transatlantic Relations

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On November 18, 2014 in Washington, DC, the German Marshall Fund of the United States held seminar “Helsinki+40: the Significance for Transatlantic Relations”, the second one in the series initiated by the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly within project “Helsinki+40.” Last September, a similar event took place in Moscow. The Washington session was attended by GMF President Karen Donfreid, OSCE PA President Ilkka Kanerva, Cochairman of “Helsinki+40” project Joao Soares, former President of OSCE PA Xavier Ruperez, MGIMO-University Professor and RIAC expert Andrey Zagorsky, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin and Representative Chris Smith, as well RIAC Program Manager Natalia Evtikhevich. The debate focused on preventing the neglect of the Helsinki Act principles, the need for a new Helsinki Act, and the role of lawmakers in these processes.

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

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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

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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.

17 november 2014

Barcelona and Madrid: Growing Tensions

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

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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.

15 november 2014

Vladislav Inozemtsev Scientific Director of the Center for Post-Industrial Studies, Higher Council Chairman of the Civil Power Party

«Russia and the West need a compromise over the Crimea »

15 november 2014

Bulgaria’s New Coalition and the Future of South Stream

Vessela Tcherneva Director of Wider Europe Programme, European Council on Foreign Relations

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The new government, led by GERB’s Boyko Borisov, will have its hands full on many fronts. But one of the key issues that outsiders will be watching is the South Stream project, the gas pipeline that is intended to circumvent Ukraine and deliver Russian gas to Italy and Central Europe. From the point of view of Bulgaria, South Stream has one major flaw.

14 november 2014

G20 Brisbane 2014: Global Pragmatism or Regional Tantrums?

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The Group of Twenty summit will take place on 15-16 November 2014 in Brisbane, Australia. So far 2014 could not be called the most successful or easiest in terms of international relations. The Ukraine crisis, the marked reduction in economic activity and the geopolitical disagreements between the main players in global politics – these factors are making it difficult to build contacts and strengthen links between countries and organisations. The economy has become a hostage to political decisions. Will the G20 member countries manage to make a sober assessment of the economic prospects? We asked three experts to comment on the situation: Ivan Timofeev, Mark Rakhmangulov and Victoria Panova.

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