Foreign Affairs: Analysis
26 september 2016
The Berlin state election – the fifth and final election of the calendar year in Germany – was held on September 18. In terms of party-political processes, the results are particularly intriguing, especially given the upcoming elections to the lower house of the German parliament (the Bundestag) to be held later this month.
President of Chile Michelle Bachelet’s approval has plunged to an all-time low of 15 per cent. Let us try to figure out why the Chilean people are unhappy with their president, who once had an approval rating well above 80 per cent.
Author: Anastasia Borik.
Lately a number of curious events have been unfolding in Kosovo. On September 13, it was reported that the fate of the land’s rich coalfields had been decided. An investigation into the matter conducted by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) revealed that the right to the fields were to be given over to Canada’s Envidity Energy chaired by retired General Wesley Clark. Although the deal is not yet final and surprises may happen – for one, the opposition party Alliance for the Future of Kosovo is keen to derail it – it might be the right time to look into the economic aspects of the foreign presence in the region.
Author: Alexander Pivovarenko.
26 september 2016
“The Hacked World Order” by Adam Segal, director of the program on digital and cyberspace policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, was published in the early 2016 and is one of the latest attempts to cover all the events in the cyber domain. This is an extremely ambitious task executed by one of the best professionals in the area. “The Hacked World Order” can be even seen as a contemporary history textbook of how cyberspace has evolved over the last decade or so.
Against the background of the Russia–US agreements, an interview with Abu Mohammad al-Julani – leader of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly known as the Al-Nusra Front), one of the largest rebel groups in Syria – appeared on the Qatari Al Jazeera website. Al-Julani’s analysis of the situation is important: “With this agreement, the Americans stand side by side with the Russians in support of the regime that is against the people of Sham.” The Americans have targeted the al-Nusra Front, according to al-Julani, “because it is a powerful force in the fight against the project to have the people of Sham surrender.”
Author: Ruslan Mamedov.
It would seem that there is no end in sight to the war on terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria. On the contrary, matters seem to be getting worse, with flagships of the French and Royal Navies being deployed to the Middle East simultaneously, and the expected date of the Russian aircraft carrier CV Admiral Kuznetsov starting its first military campaign drawing ever closer.
Author: Alexander Yermakov.
Tensions in Australian-Chinese relations spread gloom over developments in the past week. At the Group of Twenty summit in Hangzhou, Chinese President Xi Jinping reproached Malcolm Turnbull for hindering Chinese investment in Australia. At the same time, Labor Senator Sam Dastyari was forced to resign from the opposition’s Shadow Cabinet following a controversy over the payment of his expenses by Chinese organizations. The “New Asian perspectives” blog regards this turbulence as the price Canberra has to pay for its strategy of maneuvering between Beijing and Washington.
Author: Nikolay Murashkin
26 september 2016
In order to increase the predictability of Russia–China relations and ensure their progressive and consistent development, it is necessary to convert the high level of mutual political trust into steady and stable work of institutions responsible for international cooperation. For this purpose, it would be advisable to focus on determining the algorithms and mechanisms of strategic planning of Russia–China relations, which could help the parties identify mutually acceptable frameworks and boundaries of strategic partnership not transforming into a military and political alliance.
The United States spent $580.7 billion on defence in 1989. The USSR could afford $318.6 billion, while China spent just $20.2 billion. In 2015, the United States spent $595 billion on defence. Russia spent $91 billion and China spent $214 billion. Under these circumstances, Russia is forced to rely on asymmetric deterrence and search for optimal coalitions.
Author: Ivan Timofeev.
On the face of it, the election to the House of Representatives of the National Assembly, held on September 11, 2016 in Belarus, seemed to be a purely domestic political issue. Only Belarusian political scientists, except for three members of the Russian-Belarusian expert club, including the author of this column, were enlisted to analyze the voting results. However, the election intrigue had a clear foreign policy perspective: will the opposition get seats in the new parliament, and how will the West react to the voting results?
Author: Sergey Rekeda.
23 september 2016
On September 11, 2001, for the first time since 1941, the United States of America, the world’s most powerful state suffered an attack on its own territory. Never in its history had the US had such truly global support and compassion in its hour of grief. The expectations, too, were great; many experts believed that the events of 9/11 and the global community’s reaction to them offer a unique chance for positive changes in the world. Alas, the chance was lost. The US is now an aggressor whose actions lead to countless tragedies, destruction, and growth of terrorist activity. The war on terror has to be begun anew, based on the current realities of an even more dangerous and unpredictable world.
1 September in Russia celebrates Knowledge Day. To celebrate this event RIAC prepared a special reader, which explains the diversity of the school systems around the world (school stages, school types, legislation and specifics).
22 september 2016
In June 2016, France adopted its National Arctic Exploration Programme, which sets out the country’s basic interests in the region and delineates the principal trends and priorities of its Arctic policies in the coming years. In its programme, France defines itself as a polar state and a leading actor in the Arctic, staking its claim to a more active role in the Arctic affairs in the near future. Yet, given the current conditions of Arctic cooperation, will France succeed in fully implementing its strategic goals and tasks? The question remains open.
22 september 2016
Russia and the European Union have traveled a long road in their relations, from the euphoria and anticipation in 1994, when an Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation was signed, to nearly a collapse of relations today. What is vital now is to recognize the “new normal” and come up with principles for future dialogue.
21 september 2016
Ever since the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) was established in 2015, many Russian experts argue that stable cooperation between the EEU and the EU could be an efficient tool to improve the relations between Moscow and Brussels. Nevertheless, so far there have been very few contacts between officials of the European and Eurasian economic commissions. Nikolay Markotkin talked with Dr. Stefan Meister, Head of Program on Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia at the Robert Bosch Center, German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), who shared his opinion regarding the prospects of enhancing cooperation between the two unions.
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