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Foreign Affairs: Analysis

27 july 2016

Turkey’s Pivot: Back on the Path to “Zero Problems with its Neighbours”?

Ruslan Mamedov MGIMO-University Graduate Student


Turkey’s foreign policy in recent years has limited its room for manoeuvre in the international arena. The course of former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu – "zero problems with our neighbours” – has been replaced by what some observers describe as “zero neighbours with no problems.” The current policy aimed at normalizing relations with Russia, Israel and other countries reflects the change of the balance of forces in the Turkish leadership and is intended to demonstrate its pragmatism. The strategic nature of the new course, however, is open to doubt, though it is likely to continue in the short term.

RIAC reader

Оil-producing Countries in Crisis

Оil-producing Countries in Crisis

When on February 16, 2016 Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Qatar agreed to freeze oil output at the January 11 level, many believed this agreement was the first step towards a stabilized global oil market. The last 18 months have created a host of problems for oil-producing states; each has suffered in its own way, but no one managed to avoid problems. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which had previously acted as a mechanism for preventing oil crises and stabilizing oil prices, became powerless after Saudi Arabia refused in November 2014 to coordinate production quotas with other member states and called upon them to "rely on the market".

Author: Viktor Katona

26 july 2016

Have Rockets, Will Quarrel

Alexander Yermakov RIAC expert


The final and long-awaited decision to deploy the U.S. THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) mobile missile defence complexes in South Korea was announced on July 8. The stationing of these purely defence systems, which are ideally suited for the Korean theatre of military operations-to-be, has been met with strong criticism from the Chinese and Russian missions, with experts accusing the United States of spurring on the arms race in the peninsula. Why is this?

Eurasian Chronicle

Chaos Creeps up on Russia from the South

Chaos Creeps up on Russia from the South

Since the start of the Ukrainian crisis, many Russian experts believed that the events in Donbass were the first stage of the crisis and that destabilization, backed by our “western partners,” would spill across the border into Russia. The events of the past weeks indeed show that the chaos is moving closer to the Russian border, but the main risks stemming from socioeconomic, political and religious problems come mainly from the South.

Author: Sergey Rekeda.

Captain Smollet's Column

The Atomic Lady

The Atomic Lady

The new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Theresa May passed her first test in parliament with flying colours. The topic of her first speech in Parliament on July 18, 2016 was anything but routine, approval of the programme to renew the British nuclear deterrent. The results, as expected, were in favour of the new prime minister. The full-scale funding of Successor was approved by 472 votes to 117.

Author: Alexander Ermakov.

25 july 2016

Towards the election of the UN Secretary-General: "The service? Good. Servility? Disgusting"

Dmitriy Kiku PhD in Political Science, RIAC Expert


The end of Ban Ki-moon's term as UN Secretary-General in 2016 and the forthcoming elections of his successor provide an occasion for the international community not only to choose a candidate who they feel would best serve everyone’s interests, but also to reflect on further transformations of the global Organisation's system. On July 21, the UN Security Council held the first round of voting as part of the procedure for electing the UN Secretary-General. There are currently 12 contenders for the post of UN Secretary-General. The pre-election process is taking place amid mounting criticism of the UN over the falling prestige and effectiveness of its Security Council. How justified are these claims and what baggage is Ban Ki-moon leaving behind for his successor?

RIAC Reader

Military Balance in the Black Sea Region

Military Balance in the Black Sea Region

The ongoing Ukrainian crisis have demonstrated that the use of hard power, no matter how gradual it could be, remains an option in the ‪Black Sea‬ region. The increasing naval activity of the stakeholders in the Black Sea basin has underlined the maritime dimension of the regional security. The military capabilities of Black Sea countries remain highly disparate, while recent developments have put an emphasis on NATO's and Washington's role in offsetting Russian military potential on the Black Sea stage. After having tackled Black Sea countries' defense expenditures, this paper analyzes the regional military balance in assessing and comparing the respective capabilities of the neighboring states.

Author: Igor Delanoë

Via Militaris & Via Egnatia

Events in Turkey: Reaction in the Balkans

Events in Turkey: Reaction in the Balkans

One interesting aspect of the abortive coup in Turkey on July 16, 2016 is its impact on the Balkan countries. Faced with a serious crisis and on the threshold of constitutional change, the Turkish regime needs visible success to legitimize its new status. Such a success can be scored in the Balkans.

Author: Alexander Pivovarenko.

New Asian perspectives

Japan and the Arbitration Disputes in the Asia-Pacific Region: Rules-based or Case-based?

Japan and the Arbitration Disputes in the Asia-Pacific Region: Rules-based or Case-based?

On July 12, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled in favour of the Philippines and against China’s claims to priority rights in the South China Sea. Japan supported the position of the Philippines and has stated that the verdict was final and binding. This is in line with Tokyo’s policy, which regularly calls for a rules-based order in the Asia-Pacific Region and generally focuses on the regulatory aspects of international relations.

Author: Nikolay Murashkin.

25 july 2016

Where Europe Meets Asia

Victoria Panova PhD in History, Director, Oriental Studies Institute – School or Regional and International Studies; Far Easter Federal University


In spite of constant assertions by officials that Russia is a Eurasian power, recent years have seen growing references to Russia's pivot towards the East and commitment to interaction priority with Asia. Often the sharp turn towards the Asia-Pacific Region is mentioned in the context of Russia's deteriorating relations with Western countries, which make it necessary to compensate for the losses caused by geopolitical confrontation and sanctions imposed against Russia in 2014.

The Days of the Arabs

Turkey After the Attempted Military Coup. Keeping the Foreign Policy Course

Turkey After the Attempted Military Coup. Keeping the Foreign Policy Course

The attempted military coup in the Turkish Republic once again forces the authorities to rethink their domestic and foreign policies. The pursued course has led to a country not having positive relations with any of its neighbours

Author: Ruslan Mamedov

22 july 2016

Augusto Santos Silva: Portugal is ready to welcome immigrants


On July 18, 2016, RIAC Director General Andrey Kortunov and Program Director Ivan Timofeev received Portugal’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Augusto Santos Silva. The RIAC editing team had an opportunity to talk with the Minister and get his opinion on Portugal’s economic recovery, migration issues and domestic stability.

22 july 2016

Is Korean War Possible?

Ilya Topchiy Independent Expert


Today, the Korean peninsula is one of the most militarized places on the entire planet. It is here where the interests of large powers like the US, China, and Russia intersect. Yet, the prospects of a large military conflict are doubtful. Chances of an easy victory are too small for all potential parties. But if such a confrontation does take place, what would be the outcome of a second Korean war: a rapid blitzkrieg or a trench war massacre?

21 july 2016

NATO Eager to Stabilize the Security in Euro-Atlantic Area


The results of NATO summit in Warsaw seen from a Western perspective – by Lukasz Kulesa, Research Director at the European Leadership Network.


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