Foreign Affairs: Analysis
Sanctions are still in the focus of the foreign policy community and the general public. The reasons for this are numerous: the events in Ukraine have set off a series of restrictions on Russia imposed by the U.S.A., the EU and other countries. Moscow responded in kind—Russia also sanctioned Turkey for the incident with the Russian aircraft in November 2015. Moreover, the United States has partially lifted sanctions on Iran and Cuba. The discussion of economic sanctions normally boils down to an assessment of their impact on the affected country's economy, and generally to the effectiveness and acceptability of this foreign policy tool. At the same time, the researchers as well frequently neglect the basic features of sanctions as a foreign policy instrument, the sanctioning mechanisms, and responsibility for their nonobservance.
17 february 2017
The chasm between Russia and the West appears to be wider now than at any point since the Cold War. But, despite stark differences, there are areas of existential common interest. As we did during the darkest days of the Cold War, Americans, Europeans, and Russians must work together to avoid catastrophe, including by preventing terrorist attacks and reducing the risks of a military — or even nuclear — conflict in Europe.
China’s activities oriented towards the transformation of the country into an internationally recognised educational hub started not long ago. Chinese government promotes cooperation with leading universities in other countries, opening of branches of Chinese universities abroad and vice versa, joint training programs development, inviting foreign specialists to read lectures or conduct research. Svetlana Krivokhizh and Maria Liamtceva analyse the subject.
Donald Trump's tough stance towards migrants arriving in the U.S. provoked harsh criticism from American liberals and especially their opinion allies in Europe. However, the recent survey conducted by influential British think-tank Chatham House in 10 European countries and covering 10,000 people, shows that the willingness to stop migration from Muslim-majority states in Europe is no smaller than that in the U.S.A.
Author: Andrey Kortunov.
16 february 2017
The U.S.-based Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the Moscow-based Center for Energy and Security Studies (CENESS) launched a new joint report on the future of U.S.-Russian nuclear cooperation. The report includes 51 recommendations for mutually beneficial cooperation across five thematic areas: nuclear science, nuclear energy, nuclear safety, nuclear security, and nuclear environmental remediation. If implemented, these projects could result in safer nuclear reactors, stronger defenses against nuclear and radiological terrorism, and cleaner approaches to nuclear environmental remediation.
2017 has started dynamically for the political life of the USA. The auditions on the Donald Trump’s cabinet appointments began right after the first session of the new 115th Congress. Acting President Barack Obama gave his farewell speech in front of his supporters, and President elect Donald Trump held the first press-conference since the elections.
Author: Ilya Kravchenko
16 february 2017
It is safe to assume that António Guterres, who assumed the office of the UN Secretary-General on January 1, 2017, will be able to bring positive momentum to the activities of the global organization. One can say this because during his ten-year tenure as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (2005–2015), he was extremely successful in cutting down the excessive bureaucracy at the agency he fronted in Geneva. Guterres visited conflict zones, which inspired his staff members to venture out of their cosy offices and work “in the field,” as their mandate indeed requires. This approach is also strikingly different from that of Guterres’ predecessor, Ban Ki-Moon, who, as we know, refrained from participating personally in conflict resolution.
This longread describes the main anti-government groups – parties to the Syrian conflict (both currently existing and those which have already merged with other groups). The longread's authors attempted to trace their connections and the dynamics of their development. This is clearly a very ambitious task which goes beyond the current study. Yet the review covers the basic range of the main extremist groups participating in the Syrian crisis, thus enabling the reader to get as complete a picture of the current events as possible.
15 february 2017
Today, Russia is the only major power that is introducing significant innovations. Moscow is attempting to reduce the gap that appeared in the 1990s–2000s. Besides, given that NATO is much larger in scale, Russia uses its nuclear potential to compensate for the fact that it lags behind in the size of its conventional capabilities.
13 february 2017
In less than two years, the hydrocarbon sector of Egypt passed two symbolic milestones. In 2014, the used-to-be-gas-exporter first became a net importer of natural gas. At that time, there was little prospect for Egypt’s oil & gas exporting potential. However, the discovery of the supergiant gas field Zohr in August 2015 and the events that followed reversed the situation, reviving hope for Egypt to win back its role of gas exporter. Who will take part in developing the Egyptian hydrocarbon sector, and will this country return to exporting its natural gas?
10 february 2017
October 27, 2016 marked the 25th anniversary of Turkmenistan’s declaration of independence. During that time, the country experienced significant socioeconomic change, as well as changes in its domestic and foreign policies. One of the most pressing problems today is the threat of religious extremism spreading through Turkmenistan, which could seriously affect security both within the country and in the Central Asian region as a whole.
06 february 2017
The People’s Liberation Army Navy of China (the PLA Navy) is perhaps the fastest growing and most ambitious navy in the world. After decades of focusing on coastal defence, the PLA Navy is for the first time ever venturing into the world’s oceans and is prepared to fight for supremacy in the region. In order to back up its lofty territorial claims and confirm its status as a means of projecting the country’s power to the world, the PLA Navy has initiated a large-scale programme to build an aircraft carrier fleet.
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