Central Asia and Afghanistan 2014: High-Risk Area

By Galia Ibragimova

Afghanistan’s presidential elections on April 5б 2014 did not deliver an outright winner, and the second round is scheduled for late May. Although people in Afghanistan, the adjacent regions and the wider world all cherish the hope that the future Afghan president will usher in an era of improvement and renewed development, many fear that the new leader will be no better than his predecessor, will fail to stabilize the domestic arena, where security remains the key concern. Besides, NATO is set to withdraw most of its contingent from Afghanistan by the end of this year, giving way both to fresh risks and new opportunities. These developments are closely watched by the Central Asian states, not least due to their impact on regional security.

Who Heats Up East?

By Tatyana Stanovaya

While the USA and the EU are imposing new sanctions against Russia, the situation in the east of Ukraine keeps on worsening. “The supporters of federalization” keep on capturing new buildings: in Lugansk almost all administrative facilities are under control of the separatists. The acting President of Ukraine Aleksander Turchinov admitted that Kyiv didn’t control the situation and that Moscow was about to start a war. Against this background the President of Russia Vladimir Putin assured that Russia had nothing to do with the actions of the separatists and expressed his failure to understand the imposing of sanctions by the West.

Can the West find the energy to deter Russia?

By Anne Applebaum

Seven Russians were added this week to the U.S. sanctions list , along with 17 Russian companies. In Brussels, the European Union also lengthened its sanctions list from 33 to 48. Once again, analysts are looking at the names, the assets, the influence of the people targeted. Once again, some ask whether any sanctions can ever work, at least well enough to change anyone’s behavior.