March 2013

A bailout for Cyprus, a geopolitical failure for Russia

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By Max Fisher

Russia has a few interests at stake in the European Union bailout for Cyprus. The first and most obvious is that Russian citizens stand to lose billions of dollars worth of savings in Cyprus’s banking sector, which serves as a low-tax haven for Russian oligarchs. Those oligarchs, remember, wield outsize political power within Russia. The second is that Cyprus is a political client state of Moscow’s, a helpful little ally on such matters as sending arms to Syria. The third is symbolic, and doesn’t actually have that much to do with Cyprus itself, but with Russia’s standing in Europe.

GEOPOLITICS of China Threatens with Ecologic Disaster

By Arthur Dunn

The processes of the establishment of the Common Economic Space in Eurasia dictates the member-states the need of joint efforts to protect territorial and economic interests of each other. The case is about protection of the states interests in terms of joint use of water resources. Today Russia and Kazakhstan have to face the prospect of deficit of water, which is supplied from transboundary with China rivers.

Nationalists in power

By Florian Embren

The rise of nationalism in that if a country or region depends on the level of drive people, their maturity and ability to develop independently. Without such a foundation in society there will be no national movement, no major party or leader. In this sense, the example of Belgium, is very significant. If you look at the composition of the Parliament, it contains powerful position of Flemish nationalists who want to separate and Francophone nationalists hopeless, despite the proximity to France, where densely rooted nationalism, including in the face of "National Front" Dynasty Le Pen.

A New Reality in U.S.-Israeli Relations

By George Friedman

U.S. President Barack Obama is making his first visit to Israel. The visit comes in the wake of his re-election and inauguration to a second term and the formation of a new Israeli government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Normally, summits between Israel and the United States are filled with foreign policy issues on both sides, and there will be many discussed at this meeting, including Iran, Syria and Egypt. But this summit takes place in an interesting climate, because both the Americans and Israelis are less interested in foreign and security matters than they are in their respective domestic issues.

Searching for the One to Blame for Cyprus

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By Ivan Preobrazhenskij

Who has invented the tax on Cyprus bank accounts, which the Parliament of the island country doesn’t want to approve? The European Central Bank is trying to lay the blame on the President of Cyprus, and he, in his turn, blames the governments of the Eurozone countries. Meanwhile the issue, as well as the accounts in Cyprus banks have hung up for indefinite period, as they have not yet been able to “break” the MPs. Moscow also tries to take part in the resolution of this problem, which was appointed beyond its will as a “title sponsor” of Cyprus stabilization.

NEW OPPOSITION FORCE IN CENTRAL ASIA?

By Alina Kantor

In recent years, Kazakhstan has rocked the whole cycle of high-profile corruption scandals. Often they are involved are those who today is known as an outspoken opponent of the current government. Most of the time to avoid court (because of the timely escape from the country), now consider themselves zealous fighters for democracy in Kazakhstan. Among them are sentenced to significant time for fraud, corruption, murder, the powerful former officials, businessmen and politicians of all stripes.

The Putin Doctrine

By Leon Aron

Much in Russian foreign policy today is based on a consensus that crystallized in the early 1990s. Emerging from the rubble of the Soviet collapse, this consensus ranges across the political spectrum -- from pro-Western liberals to leftists and nationalists. It rests on three geostrategic imperatives: that Russia must remain a nuclear superpower, a great power in all facets of international activity, and the hegemon -- the political, military, and economic leader -- of its region. This consensus marks a line in the sand, beyond which Russia cannot retreat without losing its sense of pride or even national identity. It has proven remarkably resilient, surviving post-revolutionary turbulence and the change of political regimes from Boris Yeltsin to Vladimir Putin.