August 2014

Old Europe: nothing new

By Vadim Volovoj

The West tries to reach an agreement on stricter sanctions on Russia, but the Americans do not want to act unilaterally and seek support from the EU. For that it is first of all necessary to get consent of Germany and France; in case of success, it would be easier to convince the British.

Military Development in Transcaucasia: an Arms Race?

By Andrey Frolov

Since late 1980s, Transcaucasia, the region covering Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia, has intermittently been the focal point of flashpoints and low-intensity conflicts, some between the countries themselves (all of which have at times participated in combat). The latest hot conflict dates back to 2008, when Georgia attempted to restore control over South Ossetia, in turn facing a military response from Russia. And who can forget the frozen conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorny Karabakh.    

Ukraine – Major USA Non-NATO Ally?

By Sergey Slobodchuk

The status of the “major USA non-NATO Ally” for Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova has been the informational fake No. 1 lately. Despite the reports of a number of Mass Media yet it is the status of ally is out of question. The US Congress web-site confirms that starting from May 1st, when the Republican Senator Bob Corker together with 26 co-authors registered the project S.2277 officially named Russian Aggression Prevention Act, the situation has not promoted at all: no amendments, no votings.

Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014: Ramifications for the South Caucasus

By Zaur Shiriyev

With the implementation of new Western sanctions against Russia as a result of the continued instability in eastern Ukraine, the other post-Soviet countries are closely monitoring foreign policy developments inside the United States. The rapidly cooling relations between Washington and Moscow were most recently borne out in the bill proposed by Robert Corker, the ranking Republican on the Senate foreign relations committee (congress.gov, May 1). If it passes into law, Senator Corker’s bill—the “Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014”—could precipitate a distinctive, new US approach toward Russia and the wider post-Soviet space.

The End of Consensus Politics in China

By John Minnich

Chinese President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign is the broadest and deepest effort to purge, reorganize and rectify the Communist Party leadership since the death of Mao Zedong in 1976 and the rise of Deng Xiaoping two years later. It has already probed more than 182,000 officials across numerous regions and at all levels of government. It has ensnared low-level cadres, mid-level functionaries and chiefs of major state-owned enterprises and ministries. It has deposed top military officials and even a former member of the hitherto immune Politburo Standing Committee, China's highest governing body. More than a year after its formal commencement and more than two years since its unofficial start with the downfall of Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai, the campaign shows no sign of relenting.

Build Bridges or Borders: Why NATO Cannot Continue with Enlargement Ambiguity

By Steven Keil

The re-emerging security challenges posed by Russia on Europe’s periphery have forced NATO to shake the rust from its aging toolbox and respond to what U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, speaking at the German Marshall Fund’s Transatlantic Talks, called “the greatest challenge to European security that we have seen at least since the Balkan wars.” While conversations on NATO’s transformation, ongoing missions, and expeditionary forces abound in the run up to September’s NATO Summit in Wales, Russia’s contradictory actions of recognizing Ukraine’s government while funding anti-government forces continue to complicate Western responses. Even with the recent agreement on a sanctions package following the downing of MH17, exceptions signal the precarious nature of Western resolve in meeting the crisis directly.