December 2014

Crimea Becomes Frontline of Russian Defense

The Under Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller accused Russia in militarization of Crimea, and the official Representative of the NATO Military Committee Chairman Capitan  Dan Termansen of “non-transparency it military actions”. Meanwhile during the meeting with the military attaché the Head of the Russian General Staff Valerij Gerasimov stated that Russia was concerned about NATO’s activity by its borders. Naturally there is something true within these mutual blames. As a result a situation has developed, which is able to lead to a direct military conflict in the peninsula, included into the Russian Federation six months ago.

North Atlantic Council and Gulf partners discuss greater cooperation to deal with security challenges

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The 28 members of the North Atlantic Council and its partners of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative discussed common security challenges and ways for closer cooperation to deal with them during a conference on Thursday (11 December 2014) in Doha, to commemorate the tenth anniversary of this partnership.

Factor of Vladimir Putin

Personality of Vladimir Putin has key influence on decision-making in Russia, so the factor of President is the most significant in course of analysis of political-economic processes, as well as relations with West. It seems that mutual distrust between Putin and West (that was expressly demonstrated in Brisbane) is a long-term factor. Since the beginning of his function as President Putin was oriented on approach with West on the terms of Russia, on strengthening in G8, which was perceived as an elite international club. Also developed personal relations between Putin and a number of Western leaders (Chirac, Shroeder, Berlusconi), grounded on mutual trust also played significant part. As a result in 2007 Putin made a landmark decision, as he thought, not only not to change the Constitution for the sake of his third term, but to suggest for the role of the successor Dmitry Medvedev who was the most acceptable for West from all possible candidates.

China’s Soft-Power Deficit Widens as Xi Tightens Screws Over Ideology

By Willy Lam

Even for a country that is notable for its myriad contradictions, the gap between China’s hard and soft power has never been more pronounced. The year 2014 has witnessed the kind of global hard-power projection that is unprecedented in recent Chinese history. The two-year-old Xi Jinping administration has used China’s growing economic and military might to impose its stamp on the world order. Yet the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) increasingly draconian efforts to impose ideological control on 1.3 billion Chinese has not only stifled their creativity but also detracted from the worldwide appeal of the “China model.”

Opinion: The US leaves Europe behind on growth

By James K. Galbraith

Fifteen years ago there would have been an immediate confident mainstream answer. The United States was then celebrated for its flexible labor markets, while Europe was said to suffer from rigidity, known as Eurosclerosis. In a 1999 paper that has been cited over 2,000 times, economists Olivier Blanchard and Justin Wolfers argued that these differences of "institutions" conditioned the responses of the two regions to "external shocks." Thus the US, with more flexible institutions, would rebound from an event like the Great Financial Crisis, while Europe would be expected to linger in stagnation.