September 2013

China, What's Next?

By Joshua Kucera

When Tajikistan announced in January that it was giving some of its territory to neighbouring China, the news raised eyebrows around Central Asia. Not because the land itself was significant—it was just 1000 square kilometres of mountainous, uninhabited territory—but because it served as a symbol of what many Central Asians fear is a slow, steady takeover of their countries.

Baltic sea region promoted as new model

The Baltic Development Forum Summit meets every year, bringing representatives from all the nations bordering the sea together for talks ranging from economic development, environmental protection, to security concerns. This year the Forum met in Riga, attended by regional politicians, businesspeople, educators and scientists. The Baltic Sea countries have seen their status grow during these years of global crisis, as they’ve weathered it rather well, and are beginning to believe that they may have an economic model the rest of the world can benefit from. With this in mind, the approximately 600 participants congregated to discuss ‘new realities and new opportunities’ to enhance competitiveness, investment and business development in the region.

Russia Leans on Its Neighbors

By Stephen Blank

You may have missed it, but on Aug. 14 Russia fired an economic shot across the bow of Ukraine. On that day, Russia’s customs office ordered intensive checks on all Ukrainian goods entering Russia, effectively imposing a de facto ban. This could have ended up costing Ukraine as much as $2.5 billion in lost trade by the end of the year.

Putin Pivots Away From U.S. and Toward the East

By Anton Barbashin

The U.S. should seriously consider how to build a new relationship with Russia. After the episode with former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden and the postponement of the bilateral summit, Washington should take a sober look at the facts. Was the Snowden episode unique and did it change the overall logic of recent U.S.-Russian relations? Has the "reset" succeeded in ridding those relations of Cold War-era stereotypes and approaches?