July 2015

North Caucasus — a Wall Against or a Bridge for IS?

By Ekaterina Stepanova

Amid the vast ocean of Islamist radicalism, the particular focus given to Islamic State (IS) is merited by its role as the main center of gravity in the transformation of transnational violent jihadism today. Before exploring how this phenomenon is linked to and affects Russia in and beyond the North Caucasus and in the broader Eurasian context, and before examining the character, scale and the contextual limits of such links, it makes sense reflect on IS itself and the plethora of views and interpretations of this movement.

China-India relations: From competition to cooperation


By Selçuk Çolakoğlu

Relations between China and India, the world’s number one and number two most populated countries respectively, have always attracted worldwide attention. Today, these two countries are ranked among the most important economies of not only Asia but the entire globe. China is currently the second largest economy in the world, while India is the seventh. The increasing economic capacities of the two countries continue to boost their weight in global politics as well. In that regard, it is not surprising to see that both have been invited to the G-20, which came into existence as the G-7’s scope was widened. China and India also embarked on a quest to establish a non-Western global economic order by founding the BRIC in 2001 together with Russia and Brazil. This entity, which evolved into what we now know as the BRICS, with the participation of South Africa, has additionally given way to the foundation of a development bank. Likewise, India became a founding member of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which was recently established by China as an alternative to the U.S. and Japanese-led Asian Development Bank.

“Romania can count on NATO” says Secretary General in Bucharest


In a visit to Bucharest on Thursday (2 July 2015), NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg thanked Romania for its considerable contributions to Allied security. At a joint press conference with President Klaus Werner Iohannis, Mr. Stoltenberg described Romania as a “steadfast Ally,” stressing that “NATO counts on Romania, and Romania can count on NATO.”

Putin’s Use of the ‘Nuclear Card’

By Roger McDermott

President Vladimir Putin continues to use strong rhetoric not only linked to what he sees as Kyiv’s “responsibilities” to adhere to Minsk II but also in an increasingly controversial area of Russia’s military modernization: namely the future role of the country’s nuclear deterrent. Moscow has also claimed that Kyiv’s ceasefire violations are not as widely reported as those on the part of the Donbas separatists.

India In The SCO -- Safeguarding Its Interest In Central Asia


By Jan Zalewski

Since coming to office in May 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has placed a fresh emphasis on the country’s foreign relations. In a flurry of foreign trips over the past year, he and senior Indian officials have sought to increase India’s role on the international parquet, with this visiting spree set to continue. In particular, the July 2015 summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Ufa, Russia, holds the promise of full membership for India. China and Russia, the leading members of the SCO, appear to be in favor of accepting both India and its arch-rival Pakistan.