Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Russian President Vladimir Putin noted the positive state of bilateral relations April 3 in Moscow and agreed to simplify cross-border trade during Tokayev’s first foreign visit as the head of state.
The post-Cold War order in Europe is finished, with Vladimir Putin its executioner. Russia’s withdrawal from the Treaty of Conventional Forces, its deliberate efforts to block the election monitoring of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and the Kremlin’s refusal to ratify the reform of the European Court on Human Rights (Protocol No 14 to the European Convention on Human Rights), all marked its passing.
Armenia pays a high price for joining the Customs Union.
Following the disintegration of the USSR and the emergence of newly independent states, the Caucasus region, which for years had stayed at the periphery of world affairs, has found itself the focus of attention from influential international players as well as neighboring countries. Former Soviet Transcaucasia republics, which became subject to international law overnight, began to formulate their own national interests and foreign policy priorities. The emergence of independent states in the South Caucasus went hand-in-hand with attempts to advance new regional security mechanisms and new forms of international cooperation.
On June 19, 2013—just hours before President Barack Obama called for further nuclear reductions in Berlin—President Vladimir Putin issued a preemptive rebuttal, stating that we see that work is active around the world on developing high‐precision conventional weapons systems that in their strike capabilities come close to strategic nuclear weapons. Countries that have such weapons substantially increase their offensive capability.
The relevance of the concept of Greater Europe, stretching from Iceland and Norway in the north to Turkey in the south, and from Portugal in the west to Russia in the east, and the prospects for this concept becoming reality were discussed by Irina Busygina, Professor at the Moscow International Relations Institute (MGIMO) and RIAC expert, and Dmitry Trenin, Director of the Carnegie Centre in Moscow and RIAC member.
European diplomats were stunned this week by word that Armenia, which had been heading toward strengthening ties with the European Union, will instead join a customs union led by Russia—handing the Kremlin a victory in its tug of war with Brussels for influence in the region.
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.
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?
Among the six countries in the European Union’s Eastern Partnership program, Azerbaijan under its President Ilham Aliyev seems uniquely impervious to Russian forms of leverage and, consequently, unique in receiving respectful treatment from the Kremlin. These two factors are closely connected in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s view of international relations, derived from his own social milieu. Like a neighborhood bully, Putin respects strength while intimidating those more vulnerable.