Challenges for Kiev
Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s defeat of Petro Poroshenko in Ukraine’s presidential election had more to do with the economics than relations with Russia. While resolving the conflicts in Crimea and the Donbas region will help boost economic growth, streamlining and cleaning up Ukraine’s bloated and partially corrupt bureaucracy will be the president-elect’s most important challenge.
Putin’s potential contribution to ending the U.S.-North Korea standoff
U.S. President Donald Trump will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin at the APEC summit this weekend. Although allegations of his campaign’s collaboration with Russia during last year’s election has made it hard for Mr. Trump to negotiate with the Kremlin, Mr. Putin’s assistance on the North Korea crisis could prove very useful. It would also be in Russia’s interest. The price the U.S. might have to pay in concessions could be high, but a solution where Washington and Russia cooperate to defuse the North Korea crisis is likely.
Opinion: Crimea as a freehold
What to do with Crimea is a seemingly insoluble problem. With patriotic Russian opinion firmly set in the “Crimean consensus,” returning the territory to Ukraine is out of the question. Letting it remain as part of Russia is equally unacceptable to Ukraine and the West. Perhaps the best place to start is with Crimea’s real owners – the peninsula’s 2.34 million residents.
Ukraine in limbo
Well into the fourth year after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the outbreak of hostilities in Donbas, Ukraine finds itself in a curious state of limbo. There is good news – the economy has bottomed out, the war in the east has frozen at low intensity, and the danger of yet another revolt in Kiev has receded. There is also bad news – rampant corruption is still strangling business, the Minsk peace process is going nowhere, and hopes for reintegrating the separatist-held areas have vanished into thin air.
GIS Dossier: European defense
Europe is already engaged in a hybrid war with an adversary that has several tactical advantages. And the tension between Russia and the West only continues to grow. With terrorism still a worry and the U.S. demanding Europe do more for its own security, the EU remains without a strategy for coordinated defense.
Russia is turning Crimea into a forward bastion, armed with its latest missile, naval and radar technology. The consequences for the region are dire, raising the threat level for several NATO members and consolidating Moscow’s position against Ukraine and Georgia. The Black Sea is now as likely as the Baltics to become the flash point of a confrontation between Russia and the West.
Turkey-Russia conflict has implications for the South Caucasus
When Turkey shot down a Russian warplane in November, the ensuing conflict between the two countries had ripple effects in the South Caucasus and beyond. Turkey made a strong statement of its readiness to defend its interests in a turbulent neighborhood, reinforcing its status as a regional power to be reckoned with. Reactions to the incident on both sides plainly ...
Nato responds vigourously to Russian aggression - but is it the right approach?
It is a contrast of striking dimensions. August 1, 2015 marked the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Helsinki Accords, arguably one of the most important steps towards the creation of a new security order in Europe. Instead of celebration, however, the eve of that anniversary marked the conclusion of a set of large Nato military exercises held in Ukraine’s wes...