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Long neglected by all but devoted regional specialists, Turkmenistan has recently begun to matter in
international politics. The reason is a sharp drop in energy prices, which has
turned the gas-rich country into an economic basket case, and the deteriorating
security situation in Afghanistan. Both developments have Russian and Chinese
policymakers concerned about their vital interests in Central Asia.
Professor Stefan Hedlund
Naftogaz, the natural gas
giant that is Ukraine’s largest taxpayer, is again in the news for the wrong reasons. The last two members of its independent supervisory board have resigned,
indicating that vested interests have gained the upper hand over the reformist management
team. What is happening at Naftogaz reflects a broader backlash in Ukraine –
one that, if unchecked, could lead to a restoration of the old guard and
Beijing’s increasing involvement in the Middle East has important economic, diplomatic, and military implications for the region, China and the world. The stakes were highlighted when the Chinese government chose to build its first overseas military base in Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa. President Xi Jinping’s recent visits to Iran and Saudi Arabia drove the poin...
After three decades in power, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda won a fifth consecutive term in February 2016. Uganda has seen significant development under his rule, but the irregularities that accompanied his election have added fuel to political tensions. Whether Ugandan politics follows a path of stability or instability may also depend on the fate of the cou...
Professor Jaime Nogueira Pinto
Russia has been playing a high-stakes political game in North East Asia using talks over a pipeline deal with South Korea and Seoul’s long-term enemy, North Korea, to enhance its bargaining position in talks with China. Moscow’s ambition is to move into the Chinese energy market and it hoped the Korea negotiations would coerce China into agreeing higher prices for ...