Russia’s incursion in Ukraine raised alarm about a new Cold War, deepened with the intervention in Syria and allegations of meddling in U.S. elections. But the Kremlin’s new assertiveness is largely defensive, while Ukraine’s emergence as a nation-state undermines Moscow’s power base. In economic and technological terms Russia is a slow growth country, demographically it is in decline, while President Putin’s political grip is in question.
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Essay: Why Russia’s political regime is not changing, and how it can
The implications of Russia’s agriculture boom
For two decades, oil and gas have been the focus of Russia’s economy. While fossil fuels will retain a key role for the foreseeable future, agriculture is booming and quickly gaining prominence. The Kremlin is touting grain exports as a path for the country to regain superpower status. A close ...
Georgia: Still dreaming
Six years after President Mikheil Saakashvili lost power to his archrival, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, Georgia has kept its pro-Western course in foreign and economic policy. Yet Russia continues to block the South Caucasus nation’s EU and NATO aspirations, and Georgian voters are growing frustrated. Now, a millennials-based protest movement could ...
Unraveling the Crimean knot
Any sensible person can see that status quo in Crimea is unacceptable, while restoration of the status quo ante is impossible. That means the scope of possibilities is very narrow. When looking for the least bad solution for the conflict between Russia, Ukraine and the West, perhaps two wrongs can ...
Opinion: What will Russia do if the U.S. strikes Iran?
Russia is highly unlikely to respond militarily to a hypothetical U.S. attack on Iran. But Moscow has a wide range of options to make Washington pay a steep price for such a disrupting step, and to uphold its reputation in the Arab world as a reliable business partner and geopolitical ...
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Middle East politics
The region, one of the cradles of civilization, is going through a turbulent period of historic realignment. Its powers are vying for political, military, economic and religious dominance with local players and outside actors. Armed conflicts, mainly civil wars, are ...
A trend toward increased government influence in economies and personal life is curbing growth, and freedom, in many Western countries. The outsized role of government results in misplaced incentives, overregulation – which restrains markets and competition – and irresponsible budgetary ...
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Russia's power play
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