Georgi Derluguian 07-03-2015
The dramatic protest mobilization in Armenia last week illustrates how much any social movement is an emotional rollercoaster. The protest was triggered by a 17 percent increase in electricity rates. The price hike would surely hurt many impoverished groups in Armenian society. The youthful urbane protesters, however, did not seem the likeliest victims. Theirs was a matter of principle expressed in the angry, simple name of the new social movement: No to...
Alexander Cooley 07-01-2015
(Devex) The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seems on track to begin full operations early next year. This week, 50 of the bank’s founding members signed the articles of agreement formally establishing the world’s newest multilateral financial institution. Held in Beijing, where the bank’s headquarters will also be established, the ceremony wrapped up nearly two years of contentious negotiations, brainstorming and justifications over the...
Viatcheslav Morozov 06-30-2015
Russia’s annexation of Crimea and subsequent support for separatists in eastern Ukraine gave rise to fears that this scenario could be repeated elsewhere. Especially worrisome is the fact that the intervention was justified by the alleged need to protect ethnic Russians, and Russian foreign policy in general has become increasingly focused on the idea of the “Russian world.” Since Russian minorities exist throughout the post-Soviet space, it is possible...
Serghei Golunov 06-30-2015
The Russian economic crisis of 2014-15 has dramatically affected cross-border trade among the three central states of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia (all of which are also members of the EEU’s Customs Union, or CU). For many entrepreneurs, the volatile Russian currency and prices have been a disadvantage. For others, the absence of customs controls between CU members has opened a wide range of opportunities. What has...
Mikhail Troitskiy 06-30-2015
(Russia in Global Affairs) International relations are concerned with national interests and how they evolve. Some researchers insist that there are obligatory and unchangeable interests expressed in terms of power or prosperity. Others suggest reconstructing national interests depending on how a country acts in a particular situation. Still others hold that national interests are relatively stable, but can vary considerably due to external factors, such...
PONARS Eurasia 06-29-2015
(Palgrave Studies in International Relations) The Ukraine crisis in 2014 took many observers by surprise. Its magnitude and implications necessitate a better understanding of the drivers of Russia's actions in international politics. Russia's Foreign Policy: Ideas, Domestic Politics and External Relations analyses the evolution and main determinants of Russia's foreign policy choices. Its various chapters, written by renowned specialists in the field,...
Robert Orttung 06-29-2015
(Freedom House) President Vladimir Putin’s decisions in 2014 to seize Crimea, invade eastern Ukraine, and deepen political repression at home can all be attributed, at least in part, to his fear of losing power after 15 years as Russia’s paramount leader. The Kremlin needed to marshal public support while distracting attention from growing economic problems and preventing any emulation of Ukraine’s protest and reform movement. Russia’s state-controlled...
Andrey Makarychev 06-29-2015
(CIDOB) The ongoing crisis in Russia-Ukraine relations is more often than not discussed in regional security context, with some tendency of either diminishing or even denying its profound reverberations for the entire EU and the whole Euro-Atlantic community. The starting point for my analysis is different: I stem from the momentous implications of this crisis for the entire international society, since its ensuing repercussions are likely to determine...

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