Andrey Makarychev 25 May 2013
This looked like an idyll: Armenians and Azeris, Russians and Georgians, add Turks and Armenians, for four days of discussion on such flammable issues as religion, democracy, and nationality in the Southern Caucasus. This group met in Tbilisi for a seminar convened by professors Ansgar Joedicke (University of Freiburg), Evert van der Zweerde (University of Nijmegen), and Alex Agadjanian (Moscow). Both the intensity of communication between...
Nona Shahnazarian 17 May 2013
Is Georgia's decision to participate in the Sochi Olympics a realpolitik achievement or a defeat for civil society? On his visit to Yerevan in January, Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili expressed enthusiastic approval for his Armenian colleagues’ policies of balance and complimentarism over the last two decades toward a wide range of international actors, including the United States, Russia, Georgia, Iran, and the EU. It seems obvious...
Sergey Markedonov 17 May 2013
(The National Interest) Sochi borders Abkhazia, a de facto breakaway region of Georgia, which is itself a major strategic partner of the United States, the European Union and NATO. Abkhazia’s statehood and national independence have both been recognized by Russia, making the athletic events at Sochi into a major geopolitical issue. The Georgian authorities have many times called for a boycott of the Olympics, drawing comparisons between the...
(Ifri report) It may appear that Russia is equally dissatisfied with both Western security’s presence in and its departure from Afghanistan planned for 2014, but whether the Western withdrawal is seen as more of a gain a loss depends on how Moscow itself assesses and balances its own security concerns in the region: instability, extremism and narcotics. At the same time the spill-over of violence and extremism does not pose a direct threat to...
Pavel Baev 14 May 2013
(Eurasia Daily Monitor) Russia has captured much political attention in the West in the last few days because of its allegedly central role in the deadlocked civil war in Syria. Yet, in the domestic debates—boiling hot despite the holiday season—Syria is barely present, while the major point of contention is the sacking of Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov. No direct connection between these two foci of anxiety could possibly exist, but...
PONARS Eurasia 13 May 2013
PONARS Eurasia members discuss the Russian Duma's “foreign agent” NGO law and references to the U.S. Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA; 1938). The FARA database can be searched here: http://www.fara.gov/quick-search.html U.S. embassy overview about FARA and U.S. laws on NGO foreign funding: http://egypt.usembassy.gov/ngos.html Comments by PONARS Eurasia members: — The FARA database covers all listings for the entire 75 years FARA has...
Sergey Minasyan 13 May 2013
There has been a certain uptick of information in the Russian and western media about recent Russian military activities in the North and South Caucasus. Russia’s air force, Black Sea fleet, 102nd Russian regiment (based in Armenia), as well as its 4th (in South Ossetia) and 7th (in Abkhazia) held several simultaneous maneuvers. There has also been news that Russia's Southern Military District’s forces, whose responsibility includes the entire...
Andrey Makarychev 09 May 2013
May 9 is Victory Day for Russia and Europe Day for the EU. These continental celebrations, however, form an indicative illustration of how far away from each other Moscow and Brussels are – not only symbolically, but politically as well. While Russia celebrates its past military strength, Europe valorizes peace and unity. Apparently, this distinction is crucial for understanding identities of the two political communities – one is more...

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