Publications

25.12.2013. A Lop-Sided Power
 Even the Smartest Diplomacy Has Its Limits Resume The main reserves for Russia’s foreign policy and its influence in the next decade lie more than ever in internal development. And this is also where the main threats are, fraught with the risk of losing political weight in the international arena and the status of great power. Several decades ago, Germany’s sharp-tongued ex-Chancellor Helmut Schmidt called the Soviet Union...

12.11.2013. Europe, Russia and the Battle for Ukraine
The Russian idea of a Union of Europe, from Brest in France to Vladivostok on Russia’s Pacific coast, is in the interests of all sides. As I write this article, it is still unclear if the Ukrainian authorities will pardon Yulia Tymoshenko in order to clear the path to signing the Association Agreement with the EU, which includes the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, at the EU Eastern Partnerships Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania in late November. Any number of things could...

28.08.2013. A Doomed "Reset"
The now-on-now-off relations between Russia and the United States in recent years have resulted the termination of their “reset” policy with President Obama’s decision to cancel the planned face-to-face summit with President Putin, which was to be held during a G20 meeting in Russia. Analysts have offered many explanations for this decision. Most of them are correct. Let me list some of them below, and then give my own reasons for it, which I think are more...

19.08.2013. Why do we need national identity?
  During a discussion held last year at the 20 th Assembly of the Council for Foreign and Defense Policy, some Russian participants emphasized the need for its members to start a work to define Russia’s identity. Many council members, who rightly consider themselves an enlightened part of the Russian elite, thought this was a corny idea. Until recently only the most primitive and conservative Russian intellectuals were engaged in the search for a national...

10.04.2013. The Map of the World: Geopolitics Stages a Comeback
Geopolitics as a theory has been almost an outcast for nearly half a century. In Soviet Union it was blacklisted as bourgeois, while in the West it was dismissed as politically incorrect and remained a hobby of provincial university professors, who had no chances of entering the official establishment. In new Russia, the liberal group of political scientists preferred to follow in the footsteps of Western political correctness, while the anti-liberal part – the Eurasians –...

03.04.2013. Foreign Policy 2012: Russia Has Been Lucky Until Now
//Chapter in the Annual Report of the French-Russian Analytical Center Observo

26.03.2013. A ruthless fight for Europe?
EU leaders purposely crushed the Cypriot banking system so as to frighten other debtors Just to get this straight, I don’t have any secret information on the real reason for the Eurogroup’s sudden ultimatum to Cyprus on taxing deposits, that is, to expropriate them partially in exchange for European loans, without which the banking system would collapse. The banking system, in fact, together with the leisure industry, forms Cyprus’ economy. That said, I have my own...

25.03.2013. Russia right to refuse Cyprus bail out but should back strong EU
When the eurogroup of finance ministers first issued its ultimatum to Cyprus demanding a levy on deposits – requiring their de facto partial confiscation – many Russians were indignant. Even Russia’s leaders called the Eurogroup demand absurd, non-professional, unfair and dangerous. The latest rescue plan agreed on Sunday by the eurogroup, which also involves the partial confiscation of deposits, changes nothing. Russian are angry – and have every right to...

18.03.2013. Xi in Russia
MOSCOW – The atmospherics surrounding Xi Jinping’s coming trip to Russia – his first visit to a foreign country as China’s new president – remind me of a slogan from my early childhood in the late 1950’s: “Russia-China, Friendship Forever.” The irony is that, even in that slogan’s heyday, Sino-Russian relations were deteriorating fast, culminating in spasms of combat along the Amur River in Siberia less than a decade later. Is that...

04.03.2013. Fatal Thaws
MOSCOW – During the Cold War, the Soviet Union and, in a milder way, the United States imposed external limits on the activities of states and societies, causing longstanding conflicts among smaller countries to be “frozen.” Following the Soviet Union’s collapse in the 1990’s, those conflicts began to “unfreeze.” With interethnic tensions already on the rise, Yugoslavia was the first country to dissolve into conflict. Soon after, war...

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