Tag Archives: Russia

Putin’s Calculus in Ukraine Like Zero-sum Game

Crimea is more than a flash-point for conflict between Ukraine and Russia. War between Ukraine and Russia has potential regional and global implications. While supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty, the Obama administration must be careful not to escalate tensions. It may be possible, however, to change President Vladimir Putin’s calculus through a combination of carrots and sticks.   Events are fast-moving and …

Read More »

Sochi Olympics’ Questionable Legacy

In 2007, when Sochi was selected to host the Games, Russian President Vladimir Putin guaranteed that they would be a ‘safe, enjoyable and memorable experience’. The Games are very much President Putin’s personal project, designed to showcase the new Russia that has emerged under his leadership over the past decade. However, the Sochi Games have also long been viewed in …

Read More »

Quo Vadis Ukraine?

  The latest crisis in Ukraine broke out in late November with protests against President Viktor Yanukovych’s refusal, under pressure from Russia, to sign a trade pact with the European Union and instead turn to Russia for a $15 billion loan and a significant discount on gas prices. It has been growing ever since with a police crackdown of the protestors, further government restrictions on demonstrations, …

Read More »

EU from Ukraine to Bosnia

Declining to sign an accession agreement with the European Union toward the end of 2013, Ukraine struck a major blow to the West’s wish of pulling the Eastern European country out of Russia’s sphere of influence and control. It was a great gift that Russian President Vladimir Putin got for the new 2014. To save the image of its Eastern …

Read More »

Ukraine’s Path Not Taken

Sometimes history can be too ironic. This week, as Ukraine marked the 80th anniversary of the Holodomor, Stalin’s engineered famine in Ukraine, President Viktor Yanukovich’s government announced that it would not sign a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the European Union at a summit in Vilnius on November 28. Just like that, Ukraine’s chance to transcend its tortured …

Read More »

The Creeping Militarization of the Arctic

Russia’s announcement last month that it was considering reopening a major northern naval base and resuming regular naval patrols has revived a debate over the militarization of the Arctic. In early September, a convoy of 10 Russian warships – led by missile cruiser Peter the Great and accompanied by four nuclear-powered icebreakers – completed a voyage across the Arctic Ocean. Starting from Severomorsk near …

Read More »

Mongolia Joins Shale Revolution, But at What Cost?

  This spring, Genie Energy signed an agreement with the government of Mongolia, under which its subsidiary will explore oil shale over a five year period. Statements to the press have spun the agreement as a way for the country to achieve energy independence from Russia, as Mongolia currently imports 90 percent of its petroleum needs from its neighbor. Estimates have put Mongolia’s oil …

Read More »

Russia’s Pivot to Eurasia And The Battle For Ukraine

Nearly one year after the APEC Summit in Vladivostok, Russia’s trade policy focus seems to have drifted away from the Asia Pacific. Russia has reverted to a relatively silent profile in APEC, showed ambivalence towards the economic dialogue with ASEAN, and suspended negotiations for an FTA with New Zealand after the last negotiating round was held in July 2012. There …

Read More »