There has been much speculation about the possibility of Donald Trump adopting a more conciliatory approach towards Russia when he comes to office, and what this might mean for the future of the Euro-Atlantic community’s relations with Russia.
But if there is uncertainty about the approach Trump will take to both NATO and Russia, Moscow has already been explicit in its views, having recently published a new Foreign Policy Concept which outlines the broad assumptions and directions of Russian foreign policy. A quick glance through the document might cause some in the Euro-Atlantic community to scoff at some of the assertions about Moscow’s professed intentions, whether about maintaining the supremacy of international law and the central role of the UN, Russia’s contribution to peace and security in Europe or the importance of democracy and human rights.… Seguir leyendo »
On 18 September, Russians will go to the polls to elect representatives to State Duma, the lower house of parliament. Candidates from 14 parties will compete for the 450 seats in the first national parliamentary elections since December 2011. They come at a potentially challenging time for the Russian leadership, not least because the Russian economy has endured a long period of stagnation and recession, the effects of which are being felt across the country. Here, Andrew Monaghan tells you what you need to know about the elections.
- The Russian leadership has sought to ‘reset’ political life since flawed elections in 2011.
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Continuity is a defining feature of the Russian political and bureaucratic landscape. Many of the prominent politicians and officials have held senior positions since the mid-to-late 1990s with real reshuffles being comparatively rare, and Vladimir Putin writing publicly of his dislike of firing people.
But recently this apparent continuity has looked increasingly paradoxical, with considerable turnover in personnel, even at senior levels. In late June for instance, senior officers in the Baltic fleet were fired, and in July there were dismissals and appointments of regional personnel.
And now Putin has removed Sergei Ivanov, a member of his core St Petersburg team, from the position of Chief of the Presidential Administration.… Seguir leyendo »
The NATO−Russia Council (NRC) meeting last week provided an important bellwether in the run up to NATO’s Warsaw summit in early July. Dialogue is important, but the disagreements are deep and Russia’s continuing military transformation will pose increasing challenges to the Euro-Atlantic structure.
The NRC meeting, the body’s first in two years and months in preparation, focused on three main questions – Ukraine and Minsk II, transparency and risk, and Afghanistan. Officials suggested that it was a ‘frank, serious and good meeting’ during which both sides could ‘exchange views, listen to each other and contribute to talking’.
But it is no surprise that after the meeting both sides emphasised their disagreements, particularly on the first two themes, and over who was to blame for the deterioration in Euro-Atlantic security and what to do about it.… Seguir leyendo »