The disqualification of opposition candidates ahead of an election to Moscow’s city duma on 8 September have spurred the largest protests seen in the city since 2011–12. Increasing waves of mass protests reached around 50,000 participants on 10 August, and there is no sign of them stopping. Nikolai Petrov explains the implications of these protests and the Kremlin’s response.
Why have these protests emerged now?
Since the announcement of pensions reform last year [when the government raised the retirement age without public discussion or explanation, to widespread outcry], there has been huge disappointment with the government in general and Putin in particular, which has led to a decline in Putin’s approval ratings.… Seguir leyendo »
How have the methods of political control of the Russian elite changed over the past few years?
Starting from 2014, what I would call political repression has become more common, and it has become a very important tool. There has been a stable, high level of arrests within certain groups of elites – or even in some cases, a spiral of repression where the number and intensity of the punishments continually increases.
If you look at the targets, you can see that these people are not the most corrupt, nor did they violate any informal ‘rules of the game’. They were chosen just to send signals to certain groups within the elite, whether that be corporate leadership or governors and regional political elites – or even officers in the security services.… Seguir leyendo »
Georgina Wright tells Jason Naselli that the draft withdrawal agreement shows more concessions from the EU than were expected.
Much of the current debate around Brexit is about the withdrawal agreement, but actually the withdrawal agreement is just the first part of continuing negotiations between the UK and the EU. So, after seeing the draft agreement, released on 14 November, is the shape of the future trade relationship any clearer?
The only thing that is clear is that the UK and EU can’t start talking about the future until a withdrawal agreement is in place and it has gone through the British parliament.… Seguir leyendo »
Robin Niblett talks to Jason Naselli about the key fault lines between the US president and his allies, as President Trump heads to the NATO summit, a visit to the United Kingdom and a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Is NATO fit for purpose? This question has been around since the end of the Cold War, but with continuing disagreement over defence spending and burden-sharing, the alliance is appearing increasingly dysfunctional. What is the path forward?
The irony is that NATO is increasingly fit for purpose as a military alliance. But the political alliance it is meant to represent is being called ever more into question.… Seguir leyendo »
The commander of Allied Joint Force Command Naples and US Naval Forces Europe and Africa, James Foggo, speaks with Jason Naselli about how military intervention is changing and how NATO is preparing for future threats.
Are the days of large-scale Western military interventions over?
No I don’t think they are because we can’t predict with 100 per cent accuracy what the next threat will be, or work out where the next war will be. So what’s important, as [the NATO] alliance, is that we remain strong.
The motto that I grew up with in the alliance came from my time with Admiral [James] Stavridis [former supreme allied commander Europe].… Seguir leyendo »
Simon Coveney, Republic of Ireland minister for foreign affairs and trade, speaks with Jason Naselli about his government’s approach to the border, the Conservative/DUP deal and the ‘Brexit bill’.
What is the Irish government’s preferred solution with regards to the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic if the UK leaves the EU customs union?
Our preferred solution is that we find a way of maintaining as close to the status quo as possible. We don’t believe we can do that by simply using technology on the border. There needs to be quite a unique political solution agreed between Ireland, the UK and the EU that can allow the free movement of goods and services and people, and the normal environment that has been created in the border area on the island of Ireland, to continue.… Seguir leyendo »