The Russian president’s annual address to parliament came early this year, on January 15. Since then, Russia and its watchers have hardly stopped talking. Vladimir Putin, who began his presentation by acknowledging a public thirst for change and the need to better support Russian families, closed by proposing constitutional amendments that could alter how Russia is governed. Less than a week later, Russia’s parliament has received draft text for these amendments. After 20 years at Russia’s helm, is its president laying out a path to stay in power, define his succession, or both? And do the changes promised mean a different path for Russia, at home or abroad?… Seguir leyendo »
Nota: Este archivo abarca los artículos publicados por el autor desde el 1 de Abril de 2008. Para fechas anteriores realice una búsqueda entrecomillando su nombre.
Recent events in Syria suggest that Russia isn’t just taking Washington’s place as the Middle East’s power broker – it seems to be doing a more effective job of it, too.
The latest evidence came yesterday, when Vladimir Putin held a meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. As a US-brokered ceasefire in Syria’s north-east expired, they struck a deal to evacuate the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish-led militia, from a buffer zone near Turkey’s border. Russian and Turkish troops will begin patrols of that area, giving them joint control. But while Russian diplomatic skill is to be commended, America’s loss may yet prove Russia’s headache.… Seguir leyendo »
Olga Oliker participated in the 10th EUREN meeting on «The EU, Russia and the future of European security». Based on her presentation, this paper was first published by EU-Russia Experts Network on Foreign Policy (EUREN).
The US and transatlantic relations are an essential part of the European security order. However, attitudes and policies in the US are in flux. The transitional nature of US approaches needs to be taken into account when we are discussing European security today (see also EUREN Chronicle 1, February 2017).
The absence of any single American perspective on Europe is not new. But the reality of many perspectives has become especially clear since Donald Trump’s inauguration as the US President.… Seguir leyendo »
The treaty is out of date and somewhat militarily pointless. Signed by the United States and USSR in 1987, it prevents its signatories and their successors (Russia, the United States, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan) from flight-testing, producing, or deploying ground-launched ballistic or cruise missiles between the ranges of 500 and 5500 kilometers. Despite its name, the treaty applies to both nuclear and conventional systems.
It is pointless because there are no targets that require a ground-launched ballistic or cruise missile of that range. Although they may present more complications, including increased expense, air- and sea-launched missiles, allowed by the treaty, can do the job just fine.… Seguir leyendo »
The ruble’s dramatic decline threatens to plunge Russia into a full-scale economic crisis. President Vladimir Putin has attempted to minimize the difficulties and deflect blame toward the West, but the problem is serious and no one is to blame but Mr. Putin himself. His efforts to destabilize Ukraine have brought painful sanctions upon Russia, reinforced its dependence on oil and isolated its economy.
Yet Russia’s crisis holds both risk and opportunity. The risk is that an economic collapse might lead the Kremlin to lash out more severely against Ukraine and the West. But there is an opportunity to be seized if the ruble’s fragility increases Russia’s readiness to de-escalate the war in Ukraine in exchange for relief on sanctions and revitalized economic ties with the West.… Seguir leyendo »