Deciphering another Russia-Turkey deal on Idlib

On March 5 presidents of Russia and Turkey met in Moscow where they managed to reach a new deal on Syrian Idlib. Situation in the province has been escalating for weeks and put into question Russia-Turkey cooperation on Syria. Although, after almost six-hours long negotiations Vladimir Putin and Tayyip Erdogan came to a compromise, the […]

Presidential Elections in Abkhazia: A Competition Beyond the Rule of Law

On 22 March extraordinary presidential elections will be held in Abkhazia, a de facto state recognized by Russia. The main candidates hardly argue about the support from Russia, but the campaign in two rounds will nevertheless be tough. Abkhazian politics is characterized by a very low level of state capacity and by being run by […]

EU-Russian Relations in 2020

There are few reason to expect EU-Russian relations to change dramatically in 2020. The reciprocal bitter views are entrenched on both sides and constitute the new normality. The EU’s occasional statements that no return to the ‘business as usual’ is possible until Russia changes its policies (in particular, in Ukraine) are countered by Russian representatives’ […]

The Transition Generation. Who Will Rule Russia after 2024?

At the turn of the millennium, there was the so-called “Year 2000 problem”. It was expected that computers would “go crazy” and that this would lead to a global economic and transport collapse. However, on 1 January 2000, it turned out that the world had remained the same. The “Year 2024 problem” is quite similar […]

Understanding a New Era in Russia-China Relations

Since mid–late 1990s for several decades Russia-China relations were largely seen in the West as either a tactical move by Moscow and Beijing in the hope of strengthening their positions in dialogue with the US or as an “axis of convenience”, lacking solid basis, especially in economic dimension. Western experts usually assert that sooner or […]

Russia’s position on the US-Iran confrontation. Watching from the sidelines

The escalation of tensions between Iran and the USA in January 2020 has once again raised the question of what positions will the influential actors take. Meanwhile, the international community perceives the US-Iran confrontation within the context of two key topics – the state of the “nuclear deal” and the regional policies of these states […]

Escalation in Idlib Highlights Existing Risks in Russia-Turkish Cooperation in Syria

Recent developments in Idlib put situation in Syria on escalatory trajectory which might potentially undermine Russia-Turkish relations and change entire conflict flow. While Erdogan threatens to launch a military operation against Syrian Arab Army (SAA) if it doesn’t stop offensive in Idlib, Russian and Turkish diplomats and military are struggling to find a new compromise […]

Das Ende Europas, wie wir es kannten? Frankreich will das „alte“ Europa in die Luft jagen. Deutschland zögert. Noch.

Europa wird aus Berlin und Paris regiert. Die Geschichte ist dessen zuverlässigster Zeuge. Wenn man wissen will, wohin das europäische Schiff segelt, dann ist der Fokus auf die Beziehung zwischen dem deutschen Bundeskanzleramt und Élysée-Palast, dem Amtssitz des französischen Staatspräsidenten, entscheidend. Deshalb sollte das Macron-Interview im „The Economist“ ein Paukenschlag für alle Mächte Europas sein. […]

Guter Selenskyj, schlechte Regierung?

Der ukrainische Präsident Wolodymyr Selenskyj bleibt auch 2020 durchaus beliebt. Die Regierung und das Parlament werden dagegen von den Ukrainern gehasst. Ein Alarmzeichen für Selenskyj, der allerdings wenig Konkurrenz aus dem nationalorientierten Lager zu befürchten hat. Er hat größere Probleme: den Machtkampf innerhalb seiner Partei und die Unlösbarkeit des Donbass-Krieges. Die Überraschungen sind in der […]

Post-Soviet Space 2020: Key Trends and Challenges

Due to the shifts within the global environment, including the come-back of the Middle East to the top agenda of great power politics alongside emergent controversies between major international players, the post-soviet space is down-grading in the hierarchy of political interests of non-regional players. As the global attention is mainly focused on other regions, the […]

Ukraine-2020: Little Can Be Said For Sure

The views expressed in the article are solely that of the author and may not represent that of MGIMO-University, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Russian government.   There are numerous uncertainties for the coming year. Will the local elections be held on time? Will the Minsk agreements still be relevant? Will the resolution […]

Ukrainian Political Trends in 2020

2020 is likely to become another challenging year for Ukraine. 2019, a politically turbulent year of two national elections is over; but the politics in the country is still highly unpredictable. State institutions remain weak. Radically new president and the parliament did not bring about significant changes in the ways politics operate. The rules of […]

Die Beziehungen Russlands zur EU 2020

Im Verhältnis EU-Russland wird die gegenwärtige Beziehungsdynamik sowie die 2014 eingeleitete strategische Entkoppelung‘ beibehalten. Im Sinne eines dynamischen Status quo wird die EU-Russland Beziehung einen hybriden, kooperativ-konfrontativen Charakter annehmen und zwischen pragmatischer Kooperation und hybrider Konfrontation oszillieren. In Russland stehen das Jahr 2020 innenpolitisch ganz im Zeichen tiefgreifender Transformation des politischen Systems, inklusive der Fortführung […]

Chinas Belt and Road Initiative – Europas geopolitische Herausforderung des 21. Jahrhunderts

„Wir wollen die Seidenstraßeninitiative vorantreiben, so dass die Menschen auf der ganzen Welt davon profitieren […]. Wir wollen eine Straße des Friedens schaffen.“ So die Botschaft von Chinas Präsidenten Xi Jinping in seiner Eröffnungsrede anlässlich des „One Belt, One Road Gipfels“ am 14. Mai 2017 in Peking an anwesenden Vertreter aus 110 Ländern, darunter 28 […]

Belarus in 2020: Five key political trends

Belarus approaches 2020 with an array of foreign and domestic political challenges, the responses to which will determine the country’s future for many years to come. In this sense, the coming year can become a turning point in a number of dimensions, including the relations with Russia and the EU, the political climate in the […]