Russian Current Economic Situation and Outlook

In the second quarter of 2019, economic growth picked up to 0.9% year-on-year from 0.5% in the first quarter. This was to a large extent due to the basis effect: the second quarter of 2018 saw a moderation of government spending after the presidential elections held in April. Still, GDP growth in the first half […]

Did the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) create a common market for goods, services, capital and labor within the Union?

The views expressed in the article are solely that of the author and may not represent that of Skolkovo, the Higher School of Economics and IIASA.   Being first and foremost an economic integration bloc, arguably the Eurasian Economic Union’s (EAEU) most important aim is to create a single interior market for goods, service, capital […]

EU’s Deafening Silence to the State Capture and Growing Signs of Authoritarianism in Georgia

“I will finish you!” Giorgi Gakharia, the newly appointed Prime Minister of Georgia addressed the parliamentary opposition during his speech on September 6. This simple phrase at first glance describes the level of democracy in Georgia, a country which continues to be considered by the European Union as a success story and the front-runner of […]

Wolodymyr Selenskyjs größte Show

Die Präsidentschaft des Ex-Komikers Wolodymyr Selenskyj erinnert bislang an eine Inszenierung der nächsten Staffel seiner Fernsehserie „Diener des Volkes“. Es gibt aber auch eine gute Nachricht: Die Ukraine wird unter dem politisch unerfahrenen Staatsoberhaupt nicht zerfallen.  Eigentlich wollten Ex-Präsident Petro Poroschenko und zweifache Ministerpräsidentin Julia Tymoschenko, zwei erfahrene Politakteure, die seit rund 20 Jahren die […]

EU Engagement in the South Caucasus: A Brief Stock-taking

This article assesses the EU’s engagement policies by tracing the background of the EU’s external policy-making abilities, by outlining EU objectives relative to the South Caucasus and matching those objectives against major events of the last ten years concerning the region. Finally, certain indicators, elicited by EU and South Caucasus experts, are measured to ascertain […]

Geopolitical honeymoon in Moldova’s foreign policy: how sustainable is it?

The Moldovan ruling parties have never build such a united foreign policy as after ousting the oligarchic regime in June 2019. After the Moscow-backed failed Kozak Memorandum in 2003, the political class was avidly exploiting the geopolitical binary orientation. In return, the elites searched for material benefits, and moral and political legitimization at home – […]

The Gavrilov Crisis

Just about a week ago Georgia looked like just another post-Soviet country with its democracy in decline as its ruling party had all branches of power and most of the media sources under tight control. The economy almost stagnated with only tourism industry showing signs of growth, mostly at the expense of the Russian tourists. […]

Ukraine between Elections

Outcome of presidential elections in Ukraine came as a huge surprise. Comedian Volodymyr Zelenskyy scored 73% of votes, winning by almost 50% margin against incumbent Petro Poroshenko. Along with lack of experience, a new president will have to deal with peculiarities of Ukrainian political system, which places most of power into the hands of the […]

Georgia at a Glance

Georgia, a country once hailed as the regional champion of reforms, now looks rather like a just another post-Soviet republic. At the same time Georgia’s foreign policy has become more mature and balanced, taking into account recent shifts in balance of power, first of all the resurgent Russia. Domestic politics – business as usual In […]

Neutrality as a Model for the New Eastern Europe?

Under some circumstances, the concept of neutrality could serve as a model for Central and Eastern European states. During the Cold War, neutral states managed to stay out of the spheres of influence created by the two military superpowers. There have been suggestions to create a “neutral belt” in the new Eastern Europe that has […]

Politische Krise in der Republik Moldova

Seit dem Pfingstwochenende befindet sich die Republik Moldova in der Staatskrise. Trotz intensiver Bemühungen konnte auch drei Monate nach den Parlamentswahlen keine stabile Regierungskoalition gefunden werden. Nunmehr drohen Straßenproteste, auch eine massive Eskalation ist nicht auszuschließen. Die über Wochen andauernden Koalitionsgespräche zwischen dem Wahlsieger, der als pro-russisch geltenden, Partei der Sozialisten und der drittplatzierten, sich […]

The South Caucasus and the phenomenon of frozen conflicts

The South Caucasus breaks down into three triangles, one inside the other. The largest, outer triangle includes three regional powers – Turkey, Iran and Russia. The middle triangle includes the three countries of the South Caucasus – Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia. The smallest, inner triangle consists of three unrecognized or partly recognized entities or de-facto […]

Frozen conflicts and de facto states in post-Soviet space

The breakup of the Soviet Union did not follow the borders formed during the Soviet period in all cases. In the 1990ies a number of newly independent states, including Russian Federation, have faced severe challenges in the form of separatist movements and even ethno-political conflicts; as a result “de facto entities emerged that have received […]

Die Lage in Osteuropa und der Schwarzmeerregion im Jahr 2019

Russland steht 2019 ganz im Zeichen des schrittweisen Transformationsprozesses des gesamten politischen Systems. Angesichts der Präsidentschafts- und Parlamentswahlen in der Ukraine werden die Versuche einer friedlichen Lösung des Konfliktes im Osten der Ukraine über das Jahr 2019 hinaus fortgesetzt werden, auch eine Konfliktintensivierung kann nicht ausgeschlossen werden. Eine nicht unbedeutende additive konflikteskalierende Rolle in der […]

Die Ukraine: Die gegenwärtige Wirtschaftslage und Ausblick

Dank der boomenden Inlandsnachfrage dürfte das Wirtschaftswachstum in diesem Jahr über 3% liegen, sich aber 2019 aufgrund der geldpolitischen Straffung etwas verlangsamen. Das globale Umfeld wird für die Ukraine immer weniger unterstützend, was auf die Notwendigkeit einer Wiederaufnahme der Zusammenarbeit mit dem IWF hindeutet. Die daraus resultierenden sozialen Auswirkungen können sich jedoch für die Behörden […]