Russia’s Nuclear Revival And Its Challenges

Russia is slowly but surely replacing its aging stockpile of Soviet-era nuclear weapons with an arsenal that’s fit-for-purpose in the 21st century. Richard Weitz of ISN Security Watch reminds us, however, that a weakening Russian economy and less-than-favorable international climate may yet derail Moscow’s efforts to revive its nuclear prowess. Although attention is naturally focused […]

Is the West Risking Financial Blowback From Sanctions on Russia?

The spectacle of insanely authoritarian policing in Ferguson, as well as media jitters over ISIS and ongoing reports of action in Gaza and Ukraine, has shifted attention a bit away from simply lousy economic results from Europe. A Financial Times overview: This year was supposed to be the year the eurozone recovery took root – gathering […]

Japan Finally Gets Tough On Russia

By Amy Gleich: Last week in Tokyo, during a meeting of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet, Japan chose to impose harsher sanctions on Russia. The decision took effect immediately after the meeting on August 5. The sanctions focus on 40 individuals and two companies. A statement from the Japanese government outlined the scope of the sanctions, saying “assets held […]

Putin Hails ExxonMobil’s ‘Cooperation’ in Arctic Despite Sanctions Regime

By Andy Tully: Russian President Vladimir Putin is praising ExxonMobil as a paragon of “cooperation” for beginning work on a project to drill for oil in the Arctic despite stiff Western sanctions on Russian oil companies. “Today, commercial success is driven by efficient international cooperation,” Putin said July 9 from his Black Sea residence in […]

Ukraine Considers Restricting Russian Gas Deliveries To Europe

By Andy Tully: Ukraine is planning to impose sanctions on Russia that might include an effort to starve its larger and richer neighbor of income by stopping the flow of Russian gas through Ukraine to customers in Western Europe. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk told reporters on Aug. 8 that his government is proposing sanctions against 172 […]

Who Needs Russia? Ukraine Will Destroy Itself With New Gas Tax

Ukraine doesn’t need Russia to take it down—Kiev is doing fine destroying itself, most recently with a new tax code that doubles taxes for private gas producers and promises to irreparably cripple new investment in the energy sector at a time when reform and outside investment were the country’s only hope. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko […]

Russia’s Eurasian Vision

NEW YORK – The escalating conflict in Ukraine between the Western-backed government and Russian-backed separatists has focused attention on a fundamental question: What are the Kremlin’s long-term objectives? Though Russian President Vladimir Putin’s immediate goal may have been limited to regaining control of Crimea and retaining some influence in Ukrainian affairs, his longer-term ambition is […]

Links and Levers: How the Caucasus and Central Asia Are Tied to Russia

By Alberto Behar: (Version in Русский) The countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) are closely linked with Russia through trade, financial, and labor market channels. These ties have served the region well in recent years, helping it make significant economic gains when times were good. But how is the region affected when Russia’s economy slows […]

Europe’s Russian Connections

By Aasim M. Husain, Anna Ilyina and Li Zeng: The conflict in Ukraine and the related imposition of sanctions against Russia signal an escalation of geopolitical tensions that is already being felt in the Russian financial markets (Chart 1). A deterioration in the conflict, with or even without a further escalation of sanctions and counter-sanctions, could have a substantial […]

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