President Poroshenko’s power consolidation—and pushback against it—is the hallmark of Ukrainian politics heading toward elections in 2019. Yet reform progress is being made, even if the pace remains slow.
For all its bellicose talk and new sanctions against Nicolás Maduro’s government, the Trump administration has been oddly silent about Russia’s role, perhaps preferring not to draw attention to the fact that Moscow is now the bankrupt nation’s lender of last resort.
The conventional wisdom is that relations between Russia and Hungary are unusually positive and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is looking to Vladimir Putin’s Russia for inspiration for his illiberal state. Looks can be deceiving, though.
The EU must engage prudently with its Eastern European neighbors to encourage progress toward rules-based democratic governance while supporting their sovereignty in their dealings with Russia.
Russia’s renewed activism isn’t about dictating events in particular corners of the world. It is about exploiting opportunities to undermine and hollow out the U.S.-led international order, with its norms of economic openness, democratic accountability and the rule of law.
Conventional wisdom holds that the present situation in Washington is unprecedented. But veteran Russia-watchers have seen this before. They remember Russia in the 1990s.
Consumed by domestic controversies and growing foreign policy crises in North Korea and the Middle East, the Trump administration has put little effort into developing a new policy approach towards Central Asia.
Russia’s relations with China have undergone a complete transformation in the past quarter century and have developed into a genuine strategic partnership, despite the Kremlin’s junior partner status.
While it’s hard to predict what will happen when Trump and Putin meet at the G-20, both leaders could potentially claim success without resolving the core issues that divide them.
Even if it won't rebuild an imperial state, Moscow has many tools at its disposal to influence the political, economic, social, and foreign policy trajectories of its neighbors.