Putin’s foreign policy goal has been Russia’s return as a world power. The UN is a positive platform for this, but Russia’s rejection of external norms has paralyzed the institution.
After taking power in 2016, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev quickly recognized that growing socioeconomic discontent could destabilize his regime, so he launched a preventative program of political and economic reforms.
Over the past two decades, and especially since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014, the Kremlin has intensified its engagement with international institutions.
Russia squandered close ties with the South African government by overplaying its hand and getting caught up in a corrupt nuclear energy pact.
While Azerbaijan will not become a Western-style liberal democracy anytime soon, recent trends point to a society that is changing—and a government that may now recognize the need to change along with it.
Russia and China’s strategic military cooperation is becoming ever closer. President Putin has announced that Russia is helping China build an early warning system to spot intercontinental ballistic missile launches.
Russia has returned to the Middle East as a major power player. Yet its toolkit is modest, providing an opening for the United States to correct its recent policy changes.
The reemergence of Russia as a major power broker in the Middle East is striking because for a quarter century after the Cold War, Russia had been absent from the region. But Russia’s absence, and not its return, is the anomaly.
The Kremlin is riding high in the Middle East, where Russia’s military intervention in Syria has changed the course of the country’s civil war. The Kremlin’s actions in the Middle East have deep historical roots, but potential Russian influence should not be over-exaggerated.
Putin’s main goal was to rattle the United States and Europe, which have taken Russia’s decades-long absence from Africa for granted.