RUSSIA MONITOR MONTHLY 4/2020

Contents
Can Western Balkans Serve as Role Model of Integration for Eastern Partnership?

Can Western Balkans Serve as Role Model of Integration for Eastern Partnership?

The article is a follow-up to the text by the Jagiellonian Club Przez Bałkany do Brukseli? Przyszłość Partnerstwa Wschodniego [Through the Balkans to Brussels? The future of the Eastern Partnership] whose authors compared the potential of the Western Balkans and the three outstanding Eastern Partnership nations.

The Awakening Of Private Military Companies

The Awakening Of Private Military Companies

Private military companies, or PMCs, are independent corporations that trade military services through a wide range of opportunities they have due to their corporate nature.

Iraq’s Two Rivers

Iraq’s Two Rivers

To those with tenacity to remain hopeful of a peaceful and stable political-operational situation in Iraq, taking seriously the cold and brutal geopolitical realities could benefit from some creative thinking. Incomplete information is a given in policymaking decisions. Fortunately, the solutions need not be perfect – just good enough.

Putin’s Constitution

Putin’s Constitution

With a constitutional overhaul of the balance of power in Russia, Vladimir Putin is pushing to consolidate his eternal grip on power. As Russia is seeing a slew of rifts in its politics, economy as well as social matters, any attempts to repeat its past ‘tandemocracy’, or the joint leadership of Russia between 2008 and 2012, are considered by the Kremlin as far too risky.

The Arctic Icebreaker: Russia’s Security Policy in the Far North

The Arctic Icebreaker: Russia’s Security Policy in the Far North

Whilst the Arctic is a geographical zone that could be labelled as “an area of potential competition between global superpowers”, this alone does not provide full insight into what is really taking place there. One could notice that solely Russia sees it as a key priority while comparing potentials of some of the region’s players, as well as the Arctic’s place on their respective political agendas.

China-U.S. Trade War: Origins, Course and Consequences

China-U.S. Trade War: Origins, Course and Consequences

The COVID-19 pandemic, which has fanned out around the globe since early 2020, has drastically reshaped world policies. Amidst a fast unraveling humanitarian crisis and a massive blow to the global economy, the U.S.-China trade war is now of secondary concern. Yet, it is a result of structural geopolitical rivalries and will strike even more forcefully after the ongoing crisis is over.

The Collapse of the INF Treaty and the US-China Rivalry

The Collapse of the INF Treaty and the US-China Rivalry

Russia’s noncompliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF Treaty, was the top reason for Donald Trump’s administration to pull out of the deal. Nonetheless, the collapse of the agreement has influenced not only the situation in Europe but also in Asia and the Pacific.

New Gas Pipeline Geopolitics in Central and Eastern Europe

New Gas Pipeline Geopolitics in Central and Eastern Europe

The current gas pipeline system in Central and Eastern Europe started to be built in the 1960s. Apart from commercial purposes, it was intended to make the countries of the Eastern Bloc reliant on energy supplies from the Soviet Union. Just like it was asserted in the Falin-Kvitsinsky doctrine, a Moscow-devised strategy that endeavored to substitute military influence with economic pressure.

Dilemmas of Chinese Presence in Central and Eastern Europe

Dilemmas of Chinese Presence in Central and Eastern Europe

Chinese presence in Central and Eastern Europe is part of the country’s broader policy toward the whole continent while fitting into Beijing’s possibilities to exert influence on what so far has referred to as the Western world.

Romanian Presidential Vote: Changes or No Change At All?

Romanian Presidential Vote: Changes or No Change At All?

The past six months brought a few twists and turns in Romanian politics. Incidents like the Social Democratic Party’s (PSD) tied vote in the European elections, a jail sentence for a former leader of this post-communist party, followed by the fall of the cabinet and the establishment of the interim government unleashed what could be referred to as a crisis within the group’s ranks.

Sweden Faces the Russian Threat in the Baltic Sea

Sweden Faces the Russian Threat in the Baltic Sea

By beefing up its military presence in the exclave of Kaliningrad, flying provocative air patrols and by building next legs of the Nord Stream energy pipeline, Russia undermines the security of other countries in the Baltic region. Also, Moscow could take advantage of the pipeline’s energy infrastructure to take subversive actions in the Baltic Sea.

Who Will Bear the Banner of the 5G Revolution?

Who Will Bear the Banner of the 5G Revolution?

This simultaneously provides a range of never-before-seen opportunities and poses a threat to security, morphing into an issue that has ignited political rows around the world.

Poland’s 2019 Parliamentary Election

Poland’s 2019 Parliamentary Election

Held on October 13, 2019, Poland’s general election is first and foremost a success of democracy, as exemplified by crowds rushing to polling stations and a massive rise in voter turnout.

Russia in Africa: Weapons, Mercenaries, Spin Doctors.

Russia in Africa: Weapons, Mercenaries, Spin Doctors.

The Kremlin eyes the African continent as yet another arena of a massive clash with the West, as it did under the Cold War reality. But their competition has now been of a rather practical and economic nature, pushing ideologies somewhere to the margin. Also, Moscow has enjoyed the positive image it had retained in Africa back from the Soviet times.

What’s Next For Turkey’s NATO Membership After S-400 Purchase?

What’s Next For Turkey’s NATO Membership After S-400 Purchase?

Turkey has sealed a military deal with Russia, receiving the first parts of the Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems in the summer of 2019. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan did not bow to pressure from the United States, and Ankara’s determination to acquire Russian-built weaponry will enrage both Washington and its NATO peers.

Russia-Ukraine Prisoner Exchange: Zelensky Caught Into Russian Trap

Russia-Ukraine Prisoner Exchange: Zelensky Caught Into Russian Trap

An actual prisoner swap between Ukraine and Russia is a PR success of Ukraine’s incumbent leader Volodymyr Zelensky, yet it is his Russian counterpart who won politically. The negotiating process of the prisoner exchange, how it was performed and the names of those who were meant to be freed eventually shed a negative spotlight on Ukraine.

Summing up 10 Years of the Eastern Partnership

Summing up 10 Years of the Eastern Partnership

May 2019 marked ten years since the Eastern Partnership was launched as a platform for a mutual dialogue between the European Union and its Eastern neighbors while providing a roadmap for comprehensive actions to be undertaken. Included as part of the forum are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.

INF Treaty: U.S.-Russian Outdated Pact

INF Treaty: U.S.-Russian Outdated Pact

The issue of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) Treaty has surged as one of the critical factors in U.S-Russian relations, contributing to their even greater deterioration while exerting a negative impact on Moscow’s future ties with Washington.

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