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.
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.
The impacts of Brexit on the security and the defence industry in the European Union and the United Kingdom
On the 31st of January 2020 Brexit became a fact. Now with the help of a special transition period both the UK and the EU are actively preparing for the new reality apart from each other.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Since 2014, the Russian Federation has seen an increase in the number of operations per-formed by private military contractors.
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.
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said his country’s rotating presidency of the EU Council was “better than expected,” a remarkable comment that came from the incumbent head of state standing in opposition to Romania’s current government. During its six-month mandate, Romania closed 90 legislative dossiers that led to adopting new legislation. Romania’s presidency overlapped with the tough political period while its success will undoubtedly be helpful for the government before the next elections.
The gaps and discrepancies between China and Russia are so weak that both countries do not see themselves as competitors. However, all disparities in Moscow’s and Beijing’s interests are an obstacle to the two states’ lasting and durable alliance while imposing the construction of a new model of a “system of great states”.
The following report is a part of an international conference “Western Balkans: Infrastructure and Energy from a Geopolitical Perspective” that took place in Warsaw on May 29, 2019. The event was part of the official program of Poland’s presidency of the Berlin Process and served as a preparatory meeting for the 2019 Western Balkans Summit in Poznań.