Warsaw Institute Articles
North Korean leader will meet the Russian president for the first time, which is what seems most important about the negotiations scheduled to take place in the Russian city of Vladivostok. Yet no one should expect any groundbreaking conclusions to be made during the summit, a fact that even Kremlin officials seem aware of. This event should, however, be viewed in a general context of Russian-U.S. relations.
The victory of Volodymyr Zelensky in the presidential elections in Ukraine is a better piece of news for Moscow than the possible re-election of Petro Poroshenko. From the Kremlin’s point of view, the current president is “a party of war” and the future one is an unknown. Even though Moscow is cautious about the situation in Kiev, it is visible that they are hoping for a new beginning of the relations with Ukraine.
In accordance with expectations and polls, Volodymyr Zelensky probably won the second round of the presidential elections in Ukraine. What can be a little surprising is the magnitude of the victory: almost three-quarters of voters voted for Zelensky and only one in four voted for his rival.
Vladimir Putin pledged his intention to abolish military conscription in Russia, yet saying that both time and sufficient funds will be necessary to carry out such a revolution. Putin’s declaration is “nothing new under the sun” as the Russian leader has reemphasized his commitment at least several times. None of these promises have been kept so far as the Russian army’s professionalization has emerged as an impractical undertaking.
Launched seven years ago, the sub-regional cooperation 16+1 format, aimed at boosting economic partnership between China and its partners in the Balkans and Central and Eastern Europe encounters, has yet been developing with varying degrees of success. So far, countries such as Hungary, Albania, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia have taken most from the project.
Kirill Seleznev, a close associate of Gazprom’s CEO Alexey Miller and Director General of Gazprom Mezhregiongaz, has been relieved of his post as a Gazprom board member. Seleznev’s dismissal may emerge as an outcome of the infamous Arashukov case, having links to the recent decision to relieve Chechnya’s gas debts. He is the fourth member of Gazprom’s management board to have been sacked over the past few weeks.
Nuclear drills carried out by Russia near Norway’s Lofoten archipelago confirms Moscow’s intention to expand its military activities to the Norwegian Sea, able to pose a threat to NATO strategic maritime corridor running through the UK, Iceland, and Greenland. Oslo has been aware of a growing threat from Russia while boosting its military forces in northern Norway for the fear of land-attack operations from the Russian Kola Peninsula.
Everything indicates that a three weeks gap between the first and the second round of the elections in Ukraine is too short for Petro Poroshenko to catch up Volodymyr Zelensky. The President explained that earlier he had been focused on the competition with Yulia Tymoshenko to manage to reach the second round. After March 31, he has been doing everything to compete with Zelensky.
Although a several month-long anti-corruption investigation in Latvia’s capital city has not yet come to an end, the Mayor of Riga has already fallen victim to the enquiry. The decision to dismiss Nils Ušakovs from office was made by the Minister for Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia, who is granted such a power by law.
Although the Sudanese army has seized power in the country, this has not put an end to social unrest that sparked a few months before. Sudan’s dictator Omar al-Bashir has been put under house arrest while the opposition did not allow a military junta to assume power in the country. Bashir’s political demise may thus put an end to Moscow’s hopes for making Sudan its strategic stronghold in East Africa.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Russia for his third meeting (and second in Moscow) this year with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. During his trip, the Turkish head of state confirmed his intention to purchase Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile system despite the mounting pressure from both Washington and NATO allied countries.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has outlined general plans for the Arctic expansion. Speaking at the International Arctic Forum in St. Petersburg, Putin committed to developing naval ports and routes while expanding the energy sector (LNG) and the Northern Sea Route as a safe and economically viable route for international maritime shipping.
Although it has been over a month since parliamentary elections were held in Estonia, a new government still has not been formed. Contrary to earlier expectations, the two largest parties in the new Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) have not reached an agreement. What is more, it seems very likely that the victorious Reform Party will end up in the opposition.
Facing the pressure from Russia’s major oil producers, with state-run Rosneft at the forefront, the government will probably be likely to boost production starting from the middle of the year.