Spheres of Influence in the Eurasian Theater [Cross-posting]

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“This is the first in a series of three working papers produced for our recent Annual Conference Student Webinar: ‘”Conceptual Conversations”: Exploring Russian, European & American Understandings of Core Concepts Underpinning Russia-West Relations’. This first paper is based on collaborative research undertaken by Jocelyn Meakins, Lucia Savchick, Sarah VanSickle and Matthew Reichert, all current post-graduates at the Harriman Institute, Columbia University and the Davis Center at Harvard. The University Consortium’s Annual Conference was hosted by HSE from 30 September – 1 October 2016.”

Published 17 October 2016, Saint Antony’s College, University of Oxford

Read the full piece here: Spheres of Influence in the Eurasian Theater

Russian-American Relations in the Era of the Reset

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On May 22nd, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev delivered a letter from President Putin in response to President Obama’s note. Both leaders stubbornly refuse to make a state trip to either country, so the two correspond by hand-delivered letters. Contents of this latest note have not been made public, but Secretary Patrushev is quoted as saying, “We value the U.S. readiness to ensure transparency of missile defense programs. Yet it is not enough” (ITAR-TASS). This response is indicative of the Russian-American relationship – grudge-based, often one-sided, and not enough for either state. Experts agree the United States has had its fill of appealing to the Russian ego and squabbling over espionage scandals and domestic issues. The two leaders will meet today in Northern Ireland. Syria and ballistic missile defense will be high priority issues, but likely divisive ones. Should the summit prove unfruitful, Obama may back away…

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Inside the Eurasian Union

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Credit Reuters

Vladmir Putin once called the collapse of the Soviet empire “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.” But in Central Asia and Eastern Europe, a new economic union, aimed at collecting the scattered pieces of the Russian Empire, is growing. Should Putin’s Eurasian Union succeed by incorporating all of Central Asia and Eastern Europe minus the Baltic States and Balkans, Russia will effectively hold sway over some of the largest concentrations of natural gas, oil, and uranium in the world.

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On Klitschko (Dec. 19, 2013)

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(Originally here on Policy Mic) In the midst of the upheaval in Kiev’s Maidan square, one man stands particularly tall. At 6’7,” Vitali Klitschko towers over his supporters and opposition alike, and has emerged as a top contender for Ukraine’s next presidential race. But hes no ordinary politician.

Klitschko has a perfect face for politics. With a strong jaw and a heavy brow, he’s been charming Ukrainians for decades on television. He’s spent his career dodging jabs and blows as the world heavyweight boxing champion, and a hero of Ukraine. His knockout rate is second only to Rocky Marciano’s, and he’s lost just two fights of 47. During Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution, his fight with Danny Williams was even broadcast in Maidan so that activists wouldn’t have to miss it.

Last week, Klitschkoset aside his champion belt to focus full-time on Ukraine and his political party, UDAR. His campaign…

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