Since the outbreak of the EU debt crisis, severe budget constraints and urgent domestic concerns have been seriously affecting Greece’s foreign policy.
The first part of the paper tries to shed light on how structural factors underlying both Greek policy-making and its regional context produce stabilizing effects on the country’s foreign policy. The emphasis is put on the outcomes of the Europeanization process and NATO’s influence on South-eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean.
President Putin's third mandate might be threatened by an increasing discontent. The opposition sentiment remains strong despite the Kremlin's efforts to muzzle dissent. Hopes for a quick change that many protesters had during the winter have waned, but opposition supporters appear ready to dig for a long fight.
The spatial dimension of Russia is crucial in evaluating the consequences of all domestic reforms and external shocks, taking into consideration the territorial size of the country and the degree of interregional disparities. Thus, the recent global economic crisis has shown a significant degree of variation of recovery across Russia’s regions. If true economic modernisation is undertaken in Russia, in the short run it will inevitably lead to an increase of polarisation and fragmentation.
The economic reforming process needed for the passage from Soviet Union to Russia Federation was a hard one with high social costs. By 2012 the economy finally surpassed the pre recession level of 1989 and the budget deficit turned into surplus. Economic growth and political stability along with better conditions of life have been the most relevant improvements of the last decade. Russia again is considered a crucial player in the international system. Despite impressive progress, Russia is nevertheless still struggling with modernization.
After the economic boom in the period 1998-2008, when GDP growth averaged 6.8%, now Russia is recovering from the global crisis faster than most Western economies. Neverthe-less, its recent growth rate of 4% is below-par for an emerg-ing-market economy, and it is not expected to improve.
Russia might have fallen into the so-called “middle-income trap”. The economy of the country is confronted with challenges such as: a declining working-age population, lack of technology, oscillating oil price, reduction of international credit, Europe’s stagnation.