When a huge iceberg broke away from Antarctica in 2017, the New York Times reported that “maps will need to be redrawn”. The 7th continent is warming due to climate change, and it is on its way to becoming more accessible and habitable by the end of the 21st century.
While the “decline of the West” is now almost taken for granted, China’s impressive economic performance and the political influence of an assertive Russia in the international arena are combining to make Eurasia a key hub of political and economic power. That, certainly, is the story which Beijing and Moscow have been telling for years. Are the times ripe for a “Eurasian world order”? What exactly does the supposed Sino-Russian challenge to the liberal world entail? Are the two countries’ worsening clashes with the West drawing them closer together?
Sergey Shargunov, Russian State Duma Deputy, claims that "Russia has a romantic relationship with the Western Balkans". A question follows: are the Western Balkans in love with Russia, too?
Over the last few years, the myth of a Russian “return” to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has captured increasing attention from policy-makers all over the area and beyond, as well as the academic community. This widespread narrative originated, in particular, in the Syrian crisis and the Russian military intervention in the country. After a prolonged period of disengagement from the MENA region, the Syrian crisis provided the Kremlin with a front door to return to a region that has always been of geostrategic relevance to its foreign projection.
On December 16th 2016, there was an unusual – even by the post-coup attempt standards – police presence near the Cagdas art centre in Ankara. It didn’t take me long to figure out what was going on. On that evening, Andrei Karlov, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, was shot by an off-duty Turkish police officer at a vernissage right there at the Cagdas centre. Even if there had been street protests over Russian involvement in the Syrian conflict in Ankara during the previous days, nobody could have ever anticipated such a tragic accident would occur.
The 31 March presidential elections in Ukraine matter to Ukraine, its region and the EU. While the majority of experts deem it impossible to have a winner in the first round and, thus, expect a second one in April, the March contest will be a first important step in the crucial process of determining the direction the country will take. Thus, while we should not hold our breath on election day, we should definitely keep a close eye on the contest and its outcome.
The 31 March presidential elections in Ukraine constitute a test for the stability of the country and the entire region, with repercussions also for the European Union and its relations with Moscow. Five years after the deposition of former president Viktor Yanukovych, Ukrainians are called to evaluate the work of the current president Petro Poroshenko and, more generally, to decide whether and how to continue pursuing the Western-championed reforms.
The upcoming Ukrainian elections are of crucial significance due to their ability to influence the complex structures of regional security and stability. The election results will indeed impact (although to what extent, remains to be seen) the Russia-Ukraine and the wider Russian-EU relations. Given their geopolitical importance, they will surely draw attention from all the significant international actors involved.
Purple posters with three words, “Army, language, faith” have lined the road to the airport in Kiev since last summer. These posters are incumbent President Poroshenko’s campaign slogan and they differ from his previous campaign rhetoric in 2014. Yet, from the perspective of a foreign investor or business partner, the words you would probably prefer to read after landing in Kiev would be something like “Trade, Positive Business Environment, and Transferability of Funds”.