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Russia and Eurasia

The end of the Cold war marked the beginning of a new paradigm in US-Russian relations, which is no longer based on ideological chasm, but on geopolitical rivalry. While the U.S. was willing to embrace Russia in a new partnership, Moscow’s support of Iran’s nuclear weapons program; Syria’s Assad regime; pursuit of a "privileged sphere of interests" in the former Soviet Union and Central Europe, vociferous opposition to NATO missile defense; and internal repression, make such a relationship difficult.

Our Research & Offerings on Russia and Eurasia
  • Issue Brief posted August 14, 2015 by Luke Coffey The Perfect Opportunity to Advance the U.S.–Georgian Defense Relationship

    U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter will meet with his Georgian counterpart, Tinatin Khidasheli, the week of August 17. Having recently been appointed as defense minister (and the first female defense minister in Georgia’s history), this will be Khidasheli’s first meeting at the Pentagon in her new role. Georgia has been a steadfast ally of the United States, and…

  • Testimony posted April 15, 2015 by Helle C. Dale Russia’s “Weaponization” of Information

    Testimony Presented to the House Foreign Affairs Committee April 15, 2015 Helle C. Dale My name is Helle Dale. I am Senior Fellow for Public Diplomacy in the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own, and should not be construed as representing any…

  • Issue Brief posted February 12, 2015 by Luke Coffey, Nile Gardiner, Ph.D. The United States Must Be Ready to Send Weapons to Ukraine

    As Russian-backed forces make territorial gains in eastern Ukraine, and as a ceasefire agreement was reached in Minsk, Belarus, between Kyiv and Moscow, there is intense debate in Washington about whether to send weapons to the Ukrainian military. There is no reason to believe that the ceasefire agreement will last when many such agreements have failed in the past. At…

  • Issue Brief posted December 16, 2014 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis Addressing Russia’s Continued Pernicious Actions Abroad

    Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea and its continued aggression against Ukraine are proof of what many already knew, the failed “Russian reset” policy is dead, and Russia’s actions continue to destabilize its neighborhood. In place of the reset, the U.S. needs to implement a comprehensive long-term strategy for addressing a revanchist Russia. To highlight the…

  • Commentary posted December 15, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. Crazy talk isn't just crazy

    Kim Jong Il, the former leader of North Korea, once made 11 holes in one in a round of golf. On a well-publicized scuba dive, Vladimir Putin, Russia's president, happened to find two ancient artifacts. Iran's Supreme Leader claims the United States, Britain, and Israel created the Islamist rebels in Syria. Dictators say a lot of crazy things. Some are silly, some are…

  • Issue Brief posted December 9, 2014 by Luke Coffey The U.S. Must Counter Russian Influence in the Balkans

    The Balkans region continues to be an area of instability in Europe. Although security in the region has improved dramatically since the 1990s, sectarian divisions remain and have been exacerbated by sluggish economies, high unemployment rates, and endemic political corruption. Moscow has exploited these tensions in an effort to advance a pro-Russia agenda with the goal…

  • Issue Brief posted December 2, 2014 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis Russia’s Provocations in the Nordic-Baltic States: The U.S. Needs a Strategy to Support the Region

    Russia’s aggressive posture against its neighbors has a profound impact on U.S. allies in the Nordic and Baltic region. The Baltic states are on NATO’s front line, and view Russia as an existential threat. Nordic states, especially non-NATO members Finland and Sweden, have felt Russian pressure this year. Lately, three issues have kept tensions running high in the region:…

  • Issue Brief posted November 26, 2014 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine: The U.S. Needs a Strategy

    In November 2013, the former Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, postponed signing an Association Agreement with the European Union after receiving an ultimatum from Moscow to choose between closer ties with Europe or Russia. One year later, Yanukovych is out, a pro-Western government is in power, Russia has illegally annexed the Crimea, and the Ukrainian oblasts of…

  • Issue Brief posted November 26, 2014 by Luke Coffey Russia and the South Caucasus: A Situation the U.S. Cannot Ignore

    While the U.S. and NATO are focused on Russian activity in Central and Eastern Europe, there are three developments in the South Caucasus that merit closer attention: (1) recent political instability in Georgia; (2) possible Russian annexation of Georgian breakaway territories; and (3) increasing tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Armenian-occupied…

  • Commentary posted November 18, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. Russia's Aggression Isn't Stopping in Ukraine

    NATO confirmed on Wednesday that Russian tanks were moving into rebel-controlled eastern Ukraine. But Russia's aggression under Vladimir Putin didn't begin in Ukraine and, unless the West stops vacillating, it won't end there, either. After the 2003 Rose Revolution, the nation of Georgia, in the Caucasus, became a staunch American ally. But in 2008, it was invaded and…

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  • Backgrounder posted June 14, 2013 by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D. Russia’s Eurasian Union Could Endanger the Neighborhood and U.S. Interests

    In the fall of 2011, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed forming a Eurasian Union (EAU) with Kazakhstan and Belarus. In November 2011, the presidents of these three countries signed an agreement to launch the Eurasian Union and make it fully operational by 2015. Stretching from the Polish border to the Pacific, the length of the former Soviet Union, the new Eurasian…

  • Issue Brief posted May 19, 2014 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. The Russian Economy Stares into the Abyss

    For the Russian economy, winter has come early this year. After cruising at a respectable 3–4 percent rate of growth earlier this decade, Russia’s pace of expansion sharply decelerated toward the middle of 2012. According to Alexei Ulyukayev, the minster of economic development, the economy contracted for the first time since the 2008 recession during the first quarter of…

  • Backgrounder posted March 12, 2009 by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D. How the Obama Administration Should Deal with Russia's Revisionist Foreign Policy

    Barack Obama and Joe Biden will address the challenge posed by an increasingly autocratic and bellicose Russia by pursuing a new, comprehensive strategy that advances American national interests without compromising our enduring principles. --"Meeting the Challenges of a Resurgent Russia"http://www.barackobama.com President Barack Obama has…

  • Backgrounder posted September 16, 2010 by Sally McNamara Russia’s Proposed New European Security Treaty: A Non-Starter for the U.S. and Europe

    Abstract: In several ways, Russia’s proposed new European Security Treaty would undermine European security—the opposite of its stated purpose—not least of all by sharply limiting NATO’s ability to act and to accept new members. Instead of adding to the existing European architecture and treaties, the U.S. and its European allies should work to advance relations with…

  • Issue Brief posted December 9, 2014 by Luke Coffey The U.S. Must Counter Russian Influence in the Balkans

    The Balkans region continues to be an area of instability in Europe. Although security in the region has improved dramatically since the 1990s, sectarian divisions remain and have been exacerbated by sluggish economies, high unemployment rates, and endemic political corruption. Moscow has exploited these tensions in an effort to advance a pro-Russia agenda with the goal…

  • Backgrounder posted November 5, 2007 by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D. Europe's Strategic Dependence on Russian Energy

    Russia is consolidating its grip on oil and gas-the economic lifeblood of Europe. Moscow is pursuing a comprehensive strategy that could increase Europe's political and economic dependence on Russian energy. Such dependence could negatively affect transatlantic relations, common values, goals, strategic objectives, and security policies. Without a policy dialogue…

  • Backgrounder posted January 5, 2012 by Sally McNamara The Failure of the “Russia Reset”: Next Steps for the United States and Europe

    Abstract: The policies of the United States and the European Union should encourage and support Russian civil society and Russia’s democratic modernizers. And, if Russia continues to abrogate its international commitments to basic freedoms and human rights, the U.S. and the EU must stand up for democratic values and make it clear that Russian aggression will not…

  • Backgrounder posted March 25, 2014 by Nile Gardiner, Ph.D., Jack Spencer, Luke Coffey, Nicolas Loris Beyond the Crimea Crisis: Comprehensive Next Steps in U.S.–Russian Relations

    After three months of mass street demonstrations, the Ukrainian people succeeded in ousting their corrupt and incompetent president, the Kremlin-backed Viktor Yanukovych. On February 22, the Ukrainian parliament acted in favor of the people it represents by granting amnesty to all political prisoners, bringing back the constitution of 2004 (which reduces the powers of the…

  • Special Report posted November 26, 2013 by James M. Roberts, Ariel Cohen, Ph.D., Jonathan Blaisdell The Eurasian Union: Undermining Economic Freedom and Prosperity in the South Caucasus

    The Southern Caucasus—Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia—is in Russia’s geopolitical crosshairs. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who once called the demise of the Soviet Union “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the [20th] century,”[1] is seeking economic and political alliances to restore Russia’s power in what then-President Dmitry Medvedev called its traditional…

  • Executive Memorandum posted February 28, 2005 by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D. Russian Oil After YUKOS: Implications for the United States

    The Russian oil and gas sector's new paradigm can be summarized in two words: "state domination." The free-market paradigm has been abandoned. In December 2004, the tax authorities bankrupted YUKOS, a major oil company, for alleged tax arrears and sold its main production unit, Yuganskneftegaz, to the state-owned oil company Rosneft, using a straw company as an…

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  • Issue Brief posted August 14, 2015 by Luke Coffey The Perfect Opportunity to Advance the U.S.–Georgian Defense Relationship

    U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter will meet with his Georgian counterpart, Tinatin Khidasheli, the week of August 17. Having recently been appointed as defense minister (and the first female defense minister in Georgia’s history), this will be Khidasheli’s first meeting at the Pentagon in her new role. Georgia has been a steadfast ally of the United States, and…

  • Testimony posted April 15, 2015 by Helle C. Dale Russia’s “Weaponization” of Information

    Testimony Presented to the House Foreign Affairs Committee April 15, 2015 Helle C. Dale My name is Helle Dale. I am Senior Fellow for Public Diplomacy in the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own, and should not be construed as representing any…

  • Issue Brief posted February 12, 2015 by Luke Coffey, Nile Gardiner, Ph.D. The United States Must Be Ready to Send Weapons to Ukraine

    As Russian-backed forces make territorial gains in eastern Ukraine, and as a ceasefire agreement was reached in Minsk, Belarus, between Kyiv and Moscow, there is intense debate in Washington about whether to send weapons to the Ukrainian military. There is no reason to believe that the ceasefire agreement will last when many such agreements have failed in the past. At…

  • Issue Brief posted December 16, 2014 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis Addressing Russia’s Continued Pernicious Actions Abroad

    Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea and its continued aggression against Ukraine are proof of what many already knew, the failed “Russian reset” policy is dead, and Russia’s actions continue to destabilize its neighborhood. In place of the reset, the U.S. needs to implement a comprehensive long-term strategy for addressing a revanchist Russia. To highlight the…

  • Issue Brief posted December 9, 2014 by Luke Coffey The U.S. Must Counter Russian Influence in the Balkans

    The Balkans region continues to be an area of instability in Europe. Although security in the region has improved dramatically since the 1990s, sectarian divisions remain and have been exacerbated by sluggish economies, high unemployment rates, and endemic political corruption. Moscow has exploited these tensions in an effort to advance a pro-Russia agenda with the goal…

  • Issue Brief posted December 2, 2014 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis Russia’s Provocations in the Nordic-Baltic States: The U.S. Needs a Strategy to Support the Region

    Russia’s aggressive posture against its neighbors has a profound impact on U.S. allies in the Nordic and Baltic region. The Baltic states are on NATO’s front line, and view Russia as an existential threat. Nordic states, especially non-NATO members Finland and Sweden, have felt Russian pressure this year. Lately, three issues have kept tensions running high in the region:…

  • Issue Brief posted November 26, 2014 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine: The U.S. Needs a Strategy

    In November 2013, the former Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, postponed signing an Association Agreement with the European Union after receiving an ultimatum from Moscow to choose between closer ties with Europe or Russia. One year later, Yanukovych is out, a pro-Western government is in power, Russia has illegally annexed the Crimea, and the Ukrainian oblasts of…

  • Issue Brief posted November 26, 2014 by Luke Coffey Russia and the South Caucasus: A Situation the U.S. Cannot Ignore

    While the U.S. and NATO are focused on Russian activity in Central and Eastern Europe, there are three developments in the South Caucasus that merit closer attention: (1) recent political instability in Georgia; (2) possible Russian annexation of Georgian breakaway territories; and (3) increasing tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Armenian-occupied…

  • Issue Brief posted October 21, 2014 by Daniel Kochis Countering Russian Propaganda Abroad

    Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has highlighted a Russian foreign policy approach that integrates raw military strength with a myriad of soft power tools to pressure adversaries. A key element of Russian soft power is the use of state-sponsored media to influence foreign audiences. Russian propaganda, often masquerading as legitimate news, is disseminated through…

  • Special Report posted September 17, 2014 by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D., Ivan Benovic, James Roberts Russia’s Avoidable Economic Decline

    About the Authors Ariel Cohen, PhD, is a Visiting Fellow in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign and National Security Policy, of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, at The Heritage Foundation. Ivan Benovic, an MA graduate from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and a BA…

Find more work on Russia and Eurasia
Find more work on Russia and Eurasia