Issue Brief posted January 24, 2014
Ukraine’s Anti-Protest Laws: A Step Backwards in Time
Violent clashes between police and demonstrators erupted in Kyiv, Ukraine, last weekend in the wake of new legislation effectively banning public protest. If the two sides do not take a step back from the brink, the confrontation may lead to chaos, when neither the government nor the opposition have control.
The legislation, passed on January 16 by President Victor…
Issue Brief posted January 6, 2014
Sochi: Security and Counterterrorism at the 2014 Winter Olympics
Two bomb attacks, carried out by suicide bombers at a railway station and a bus in Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad), 500 miles southeast of Moscow, shattered the pre-holiday spirit as Russians prepared to celebrate the New Year. Up to 45 people, including children, were killed, and over 100 were injured, many of them severely; the death count is sure to climb.
Issue Brief posted December 13, 2013
The U.S. Should Lead on Ukraine
U.S. policy toward Ukraine suffered a significant self-inflicted injury early Thursday morning when President Viktor Yanukovich dispatched riot-control teams to disperse peaceful demonstrators in the center of Kyiv, the ancient capital of Ukraine.
So far, the White House and the State Department have been behind the curve on one of the most important geopolitical crises…
Issue Brief posted December 11, 2013
Russia’s Arms Control Violations: What the U.S. Should Do
This past June, President Obama called for another round of nuclear weapons reductions by stating that he intends to “seek negotiated cuts with Russia to move beyond Cold War nuclear postures.” The United States has already moved beyond its Cold War nuclear posture. Since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. has cut the number of its deployed strategic nuclear weapons by…
Special Report posted November 26, 2013
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,” is seeking economic and political alliances to restore Russia’s power in what then-President Dmitry Medvedev called its traditional…
Backgrounder posted October 21, 2013
Why the U.S. Should Support Ukraine’s Association and Free Trade Agreements with Europe
On August 17, 2013, the Kyiv-based website Ukraine Today published a document summarizing the Kremlin’s strategy on how to force Ukraine to join Russia’s sphere of influence. The Russian strategy, which the Kremlin has not disavowed, is designed to pressure Ukraine into joining a Moscow-led Customs Union (which currently includes Belarus and Kazakhstan). The strategy…
Backgrounder posted September 12, 2013
How Washington Should Manage U.S.–Russia–China Relations
As the Obama Administration focuses on the Middle East and Europe and the U.S. cuts its defense budget, the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) are striving to deepen their relationship. The leaders of the two major Eurasian powers have conducted a series of high-priority, high-level official reciprocal diplomatic visits. In the aftermath of the…
Issue Brief posted August 29, 2013
Obama and the G20 Summit: Time to Rethink U.S.–Russian Relations
President Obama will be in St. Petersburg, Russia, on September 5–6 for the G20 summit. However, the White House has canceled a bilateral visit to Moscow and a meeting with President Vladimir Putin after Russia granted Edward Snowden, a fugitive former National Security Agency contractor and secret national security documents leaker, temporary political asylum.…
Backgrounder posted June 14, 2013
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 29, 2013
Russian Missiles to Syria Endanger U.S. Foreign Policy Goals
Russia is planning to supply Syria game-changing weapons which will shift the balance of power in the eastern Mediterranean in favor of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and may make any future operations against the Assad forces considerably more difficult. If Moscow’s missile supply plans go through, the Russian advanced weapons systems would be able to target NATO…