Between signing of the JCPOA in July 2015 and lifting of the sanctions in January 2016, Moscow had a special window of opportunity to gain economic benefits from its politico-military friendship with Tehran that may bear fruit in the future. But in return, Russia must now prepare itself for competition: Russia will compete with Iran in the international energy markets while also competing with European, Chinese, and American investors for a slice of the newly opened Iranian market. This will be an especially challenging task in light of the domestic economic challenges that Russia currently faces, but the payoff may be worth it.
Since Soviet times the Ukrainian economy was well integrated with the Russian one, so it will be a lengthy and challenging process for Ukraine to re-orient into the European market. However, there are several factors that will help smooth this transition.
It is also hard to say that the current confrontation between Russia and the West is fundamentally ideological, since Russia and the Western countries can develop in harmony and profit from mutually beneficial partnerships.
Whatever the reason, or combination of reasons, it is clear that Russia is trying to position itself not only as a political alternative to the United States and European Union, but also as a military rival and counterweight. The main unanswered question at this point is whether Putin’s Russia has a purse large enough to successfully implement that goal.
the RAP will enable the Alliance, at the operational level, to rapidly deploy troops in crisis situations, but it lacks the political level decision-making mechanism needed to rapidly initiate the process.
10 images 10 responses… Ukrainians and Russians are truly brother nations and if Russia does not pull Ukraine back into authoritarianism, then Ukraine will push Russia onto democratic transition path
The Berlin Wall fell twenty-five years ago, but today there is another confrontation line between the West and Russia that cuts Ukraine in two. The reconciliation circuit that started with the fall of the Berlin Wall will not be complete until all the countries in Eastern Europe are free to determine their own fates.
GUAM, is the only international organization in the post-Soviet space that has indicated Euro-Atlantic integration as one of its core principles. Today, the GUAM member states Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova constitute the four countries within the Eastern Partnership that have resisted Moscow’s pressures to join the Eurasian Custom’s Union.
Azerbaijan, the smallest country on the shores of the Caspian, has trod through a very challenging geostrategic environment during the last twenty years of independence and in the near future, the situation around Azerbaijan will become only more menacing.
NATO must undergo structural changes as the global geostrategic environment is reshaped. Offering a new exclusive partnership framework to strategically important partners in former Soviet Space would be a practical decision the allied leaders could agree upon during the 2014 summit.