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International Politics

Russia and the Arctic Council in 2021: a New Security Dilemma

Coming May, Russia will assume chairmanship of the Arctic Council until 2023. In a region so strategically significant, the challenge for Russia lies with rhyming its military build-up in the arctic with the cooperative nature of the council, whilst not letting the council jeopardize its freedom of movement in any way.

Europe Politics

Implications of the Moldova’s New Pro-Western Leadership

Moldova, an Eastern European post-soviet state stagnated by an internal frozen conflict, has had its aspirations towards greater cooperation with Europe and the West often challenged by its own old pro-Russian political elite. However, Maya Sandu’s election as President in late in 2020 marks a major shift in the state, just a year after she was ousted as Prime Minister by the PSRM (Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova) party over the appointment of a General Prosecutor.

Africa Insights

Russia: How the Kremlin is Gradually Overtaking Africa

From private military companies supporting local governments to Russian state-linked corporations exploiting the resource-rich continent, Moscow has launched an active campaign to regain its sphere of influence in Africa. Russia’s use of greyzone military capabilities, and its position as a critical security provider for the conflict-ridden and politically unstable continent, strengthen the Kremlin’s leverage to contest Chinese and American interests in Africa.

Europe Politics

Belarus: Democratic awakening in stalemate

While Belarusian strongman Lukashenko has held onto power since the highly contested August 2020 presidential election, public discontent with the regime has persisted in the face of police brutality and human rights abuses. As the West increases sanctions on Belarusian officials and the Kremlin’s support transforms into pressure, it is critical to assess whether Europe’s last authoritarian stronghold will survive in 2021.

China Politics

The West Watches for a Sino-Russian Military Alliance

As a way to counterbalance a newly unified West under the Biden administration, China and Russia are steadily closing ranks. What was once a relatively cold relationship between Beijing and Moscow is now gradually evolving into a tacit, yet firm, geo-political and military cooperation.

Latin America Politics

Latin America – Russia’s Game in 2021: an Outlook

Latin America is at a turning point and there will be a lot at stake for Russia’s influence building in the region in 2021. The instability created by an unprecedented recession and an increased political polarisation in what promises to be a hectic electoral year as well as a more active US foreign policy after Trump’s neglect will probably increase Moscow’s appetite for the subcontinent.

Africa Security

Russia and Sudan – New Naval Base Agreement a Sea Change for the Region

Sudan and Russia have announced an agreement that will see Russia gain access to a naval base at Port Sudan. The posting of Russian troops and warships will shift the balance of power in the region, whether by permitting Russian vessels to operate in the area for far longer than before, or by requiring adaptations in procedure and behaviour by other forces.

International Politics

Russian-Indian Arms Trade: Between Autarky and Interdependence

India recently launched an ambitious indigenization campaign for its defense industries, seeking to reduce its dependency on arms imports and simultaneously boost domestic manufacturing. Although this could potentially hurt the Russian military industry – India’s main supplier – India’s plans seem to mostly consist of rhetoric. It remains unlikely for the short to medium term that India will be able to effectuate the strategic shift from being dependent on imports to being self-reliant.

Europe Security

Armenia and Azerbaijan: Conflict in Nagorno Karabakh continues to erode regional security

A flare-up between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region raised concerns over the security and stability of the Caucasus for more than a month. A Russian-brokered deal between the two is highly likely to ensure the region’s security, although long-term peace is an unlikely outcome.

International Security

The Future of US-Russia Relations Post-2020

For half a decade, the spectral presence of Russia has haunted US politics and caused concern on both sides of the aisle. What does the future hold for the complicated relationship between Moscow and Washington?