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Eurasia Security

The Russo-Ukrainian War and Nagorno-Karabakh’s Faltering Ceasefire

Azerbaijan has sought to exploit the world’s and Russia’s preoccupation with the war in Ukraine in order to militarily resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis. As Moscow becomes extensively embroiled in its so-called ‘special military operation’ against Kiev, it is highly likely that Baku will feel emboldened enough to push further into the contested region, even if this results in the antagonisation of Russian peacekeepers.

Europe Insights

Opinion: The Russian Invasion of Ukraine in Context

History provides the vital context to explain why events have come to pass in the international arena. Why did Russia invade Ukraine? Why might conflict in that region persist? In the current conflict, many commentators look to the past few decades as the source of aggression. But, Russian aggression is shaped not exclusively by events in the recent past. Russia today does not embody a civilisation of just the last 30 or 100 years.

Europe Security

Political Tensions and Russian Influence: Threats to Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Rising tensions in Bosnia and Herzegovina are dragging the country into its most precarious political situation since the Bosnian War of 1992-1995. In early October 2021, Milorad Dodik – Bosnian Serb leader and member of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s tripartite presidency – announced plans to form an independent Bosnian Serb Army and pull out of joint state institutions. With international presence in the region waning, unresolved rivalries and opposing interests among the various ethnic groups have resurfaced. Combined with political interference from both Russia and Serbia, the situation threatens to damage the Dayton Peace Agreement of 1995.

Europe Politics Security

Opinion: Germany’s Influence on European Unity

In the build up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Western nations were clear on where they stood on the issue. Between funneling weapons into Ukraine to threatening severe economic sanctions, many EU and NATO members vowed to punish Russia. One country that has been largely absent from this strong and clear response is Germany, who seeks to mitigate the domestic risks that punishing Russia entails. This self-interested position risks harming EU unity at a time when it’s needed most.

Europe Security

Risk Factors for Svalbard Conflict between Russia and Norway

The unique provisions of the Treaty of Svalbard, NATO ambiguity on the status of Svalbard, and mounting geopolitical tensions between Russia and Norway signify a realistic probability of outright violation of Norwegian sovereignty over Svalbard in the medium to long-term.

Europe Politics

Europe’s Energy Dependence on Russia Leaves Moldova Vulnerable

The global surge in demand for natural gas following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions has had a devastating impact on Moldova’s energy security. Chisinau had no choice but to enter into negotiations with the Russian state-owned gas giant, Gazprom, to restore its energy supplies. As Russia is set to increase its share of European gas imports in Nord Stream 2, the EU must find a way to help protect Moldova from further Russian pressure.

Europe Security

Ukraine: In the Middle of Great Power Politics

Under pro-Western President Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine has made substantial progress in its drive for EU and NATO membership. However, domestic successes have been overshadowed by the increasingly difficult international position Kiev finds itself in. Russia remains a security threat as the frozen conflict in the Donbass persists; yet the US appears to be pulling support, most notably by lifting sanctions concerning Nord Stream 2. China, a major trading partner and vital vaccine supplier, is offering a hand to Ukraine. But at what cost?  

Middle East/North Africa Politics

China in a post-US Afghanistan: A paradigm shift in foreign policy?

China’s long-standing policy of non-interference is challenged by the cruel geopolitical realities and developments in the country with which it shares its smallest border. The U.S. military withdrawal, coupled with Afghanistan’s seizure by the Taliban, have marked a major turning point, presenting China with both opportunities and challenges. It seems Beijing can no longer afford to stay away from the region.

Eurasia Politics

Georgia’s political struggles may not be over just yet

Over the last year, Georgia has faced political disunity between the ruling government party, Georgian Dream, and its opposition, United National Movement. Tensions have been brewing, but the pinnacle of the division came after the 2020 election in October, which was declared rigged by the opposition. Following this, protests erupted and the opposition leader, Nick Melia was arrested. The EU has stepped in to broker a deal to resume the functioning of parliament. However, taking into account the deep institutional rifts between the political parties in regard to Russia, this solution is likely to only be temporary. Real change amongst the nation’s political actors needs to happen to consolidate democracy.

Eurasia Politics

Russia and its ‘diversionary space race’?

The International Space Station (ISS), that hub of extra-terrestrial cooperation, recently announced that Russia will be withdrawing from its team from 2025. Russia plans to set up a separate orbital space station by 2030. As a result, there has been much debate about what this means in terms of Russia-US  and Sino-Russian relations. However, little attention has been paid to the domestic implications of Russia’s decision: is it an attempt to divert attention from the ongoing saga with Alexei Navalny and muster patriotic fervor?