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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?

Eurasia Security

Violence in Nagorno-Karabakh: a New Proxy War in the South Caucasus?

For decades, the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh has evoked border clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Recently, armed violence between the two countries threatens to escalate into full-blown conflict, which could involve both Turkey and Russia.

Natural resources and energy North America

Risk to Arctic Energy Exploration

Arctic Exploration remains an exciting prospect for many in the energy sector. According to estimates, the Arctic could be one of the greatest untapped reserves of energy resources in the world. However exciting the proposition of tapping these resources may seem, it is an extremely expensive proposition. 

Africa Security

Libya – The Impacts of the Ceasefire on Libyan Politics

On 21 August 2020, the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli and its rival administration controlling Eastern Libya announced their commitment to a ceasefire and to finding a political solution to the conflict that has ravaged the country since 2011. So far, the truce has been successful in preventing further violence. However, it has opened the door to political infighting within both parties which could compromise the overall inter-Libyan dialogue. 

Eurasia Politics

Russia’s East is Fed Up

Fresh from a national referendum allowing for the continuation of President Vladimir Putin’s rule, Moscow capitalized on the renewed political mandate by arresting a troublesome regional governor. What followed next was a near unprecedented backlash from the inhabitants of the Khabarovsk region in Russia’s East, with 20-60,000 initial protestors getting involved in the single longest-running protest in the history of the Russian Federation. These protests represent the latest displays of a long-standing resentment of Moscow’s meddling in the east of the country, while also serving as an indictment of the failings of Russian federalism.

Europe Security

Nagorno Karabakh – The Conflict in Perspective

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is often wrongfully seen as another post-Soviet frozen conflict in both academia and in policy-making circles. Although the conflict is indeed a product of specific preconditions and deliberate Soviet policies, it differs from other protracted ethno-political conflicts like in Georgia or Moldova. Gaining a deeper understanding of how this conflict came about, and its underlying causes, is essential for understanding the current episode of fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan. 

Debate Corner Eurasia

Russia: Space Expansionism Anew?

After the discovery of phosphine in Venus’ atmosphere, Russian Space Agency Roscosmos was quick to reaffirm Moscow’s commitment to exploring the planet. Furthermore, Russia’s previously dominant position in international space travel has been challenged since private actors have entered the field. These two factors prompt a potential revival of Russian extraterrestrial ambitions.

Africa Security Sub-Saharan Africa

Russia’s Strategy in Africa

Rumors of Russian involvement in Mali have gained momentum since 2018.  Russia has been accused of backing the coup that took place in August 2020, orchestrated by high ranking members of the Malian army. These officers had in fact returned a week before the coup from two months’ training in Russia.  The coincidence was enough for analysts to link Assimi Goita, leader of the new Junta, to the Russian government. Even if this link has yet to be proven, the growing connection between Russia and  sub-Saharan countries is threatening the balance of power in the region. 

Europe Politics

Europe’s Isolation against Russia

Vladimir Putin’s political assault on Europe comes from a meticulously crafted plan which was catalysed by Trump’s commandeering of the White House.  Since assuming office in 1999, Putin has led the country with a clear vision of restoring Russia’s Soviet stature. If Russia’s recent actions are any indication of their progress, then it’s safe to say Putin has come a long way.

Europe Insights

Belarusian Protests: Russia’s Reluctance

Russia seems unlikely to intervene in anti-Lukashenko protests in Belarus, despite what most Western and Russian news sources report. Instead, they reluctantly stand on the sidelines, unwilling to oust the President, but unwilling to support him either.