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  • The Northern Sea Route: Mired in Ice and Red Tape

    The accelerated melting of the polar icecaps and recent Russian announcement that the Northern Sea Route (NSR) is now “ice-free” beg the question of whether or not the passage is already a commercially viable option. The Heritage Foundation examined Russia’s ambitious plans for the “last frontier” in the High North … More

    Russia's Arctic Claims: Neither LOST nor Forgotten

    The Arctic is becoming the “wild west” of the 21st century, and the Russians have been quick to claim a good part of it as their birthright. The Russian state is after 380,000 square miles of this final frontier, which may store an estimated one-quarter of the world’s untapped hydrocarbon … More

    Tymoshenko Arrest Hurts Ukraine, Benefits Russia

    On August 5, Yulia Tymoshenko, the former prime minister and heroine of Ukraine’s 2004 pro-western Orange Revolution, was arrested during her trial. Tymoshenko was in court defending herself against charges of overstepping her authority and allegedly making an illegal gas price deal with Russia in 2009. The presiding judge, Rodion … More

    U.S. Shale Gas: The Geopolitical Impact

    A report released last week by the Baker Institute at Rice University, “Shale Gas and U.S. National Security,” focused on the foreign policy benefits of this domestically produced fuel. The authors undertook the study in light of the tremendous growth in discoveries of natural gas from shale in North America … More

    Israel–Lebanon Natural Gas Dispute Threatens Security in Eastern Mediterranean

    Tensions are rising between Israel and Lebanon, this time over underwater gas reserves. After months of debate, Israel’s cabinet approved last week a proposed maritime border that overlaps with a competing Lebanese claim, creating a sliver of some 430 square miles in dispute. Typically, after decades of arguments over fishing … More

    The Sergei Magnitsky Case: An Admission of Guilt

    On July 5 the Russian Human Rights Council published its report on the now infamous—and mysterious—death of the lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. An attorney for the Moscow-based American law firm Firestone Duncan, he represented Hermitage Capital, which was at the time the largest Western hedge fund in Russia. Magnitsky died while … More

    Russia’s Blacklist Bill Targets America

    A bill introduced in the Russian Duma last Tuesday would allow the Foreign Ministry to blacklist foreigners believed to have violated the rights of Russian citizens. The bill is an angry response to the Sergey Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, which was introduced in Congress last month with bipartisan … More