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  • Russia

    Russia Loses Allies

    MOSCOW – The Kremlin has not had a good week with its putative allies. Russia’s ban on imports of Belarussian dairy products (under claims they failed technical requirements) has stirred a strong political response from Minsk. The excuse of their failure to meet technical requirements has stirred a strong political … More

    Quo Vadis, Russia?

    MOSCOW – The June 4-6 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum shed a spotlight on Russia’s economic situation, clearly indicating that the Russian leadership is uncertain about the scope of the economic downturn and how to deal with it. President Dmitry Medvedev’s much anticipated keynote address was a great disappointment. He … More

    Roadblocks on Russia Path to WTO

    MOSCOW – In conjunction with the St Petersburg Economic International Forum, speculations over Russia’s accession to WTO have picked up steam. On the sidelines of the Forum, Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina said Moscow stands a good chance of joining WTO by year end. The negotiations with the European Union … More

    Where is Obama on Georgia?

    Although Congress continues to move rapidly to appropriate the final portion of its billion-dollar aid pledge to Georgia (made in the aftermath of its short, but brutal war with Russia last August), the commitment of the Obama Administration toward Tbilisi remains unclear. Georgia’s Minister for defense, Vasil Sikharulidze visits Washington … More

    Russia's Plan to Sideline NATO

    Standing next to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev in November 2008, then-president of the European Union, Nicolas Sarkozy called for a temporary moratorium on the planned U.S. missile defense deployments in Poland and the Czech Republic as well as an EU-Russian summit to discuss European security arrangements. This summit will take … More

    Russia vs EU’s Eastern Partnership

    Moscow is viewing  the EU’s new project – the Eastern Partnership – with suspicion. The Kremlin believes the decision to establish the group (made up of the six post-Soviet nations – Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia) would weaken Russia’s clout in the post-Soviet space and hurt Moscow’s politic … More

    Russia’s Muzzled Media: Confronting Economic Crisis in the Age of Authoritarianism

    Russia’s increasingly authoritarian system, with the vast majority of the media under government-control, discourages the free flow of information. It partially bars reporting on corruption or exposing ill-conceived policies—that could contribute to Russia weathering this economic storm. The information dams are hindering those in the Russian government who are trying … More

    Russia-NATO Relationship Worsened, Missing Chance to Normalize

    This past April saw signs that Russian-NATO relations, frozen in the wake of the Russian-Georgian August 2008 conflict, might start looking up. A diplomatic meeting in the Russia-NATO format even took place in Brussels. But parallel to this event the Russian news media unleashed an unprecedented campaign protesting the NATO  … More

    Russian Economy Dramatically Impacted by Economic Downturn

    Unemployment is increasingly raising its profile in Russia’s crisis-hit economy. Last March it was at a record 40-percent high. The official data show that its level over the first quarter jumped from 6 to 7.5 million people, which is around 10 percent of Russia’s labor force. According to independent assessments, … More

    Russia’s Muzzled Media: Confronting Economic Crisis in the Age of Authoritarianism

    On Thursday, April 30, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty held an event “Muzzled Media: Coverage in Russia of the Financial Crisis.” The panel focused on the freedom of the media in Russia during the financial crisis. According to Kommersant Washington Bureau Chief Dmitry Sidorov, “the media in Russia is free only … More