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  • Author: Simeon Djankov
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In the 15 years of President Vladimir Putin's rule, state control over economic activity in Russia has increased and is greater today than in the immediate postcommunist era. The concentration of political and economic power in Putin's hands has led to an increasingly assertive foreign policy, using energy as a diplomatic tool, while plentiful revenues from extractive industries have obfuscated the need for structural reforms at home. The West's 2014 sanctions on Russia have brought about economic stagnation, and with few visible means of growth, the economy is likely to continue to struggle. Watching Europe struggle with its own growth, in part because of deficiencies in its economic model, Russia will not be convinced to divert from state capitalism without evidence of a different, successful economic model. Changing course can only be pursued in the presence of political competition; the current political landscape does not allow for such competition to flourish
  • Topic: Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Peter Harrell
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: U.S. and European sanctions on Russia mark a significant evolution in the sanctions toolkit. Officials deployed novel types of financial and energy sanctions to create a regime that imposed significant costs on Russia while minimizing collateral impacts on the U.S. and European economies. The U.S. and European decision to create these new tools was driven by the need to take an innovative approach to sanctions against an economy twice the size of the combined gross domestic products (GDPs) of all other countries subject to significant U.S. economic sanctions and on Russian companies that play an important role in global markets. These developments, while tailored to Russia’s unique circumstances, hold important lessons for the future of sanctions policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Nicu Popescu
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: For the best part of the last two decades, EU-Russia summits have alternated between being upbeat events where new grand integration initiatives were launched – the creation of four common spaces in 2005, the partnership for modernisation in 2010 – and rather unfriendly encounters where success was seemingly measured on how impolite the partners could be to one another.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Balkan Devlen
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: From the start of the Ukrainian crisis Turkey kept a low profile and adopted a strategy best described as "don't poke the Russian bear". Russia is a major Turkish trading partner and Turkey relies heavily on Russian natural gas for its energy needs, while Turkish prime minister Erdogan has also been dealing with serious domestic challenges in the last year. Therefore, due to both external and internal factors, Turkey will avoid confronting Russia directly and will pass the buck to the U.S. and EU. In the short to medium term there are three plausible scenarios under which Turkey will change its current policy. They include the oppression of Crimean Tatars by the Russian authorities; military confrontation in the Black Sea between Russia and NATO; or a more unified, tougher stance against Russia by the West. In the long term Turkey most likely will revert to its traditional role of balancing Russia by strengthening its ties with the West, while reducing its energy dependence on Russia.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Turkey, Ukraine, Asia
  • Author: Pinar Dost-Niyego, Orhan Taner
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The recent events in Ukraine have revived the question of European dependence on Russian natural gas. The security of Europe's natural gas supply has been a consistently important issue in Russian-European Union (EU) relations. Russia provided 34 percent of EU gas in 2012, and Russian policies can have a direct impact on EU supplies. After the West-Russian confrontation over Ukraine, a lot has been said about the 'US shale gas revolution' and the possibilities of the United States becoming an energy exporter for future European energy needs. Although US energy independence seems to promise new perspectives for future European energy security, as well as for the balance of power in the Middle East, this is not for this decade. We cannot expect that the European Union would be able to cut off all of its energy relations with Russia, but we can foresee–or at least agree–that the European Union should diversify its natural gas supplies.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Ukraine, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Lysa John
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In July 2014, a new multilateral and Southern-led development bank is expected to be launched by the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – better known as the BRICS. The BRICS Development Bank will provide a fresh source of finance for developing and emerging economies to meet their development needs. Little has been made public regarding the proposed Bank's core mandate or activities but while governments negotiate the technicalities of the Bank, it is critical that they also provide a solid vision of the principles, priorities and objectives on which the Bank's activities and operations will be premised. This policy brief recommends that these include commitments to: ending extreme poverty and inequality, with a special focus on gender equity and women's rights; aligning with environmental and social safeguards and establishing mechanisms for information sharing, accountability and redress; leadership on the sustainable development agenda; the creation of mechanisms for public consultation and debate; and the adoption a truly democratic governance structure.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Gender Issues, International Cooperation, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, China, Europe, India, Asia, South Africa, Brazil, South America
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: That nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the UK, U.S. and Germany) were extended beyond the 20 July 2014 deadline was neither unexpected nor unwelcome. The parties ha d made enough headway to justify the extension, which was envisioned in the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) that was signed in November 2013 and came into force in January, but given the political and technical complexity, they remain far apart on fundamental issues. Unless they learn the lessons of the last six months and change their approach for the next four, they will lose the opportunity for a resolution not just by the new 24 November deadline but for the foreseeable future. Both sides need to retreat from maximalist positions, particularly on Iran's enrichment program. Tehran should postpone plans for industrial- scale enrichment and accept greater constraints on the number of its centrifuges in return for P5+1 flexibility on the qualitative growth of its enrichment capacity through research and development.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, Economics, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Iran, Middle East, France
  • Author: Anna Gelpern
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The escalating crisis in Ukraine has prompted the United States and Europe to impose the toughest economic sanctions against Russia since the end of the Cold War. Continued instability and military conflict in eastern Ukraine are straining Ukrainian finances. Despite a generous international support package, the government faces shrinking revenues, rising costs, and a spike in foreign debt payments over the next two years.
  • Topic: Cold War, Debt, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Asia
  • Author: Michael Emerson, Denis Cenusa, Tamara Kovziridse, Veronika Movchan
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: While EU and US sanctions against Russia over its aggression in Ukraine, and Russia's counter-sanctions, are much discussed due to their evident political significance, less attention has been given to Russia's punitive sanctions against the three Eastern European states – Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia – that have signed with the EU Association Agreements (AA), which include Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) provisions. This paper therefore documents these trade policy restrictions and embargoes imposed by Russia, and provides some first indications of their impact. The immediate impact on trade flows, especially for agri-food products, has been substantial, albeit with some leakage through Belarus. The main instrument for the Russian measures has been allegations of non-conformity with Russian technical standards, although the correlation of these allegations with movements in Russia's geopolitical postures makes it obvious that the Russian technical agencies are following political guidelines dressed up as scientific evidence. These measures also push the three states into diversifying their trade marketing efforts in favour of the EU and other world markets, with Georgia already having taken significant steps in this direction, since in its case the Russian sanctions date back to 2006. In the case of Ukraine, Russia's threat to cancel CIS free trade preferences infiltrated trilateral talks between the EU, Ukraine and Russia, leading on 12 September to their proposed postponement until the end of 2015 of the 'provisional' implementation of a large part of the AA/DCFTA. This was immediately followed on 16 September by ratification of the AA/DCFTA by both the Rada in Kyiv and the European Parliament, which will lead to its full and definitive entry into force when the 28 EU member states have also ratified it. However Putin followed the day after with a letter to Poroshenko making an abusive interpretation of the 12 September understanding.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Power Politics, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia
  • Author: Anders Åslund
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Ukraine has experienced a year of unprecedented political, economic, and military turmoil. The combination of Russian military aggression in the east and a legacy of destructive policies leading to pervasive corruption has plunged the country into an existential crisis. The West, meanwhile, has been largely paralyzed with uncertainty over how to assist Ukraine without reviving Cold War hostilities. Yet all is not lost for Ukraine. A tenuous ceasefire, along with the successful elections of President Petro Poroshenko in May and a new parliament in October offer an opportunity for economic reform. If the current ceasefire in the east holds, Ukraine has a great opportunity to break out of its vicious circle of economic underperformance. Yet, the window of opportunity is likely to be brief. The new government will have to act fast and hard on many fronts to succeed.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Ryszarda Formuszewicz
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The tougher tone in Germany’s policy towards Russia reflects changes in Berlin’s perception of the eastern giant and in its own self-perception as a power willing to play a more active international role. This readiness for leadership could cement Germany’s status as a key international player whilst handing it the influence necessary to secure its own primary economic interests vis-à-vis Russia. However, it will also require Germany to critically address the long-standing premises of its policy towards Russia, and its appetite to overturn old assumptions remains limited. Lessons drawn by Germany now, in particular with regards to the causes of the Ukraine crisis, will prevail as a guideline for its Russia policy, and as such will also be decisive in the prospects for Polish–German cooperation.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Power Politics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Germany
  • Author: Maya Rostowska
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Despite the reigning consensus that the Russian economy is facing trouble ahead, some indicators suggest that the situation is not as dire as first appeared. Moreover, it may seem that the fiscal situation in the country—particularly its copious foreign currency reserves and substantial sovereign wealth funds—could still help extricate Russia from its economic difficulties. However, the very difficult budgetary situation in the regions and the staggering levels of debt of its companies suggest that economic problems could hit the country hard. Investors should remain vigilant of social and political tensions and the possible further deterioration of the business environment in Russia.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Politics, Governance, Budget
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Artur Kacprzyk
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In the context of the Ukraine crisis, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Romania have called for significant strengthening of NATO’s deterrence and defence policy and for permanent deployments of Allied troops in the region. This position is, however, not shared by the rest of the Central and Eastern European NATO members. Similar to Western European countries, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia do not feel as threatened by Russia’s actions and do not support moves that could damage their political and economic relations with Moscow. Fundamental differences among the current positions of the regional Allies indicate a profound divide between Central and Eastern European NATO members.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Economics, Politics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine
  • Author: Anders Åslund
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Since gaining independence in December 1991, Ukraine has vacillated between the European Union and Russia for economic and political cooperation. Until recently neither had offered Ukraine much, but in the last few months, things have heated up. Ukraine's intention to sign an Association Agreement for political association and economic integration with the European Union has raised a furor in the Kremlin, which is now trying to block Ukraine from aligning itself with the European Union. Moscow has imposed trade sanctions in clear violation of its obligations in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and is pursuing an intense confrontation.
  • Topic: Economics, Treaties and Agreements, World Trade Organization, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: Evanthia Balla
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: The South Caucasus, situated as it is at the crossroads of Eurasia's major energy and transport corridors, continues to play a vital role in the world's security affairs. After the end of the cold war the South Caucasus emerged as a key region in the geopolitical contest among regional and global powers. The South Caucasus states of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia are constantly performing a balancing act in their relations with the U.S., Russia, Turkey and Iran. Armenia has developed strong political and economic ties with Iran in order to counter the Turkish-Azerbaijani axis. Azerbaijan seeks to reinforce its links with the West, especially the U.S., as its main extraregional source of diplomatic and economic support, while it remains cautious towards both Russian and Iranian ambitions in the region. Especially after the 2008 war with Russia and the loss of its provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Georgia has reinforced its links to Western powers and structures while strengthening its ties with Turkey. Both Turkey and Iran are trying to increase their influence in the region, while promoting their national interests in the international arena.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, Islam, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Jakob Vestergaard, Robert Hunter Wade
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: More than three years after the International Monetary Fund (IMF)'s governing body agreed to reform the organization's governance so as to better reflect the increasing economic weight of dynamic emerging market economies in the world economy, only microscopic changes have been made. Emerging market and developing countries (EMDCs) have become increasingly frustrated with Western states for clinging to their inherited power, in the IMF and other important international economic governance organizations. The emerging cooperation among the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) – as seen in the advanced-stage negotiations to establish a Development Bank and a Contingent Reserve Arrangement – sends a “wake up and smell the coffee” call to the West, and the latter will carry a heavy responsibility for eroding global multilateral governance if it continues to drag its heels on the needed adjustments.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Monetary Fund, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil
  • Author: Anita Sobják
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Despite months of internal political wrangling, Moldova seems to be making steady progress in its Association Agreement with the EU. But the domestic political crisis has revealed many truths about both Moldova's European policy and the EU's transformative power. As such, the road to the EU remains murky as long as several variables remain in place: the ongoing tensions in the governing alliance, lower public support for European integration in Moldova, and Russia's re-emerging leverage via Transnistria. That is why Poland, together with its partners, should look for new ways to keep Moldova as the pacesetter of the Eastern Partnership.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Adnan Vatansever, David Koranyi
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Europe's energy discourse has been unjustifiably preoccupied with concerns about potential physical disruptions of Russian gas. Yet, the real challenge for European-Russian energy relations, and in fact, for European energy security, lies in settling on a price that leaves both sides content. While Europe will come under increasing pressure to acquire affordable energy resources to enhance its competitiveness, Gazprom may find it increasingly difficult to deliver gas at lower prices in the coming years.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Oil, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: As part of the United States plan to begin military withdrawals from Afghanistan in 2014, the Department of Defense (DOD) contracted with the Russian state owned arms dealer, Rosoboronexport, to provide helicopters to the Afghanistan National Security Forces (ANSF). DOD has continued and expanded its purchases from Rosoboronexport even while acknowledging that the Russian arms dealer has enabled mass atrocities by supplying Syria's Bashar al-Assad with weapons that have been used to murder Syrian civilians.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Economics, Human Rights, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Stefan Meister
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The return of Vladimir Putin as Russia's president and the probable end of Dmitri Medvedev's modernization project will increase the alienation within German-Russian relations. Germany's modernization partnership with Russia has produced limited results because the two sides have different views on the cooperation. While the German side wants to develop common projects of good practice which will modernize the Russian economy and politics, the Russian side is interested in technology transfer. The interest in and knowledge of Russia among German decision-makers is decreasing. Germany lacks vision and concepts on how to influence developments in Russia. This is also due to the resistance of the current Russian elite towards implementing political reforms. As a result, Russia is losing its most important advocate in the EU (also regarding energy policy). This will have a negative impact on EU-Russia relations because the EU lacks leadership on Russia. Ongoing changes in Russian society, which challenge the Putin system, will present an opportunity to find new allies in Russia for cooperation and modernization, which may increase Germany's interest in its large neighbour. But this will call for a more balanced approach between the Russian elites and society in Germany's Russia policy.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Social Stratification, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Germany
  • Author: Pinar Tank
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: The end of the cold war and the bipolar world order heralded an era of transition for global governance. Twenty years on there is still no consensus on the status of the distribution and exercise of power in today's multipolar world. What is clear, however, is the rise of new powers seeking a global political role comparable with their increased economic clout. Often referred to as the BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – to which second-tier powers such as Indonesia, Turkey and Mexico can be added, these states are called “rising powers” or “new powers” because of their rapid economic development, and expanding political and cultural influence.
  • Topic: Cold War, Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, China, India, Brazil
  • Author: James Manicom, John Higginbotham, Andrea Charron
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The shrinking Arctic ice cap is creating unprecedented geophysical change in the circumpolar region, a trend that is very likely to continue. Together, this “great melt” and the delineation of extended national economic zones afford increased access to economic resources in the Arctic Ocean. Intense activities in commercial, investment, diplomatic, legal, scientific and academic sectors abound in the new Arctic, but the region's long-term significance is only gradually penetrating North American public consciousness. Media reports such as the recent, virtually ice-free trans-polar transit of a Chinese icebreaker through the Russian Northern Sea Route, or the transit of the Northwest Passage by a large cruise ship, are only the tip of the proverbial economic iceberg. In preparing for the commercialization of the Arctic Ocean, Canada and the United States, as major nations bordering the Arctic, face enormous opportunities in protecting economic and environmental interests; however, a number of challenges impede the fulfillment of this vision.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Economics, Environment, Oil, Natural Resources, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Canada, North America
  • Author: Barbara Gaweda, Marco Siddi
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Kolleg-Forschergruppe "The Transformative Power of Europe"
  • Abstract: Twenty-one years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the international community has not yet managed to solve the four separatist conflicts that broke out in the wake of the USSR's demise. With the help of their patron states (Russia and, in the case of Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia), the self-proclaimed Republics of Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh have become de facto states with separate political institutions and economic structures.
  • Topic: Cold War, Economics, Ethnic Conflict, Political Economy, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Svante Cornell, Frances Burwell
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The first phase of the US "Reset" of its relations with Russia has concluded. Launching a second phase will not be easy: with the Russian presidential elections in March, there will be only a brief window for moving US-Russia relations forward before the US presidential contest moves into full gear. Although the result of the Russian election was widely seen as pre-ordained, the protests following the parliamentary and presidential contests have added uncertainty. A new Putin administration will be challenged by many reformers, but the external impact of that growing internal divide is unclear.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, Government, Human Rights, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Anders Åslund
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: After 18 years, Russia is finally on the verge of acceding to the World Trade Organization (WTO). No country has struggled for so long to become a member of this important organization. The last impediment was removed on November 9, when Russia and Georgia concluded an agreement on monitoring trade flows across their disputed border. The WTO Working Party, which oversaw the negotiations, then approved Russian accession on November 10, clearing the way for formal membership to be adopted at the WTO ministerial conference to be held December 15–17, 2011 (WTO 2011).
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Georgia
  • Author: Khalid Koser
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: Economic and financial crises have always impacted on international migration patterns, processes, and policies. The Great Depression (1929- 33) resulted in massive repatriations of Latin Americans from the United States and the introduction of highly restrictive immigration policies in a number of industrialized countries, including France and Canada. The Oil Crisis (1973) resulted in severe restrictions on labour migration, a concomitant growth in asylum applications and irregular migration in Europe, and the emergence of new flows of labour migration to emerging industrial centres in Asia and Latin America. As a result of the Asian financial crisis (1997-99) several South-East Asian countries introduced policies of national preference and sought to expel migrant workers. The Russian financial crisis (1998) accelerated rates of emigration from Russia, in particular of Russian Jews and the highly-skilled. The gravity of the Latin American financial crisis (1998- 2002) also resulted in a significant exodus, in particular from Argentina.
  • Topic: Economics, Migration, Global Recession, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Russia, Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Stephan M. Minikes
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: For many years, I have been engaged in debate with other foreign policy practitioners over the question of whether the United States and Russia should work together. An improved U.S.-Russian relationship offers the prospect not only of improved cooperation on areas of mutual bilateral interest, but also enhanced cooperation within multilateral institutions such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) where I was the U.S. Ambassador between 2001 and 2005.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, North America
  • Author: Franklin D. Kramer, John R. Lyman, Mihaela Carstei
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Energy security presents quintessential geopolitical challenges. In Central Europe, achieving energy security can be a critical element for a continent seeking to resolve vestigial Cold War complexities with Russia and toward meeting 21st century challenges including balanced economic development, energy diversity and climate change. Central Europe, utilizing both European Union support and Western European national assistance and enhanced by United States technical assistance, can take five key steps that will go far toward resolving energy security challenges and help to reframe the geopolitics of the continent.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Energy Policy, Oil, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe
  • Author: Martha Brill Olcott
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: With Washington's influence on the Caspian region at its lowest ebb in many years, the Obama administration could reverse this trend with a new approach that accepts Russia's presence and China's interest as historical and geographical givens and emphasizes short- and medium-term problem solving in multilateral and bilateral settings instead of long-term political and economic transformations. The United States can accomplish more in the Caspian region by focusing on military reform and building security capacity than on forming military alliances. The United States should switch from a multiple pipeline strategy to a policy that advances competition by promoting market pricing for energy producers, consumers, and transit states. The United States could facilitate the introduction of renewable sources of energy as a stimulus to economic recovery and a source of enhanced social security. The United States should develop a nuanced strategy that encourages political development through social and educational programs and local capacity building. The Obama administration should name a high-level official as a presidential envoy to this region.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Washington, Central Asia
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: There are voices in the Obama Administration who believe that the Kremlin is able and willing to exert pressure on Iran to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons. However, perceived geopolitical and economic benefits in the unstable Persian Gulf, in which American influence is on the wane, outweigh Russia's concerns about a nuclear-armed Iran. The Kremlin sees Iran not as a threat but as a partner or an ad-hoc ally to challenge U.S. influence. Today, both Russia and Iran favor a strategy of "multipolarity," both in the Middle East and worldwide. This strategy seeks to dilute American power, revise current international financial institutions, and weaken or neuter NATO and the OSCE, while forging a counterbalance to the Euro-Atlantic alliance. Russian technological aid is evident throughout the Iranian missile and space programs. Russian scientists and expertise have played a direct and indirect role in these programs for years. According to some reports, Russian specialists are helping to develop the longer-range Shahab-5, and Russia has exported missile production facilities to Iran. Moscow has signed a contract to sell advanced long-range S-300 air-defense systems to Iran. Once Iran has air defenses to repel Israeli or American air strikes and nuclear warheads for its ballistic missiles, it will possess the capacity to destroy Israel (an openly stated goal of the regime) and strike targets throughout the Middle East, in Europe, and the Indian subcontinent. Beyond that, if and when an ICBM capability is achieved, Tehran will be able to threaten the U.S. homeland directly. Given the substantial Russian interests and ambitions, any grand bargain would almost certainly require an excessively high price paid by the United States to the detriment of its friends and allies. Russia simply does not view the situation through the same lens as the U.S.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Economics, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Anders Åslund, Andrew Kuchins
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Whither Russia? Russia's economic circumstances as well as its articulated goals hold the answer to this eternal question. Drawing on our analysis in the forthcoming book The Russia Balance Sheet, we outline here a policy approach for the Barack Obama administration. We believe our views reflect to some degree an emerging consensus for the new administration's Russia policy. Russia is important for US foreign policy in many ways. The United States needs a more constructive relationship with Russia to address many core global security issues including nuclear security and nonproliferation, terrorism, energy, and climate change.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: Michael Emerson, Elena Gnedina
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The 2009 gas dispute between Ukraine and Russia has led to a severe drop in Russian gas supplies to some EU member states. The dispute has once again shown that the status quo is defective and unsustainable as a policy. This Policy Brief argues that – beyond ad hoc temporary measures, such as the monitoring by EU experts agreed on January 12th and the 2009-10 price agreement apparently reached on January 18th – the problem needs a comprehensive and robust solution. This would be a gas transit consortium, bringing all major stakeholders – Gazprom, Naftohaz, one or a few European energy companies, and the international financial institutions – to jointly manage the trans-Ukrainian trunk pipeline. The consortium agreement would be underwritten politic ally and legally by a tripartite treaty to be ratified by the EU, Russia and Ukraine. The consortium should be bound by European standards of transparency, corporate governance and accounting in order to tackle the major problem – the lack of trust – in the EU- Ukraine-Russia energy triangle.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Uri Dadush, Lauren Falcao
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: More than 200 million people reside in a country that is not their birthplace. This “diaspora nation” of migrants outranks all but four of the world's countries in population. These migrants make an immense economic contribution both to their host country and to their home country, primarily through transfers of money they earn back to their home country, which are known as “remittances.” About 82 percent of migrants originate in developing countries, and their remittances, which amounted to an estimated $305 billion in 2008, represent an essential source of foreign exchange for these countries, as well as a major instrument in the fight against poverty.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Migration, Immigration, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Russia, America, Dubai
  • Author: Jaya Prakash Pradhan
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Just over a year ago, outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) from India seemed to be on a path of rapid and sustained growth. Its annual average growth of 98% during 2004–07 had been unprecedented , much ahead of OFDI growth from other emerging markets like China (74%), Malaysia (70%), Russia (53%), and the Republic of Korea (51%), although from a much lower base. Much of this recent growth had been fuelled by large-scale overseas acquisitions, however, and it faltered when the global financial crisis that started in late 2007 made financing acquisitions harder.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Direct Investment, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Malaysia, India, Korea
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: China's economic statistics have become the envy of the world. On July 15, China reported a 7.9 percent growth rate for the second quarter of 2009 compared to the same period a year earlier. Meanwhile, China's stock markets are on fire, and its property markets are heating up fast as well. Shanghai's two stock markets are up 75 percent and 95 percent respectively so far this year. The more widely traded Hong Kong Index is up 27 percent, a stellar performance compared to largely flat stock markets in the United States, Europe, and Japan. In even stronger contrast, Russia, which is one of China's emerging-market peers, has seen its economy drop by 10.1 percent during the first half of this year, while its stock market has struggled as well.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Japan, China, Europe, Hong Kong
  • Author: Mikko Patokallio
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In recent years, Russia's resurgence has been driven by favourable conditions rather than solid foundations. Despite the favourable conditions, Russia's resurgence has only achieved mixed results. Buoyed by economic growth, Russia has become wealthy, assertive and confident; but the country has also alienated and provoked its neighbours and the West. Sustaining these conditions is unlikely due to problems resulting from Russia's internal structural weaknesses and assertive foreign policy. Without change, these problems are likely to worsen. Energy exports – the cornerstone of Russia's resurgence – are set to decline. The end of this boom threatens Russia's domestic stability and ability to tackle other long-term threats as external resistance to Russia hardens.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Vadim Kononenko
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The global financial crisis has had both an economic and a political impact on Russia. Inasmuch as Russia's political system is infused with business interests and economic considerations, the crisis presents an external and unexpected challenge to the system in terms of rocking the balance between the elite groups. In effect, the crisis calls into question the assumption that the economic and social stability of the Putin years has been successfully sustained during Medvedev's presidency. The Kremlin's response to the rapidly changing situation has been essentially conservative and geared towards strengthening the regime rather than addressing the challenges stemming from the crisis. The anti-crisis measures that are being taken reveal that the government is relying on its finance reserves as the ultimate means to solve the problem rather than reforming state institutions. The president, the government and the key business groups have yet to define the terms of their relationship in the new situation. The plans to increase state control over companies as a means of tackling the crisis are problematic and likely to lead to an intensification of the struggle between the elites. At the same time, as the state takes on even more responsibility, the question of its efficiency becomes more pertinent in the crisis conditions. The return of Vladimir Putin as president remains uncertain despite the constitutional change initiated by Medvedev. His return becomes more probable if the crisis lingers and the overall situation worsens, thus prompting the return of the “national leader” to the driver's seat. The crisis alone cannot lead to major political or social turmoil or a regime change, but it nonetheless presents a major challenge for Russia in the short-term perspective. Ultimately, the outcome of the crisis will depend on how well the incumbent leadership is able to maintain a balance between tackling the crisis and protecting its own interests and legitimacy.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Hakim Darbouche
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's statement to Spain's El País1 that the idea of a 'gas-OPEC' should not a priori be excluded, adds to a series of twists, among which was Vladimir Putin's confirmation on 1 February that the idea of a gas cartel was an 'interesting one' worth considering further. Hitherto, this gas saga featured Russia, Algeria, the EU, NATO and Iran. The story revolves around Russian-Algerian mingling on gas matters, spurring European and Transatlantic concerns over the prospects of a 'gas OPEC'. At a time of increasing European dependence on foreign energy supplies, these developments have been interpreted as being part of a wider effort, led by Russia, to use energy as a lever to undermine European diplomacy. These allegations have been dismissed by Algeria and Russia, whose leaders insist that their cooperation is intended to optimise their benefits and those of their customers alike. This paper examines the underpinnings of these developments by assessing the likelihood of their culmination in a gas cartel and offers an insight into the potential policy choices behind them.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, Algeria
  • Author: Yegor Gaidar
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: In the summer of 2002, after the Russian government introduced the flat income tax, completed fiscal reforms, created the Stabilization Fund, and introduced land reform in Russia, I had a premonition that the window of opportunity for further reforms would be closing for a number of years. I was correct in my prediction.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: In 2005–2006 the EastWest Institute (EWI) and the Association of Municipalities of the Kaliningrad Oblast (AMOKO) realized a joint project, «Reforming Municipal Finance of the Kaliningrad Oblast through Performance Budgeting». Carried out with financial support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the project was a contribution to the Russian national program of modernization of budget management systems at the regional and municipal level in accordance with the best world and European practices.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia
  • Author: David Makovsky, Michael Herzog, Elizabeth Young
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In the immediate aftermath of Hamas's parliamentary victory in late January, the Quartet—the United States, the EU, Russia, and the UN—set clear criteria for funding a Palestinian Authority (PA) under Hamas's leadership. The Quartet said direct funding would be a function of the new government's “commitment to the principles of nonviolence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations, including the Roadmap.” Indeed, there is no other example of taxpayers subsidizing a government run by an organization that appears on State Department and EU terror lists.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The Russian economy has been enjoying a period of robust growth, thanks largely to steadily rising terms of trade. The challenge confronting policy-makers is to facilitate Russia's transition into a period of self-sustaining, investment- and innovation-led growth. This will require a sound macroeconomic policy framework to manage the economy's adjustment to sustained high oil prices and a range of structural reforms aimed at creating better framework conditions for business.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Dmitri V. Trenin
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: After the fall of Communism, Russia reverted to czarism. But more importantly, Russia embraced capitalism. Although not democratic, Russia is largely free. Property rights are more deeply anchored than they were five years ago, and the once-collectivist society is going private. Indeed, private consumption is the main driver of economic growth. Russia's future now depends heavily on how fast a middle class—a self-identified group with personal stakes in having a law-based government accountable to tax payers—can be created. The West needs to take the long view, stay engaged, and maximize contacts, especially with younger Russians.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Leon Aron
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Since its disastrous showing in the 2003 Duma elections, Russia's badly splintered and quarrelling democratic opposition has been trying to find ways to forge a common platform that would unite and energize its sizeable but apathetic and disillusioned constituency. The stakes are very high. The liberal (that is, in Russian political parlance, right-of-center, pro-market, pro-reform, and pro-Western) forces view the Putin Kremlin's turn to recentralization of national politics and the economy as a dead-end street, leading to creeping authoritarianism, rampant corruption, political crises, economic slowdown, and even disintegration. In this perspective, forging a united opposition strong enough to contest the Kremlin's control over the Duma in 2007 and the presidency in 2008 acquires particular urgency.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Leon Aron
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: In its pursuit of an authoritarian recentralization of Russian politics and a greater state presence in the economy, the Putin government is increasingly steering Russia away from the liberalizing course that has characterized the previous decade and a half.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Leon Aron
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Western and Russian observers alike have watched with mounting concern for slightly more than a year as President Vladimir Putin has tried to consolidate the Kremlin's control over Russia's politics and economy. From the campaign against the YUKOS oil company to the elimination of regional elections, Putin—a growing chorus of critics argues—is leading the country toward authoritarianism.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Nick Hordern
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: India's exploding demand for energy is confronting New Delhi with two important dilemmas, one internal and one external. India's internal dilemma is that to satisfy its energy needs, India must not only expand but also renovate its energy sector, a huge task. Moreover, New Delhi must balance accelerating the necessary reform of this sector with the need to avoid alienating important domestic constituencies. The external dilemma derives from the fact that India will only be able to meet part of its increased energy demand from its own domestic resources, and therefore will be increasingly forced to rely on energy imports. India is trying to secure its energy supplies in a hostile geo-political climate, since New Delhi's parlous relations with its neighbours make energy cooperation difficult. The resultant fears regarding the vulnerability of India's external sources of energy chime with a core principle of New Delhi's political culture, swadeshi (self-sufficiency), whose influence, while waning, retains its potency. Concerns regarding energy security are particularly prevalent in the case of oil, where India's dependence on imports is becoming acute. The proximity of the Persian Gulf to India's industrialised northwest makes it the main source of growing oil imports. But this in turn increases India's reliance on the unstable Gulf. In order to reduce this risk New Delhi will seek out oil from new energy provinces in the Atlantic Basin, Sudan, Russia and South East Asia. It will also turn to a new energy source - gas - and more imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) will be one result. India's energy needs have implications for Australia. India's growing demand for energy will see coal continue to dominate the energy mix, and as a result India's demand for imported coking coal, including from Australia, is also set to grow. At the same time, India's quest for diversity of supply means that at least some of India's increased LNG imports are likely to be Australian.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Sudan, India, Asia, New Delhi, Australia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Leon Aron
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Wars have repeatedly had a decisive influence on Russia's political development, and the present global conflict against fundamentalist Islam is no exception. With the murder of hundreds of Russians at the hands of Chechen terrorists—most notably, the massacre of schoolchildren at Beslan earlier this month—President Vladimir Putin has announced a sweeping overhaul of Russia's political system that would further consolidate power in the Kremlin and damage the country's nascent democracy. The United States and its allies now confront the dual challenge of assisting Russia in its fight against terrorism while simultaneously resisting the erosion of freedom there.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: Scott Wallsten
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Although success stories do exist, most high-technology cluster-development projects do little to enhance regional economic growth. The taxpayer costs for a wide array of tax incentives offered by politicians to corporations and research institutes as inducements to move facilities into their districts are rarely recouped, and often only wealthy organizations and developers benefit from the projects.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Nicholas Eberstadt
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Russia, whose birth rates have declined and whose mortality rates have dramatically increased in the last several decades, faces a demographic crisis. Thus far, Russian political leaders have focused on trying to increase birth rates, but a greater sense of urgency must be applied to diminish mortality rates and to respond to health threats, including HIV/AIDS.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Leon Aron
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Overlooked in the victory of the pro-Kremlin party, United Russia, in the Duma election last December and President Vladimir Putin's overwhelming victory in the presidential election three months later was a milestone in Russia's post-Soviet political history: the precipitous decline of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF). The single largest faction in the Duma between 1995 and 2003, the KPRF was reduced to 12 percent of the party-list vote in the Duma poll while the Communist candidate for the presidency, who received 40 percent in the 1996 election and 24 percent in 2000, ended up with 14 percent.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Leon Aron
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Perhaps more than any other structural market reform unfolding today in Russia, pension privatization epitomizes both the enormous progress achieved over the past decade and the equally huge obstacles still ahead on the road to "civilized" liberal capitalism. The reform highlights and tests the quality of key institutions and instruments central to such a system: transparency and liquidity of banks and mutual funds, probity and competence of state regulatory agencies, and stability of equity and bond markets.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Leon Aron
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The Revolution had, indeed, two distinct phases: one in which the sole aim of the French nation seemed to be to make a clean sweep of the past; and a second, in which attempts were made to salvage fragments from the wreckage of the old order. For many of the laws and administrative methods which were suppressed in 1789 reappeared a few years later, much as some rivers after going underground re-emerge at another point, in new surroundings.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, France
  • Author: Leon Aron
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The December 7, 2003, election to the Russian parliament, the State Duma, has been portrayed in the U.S. media as mostly a product of the Kremlin's machinations. Its "administrative resources"--most importantly, its control of national television channels--are said to be almost entirely responsible for the winning performance of the "party of power," United Russia, which garnered 37 percent of the party-list vote among twenty-three parties and blocs on the ballot.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 11-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: When the Russian Federation began its transition toward a market based economy, promoting competition and regulating anticompetitive behavior - issues never previously needing to be addressed - arose as new and unfamiliar subjects for state policymaking and law enforcement activities. In order to address these issues, the Russian Federation created a competition authority and basic law in 1991, quite early in its transition period. Support for competition was expressed in the 1993 Constitution, as well as in other fundamental legislation. As part of a larger study of regulatory reform, the OECD in 2003 undertook a detailed assessment of Russia fs decade of experience with competition law and policy. The Report concludes that despite early legislation on the issue and strong expressions of support for competition in the laws, the creation and protection of competition on domestic markets has not been a policy priority. Emphasis on rapid privatization limited the scope of pre-privatization restructuring to promote competition and the competition authority has been expected to serve as a general regulator of behavior in markets, assigned to fill legislative gaps and to enforce against a variety of undesirable practices in markets. Overly broad responsibilities and a lack of credible sanctions have significantly limited the impact of the competition laws.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The major economic challenge facing Russia is the achievement of long-term, sustainable growth that would allow for a relatively rapid convergence between living standards in Russia and the OECD economies. The nature of this challenge is largely determined by Russia\'s economic structure. At present, Russia\'s economy is highly dependent on the export of a limited range of natural resources, chiefly hydrocarbons and metals. This presents policymakers with a number of specific problems. In particular, resource dependence makes the Russian economy especially vulnerable to external shocks. It is therefore difficult to overstate the importance of prudent macroeconomic policies, especially as the budget relies heavily on resource taxes and is thus influenced by volatile energy prices. Hence, exemplary fiscal discipline, in particular, is crucial to reducing Russia\'s vulnerability to commodity-price cycles. Yet while resource dependence brings with it certain macroeconomic risks, economic performance will continue to depend to a great extent on the performance of resource-exporting sectors for the foreseeable future. This makes reform of the natural gas sector an urgent priority. In the absence of substantial reform, the gas industry, which is critical to both exports and the domestic economy, could well stagnate or decline.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Allan H. Meltzer
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: While Alan Greenspan and most analysts continue to discuss the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs since the Bush administration took office, the Labor Department Household Survey shows such claims to be either wrong or greatly exaggerated.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Leon Aron
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: In the early morning of October 25, 2003, masked agents of the Russian security agency, the FSB, stormed the plane of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, CEO and principal owner of Russia's largest private oil company, YUKOS; arrested him; and conveyed him to a Moscow prison. He was charged with tax evasion, fraud, forgery, and embezzlement.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Robert Litan, Michael Pomerleano, V. Sundararajan
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Policymakers and analysts are still sifting through the wreckage of the Asian financial crisis of 1997 and the subsequent crises in Russia, Turkey, and Argentina to discern key lessons so that similar crises will not recur. Some lessons are by now well understood. Pegged exchange rates can encourage excessive borrowing and expose countries to financial collapse when foreign exchange reserves run dry. Inadequate disclosures by both private companies and public bodies can lead to similar dangers. Although many factors undoubtedly contributed to these crises, it is now widely recognized that each suffered from a failure in “governance,” and in particular a failure in governance in their financial sectors. Accordingly, the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Brookings Institution devoted their fourth annual Financial Markets and Development Conference, held in New York from April 17-19, 2002, to the subject of financial sector governance in emerging markets. This conference report summarizes some of the highlights of the conference, whose full proceedings will be published as a Brookings book in the fall of 2002.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, New York, Turkey, Asia, Argentina
  • Author: Gary Hufbauer
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Some trade disputes—like long Russian novels—never seem to end. The United States, Europe, and other trading nations have disputed the taxation of export earnings since the 1970s. To understand why the Foreign Sales Corporation (FSC) dispute is so hard to resolve, we must start with a historical tour.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe
  • Author: Leon Aron
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The most interesting phenomenon on Russia's literary scene today is the popularity of the Erast Fandorin mysteries by Grigoriy Shalvovich Chkhartishvili, who writes as Boris Akunin.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Stephen M. Massey
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Today, fewer than one in three Russian newborns is healthy, disease rates among Russian children are surging, and shrinking access to quality family planning and prenatal care has worsened the state of women's reproductive health across Russia. The health of Russia's infants and children is especially significant given the country's shrinking population and the mounting problems of infectious disease, rural poverty, illegal narcotics, and alcohol abuse – all contributing factors to poor birth outcomes. The long-term economic impact of unhealthy children born in the past decade is already a serious limiting factor to Russia's emergence as a strong economic partner and international actor. Many infant deaths and childhood illnesses could be prevented with expanded investments in infrastructure and education, improved access to quality care, and reform of Russia's healthcare sector – each of which is too costly for Russia to finance on its own. Untapped opportunities also exist for collaboration between Russian, European, and American civic groups, healthcare experts, scientists, and policy leaders that would have a positive impact on maternal and child health in Russia and beyond.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Robert Orttung
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Instability in Russia's southern regions poses a threat to the continuation of the country's overall political and economic reform, and to regional stability in Central Eurasia. These regions, which already possess Russia's most fragile local economics, face a variety of problems emanating from the weak and failing states to their immediate south. Most visibly, there is the threat of terrorism, an increasing flow of illegal narcotics from producers in Afghanistan, an influx of contraband goods that wipe out Russian jobs, and illegal immigration. With few resources and extensive corruption among key officials, Russia's southern regions are poorly equipped to deal with these problems. Developing mutually beneficial trade links between Russia's southern regions and its neighbors in Central Asia, China, and Mongolia can mitigate instability and economic stagnation in this region, help to rebuild regional economies, generate income, and better enable governments to provide security and basic human services to their people. The West can support these developments as well as help combat organized crime, target corruption, and improve border security.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, International Cooperation, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, China, Europe, Mongolia, Asia
  • Author: Simon Serfaty, Christina V. Balis, Pierre Messerlin, Chris Wiley
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The French elections held during the past eight weeks—first for the presidency and then for the National Assembly—were the most significant elections held in France since 1981. On the whole, their outcome is good for France, for Europe, and for the United States. They restore a political coherence that had been lacking during seven of the last nine years, when the French political system lived under the strained conditions of political cohabitation (1993–1995 and 1997–2002). Moreover, by renewing the primacy of the French presidency, these elections enable Jacques Chirac to assert his leadership during the decisive years that loom ahead for the European Union (EU), as well as for its relations with the United States within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Finally, these elections also confirm Europe's political drift to a center-right that the elections in Germany scheduled for September 23 are likely to make complete (Euro-Focus, September 15, 2002).
  • Topic: Economics, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, France
  • Author: Simon Serfaty, Christina V. Balis, George Handy, Georgeta Pourchot
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: “More Europe in every area” may sound like an ill-chosen motto for a six-month presidency facing an already demanding and inflated agenda. It is reflective of a concern, however, not to expand the current list of priorities to new initiatives that would risk the fate of past abortive attempts. Avoiding new confrontations, while ensuring the smooth pursuit of ongoing reforms, has become Spain's principal goal during its presidency in the first half of 2002.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe
  • Author: Derek Blades, David Roberts
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Strictly speaking, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is only a measure of economic activity, but in practice it is often used to compare the relative wellbeing of countries as well as their overall economic performance. To measure the latter, users normally look at the rates of growth of GDP, while for comparing relative wellbeing the levels of GDP percapita are used. The absolute level of GDP is also used for calculating policy-relevant indicators such as the ratio of government deficit to GDP, the ratio of R expenditure to GDP and the ratio of carbon dioxide emissions to GDP.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Leon Aron
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: For almost two centuries—since Alexander Pushkin's masterpieces laid the foundation—Russian literature has persisted in addressing the core issues and dilemmas of human existence, taking humanity's measure, and explaining Russia and Russians to themselves and the world. Even during the Soviet era, when virtually all of Russia's finest writers and poets were exiled, killed, imprisoned, savagely censored, or forbidden to publish, the tradition lived in underground samizdat, manuscripts smuggled abroad, and in the state-run literary magazines of the “liberal” persuasion, especially during political thaws.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Leon Aron
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The Berlin Wall fell eleven years ago, and nine years have passed since Boris Yeltsin launched the Russian economic revolution by abolishing state control over prices. Although minuscule in historic terms, the time elapsed still furnishes a wealth of data for a provisional analysis of the key factors that shaped the political, economic, and social character of post-Communist nations. The same structural variables may help gauge the future—at least in the short to medium term.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Berlin
  • Author: Alan Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Turkey's economic crisis is naturally the leading issue in bilateral U.S.-Turkish relations, and it is almost certainly topping the agenda of today's meetings of Foreign Minister Ismail Cem with Vice President Richard Cheney and other senior officials. Of course, these meetings pose the difficult question of how much Washington should do, if anything, to bail out its strategically vital ally. But this is only one of several uncertainties characterizing U.S.-Turkish relations in the early days of the Bush administration. Because so much of Turkey's importance to the United States derives from its critical strategic location, bilateral relations are greatly affected by U.S. policies toward other states in Turkey's region. Of most concern to Turkey will be the evolution of Bush administration policy toward Iraq, Iran, and Russia, and also toward Europe's nascent bid to develop an autonomous security capacity.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Defense Policy, Economics, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iraq, Europe, Iran, Washington, Turkey, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 02-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Defense Information
  • Abstract: On March 1 the Center for Defense Information welcomed its new President, Mr. Bruce G. Blair. Mr. Blair takes the helm from retired U.S. Senator Dale Bumpers, whose steady hand guided the Center as it made the transition from the 20th to the 21st Century. Mr. Blair brings to the job first-hand knowledge of the U.S. military and how it works, having served in the U.S. Air Force for four years following his graduation from the University of Illinois. He, like his predecessor, adds another highly complementary and invaluable dimension to CDI's base of experience: more than a decade spent in intense study and research into what may be the two most important continuing national security questions of the 21st century – the future of nuclear weapons and the future of Russia.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Defense Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: John Chown
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Currency boards have been suggested for Russia, and adopted elsewhere in eastern Europe. Brazil's fixed rate has had to be abandoned, but Argentina is considering replacing its currency board with dollarization, and suggesting this solution for the rest of Latin America. Fixed exchange-rate regimes (and the crawling peg in Russia) have collapsed in Southeast Asia but Hong Kong, which had a formal currency board, has (so far) survived.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Central America, Caribbean, North America
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The economic crisis of 1998 has victimised a number of important areas of institutional development and increased social distress among much of the population. A responsible fiscal and monetary response to the crisis, bolstered by a strengthened current account, has helped to stabilise inflation and the exchange rate, although the low level of reserves, the demands of foreign debt service, and threats to the independence of the Central Bank speak for the continued fragility of the achieved level of stability. A restructuring of foreign debt is critical for consolidating trends in the fiscal sphere. While the quick onset of a recovery in GDP in the wake of the weaker rouble is encouraging, delays in structural reforms and low administered input prices raise concern about the quality and sustainability of this growth. The restructuring and regulation of the commercial banking sector continues to pose major challenges to the Central Bank and the Russian government. Throughout a decade of transition, problems in demonetisation and fiscal federalist relations, the particular focus of this Survey, have been important underlying structural obstacles to economic reform. Although some institutional reforms have provided a foundation for a market economy, delays in addressing these and other fundamental problems have impeded efficiency and increased the comparative vulnerability of the Russian economy to external shocks. The future stability and growth of the Russian economy will require the continuation of responsible macroeconomic policies, but depends first and foremost on progress in structural reform, including tax reform, effective institutions of bankruptcy, competition, more decisive and comprehensive measures to combat the process of demonetisation, defend the rule of law, and realise fundamental reform in fiscal federalist relations.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: On July 28, the IMF's Board of Directors announced their approval of a 4.5 billion dollar loan to Russia. Rather than representing a breakthrough deal, the agreement is merely the latest chapter in the cycle of non–compliance and renegotiation that has characterised the Fund's relationship with Moscow. With presidential and parliamentary polls scheduled during the next twelve months, electoral pressures will almost certainly prevent the latest macroeconomic programme being implemented. Moreover, unless the root cause of Russia's economic problems—its dire GDP growth rate—is rectified, a further round of comprehensive renegotiations will be required.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Moscow
  • Author: Steve H. Hanke
  • Publication Date: 10-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The devaluation of the Russian ruble this year was predictable, especially considering Russia's poor monetary history. State-manipulated money has been a Russian hallmark since the time of Peter the Great and shows that the country's money problems are endemic and do not depend on who controls the central bank. Czarist, Soviet, and post-Soviet governments have used the central bank printing press to finance deficit spending, resulting in high inflation, confiscation of savings, capital controls, or a combination of the three.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union