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  • Author: Oleksandr Fisun
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: The Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula represents a radical transformation of the system of international security on the European continent and in the wider context of the postwar “Yalta system” of interstate boundaries and their guarantees by major international players. The most important takeaway is that for the first time since World War II, one of the founders of the Yalta system of international boundaries has considered it within the realm of possibility to revisit its provisions by directly augmenting its own territory. This paper aims to analyze the outcomes of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the features of the newly formed regional political regime in Crimea, the role of Crimea in contemporary Ukrainian politics, as well as to present scenarios for the development of the geopolitical situation surrounding the “Crimean issue” in the context of the possible actions that primary geopolitical players may take.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Organization, International Security, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Crimea
  • Author: Thomas Graham, Rajan Menon, Jack Snyder
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: Amidst calls for containing an assertive Russia, politicians and pundits have been debating whether Ukraine should serve as a “buffer zone” between the Russian and Western spheres of influence. Based on a survey of the history of buffer zones in Ukraine and elsewhere, we argue that buffer strategies are most likely to succeed in promoting international stability when three mutually reinforcing conditions obtain. First, the buffer state has the material strength, defensible geography, and social cohesiveness necessary to resist penetration, annexation, or partition. Second, states that may contemplate using war as a means to annex or dominate the buffer zone anticipate high risks and costs. Buffers survive when flanking powers are relatively weak, satisfied, skeptical that “offense is the best defense,” and chary of commitments to reckless allies and clients. Third, whether the major powers have agreed, implicitly or explicitly, on rules to regulate their rivalry in the buffer region may also affect the likelihood of a collision. Based on these findings, we are doubtful that Ukraine can serve as a reliable buffer.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Organization, International Security, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine
  • Author: Kimberly Marten
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: Kimberly Marten considers the role that freewheeling private militias have played, both in the war in eastern Ukraine and in Ukraine’s politics more generally. While militias supplemented the Ukrainian army’s firepower, especially in the early phase of the war, we know from the experience of other countries that autonomous armed groups can also challenge the authority of the state and undermine its efficacy. How might militias shape Ukraine political trajectory and shape its security?
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, Non State Actors, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Klaus Segbers
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: Many attempts have been made to interpret and explain the Russian annexation of Crimea and the ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine. These signal events can be approached from different theoretical angles. The purpose of this short piece is to critically question the usefulness and appropriateness of state‐centered approaches that have been, and are yet, dominant and popular – most likely because they are so easy to apply intuitively.
  • Topic: International Relations, Political Theory, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Crimea
  • Author: Mario Esteban
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Elcano Royal Institute
  • Abstract: Relations between China and Latin America are complex, strengthening, notably asymmetrical and fundamentally economic. Ties have intensified rapidly in recent years, to the extent of shaping the evolution of countries in the region and their processes of regional integration. Spain cannot afford to remain indifferent to this phenomenon, given its close links to this part of the world. The strengthening of ties between China and Latin America has a double-edged impact on Spanish interests. On the one hand, the headway that China is making in the region translates into a loss of Spanish influence and attraction in one of the traditional spheres for Spain’s foreign policy. On the other hand, the greater presence of China can contribute to the development of the region and is generating opportunities for cooperation and synergies with Spanish players, both public and private, on multiple stages.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: China, Latin America, Spain
  • Author: Xiao Fang
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Issues Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs
  • Institution: Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Abstract: China and Central Europe have experienced similar transitions over time and have a constructive role to play in the international system, taking on responsibility for development. Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries is conducted via the “16+1” mechanism, the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st century maritime Silk Road, known as the “Belt and Road initiative.” Central European countries are EU member states and emerging economies. They are located at a geographically strategic juncture and form part of the East Asia–Transatlantic value chain. The 16+1 mechanism is helping China and Central European countries establish high level annual meetings and is encouraging the private sector, business, people-to-people exchanges. The Belt and Road initiative is providing new financing facilities, and a dialogue with the European Commission on investment plans is being launched. Studies and working groups are emerging to help set strategies, build mechanisms, allocate resources and implement policies. This article argues that the Chinese approach, i.e. the 16+1 mechanism and Belt and Road initiative, is platforms paving the way for China–Central Europe cooperation.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Politics, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: China, Central Europe
  • Author: D. Malysheva
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: ON JULY 26, 2015, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin on board the frigate Admiral of the Soviet Navy Gorshkov endorsed a new version of the Maritime Doctrine of the Russian Federation, the basic document that specifies Russia’s naval and maritime policy. This version added the Mediterranean to the areas of the national maritime policy (the Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific zones) and specified that Russia’s naval pres- ence there is aimed at “turning it into the zone of military-political sta- bility and good-neighborly relations.”1 This is not fortuitous: The region is one of the main zones of Russia’s politics and international coopera- tion. Time has come to sort out regional developments, varied interests of the states involved and the problems they have to cope with. In other words, we should arrive at a clear idea about the region’s importance for the Russian Federation.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Ivo Daalder, Michèle Flournoy, John Herbst, Jan Lodal, Steve Pifer
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: This report is the result of collaboration among scholars and former practitioners from the Atlantic Council, the Brookings Institution, the Center for a New American Security, and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. It is informed by and reflects mid-January discussions with senior NATO and US officials in Brussels and senior Ukrainian civilian and military officials in Kyiv and at the Ukrainian “anti-terror operation” headquarters in Kramatorsk. The report outlines the background to the crisis over Ukraine, describes why the United States and NATO need to engage more actively and urgently, summarizes what the authors heard in discussions at NATO and in Ukraine, and offers specific recommendations for steps that Washington and NATO should take to strengthen Ukraine’s defenses and thereby enhance its ability to deter further Russian aggression.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, America, Ukraine
  • Author: A. Orlov
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: Today, we are watching how the present stage of world history is coming to an end amid great or even fundamental changes of the geopolitical picture of the world. The twenty-five-year-long partnership between Russia and the West (never easy and never straightforward), which began back in the last years of Soviet perestroika, has ended. It will be probably replaced with a new structure of international cooperation much more pragmatic and devoid of illusions and exaggerated expectations nurtured by Russia rather than the West. It is wrong to expect that when the situation in Ukraine has been stabilized (it will be stabilized sooner or later) the world (or at least the part which stretches from Vladivostok in the east to Vancouver in the west) will go back to its pre-crisis state. There is no way back. The old bridges were burned while new bridges have not yet been built. The paradigm of world development geared at the prospects of long-term partnership (which, for a long time, had looked the only option) was destroyed.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Politics, History, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, United States of America
  • Author: Elzbieta Kaca, Roderick Parkes, Anita Emőke Sobják
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The EU is inevitably a geopolitical player, but it seeks to avoid fulfilling this role by all means. This has resulted in increased instability in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) region. In order to bring healthy political choices to its troubled eastern neighbourhood, the EU should follow a 12-point plan focusing on a more nuanced policy towards Russia, stronger regional ties between Eastern partners, tailored EU conditionalities and an integration approach better suited to EaP countries, as well as improving EU political capacities in the region.
  • Topic: Self Determination, European Union, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine