Vladimir Putin with the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko and the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev in Minks. August 2014.
Blog / Russia and Eurasia

The EEU: Putin’s new Soviet Empire?

Current signatories to the EEU. Photo Source: Leftcry via Wikimedia Commons.

Vladimir Putin once famously said “Anyone who does not regret the passing of the Soviet Union has no heart. Anyone who wants it restored has no brains”. This quote made by the Russian President has become increasingly relevant since the announcement establishing the Eurasian …

Moscow,_Neglinnaya_12,_Central_Bank
Blog / Europe

Putin’s State of the Nation Address Crumbles after Economic Turmoil

The Russian Central Bank has raised interest rates to 17% in an attempt to restore confidence in the ruble which has lost over half of its value against the dollar. Photo Source: Kuba via Wikimedia Commons.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent State of the Nation Address has once again reminded the West, and the …

The European empires in 1914.
Blog / International Security

The End of Imperial History?

The European empires in 1914; Andrew0921 via Wikimedia Commons

World War II dealt a death-blow to the European colonial system, and the break-up of the former Soviet Union in 1991 completed the decolonisation of global politics. As the world gets progressively less Euro-centric, some of these lines are now beginning to vanish entirely. 2014 has …

SouthCaucasus
Blog / Europe

The geopolitical reality of the South Caucasus

The South Caucasus – the region of three very different countries, namely Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia has always been on the outskirts of different empires throughout history – Sassanids, Byzantine, Arab Caliphate, Seljuks, Mongol empire, Turkman-led Safavids, Ottomans, Tsar Russia and finally the Soviets. The region has continuously shifted its attention …

NATO flag
Blog / Europe

Why Do We Still Need NATO?

As the heads of NATO states gathered in Newport to review the organisations security priorities going forward, a wider question hung s in the air that is far more fundamental than the specific level of sanctions to impose on Russia. What is NATO for anymore? Is it a meaningful institution that really increases our security, …

SovietSofiaStatue
Blog / Europe

Bulgaria’s Soviet Past is not set in Stone

In Sofia, monuments to the Soviet Army have been vandalised a number of times – this Pop Art version of a statue appeared in 2011 and more recently in 2013 it was been daubed in Pink paint. Паметник на Съветската армия via Wikimedia Commons

Last month, Russia issued a protest note about a vandalised Soviet monument …

South Caucasus
Blog / Europe

The Foreign Policy Strategies of the EU and Russia towards the South Caucasus: Reformism vs Conservativism

Map of Caucasus region prepared by the U.S. State Department, 1994 via University of Texas

In my previous contributions to Future Foreign Policy, I have already suggested that the European Union (EU) is in a geopolitical game in the Eastern neighbourhood, building its position against a strong geopolitical actor – Russia. To understand this …

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Blog / Russia and Eurasia

What the World Cup means to Russia

Estádio Jornalista Mario Filho, Rio De Janeiro: one of the 2014 World Cup stadiums. Photo Source: Luciano Silva via Flickr Creative Commons.

The final whistle of their 1-1 draw with Algeria on 26 June marked a disappointing first-round exit for the Russian football team, without a single win. Yet the team’s failure is not just …

HMNB Clyde the home of the UK's nuclear deterrent. Source: Ron Strutt via Wikimedia Commons
Blog / Europe

Russia: The Justification for Trident Renewal

HMNB Clyde the home of the UK’s nuclear deterrent. Source: Ron Strutt via Wikimedia Commons

The scene is set for a renewal of Trident. Last week the British and American Security Information Council (BASIC) reported the results of a three-year study by the Trident Commission with the conclusion that Trident should be renewed. The risk, …

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Blog / Europe

Failure of Conditionality: A new approach to the Eastern Partnership?

Photo Source: EU Neighbourhood Info Centre.

In all of the academic and journalistic discussions on the influence of the European Union on the development and shaping of governance in accession and neighbouring countries, referred to sometimes under different terms such as EU external governance or Europeanisation, one of the main issues addressed is …