"In a nutshell, Asia's biggest economies think they are becoming even more of a buyer's market for Russian energy, and hope to use Moscow's current turmoil to buy more gas for lower prices. If they're right, countries like China and South Korea would gain a longer-term, cheaper source of energy, while Moscow would be able to keep tapping its mineral wealth for decades to come."
Janine Davidson discusses the lack of clear NATO countermove in response to growing Russian aggression in the Ukraine. By standing mostly idle, NATO emboldens Russian military planners, making further escalation more–not less–likely.
"The west is not going to war with a nuclear-armed Russia. But outright annexation of a part of a smaller country strikes at the roots of the post-second world war European settlement. Angela Merkel, Germany's chancellor, was right to say that Russia had resorted to the "law of the jungle". This annexation cannot go unanswered. It is too dangerous a precedent."
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has weathered public protests, a corruption scandal, and mounting political pressure in the past year, and is likely to tighten his grip on power, says CFR's Steven Cook.
Russian President Vladimir Putin gave these remarks before the Russian parliament, stating that Crimea could become a part of Russia. After the speech, Russian and Crimean officials signed a treaty to unify the two regions. The United Nations passed a resolution on March 27, 2014, on Ukraine's territory.
"Russia's moves on Crimea, where its Black Sea fleet is based on territory leased from Ukraine, has diverted the international spotlight from Maidan. And the shift of battle lines from Kiev to Simferopol, Crimea's regional capital, has raised further questions about why and whether the revolutionary stragglers at Maidan are serving any useful purpose."
As Russian officials on Thursday announced new military operations in several regions near the Ukrainian border, it becomes clear that the country isn't just dealing with a political crisis. Its economy is also in jeopardy.
"Without a strong and assertive Germany, there can be no strong and assertive EU in the world. And without a more self-confident EU, the liberal global order―built and underpinned for decades by the United States―might not be sustainable. Germany must start to invest more in an order from which it has benefited so much over the decades."
In his testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs' Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations and Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats, Richard N. Haass discusses his role as the chair of the Panel of parties in the Northern Ireland Executive and the remit of forging consensus on the use of flags and emblems; the regulation of parades, commemorations, and attendant protests; and contending with the past.
"There are about three hundred thousand Crimean Tatars on the peninsula, and although they constitute only fifteen per cent of its population they have great political significance. If they do not back the upcoming referendum, it will be far more difficult for the pro-Moscow government in Crimea to legitimize what is in effect a Russian annexation of the peninsula."
"Eventually the new regime will consolidate power and increase its ties to the West, possibly joining the EU or even NATO. At that point, intervention would be prohibitively risky and Russia would simply have to live with the loss of Ukraine.…This seems to leave Putin no choice but to intervene now and press his advantage to the point of peaceful partition, if the Ukrainians do not resist, or civil/international war if they do. Windows of opportunity are powerful things. When you combine demonstrated hostility, present weakness and future strength, the incentive to act can be overwhelming."
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
The author examines Pakistan's complex role in U.S. foreign policy and advocates for a two-pronged approach that works to quarantine threats while integrating Pakistan into the broader U.S. agenda in Asia.