Russia and Central Asia

Article

Falling Oil Prices, the Saudis, and the Soviets

Author: Stephen Sestanovich
Wall Street Journal

With oil prices collapsing, Saudi Arabia is facing similar problems that the Soviet Union faced decades ago. Saudi policymakers’ economic reform strategies also echo those of  Mikhail Gorbachev. However, different from Gorbachev’s Soviet Union, Saud Arabia’s foreign policy is both confrontational and interventionist. Saudi seeks change, but hopes to keep it in bounds, and may want the world to remain a dangerous place.

See more in Saudi Arabia; Oil; Russian Federation

Event

Censorship and Free Expression in Modern Russia

Speaker: Ilya Danishevsky
Speaker: Anna Nemzer
Speaker: Maria Stepanova
Speaker: Ludmila Ulitskaya
Presider: Kimberly Marten

Four Russian literary figures share their experience as creative intellectuals in modern Russia and provide their perspective on the Russian government’s use of media, literature, and other forms of creative expression to regulate the narrative of the past and the present.

See more in Russian Federation; Culture and Foreign Policy

Article

Testing Putin in Syria

Author: Richard N. Haass
Project Syndicate
There has been no shortage of scrutiny of what Russian President Vladimir Putin is up to in Syria and why, writes CFR President Richard N. Haass. Much of the analysis, though, has been narrowly focused on the short term and may be too negative in assessing his actions’ likely long-term consequences.

See more in Syria; Russian Federation; Conflict Assessment

Op-Ed

Is Russia an ‘Existential Threat’?

Author: Stephen Sestanovich
Wall Street Journal

The Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing on Russia last week to address this question: How should we think about Russian actions in the Middle East and Europe? Having been invited to speak, I found that one theme of my testimony stirred up an argument—among other witnesses, senators, staff, and even (in follow-on e-mails) administration officials.

See more in Russia and Central Asia; United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Op-Ed

Will Obama Look Weak If He Meets With Putin?

Author: Stephen Sestanovich
Wall Street Journal

It looks as though President Barack Obama will sit down with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the United Nations later this month. In a New York Times report Wednesday, journalists Peter Baker and Andrew E. Kramer described the administration’s internal debate about whether to schedule the meeting.

See more in United States; Russian Federation; Presidents and Chiefs of State