Contrary to appearances, the crisis in Ukraine might be on the verge of resolution. The potentially crucial move came today when interim President Oleksandr Turchynov said that he would be open to changing the country's political system from a republic, with power centered in the capital Kiev, to a federation with considerable autonomy for the regional districts.
Robert Kahn argues that the West should be ready to impose more robust economic sanctions against Russia, in order to deter it from further infiltrating or destabilizing Ukraine. Russia's economic complexity means sanctions would meaningfully reduce Russian wealth and growth, since Russian oligarchs and business leaders have significant financial stakes in the West.
Former U.S. permanent representative to NATO Ivo H. Daalder and former supreme allied commander at NATO James G. Stavridis discuss Ukraine, the Russian presence in Crimea, and the meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels.
"The troops in Crimea may be the elite of the new Russian military. But the Kremlin's investment, analysts said, has revived the military, which has now shown that it can field a competent and even formidable force, and both guard the nation and project power to neighboring states."
Authors: Selina Williams, Geraldine Amiel, and Justin Scheck
"To replace what they pump, oil companies need to collaborate with state-owned companies that control 90% of the globe's remaining oil reserves, by a World Bank estimate. But governments often give foreign oil companies access only to the hardest-to-develop acreage. Kashagan's large-scale stumble shows how collaborations in these difficult fields can go sour for both sides."
"The US currently has 24 different sanctions programmes covering countries such as Côte d'Ivoire, Belarus and Syria, and companies involved in "conflict" diamonds. But as recently as the 1990s, support for them seemed to be waning."
Reversing Russia's annexation of Crimea is not the most urgent goal of the Western nations. The bigger challenge is to deal with the emerging fractious nationalism and prevent further breakup of Ukraine from within, writes Stephen Sestanovich.
President Barack Obama spoke at the Palais Des Beaux Arts in Brussels on March 26, 2014. He spoke about the history of formation of democracies in Europe and the importance of maintaining European regional security and the sovereignty of individual countries. President Obama argued for the United States and other countries to support Ukraine and to isolate the Russian government after Russia's annexation of Crimea.
Though calls are mounting for the United States to help free Europe from Russian influence by exporting shale gas, Michael Levi writes the most useful thing that Europe could import is not American gas itself but the open economic model that has enabled the U.S. natural gas industry to thrive.
Leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, the President of the European Council, and the President of the European Commission met in The Hague and released this statement on March 24, 2014. In the joint document, the leaders declares their support for Ukraine's sovereignty and their rejection of Russia's annexation of Crimea. The document states that the leaders will not attend the G8 meeting in Sochi in June 2014, but will convene as the G7 in Brussels.
The Foreign Policy Initiative organized fifty-two former U.S. government officials and foreign policy experts to sign a bipartisan letter to President Obama regarding policy to respond to Russia's actions in Ukraine.
With the annexation of Crimea and rhetoric about protecting Russians in the near abroad, President Vladimir Putin has helped launch a new stage of relations that poses threats to Russia's neighbors and itself, says expert Strobe Talbott.
"As NATO's long involvement in Afghanistan concludes, the renewed emphasis on Russia and Europe is also likely to delay the alliance's efforts to turn itself into a global actor, able to deal with threats like terrorism and cyberwarfare."
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.
"Industry lobbies estimate that 300,000 German jobs at 6,000 companies are dependent on trade with Russia. Exports to Russia totalled €36bn last year, with machinery, vehicles and vehicle parts together accounting for 40 per cent."
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 authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
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.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »