Russian President Vladimir Putin’s vaunted “stability” has turned into spoliation. The methods he used to fix the corrupt, dysfunctional post-Soviet state have produced yet another corrupt, dysfunctional state—and unfortunately, there is no end to it in sight.
Leaders from Germany, France, Russia, and Ukraine met in Belarus to negotiate a ceasefire between Ukrainian troops and separatists. The ceasefire takes effect February 15, 2015, and outlines the withdrawl of heavy weapons and constitutional reform to provide more automony to groups in the Donetsk and Luhansk, regions in eastern Ukraine.
Whatever you think about sending arms to Ukraine, the debate has clearly had a positive effect on diplomacy. Throughout January, Angela Merkel, François Hollande, Petro Poroshenko, and Vladimir Putin canceled one meeting after another.
Steven A. Tananbaum Senior Fellow for International Economics Robert Kahn argues that the Russian economy is not yet facing a full-blown economic and financial crisis. An upturn in inflation and a deeper recession will be the real tests in the coming months.
According to the prevailing wisdom in the West, the Ukraine crisis can be blamed almost entirely on Russian aggression. Russian President Vladimir Putin, the argument goes, annexed Crimea out of a long-standing desire to resuscitate the Soviet empire, and he may eventually go after the rest of Ukraine, as well as other countries in eastern Europe.
Twenty-five years ago this November, an East German Politburo member bungled the announcement of what were meant to be limited changes to travel regulations, thereby inspiring crowds to storm the border dividing East and West Berlin.
President Vladimir Putin gave him annual address to the Russian Federal Assembly on December 4, 2014. he discussed events in the Ukraine related to the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement and current security situation. He also discussed his vision for the Eurasian Economic Union and other economic, business, and technology projects.
Senior Fellow Stephen Sestanovich argues that to understand where Vladimir Putin will lead Russia, viewers should look to three things in his state of the union address: how he defines the country’s present problems, what he proposes as solutions to them, and how he sets out his long-term vision for Russia.
Ambassador Blackwill and Mr. Simes discuss the stage currently being set for an even more dramatic confrontation between the West and Russia over Ukraine. The authors argue that President Obama must recognize the danger to U.S. national interests that the crisis may create and act accordingly.
CFR's Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, Robert D. Blackwill, Vitaly Churkin, permanent representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, and Frank Elbe, former director of German Foreign Minister Hans-Deitrich Genscher's cabinet, join Mary Elise Sarotte of Harvard University to discuss the factors and steps that led to the end of the Cold War.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2015 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 »