"The megaproject has returned — another Soviet legacy pursued by the singular will of Vladimir Putin, who seems incapable of escaping the ideas that nurtured him from youth. The Olympics in Sochi are often called Putin's games, a profligate investment to prove to the world Russia's resurrection, a personal validation of his 14 years — and counting — as the country's paramount ruler."
"The Eurasian project is a mirage of a post-Soviet archipelago in which authoritarian leaders use each other to preserve their power. It may last a little longer. But before long, the sun will set on Mr Putin's imperial ambitions."
The Kremlin source told Reuters that for Putin, Khodorkovsky would have been much more of a headache if he served his sentence and was released as scheduled. If he were to stay in Russia, he would attract more attention for longer, which could empower him, the source said, adding that this way, Putin had closed his way back to Russia.
Former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, just pardoned after ten years in prison, is unlikely to challenge Putin at the ballot box, but don't rule out a role for him in Russia's political opposition, says expert Dimitri Simes.
RAND Corporation's Seth G. Jones and Keith Crane explain in a new Council Special Report how the United States should manage the complex political, security, and economic challenges that will accompany the reduction in U.S. and allied forces.
"The story of Bush's eight-year pas de deux with the master of the Kremlin, reconstructed through interviews with key players and secret notes and memos, offers lessons for President Obama as he struggles to define his own approach to Putin and shape the future of the two nuclear powers."
"[Putin's] worldview is that the world is in such a chaotic, incomprehensible state, that all attempts to influence it with direct action are counterproductive and only bring the opposite of the intended result,' says Fyodor Lukyanov, the editor of Russia in Global Affairs, who is seen as a good decoder of the Kremlin's thinking. Furthermore, the trope of U.S. obligation to do this or enforce that is more than galling to Putin, Lukyanov says. It is incomprehensible."
Carla Robbins argues that ignoring the Kremlin and putting current U.S.-Russia relations on pause is not an option worth pursuing. She stresses the importance of publicly warning Russia of the damage done to its global reputation through current policies, and the need to engage with Russia in areas of common interest, such as Iran.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu met in Washington, D.C. on August 9, 2013, to discuss trade, nuclear threat reduction, and strategies to address crises in Syria and Egypt.
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.