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. On April 17, 2014, President Putin held a question-and-answer session with the Russian public about the treaty. The United Nations passed a resolution on March 27, 2014, on Ukraine's territory.
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.
"Although Russia may not be as central to U.S. interests as was the Soviet Union, cooperation between the two is essential in many areas. Russia remains a nuclear superpower. It still has a major impact on U.S. national security interests in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Russia has an important role in the future of arms control, the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and the fight against terrorism."
The Ukraine crisis has spurred calls for ramping up U.S. liquefied natural gas exports to Europe, but lifting the ban on U.S. crude oil exports might help put more pressure on Russia, writes CFR's Meghan L. O'Sullivan.
"Democracy is going through a difficult time. Where autocrats have been driven out of office, their opponents have mostly failed to create viable democratic regimes. Even in established democracies, flaws in the system have become worryingly visible and disillusion with politics is rife. Yet just a few years ago democracy looked as though it would dominate the world."
"As pro-Russia demonstrations in 11 cities have suddenly erupted where significant populations of ethnic Russians live, the apparent organization of the demonstrators, appearances of Russian citizens and reports of busloads of activists arriving from Russia itself suggest a high degree of coordination with Moscow."
Is the West about to go to war with Russia over the fate of Ukraine? The question should answer itself. I can't imagine many Americans or Europeans willingly spending "blood and treasure" to keep Moscow's mitts off of Kiev and Kviv. So why, then, did President Obama publicly warn Vladimir Putin that armed aggression against Ukraine would lead to "consequences"?
For months ahead of the Winter Olympics in Russia, politicians and the media discussed the possibility of a terrorist attacks during the games. Micah Zenko reveals the truth about the likelihood of a terrorist attack in Sochi, analyzes how policymakers and the media misinformed the public, and discusses how the situation could have been handled better.
Russia's troubled North Caucasus region continues to struggle with a low-level Islamic insurgency, but a heavy-handed approach to counterinsurgency has not addressed the root causes of separatism in the region.
The Sochi Olympics have placed a spotlight on the poor global standing of Russia under Vladimir Putin, whose policies are likely to damage relations with the West long after the Games are over, writes CFR's Stephen Sestanovich.
"Recent attacks, including two in Volgograd, suggest that Islamist terrorists may try to strike across the country and embarrass Moscow during the Olympics, the preparations of which have been beset by allegations of abuses against the local populace. Beyond the immediate risk, they underline the urgent need to achieve a comprehensive political solution to the North Caucasus conflicts before rolling out fully an ambitious tourism project in republics that still have active insurgencies or have been seriously affected by conflict."
"How the Sochi Games grew so expensive is a tale of Putin-era Russia in microcosm: a story of ambition, hubris, and greed leading to fabulous extravagance on the shores of the Black Sea. And extravagances, in Russia especially, come at a price."
With the Winter Olympics at Sochi set to begin in a matter of days, former ambassador John Beyrle, Angela Stent of Georgetown University, and CFR's Stephen Sestanovich discuss the current state and recent history of U.S.-Russia relations with Andrew Guff.
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The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
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 »