2019-08-05 - Comment
The End of the INF Treaty
On 2 August, the U.S. withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, citing years-long Russian violation of the accord. The Trump administration wants to develop and produce ground-launched cruise and ballistic missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometres, which were banned under the treaty. It will seek to deploy conventionally-armed missiles of this type in Asia and possibly in Europe as well. That will depend, however, on the internal political dynamics in the U.S. and consultations with allies.
2019-08-02 - Bulletin
Japan's Foreign Policy in the Context of the Rivalry Between the U.S. and China
Victory for the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Komeito coalition in the complementary elections to the upper house of the Japanese parliament will not bring about a significant change in Japan’s foreign policy. Neither will it allow constitutional reform, postulated by prime minister Shinz? Abe, for which he lacks the required majority. Amending the constitution would create new opportunities for military cooperation between the U.S. and Japan, but would have a negative effect on Japanese relations with China. Nevertheless, it is to be expected that Japan will be more active in its economic and security policies towards China and the United States, while the rivalry between these countries will become a greater challenge for the Japanese government.
2019-08-01 - Bulletin
Relations Between Bulgaria and the U.S.: Fields of Cooperation and Disagreement
Bulgaria views the United States as its main military ally and it is an important partner to the Americans in the fight against international terrorism. At the same time, energy cooperation between Bulgaria and Russia clashes with the U.S. desire to limit Russia’s influence and to gain the position of a major gas supplier to the Balkans. U.S. opposition is unlikely to halt Bulgarian plans to build an extension of the TurkStream gas pipeline, guaranteeing Russia further energy domination over the region.
2019-07-31 - Bulletin
Russia's Return to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Under pressure from Russia, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has restored to the Russian delegation rights which had been limited under sanctions imposed after the annexation of Crimea. It did this despite the fact that, contrary to previous resolutions, Russia has neither withdrawn from Crimea nor ceased to destabilise eastern Ukraine. The PACE concession was opposed by delegations of some Central and Eastern European countries, including Poland. Close coordination of their activities may create an opportunity to limit Russian representatives’ other rights.
2019-07-30 - Bulletin
Dilemmas in Russia's Policy Towards Iran
The common goal of Russia and Iran is to limit the role of the U.S. in the Middle East. At the same time, the Russian authorities are afraid to help Iran become too powerful, as this may threaten the Kremlin’s own position in the region. On the other hand, the growing conflict between Iran and the United States (along with the latter’s allies, including Arab states and Israel) may force Russia to choose a side and deprive it of the opportunity to act as a mediator in the Middle East.