After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, governments in the former Soviet Union were immediately forced to deal with difficult geopolitical realities. In this report for the ELN, YGLN member Daniel Shapiro uses quantitative and qualitative analysis to show there is increased heterogeneity in geopolitical positioning among post-Soviet states and offers key lessons from this for Western policymakers.
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Alexandra Filippenko explores the reasons why Russian civil society institutions failed to prevent the war in Ukraine and suggests a number of measures that Western democracies may take together with Russian opposition leaders to end the war and establish a lasting peace.
This weekend’s meeting between the EU, Azerbaijan and Armenia is timely and important, as there are real risks that the humanitarian emergency in Nagorno-Karabakh may be a prelude to wider escalation in the southern Caucasus, writes Jane Kinninmont. As the Minsk Group of governments tasked with addressing the conflict appears to be barely active, the EU role will be critical.
The deployment of Russian tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus would increase nuclear risks and undermine key nonproliferation norms, but it would not alter the strategic balance in Europe. For Russia, sharing nuclear weapons with Belarus might well backfire politically. NATO countries should therefore resist the impulse to up the nuclear ante.
A new Russian offensive this year raises the threat of Belarus playing a more active role in Russia’s war in Ukraine. Even though facts on the ground point to this being a less likely scenario, decision-makers should prepare for the unexpected. The situation could change at any moment, with the risk of the conflict widening.
This month, Chancellor Shultz wrote, “Germans are intent on becoming the guarantor of European security that our allies expect us to be, a bridge builder within the European Union and an advocate for multilateral solutions to global problems”. But to do so requires a “new strategic culture” in Germany’s security strategy – What shifts should we expect in the new Security Strategy and where do the main challenges lie?