Hamidreza Azizi examines reactions in Iran to the Wagner groups rebellion. He writes that the wide range of responses to the mutiny, from government statements and state media to independent analysts, illustrates a broader trend of polarisation in Iranian foreign policy that has been increasingly visible in recent years in a multitude of areas, from nuclear negotiations to geopolitical alliances.
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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.
In September 2022 Russia was expelled from the European Convention on Human Rights due to its invasion of Ukraine. Since then, the remaining member states of the Council of Europe have placed a greater importance on stabilising and safeguarding the European Court of Human Rights system, which currently struggles to implement its judgments and ensure compliance. Nikita Gryazin and Julia Glukhikh explore how to best improve the efficacy of the court in the face of these issues.
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.
From Russia to Norway: Three scenarios for the Arctic Council’s future after the chairmanship handover
Important questions remain about future Arctic regional cooperation following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Next month, Norway will take over the chairmanship of the Arctic Council from Russia and diplomatic efforts are already underway to ensure the transfer goes as smoothly as possible. Gabriella Gricius explores three possible scenarios of what this Arctic Council could look like.
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.