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Post | Dec 01, 2021
While U.S.-Russian relations continue to deteriorate in many spheres, the Arctic provides an arena for possible cooperation. In particular, Russian wariness of China’s Arctic ambitions could provide novel opportunities for warming ties between Moscow and Washington.  

Washington on edge as relationship between Russia and China continues to strengthen
Moscow-Beijing ties are flourishing. Evidence of this abounds in areas ranging from military and aerospace cooperation to booming bilateral trade. In March of this year, the two powers agreed to join forces to build a research station on the Moon. In August, some 10,000 troops participated in Zapad/Interaction 2021—a series of joint strategic military exercises, which, according to the Russian Defense Ministry, aimed to demonstrate the "determination and ability of the two countries to fight terrorism and jointly protect peace and stability in the region." And in October, the Russian and Chinese navies conducted the latest in a series of joint maritime exercises in the Sea of Japan. Meanwhile, bilateral trade reached upwards of $40 billion in the first quarter of 2021—a 20% increase compared to the same period of 2020. And a representative of China's Commerce Ministry has announced plans to increase trade with Russia to some $200 billion, effectively doubling 2020's bilateral trade volume.
Post | Dec 01, 2021
One of the few things America’s Joe Biden and Russia’s Vladimir Putin had agreed upon prior to their first summit almost half a year ago was that they would not hold a joint press conference after their June 16 huddle at an 18th century villa in Geneva. The two presidents’ decision to talk to press separately came as no surprise, given how many major issues they publicly disagreed on at the time. Moreover, while Biden reportedly acted to delay a missile test that could have raised tensions with Russia prior to the summit, the U.S. president asserted publicly that he did not view the meeting as an end in itself: Whatever he and his Russian counterpart agreed on during the four-hour sit-down had to be implemented if U.S.-Russian relations were to move away from hyper-tension during his presidency, Biden said. He even set a deadline for taking stock of progress: “What is going to happen next is we’re going to be able to look back … in three to six months and say, ‘Did the things we agreed to sit down and try to work out, did it work?  … [A]re we closer to a major strategic stability talks and progress? Are we further along in terms of…’—and go down the line. That’s going to be the test,” Biden told his post-summit press conference. “This is not about trust; this is about self-interest and verification of self-interest,” he added.
Analysis | Nov 30, 2021
In Germany's relations with Russia, Angela Merkel's successor has endorsed a new “European Ostpolitik,” or eastern policy, a reference to former SPD chancellors' attempts to ease relations with the Soviet Union through greater dialogue and diplomatic exchange.
Event | Dec 07, 2021
Join Harvard Kennedy School's Shorenstein Center for a discussion on press freedom in the post-Soviet space.
Digest | Nov 24, 2021
Analysis | Nov 23, 2021
Putin may have lost patience with Zelenskiy, but he is unlikely to give marching orders to Russian troops until he exhausts options with Biden.
Post | Nov 22, 2021
On Nov. 19, the Center for the National Interest hosted a webinar, “Is Russia Poised to Invade Ukraine?” All speakers agreed that the build-up of Russian forces on the Ukrainian border does not look like a bluff, however, the panelists disagreed about Russia’s intention. George Beebe, the vice president and director of studies at the Center for the National Interest, and Dimitry Suslov see Russia’s objective as an agreement on Ukraine’s status with NATO. Melinda Haring, the deputy director of the Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center, believes Russia wants Ukraine firmly in its sphere of influence, and will not accept Ukraine as an independent entity with its own identity. Suslov, deputy director of the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies at the National Research University–Higher School of Economics, emphasized that Russia does not desire a large-scale conflict in Ukraine, and would accept a guarantee of Ukrainian neutrality. Michael Kofman, a senior research scientist at CNA and a fellow at the Kennan Institute, cautions that Russia may not be backing down, and would be capable of launching a large-scale operation against Ukraine if a favorable agreement is not reached.