All tagged International Relations
No one expected Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev to step down. The 78-year-old is one of the last Soviet-era political leaders who has remained in power for almost 30 years. Despite resigning from the presidency in March, he will remain the power behind the ‘throne,’ with wide-ranging consequences for the region.
The April 9th election will not only decide who will lead Israel as Prime Minister, but it also has the potential to make drastic changes to Israeli policies towards the Palestinian Territories. Netanyahu’s victory may strike the deathblow to the two-state solution. His defeat could herald the rebirth of the Palestinian peace process. Israeli voters must now decide: to gamble on Gantz’s promise of diplomacy under fresh leadership or to defend Netanyahu’s narrative of an Israel under siege.
The Crimean Peninsula may have strategic significance for the Russian military, but Russian President Vladimir Putin can no longer play the Crimea card at home for political gain. Even though the 2014 annexation of Crimea resulted in a sharp increase in the Russian president’s approval ratings, five years on the matter has been overshadowed by widespread economic hardship.
Despite major conflicts between India and Pakistan, the one constant rule has been the sanctity of the de facto borders in the contested territory of Kashmir. Such an understanding has ensured that both nations, while heavily active on the border, dare not violate it whatsoever, to the extent that individuals meeting in border crossings into the region usually maintain cordial relations. However, India and Pakistan’s de facto policy on the Kashmir region has changed dramatically over the last few years, perhaps irrevocably.
On the 14th of February, two conferences took place on the Middle East. One, featuring representatives from over 60 countries, took place in Warsaw under the leadership of the United States, with generous support from Poland. The other one was a trilateral summit at Sochi, featuring the leaders of Russia, Armenia and Turkey, and organized by Russia. These two summits provide a perfect example of the two approaches that major powers currently employ towards the region, as well as the sharp contrasts in the leadership and effectiveness of Russia and America in the region.
The United States has officially announced that it is withdrawing from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Force Treaty in response to what it deems a “material breach” of the Treaty by the Russian Federation. Although the announcement marks the official loss of the Treaty, the unraveling of the INF has been years in the making. Although neither the United States nor Russia are yet able to agree upon who is to blame for the demise of the INF Treaty, there is no doubt that the next move is Moscow’s to make.
Confucius Institutes are at the heart of the Chinese government’s push to cultivate soft power in the United States. However, allegations that Confucius Institutes have limited academic free speech on host campuses have dogged the program.
President Donald Trump wants a better relationship with Russia. Seven months into the Trump administration, however, U.S. - Russian relations remain just as low now as they were under Obama. While there are several points of hostility between the two powers—NATO enlargement, Syria, cyberattacks—it’s easy to forget that the illegal annexation of the relatively unknown Crimea, was the springboard for this current era of animosity.