Categories
Politics

Mikhail Mishustin, Russia’s New Prime Minister

Image courtesy of Kremlin.ru. (CC BY 4.0)

This article was originally published by the Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) on 17 January 2020.

On 15 January, shortly after President Vladimir Putin delivered his annual address to the Federal Assembly, in which he announced changes to the constitution, it was reported that Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev and his government had resigned. The President entrusted the previous cabinet with the task of governing in the interim, but he then announced that he had nominated Mikhail Mishustin, who had hitherto been the head of the Federal Tax Service of the Russian Federation, for the post of prime minister. The new prime minister was approved by the State Duma on 16 January.

Categories
Elections

The Path to Politics: Belarus Prepares for Double Elections

Image courtesy of Cencillería del Ecuador/Flickr. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

This article was originally published by the Carnegie Moscow Center on 20 August 2019.

Elections in Belarus are traditionally administrative rituals. However, amid growing tensions with Russia and increased discussion of a future presidential transition in Minsk, the upcoming Belarusian parliamentary and presidential votes may be the start of cautious political change in the country.
Categories
Foreign policy

America’s Two Track Asia Policy

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This article was originally published by Pacific Forum on 5 February 2019.

President Trump came into office with strong prior beliefs about the failure of US alliance policy and the need for allies to pay for US defense efforts on their behalf. Some feared that he presaged a rising isolationism among the American public that would support a president seeking to pull back from US commitments overseas. But Trump is failing to lay the groundwork for a new approach to the Indo-Pacific. Instead, the US is pursuing a two-track Asia policy, with Congress and the administration reading from different scripts. And the public is only on board with one of those approaches.

Categories
Foreign policy

Going Legit? The Foreign Policy of Vladimir Putin

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This article was originally published by the Lowy Institute on 17 September 2018.

Key Findings

  • There will be broad continuity in Russian foreign policy over the course of Vladimir Putin’s current presidential term. Any policy changes will be stylistic, not transformative.
  • The Kremlin is committed to asserting Russia as a global power, although it will be tactically flexible in pursuing this ambition.
  • Putin will present different faces to the West: sometimes accommodating, at other times assertive and even confrontational. But there will be no compromise on core principles.
Categories
International Relations Economy

The US-Chinese Trade War Begins

Image courtesy of The White House/Flickr.

This article was originally published by YaleGlobal Online on 19 September 2018.

In his book Fear, journalist Bob Woodward suggests that Donald Trump’s protectionist instincts may be stronger than previously thought, preventing him from making commercial peace with traditional allies or trade partners. Recent actions against China leave no doubt. Yet, this is not simply the Trump administration directing “protectionist firepower” against China, to quote James Politi of the Financial Times. A geopolitical fight is also emerging about global technological leadership and US ambitions to contain China on this crucial frontier.