Vladimir Olenchenko
(PhD in Law, Senior Research Fellow, IMEMO RAN, RIAC expert)

Yuri Kvashnin
(PhD in History, Head of the European Union Studies Department, IMEMO RAN, RIAC expert)

Copyright: http://russiancouncil.ru (Date of Publication: 2 March 2014)

Historical Preview

Russian-Greek bilateral relations have deep historical roots. From the 18th centuryonwards, as a constituent region in the Ottoman Empire, and as an independent state since 1830, Greece has had particular geostrategic significance for Russia. Due to its geographic situation Greece for protracted periods acted as a pro-Russian and Orthodox mainstay in the Balkans (alongside Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro). Greece’s independence is to a great extent predicated on the active support – economic, diplomatic and military – that Russia rendered to that country’s national-liberation movement. At the same time, due to the significant political influence exerted on Greece by two other powers that also acted as patrons, namely Great Britain and France, relations between Russia and Greece in the 19th century did not develop smoothly. In the final decades of the Russian Empire, Slavic states such as Serbia, Montenegro and, to a certain extent, Bulgaria were among Russia’s top diplomatic priorities in the Balkans....Read more

Ioannis Chatzopoulos
(Political Scientist, MA University of Warwick, Editor -in -Chief of Nea Politiki monthly review)

Copyright: www.rieas.gr

‘‘Perhaps no part of Europe has suffered more from the old pattern of geopolitics then the Baltic states...and no part of Europe will benefit more if we are successful in overcoming these old patterns and replace them with new habits of cooperation’’ (Madeleine Allbright, Former U.S. Secretary of State, 1997)

The geopolitical importance of the Baltic States

The geopolitical interpretation of the Baltic states position in the international system shows that their position is rather complicated. The Baltic states are located in the region which is circumvented by the main geopolitical collisions. At the same time East-Baltic sub-region is a place where a fundamental confrontation of global powers is feasible. Therefore, the East-Baltic subregion is a ‘theatre’ both for maritime and continental powers.

Marina Aristova
(Postgraduate Researcher, University of Indianapolis (Athens Campus)

Copyright: www.rieas.gr

Background and Reasons to Reset US-Russia Relations

In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama announced a new foreign policy strategy regarding Russia: the relations of reset. President Obama’s initiative was preceded by years of serious disagreements and disputes over missile defense, NATO membership enlargement, post-Soviet space, and the war in Georgia. President Obama sought to engage the Russian government to pursue foreign policy goals of common interest—win-win outcomes—for the American and Russian people (http://goo.gl/6u6I). Though both countries overcame virtually everything that defined their Cold War confrontation, the United States and Russia were not able to develop sustainable cooperative bilateral relations (Allison et al. 2). In August 2008, the Russia-US relationship reached its highest level of post-Cold War tension. The military conflict between Russia and Georgia in August 2008, in which the U.S. supported Georgia, has been described as ‘a post-cold war nadir for US-Russian relations’ (Mankoff, 109). Consequently, President Obama’s initiative was a necessary and essential step to improve bilateral relations, achieve a sustainable cooperative relationship, and overcome the legacy of suspicion and distrust. Also, both countries faced the threat of international terrorism, global economic crisis and other challenges of the 21 century.

Darya Bazarkina
(Lecturer, Communication Management Specialization, Faculty of Philosophy, Lomonosov Moscow State University)

Copyright: www.rieas.gr

Today the important role of information and communication in the provision of national and international security is recognized at a global level. Unfortunately, the terrorists today are often more efficient at controlling the behavior of public by means of communication than are state security forces. Thus, to successfully counter terrorism, it is necessary to understand the motives of new recruits’ joining terrorist organizations, which requires not only an analysis of the economic basis of terrorism, but also a research of the ideology and communication aspects of terrorist activities.

Daniel Little
(RIEAS Senior Advisor)

Copyright: www.rieas.gr

History is as much defined by circumstances and perceptions as they are by their actors.  While debate over the minutest detail lies within the domain of history’s most stalwart scholars, it is the available evidence that ultimately persuades the contemporary practitioner to draw parallels between the world that was and the reality it has evolved to become.  The fields of diplomacy and defense in particular are driven by such national interests.  Whether they are rooted in history (notably war and politics), economic comparative advantages (or disadvantages) or geographic placement, the aspirations to fully realize national identity leaves nothing to chance for those who wield its power.  For those who rule, the ability to know addresses how to act, when to act and the degree to which it is acted upon that can decide a nation’s fate.  This cannot be obtained by the leaders themselves – someone must go out there and obtain it for them.  Normally entrusted to the most ardent and enterprising of its patriots, the desire to act decisively on a strategic level requires uncommon sacrifice much less risk taking. Such people, win or lose, serve the intelligence branch of their country.  In the field, they are known as ‘spies.’ ...  Read more

Nastassia Sianko
(Energy Security Analyst)

Copyright: Nastassia Sianko on line 

In recent years, many analysts have noted the dependence of many European countries on Russian energy. In 2008, 40% of the European Union (EU) natural gas and 33% of oil imports came from Russia. And these figures, especially imports of natural gas (being seen by many as ‘fortunate fuel’), are expected to grow because the global demand for energy is increasing.....  Read more

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