Tag Archives: foreign_policy

NY Dispatches: Putin’s pitch

As voting commences in Russia’s plebiscite on Vladimir Putin’s constitutional reform the president is making his safest pitch to voters. But Putin cannot avoid making the vote about himself and people whose cooperation he needs to keep governing will know … Continue reading

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NY Dispatches: The shape of the constitution

Friday was going to be the (extended) deadline for presenting amendments to Vladimir Putin’s constitutional reform bill that the State Duma adopted in the first reading in January. Pavel Krasheninnikov, the co-chair of the constitutional reform working group however announced … Continue reading

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NY Dispatches: Pompeo in Belarus

Last week US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Minsk amidst an ongoing dispute between Belarus and Russia over the price of oil following the “tax maneuver”, a revamp of Russia’s system of taxing oil extraction and exports, which Belarusian … Continue reading

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Putin’s endgame

Vladimir Putin unveiled a set of sweeping constitutional amendments, Dmitry Medvedev’s government resigned, Russia’s new prime minister is a little-known tax official and Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov is “temporarily incapacitated”. And all of this happened within a couple of hours. … Continue reading

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Alexander the Reluctant

Belarus’s parliamentary election last week got barely any attention, even though the vote was a rehearsal for next year’s presidential election, in which Alexander Lukashenko, in power since 1994, will run for a sixth term. This coming election may tell … Continue reading

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Risky business

Economic growth was all the talk in Russia in recent weeks. The debates that have started earlier this year seem to have identified the problem – a chronically low investment rate – correctly. The solutions offered, however, reflect an inability … Continue reading

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NY Dispatches: Russia’s new “war economy”

Russia’s economy has enjoyed subdued growth in recent months. However, a damning audit report and the aftermath of a diplomatic spat reveal major structural problems stemming from the president’s reliance on a confrontational foreign policy. 

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