Blog

Putin, Corruption, and "Game of Thrones"

By Nelli Babayan

Remember how the noble hero of “Game of Thrones,” Lord Eddard Stark, personally executes a deserter in the first season because “the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword”? It looks as if image-makers for Russian President Vladimir Putin have taken a page from Stark’s code of conduct.

Russia’s Ruble Dips to New Lows, But Moscow is Managing

By Christopher Miller

The ruble plunged to new lows today, exceeding 80 to the U.S. dollar for the first time ever. The slump in oil prices – now at $28 per barrel compared with over $100 two years ago – has dragged Russia’s currency down with it. Russia’s government depends on oil earnings for about half of its tax revenue, and commodities constitute the vast majority of the nation’s exports.

Cologne and the ‘Sexism of the Other’: Why Tougher Migration Policies Won’t Solve Sexual Abuse

By Anne Jenichen

On New Year’s Eve, large groups of men – alleged to be of Northern African provenience – harassed women and stole cell phones and other valuables around the Central Station in Cologne. The incidents were not confined to one place, as similar episodes were reported across other German cities and in a few other European countries.

An Expensive Fight for Russia and Turkey

By Christopher Miller

It was “a stab in the back,” Russian President Vladimir Putin declared. Turkey’s shooting down of the Russian jet over Turkish airspace in late November sparked angry denunciations from Moscow.

Merkel’s Year of Crisis Leadership - The Trusted Partner

By Stephen F. Szabo

WASHINGTON—Angela Merkel was not a born Atlanticist, having come of age in East Germany under a Communist regime. While she did not grow up in the deep networks that underpin German-American relations, this formative experience taught her the central importance of open and liberal societies and this meant giving priority to Germany’s relationship with the United States.

Russia, Germany and Nord Stream 2 - Ostpolitik 2.0?

By Stefan Meister

Nord Stream 2 is an expansion of the existing gas pipeline between Vyborg in Russia and Greifswald in Germany through the Baltic Sea. The consortium which will build the expansion consists of Russian Gazprom (50%), German E.ON (10%) and BASF/Wintershall (10%), Royal Dutch Shell (10%), Austrian OMV (10%) and French ENGIE (10%).

Russia Remains An Unlikely Partner for France Against ISIS

French President François Hollande continues his diplomatic marathon this week in Paris, hosting the international COP21 climate conference.

Success in Ukraine Could Threaten Western Unity

By Andrew Moravcsik

WASHINGTON—Today’s headlines about Syria obscure a major triumph for Western policy. Ukraine seems to be heading toward an informal settlement largely on European and U.S. terms. Yet this success could threaten the very Western unity that brought it about.

Russia's Propaganda and the EU's Mythbusters

Big Boys Don’t Cry,” taunted Sputnik, claiming that Russia’s “success” in Syria upsets the United States. The Kremlin’s “pervasive propaganda” machine has heavily supported its recent actions.

Towards A Common European Refugee Policy

By Thomas Straubhaar

The refugee crisis is a drama. But it is also an opportunity. It could provoke the European Union (EU) member countries to face reality, to accept that migration – and especially refugee – policies are no longer a competence single states can handle efficiently and to agree on a new common EU migration and refugee policy management.