Spotlight on Geopolitics

Archives for Russia

The landslide success of Erdogan’s party, the AKP, and Vladimir Putin’s skyrocketing domestic popularity in the wake of the Crimean crisis are golden opportunities for a rethink of Western officialdom’s policies towards Turkey and Russia. Unlike my counterparts in Washington, I prefer to label the Turkish and Russian political systems as “alternative democracies”. Sure, on… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

Saturday’s collapse of the accord brokered on Friday by the three EU foreign ministers in Kiev calls into question the wisdom of Western involvement in Ukraine. Over here we all knew that Ukraine was not only a new country on the map of Europe, but also very vulnerable to being partitioned in two by superpowers… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

About four years ago I have written a post on the tense geopolitical situation affecting the internal affairs of Romania and Ukraine. I provide readers with its link below because I believe it is as relevant today as it was then, and also because a high-ranking White House official freely admits that the US and… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

Since the onset of the sovereign debt crisis, it has again become fashionable to explain southern Europe’s economic troubles in the light of the Mediterranean countries’s natural habitat, climate and lifestyle. The people of Greece, Spain and Italy, for example, are regularly portrayed in the popular press as less productive and laid back, in contrast… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

Hedging one’s bets

At the periphery of the European Union, two candidates for membership are trying to hedge their geopolitical bets. Turkey, the largest of the two, is a long-standing NATO member but has also gained recently ” dialogue partner “status within SCO (Shanghai Co-operation Organization) , which includes China, Russia and four of the “five stans”. While… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

In the ’50s, the fear of depression had prompted Americans to resort to military capitalism, leading to the creation of the military-industrial complex they are now downsizing. The lesson, however, was apparently lost in Asia : a MIC is relatively easy to set up, very expensive to run and exteremely difficult to dismantle. With the… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

The implosion of the Soviet Union has in many ways adversely affected the stability of the Central Asian republics like Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan or Uzbekistan. Since 1991, a loose alliance of 11 former Soviet republics, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), was formed in order to preserve, at least in part, the Soviet-era heritage in… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

International military analysts have recently pointed out that military spending in Asia has increased to 262 billion euros in 2012. The amount could overtake the EU’s own military spending in the near future, possibly as early as next year. Smaller military budgets, however, are consistent with the EU’s new focus on soft power and diplomacy,… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

It is a well-known geopolitical fact that from 1914 to this day, Serbia has received military support or security guarantees from Russia. The latest such support was in evidence during NATO’s intervention in Kosovo, when Russian troops were present in the province in order to make sure Serbian interests were being respected by the Western… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

The OSCE December summit

This fall’s Deauville summit between Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy and Dimitri Medvedev has highlighted the need to include Russia in a pan-European security architecture, distinct from the decaying and confrontational-type North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). Fortunately since 1975 European nations, regardless of EU membership, have had one of the most advanced regional co-operative security structures… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi