Russia

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The Contours of a New Western Russia Strategy

In this Brief, Kristi Raik explores the profound changes in the EU’s and NATO’s Russia strategy following the invasion of Ukraine. Russia is now approached as an adversary and existential threat not just to Ukraine, but to European and international rules-based security order. She highlights two major factors – enhancing Ukraine’s and NATO’s defence vis à vis Russia and isolating the Russian economy from the West – as key elements of an emerging new Western strategy.

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China-Russia Alliance – Lessons from Japan’s Failed “Detachment” Strategy

After the Ukraine crisis, Moscow has learnt that narratives on a potent “China-Russia alliance” can be weaponised to influence the decision-making of its targets and leverage concessions from countries alarmed by China’s rise. Thus, this narrative has been often purposefully advanced by Vladimir Putin and instrumentalised by agents of influence, such as those of the Valdai Discussion Club, as a pretext to return to “business as usual” with Moscow.

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How to Think About the China-Russia Partnership

Since the conclusion of the Treaty on Good-Neighbourliness and Friendly Cooperation in 2001, the balance of power between China and Russia has appreciably shifted in favour of the former, but their common definition of the enemy and the complementarity of their core interests remains as strong as it ever was.

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The Russian Orthodox Church: Faith, Power and Conquest

Until recently, the Russian Orthodox Church was a subject that interested few outside expert circles. That dramatically changed in late 2018 when the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople granted autocephaly (independence) to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The reverberations of this decision — religious, political and geopolitcal — underscore the importance that the Church once again plays in Russian policy.

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