On March 19th, 2023, Kazakhstan held competitive elections for its lower house – the Mazhilis – to decide the political direction of the young democracy established after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Despite some reported problems, the parliamentary elections were the freest in the country’s history and a vital step forward for Kazakhstan’s democratization and political pluralism. Continue reading
Category Archives: Russia & Eurasia
Energy Diplomacy Isn’t Helping Russia In Africa
Concerns over food security and dependency on Russian foodstuffs force African states to remain distant from the conflict. Now in addition to this food dependency, Russia has begun augmenting its diplomatic playbook in Africa with changes in its energy diplomacy and military power projection. Continue reading here.
Ukraine’s “Marshall Plan” Should Come with Transparency
Ukraine, a democratic ally with a transatlantic orientation, is fighting a domestically and internationally popular defensive conventional war against Russia, a former imperial master that is attempting to deny Ukraine peoplehood and statehood and that happens to be longtime rival to the U.S. With moral indignation driving a rare bipartisan U.S. foreign policy, there is an understandable
Winter Is Coming. Energy Solutions Are Not.
A grim outlook was presented to European leaders and energy executives by the International Energy Agency (IEA) at its annual energy efficiency conference in Copenhagen on June 8th. Europe is unprepared for the coming winter. Governments across Europe have the difficult task of both finding the required energy for winter and relieving consumers of the burden posed
To Cap Or Not To Cap: G7’S Overambitious Plan To Punish Russian Oil And Alter The Future Of Oil Markets
On June 28th, leaders of the G7 announced that they agreed to explore the possibility of imposing a price cap on Russian oil to reduce Moscow’s energy revenues. While many view this as political exigency or a futile return to price controls, the truth is far more complex — with reverberations beyond the war in Ukraine or
Needed: Bipartisan support for America’s global leadership
A minority of Congressional Republicans are turning the U.S. response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine into a partisan issue. While demanding a thorough accounting of where U.S. dollars are going in the war effort certainly makes sense, flatly opposing aid to Ukraine is divisive and damaging to U.S. global interests, as U.S. allies are increasingly
Asia’s Hunger For Energy Will Not Save Russia’s Economy
Over the last year, the West imposed sanctions on Moscow, cut back its purchases of Russian hydrocarbons, and sent military support to Ukraine. But the world’s largest democracy, and one of the United States’ biggest allies in Asia, India, hasn’t done any of that. Rather, India has seized the opportunity to purchase cheap Russian energy to
The Coming Hurricane: Russian Energy-Giant Gazprom Is Creating An Army
Ukrainian intelligence has reported that Russian energy giant Gazprom is establishing its own private military company (PMC). The rationale for an energy company establishing a security force is at least vaguely plausible given the need to defend fixed assets in trouble spots. Western energy companies like Exxon and BP do the same. However, Gazprom is not establishing
Europe Is Winning The Energy War Against Russia
The invasion in Ukraine was supposed to be long over by now – by Kremlin’s count. After the first three days, Russia’s “short victorious war” would end with a Quisling government in and a parade through Kyiv which would have cemented Russian President Vladimir Putin’s legacy and the Russian empire redux of Eastern Orthodox Slavs:
Presidential Elections: A Boost For Kazakhstan’s Investment Climate
2022’s energy price convulsions did not start with Ukraine and Western sanctions against Russia. Another Russian neighbor, Kazakhstan, ushered in the year with protests triggered by higher fuel prices. These protests escalated into violence and rioting and sparked a brief Commonwealth Security Treaty Organization intervention, led by Russia. Read more here.