The forthcoming Monday meeting in Vienna between US Special Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov should herald the start of a new arms control process, and every small step counts.
Russian President Vladimir Putin endorsed a new nuclear deterrent policy which allows him to use nuclear weapons in response to a conventional strike targeting the country's critical state and military infrastructure. But the document is more about effect than substance.
Officials from Donald Trump’s administration have now announced that the US will formally withdraw in six months from the Open Skies Treaty. The viability of multilateral confidence- and security-building measures is called into question.
Israeli opinion generally regards the country’s efforts to contain Iran, especially in Syria, as having been successful. In fact, the trendline runs the other way: Iran is constraining Israel, entrenching all around the Jewish state.
Since the beginning of armed conflict in Syria and Iraq, thousands of militants from the Caucasus region have participated in the war. However, dislodging Daesh and a collapse of the insurgency in the North Caucasus have substantially diminished the capacities of North Caucasian jihadi groups. Nevertheless, militancy in the region has potential.
Five years on from their initial introduction, international sanctions on Russia have done little to alter the country’s behaviour on the international scene or domestically. As the sanctions continue to restrict foreign investment in Russia’s infrastructure, authorities are keen to promote the idea of megaprojects – large but often symbolic constructions – as a distraction from Russia’s economic...