From the incident at Pristina airport (1999) to the seizure of Crimea (2014), Moscow is trying to demonstrate that it will not abide by rules set by others, nor resign itself to the place of a second-tier power.
Russia / NIS
Russia—as a great power, an emerging market and an energy heavyweight—is intriguing. Both Russia and the post-Soviet space tend to be somewhat volatile and impenetrable.
The Russia/NIS Center, however, casts light on this region. Created in 2004, it anticipates new developments, enriches public debate and empowers decision-making on issues related to Russia and the New Independent States (NIS).
The Center regularly publishes papers on a wide array of themes, from central issues (such as the interaction between foreign policy and energy policy) to topics that are more innovative in France such as the Russian government’s attitude to internet governance, and the competitiveness of Russian universities.
The Center’s digital collection Russie.Nei.Visions (set up in 2005 and available in Russian, English and French) has become an important resource. Its analyses are widely disseminated via social networks and our researchers have a strong presence in French and international media.
Since the Center’s fouding, Ifri has hosted several top political representatives and key economic players in the Russian/NIS space. Attendees at Ifri’s seminars and conferences, include former Ukrainian presidents V. Yushchenko and V. Yanukovych, former Georgian president M. Saakashvili and Russian Minister for Economic Development A. Ulyukayev.
The Center maintains a strong presence in the field, staying close to public authorities and multinational firms in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) area. It has also developed many partnerships with think tanks and research institutes in Europe, the United States, China, Japan and the post-Soviet space.
To implement the “grand strategy”, Moscow’s strongest card is the energy weapon. However, the fall in oil prices and the conflict in Ukraine have brought things sharply into perspective. The traditional military dimension of the army is currently resigned to waging “limited wars” in localized...
In the recent years Russia has made a significant effort in favor of modernizing its armed forces which allowed it to execute the swift annexation of Crimea in March 2014. Nevertheless, the deteriorating economic situation casts doubts on Russia’s ability to continue these ambitious reforms.<...>
Russia’s Domestic Evolution: What Impact on its Foreign Policy? Russie.Nei.Visions, No. 84, April 2015
Throughout the Ukraine crisis, the West has been surprised at the brutality of Russia's reaction. It has also been surprised by the broad support for Vladimir Putin's policy among the country’s elites and the population at large (88% of whom back the policy), despite the impact of sanctions...
Two questions arise when the role of a diaspora in crisis is considered. Do diasporas embody an internal threat to the security of the nation state? And why do some efforts to use diasporas as a tool of international politics succeed while others fail? In this paper, the Ukrainian 2014-2015...
After denying Russian intervention in Crimea, President Putin ultimately recognized that it indeed happened and then used fallacious arguments to justify it.
German-Russian Relations: Change of Paradigm versus 'Business as Usual' Note du Cerfa, No. 120, February 2015
In 2014, Germany’s relations with Russia markedly deteriorated. The decline was precipitous but it did not occur suddenly. It began some time before Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and the Kremlin’s support for separatism and thinly concealed military intervention in eastern...
For much of the post-Soviet period, Central Asia has been a backwater of Russian foreign policy. But things are changing. Circumstances in and beyond the region are driving a more committed approach in Moscow.
CSIS expert Jeff Mankoff explains the reasons of the crisis in Ukraine, and how the U.S. should try to reestablish a more stable situation in central Europe, mixing containment and engagement of the Russian partner.
Moldova's National Minorities: Why are they Euroskeptical? Russie.Nei.Visions, No. 81, November 2014
Following the 2014 separatist conflict in Ukraine, observers have worried about the potential for a similar conflict in Moldova that would interrupt the country’s EU association. Indeed, Moldova’s national minorities largely oppose the country’s process of approximation and integration with...