Russia and Eastern Europe

Russian Presidential Press and Information Office

Russia’s annexation of Crimea and support for rebel forces in Eastern Ukraine have precipitated a dramatic fracture in relations between between Russia and the West. In response, a broad Western economic sanctions regime has bitten into the Russian economy, and the United States has sought to shore up support among Eastern European and Baltic states. The annexation and response represent a major test-case for international governance, principles of sovereignty and the reliability of the American security umbrella, particularly NATO.

Latest in Russia and Eastern Europe

Russia and Eastern Europe

Russian Theater: How to Respond to Moscow’s Return to the African Stage

Russia is preparing to launch its first Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi on Oct. 24. President Vladimir Putin and the summit co-host, Egyptian leader and African Union Chairman Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, invited all of the African heads of state along with the leaders of major subregional associations and organizations. Russia almost certainly will advertise the summit as an emblem of its triumphant return to center stage in Africa.

Russia and Eastern Europe

Heading for (Another) Ukraine-Russia Gas Fight?

Editor’s Note: The article originally appeared on Order from Chaos.

Twice in the past 14 years, a dispute between Ukraine and Russia has led Russia to cut off natural gas flows to Ukraine and Europe. The stage is being set for another cut-off in January. The European Union wants to ensure that gas continues to flow, so EU officials will attempt at a mid-September meeting to broker an agreement. But they face a difficult slog.

Federal Law Enforcement

Foreign Actors in U.S. Courts: Beginning an Important Conversation

The question of Russian interference in the American political system is not going away. Even as the various investigations of Russian “meddling” in the 2016 election wind down, concerns about the security of the 2020 election abound. Alongside these concerns, another question has started to mature, mostly in legal circles for now: the question of Russian exploitation of the American and international legal systems.

Ukraine

NATO’s Ukraine Challenge

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on Order from Chaos.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy visited Brussels on June 4 and 5, where he met with the leadership of the European Union and NATO. He reaffirmed Kyiv’s goal of integrating into both institutions—goals enshrined earlier this year as strategic objectives in Ukraine’s constitution.

Cybersecurity and Deterrence

What’s the Point of Charging Foreign State-Linked Hackers?

The May 7 indictment of a Chinese national and unnamed conspirator for hacking and stealing data from nearly 80 million customers of the health care company Anthem in 2015, which researchers previously linked to Chinese state-sponsored actors, is the latest iteration of a four-year U.S.

Russia and Eastern Europe

Deal or No Deal? International Influence and the Serbia-Kosovo Conflict

Almost three decades after the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the conflict between Serbia and Kosovo continues to be a source of local tension and an issue in international politics. The dispute stems from Serbia’s refusal to recognize Kosovo as a country after Kosovo seceded from Serbia in 2008. The failure to resolve the dispute between Kosovo and Serbia has prevented both countries from joining the European Union (EU).

Sanctions

Lifting of Treasury Sanctions on Deripaska Highlights Role for Congress in Foreign Affairs Decisions

On Dec. 19, the Trump administration notified Congress that in 30 days it would lift sanctions on several companies connected with sanctioned Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska: aluminum giant Rusal and two related entities named EN+ and EuroSibEnergo (ESE). The relief comes after the companies agreed to reduce Deripaska’s ownership in the companies below 50 percent and make other organizational and governance changes to diminish Deripaska’s control.

Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act

Russia Asserts Immunity in the DNC Case

Writing in Lawfare in April 2018, I considered the role of foreign sovereign immunity in the Democratic National Committee’s lawsuit against the Russian Federation and Russian individuals and entities. The case raised an interesting set of issues, I noted, but “these questions will only arise if Russia and the state-related defendants are properly served and if they decide to litigate rather than default.” The courts may get to think through some of these questions after all.

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