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On SecurityMar 1, 2021 | 22:20 GMT
Protesters clash with riot police during a rally in support of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow, Russia, on Jan. 23, 2021. Navalny was detained upon returning to Moscow after spending five months in Germany recovering from a near-fatal poisoning.
Russia: A Case Study on the Proliferation of Repression Tactics
Since the beginning of 2021, high-profile protests in diverse locations across the globe have called attention to the tactics governments are using to try to deter, disrupt and reduce the influence of mass demonstrations. Russia’s response to the widespread protests triggered by the arrest of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, in particular, provides a poignant case study on how authorities are increasingly using a wider array of counter-protest tactics beyond physical repression, with implications for security and stability in places where there is significant protest activity.
AssessmentsFeb 26, 2021 | 21:22 GMT
Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud walks the halls of the U.S. State Department in Washington D.C. after meeting with then-U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Oct. 14, 2020.
Biden Brings More Skepticism Into the U.S.-Saudi Relationship
As the drivers bringing them together weaken, the United States and Saudi Arabia will become more conservative in deepening their strategic ties and more critical of one another’s differences. On Feb. 26, the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden released a report publicly blaming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the 2018 assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and imposed visa bans on 76 Saudis associated with the act under a new so-called “Khashoggi Policy.” This, along with other recent public statements and arms freezes, indicates Biden preparing to shift U.S.-Saudi ties away from his predecessor’s close personal relationship with the kingdom. The White House appears ready to press Saudi Arabia to engage in more restrained foreign policy, emphasizing U.S. human rights objectives in its Saudi dialogue. That pressure will undoubtedly clash with several of the kingdom’s own deeply set imperatives, creating pushback from Riyadh and turbulence in long-standing U.S.-Saudi
SnapshotsFeb 26, 2021 | 16:31 GMT
EU Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni speaks during a press conference after a virtual meeting at the European Council in Brussels, Belgium, on Feb. 15, 2021. 
The EU Moves Ahead With a Corporate Tax Transparency Plan
The European Union will move forward with a plan to force large multinational companies to be more transparent about the taxes that they pay in every member state. This measure will likely expose the special (and unpopular) deals that small countries often offer to corporations and, indirectly, increase EU pressure for higher taxation of digital companies. The Portuguese government, which holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, announced on Feb. 25 that it has secured enough support from member states to move forward with a plan to force multinationals with revenue of more than 750 million euros that operate in the bloc to reveal their tax payments and activities for each member state. The proposal will now move to the European Council and the European Parliament, which means that it could be months before it is enforced. Opponents to the plan, which include Luxembourg and Ireland, could challenge its
AssessmentsFeb 25, 2021 | 22:10 GMT
Chinese and EU flags stand at the chancellery on Jan. 26, 2021, in Berlin, Germany. The two entities recently reached a comprehensive agreement on investment.
The Future of Chinese Investment in Europe
The European Union will remain open to Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) in the coming years, but will limit China’s access to strategic sectors of its economy (such as technology). Brussels will also continue to confront Beijing over political, human rights and security issues. The European Union and the United States are the Continent’s primary sources of FDI, which limits China’s ability to leverage FDI to gain political influence. Investment in European infrastructure, such as ports and railways, offers Chinese exporters greater access to European markets, while the acquisition of high-tech companies and know-how gives Beijing access to sophisticated technology it can use for its domestic industrial plans. Europe sees the Asian giant as a source of funding, but in recent years, most countries have become concerned about the national security implications of rising Chinese investment. The European Union also wants to make the bilateral relationship more reciprocal, as the bloc
SnapshotsFeb 24, 2021 | 17:42 GMT
A health worker administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine at a mobile clinic near Moshav Dalton in northern Israel on Feb. 22, 2021.
COVID-19 Aid Offers Israel an Opportunity for Regional Reconciliation
Israel is using COVID-19 humanitarian support to conduct diplomacy with Syria, and the success of that strategy could prompt similar offers and efforts to thaw Israel's difficult relationship with Lebanon. As part of a recent prisoner exchange with Syria, Israel purchased an undisclosed amount of Russian Sputnik V vaccines for Syria, which has been unable to secure and distribute doses of COVID-19 vaccine due to its crashing currency and battered healthcare system. The deal followed nearly a year of quiet humanitarian cooperation between Hamas and Israel during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has now seen Israel allow limited doses of Sputnik V vaccines to enter the Gaza Strip. 
SnapshotsFeb 23, 2021 | 21:23 GMT
Norwegian army soldiers use snowmobiles for mobility during a military exercise on March 6, 2013, in Skjold, Norway.
Increased Arctic Activity Sets the Stage for U.S.-Russia Competition
The U.S. military is increasing collaboration with Nordic states in response to expanding Russian military and economic activities in the Arctic, pointing to a future of heightened competition with the potential for both strategic and tactical miscommunication or miscalculation. On Feb. 22, four U.S. B-1 bombers arrived for their first-ever deployment to Norway in a move widely seen as a signal to Russia. Five days earlier, the United States agreed with Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden to continue its participation in the biennial Arctic Challenge Exercise, one of Europe’s largest tactical air exercises and widely seen as practice to counter potential Russian belligerence, next scheduled for June 2021. The U.S. Army is also preparing to unveil its Arctic strategy in the coming weeks, as the changing climate turns the previously inaccessible region into an increasingly busy zone of military and economic activity -- particularly along the Russian frontier.
SnapshotsFeb 23, 2021 | 19:07 GMT
An outside view of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters is seen in Vienna, Austria, on Nov. 18, 2020.
An IAEA Deal Buys Iran More Time to Pursue Sanctions Relief
Iran’s compromise with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) buys Tehran three more months to broach negotiations with the United States in the hopes of securing sanctions relief. During IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi’s recent visit to Iran, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) said it would stop the voluntary implementation of its so-called “Additional Protocol” on Feb. 23, a confidential agreement that allows U.N. inspectors to monitor Tehran’s nuclear program and visit its facilities, particularly with short notice. But the two sides also reached a compromise on verification and monitoring that will maintain limited IAEA access to nuclear sites.
On GeopoliticsFeb 22, 2021 | 22:05 GMT
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about the situation in Myanmar following the recent military coup in Washington D.C. on Feb. 10, 2021.
Reviewing the Role and Effectiveness of Sanctions
Less than a month into his presidency, U.S. President Joe Biden has already stated that he will impose sanctions on coup leaders in Myanmar. Other White House officials have also suggested that sanctions against Russia are being drawn up following the recent jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. In this context, we thought it would be useful to consider what sanctions entail, what goals they serve and what factors make them most effective. For the purposes of this review, we examine sanctions against state actors and their citizens, as those imposed against non-state actors like terrorist groups involve different considerations.
SnapshotsFeb 19, 2021 | 21:36 GMT
A rechargeable Lithium-ion battery for the Volkswagen ID.3 electric car is pictured Feb. 25, 2020, at the Volkswagen car factory in Zwickau, Germany.
A Battery Ruling Complicates Biden's Efforts to Secure the Green Energy Supply Chain
The U.S. International Trade Commission's Feb. 10 ruling that South Korean battery maker SK Innovation had stolen trade secrets from another South Korean battery maker complicates ongoing Biden administration efforts to accelerate the domestic adoption of electric vehicles and U.S. efforts to ensure the accessibility and security of critical resources and technologies like lithium-ion batteries.
SnapshotsFeb 8, 2021 | 20:41 GMT
A picture taken on Aug. 14, 2018, shows the logo of Turkey's central bank at the entrance of its headquarters in Ankara.
Amid Stubborn Inflation, Turkey’s Erdogan Risks Reverting to Blame Games
The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) appears committed to a tighter monetary policy for the coming years to battle inflation. But the risk of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reverting to pressuring the bank back into an easing remains high, which would undermine confidence in CBRT while increasing the Turkish economy’s exposure to external global economic shocks. Through statements issued Jan. 21, Turkey’s central bank is indicating it wants to hold a tight monetary policy until 2023 if necessary, as Turkey struggles to reach its 5% inflation target. The CBRT also said that 10% consumer price inflation was possible in 2021 as the COVID-19 pandemic eased and higher interest rates helped control inflation by depressing credit demand, signaling that the bank no longer sees its 5% inflation goal as achievable this year. 
SnapshotsFeb 4, 2021 | 21:39 GMT
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy wears a facemask as he arrives to meet with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London on Oct. 8, 2020.
Ukraine Seeks Biden’s Help, But Should Temper Expectations
Ukraine is taking steps to engage the United States amid continued provocations from Russia. Its persistent political, economic and security challenges, however, will prevent immediate and meaningful U.S. assistance, thus keeping Kyiv lodged between Russian and Western interests. In a recently aired interview with Axios, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenskiy appealed to recently inaugurated U.S. President Joe Biden to “enter a new phase” of bilateral relations by emphasizing the centrality of the United States to improving Ukraine’s future prospects and revealing that he was “a little bit” angry with former President Donald Trump.
SnapshotsFeb 4, 2021 | 16:58 GMT
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif speaks during a meeting in Havana, Cuba, on Nov. 6, 2020.
Biden’s Sluggish Start to Talks Will Test Iran’s Patience
The United States does not appear to be rushing into negotiations with Iran, which will keep short-term security risks in the Middle East high by testing Tehran’s patience. But once Washington does eventually come to the table, the European Union may have the opportunity to usher the two sides toward a deal. On Feb. 2, U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said it was still too early to consider engaging directly with Iran or entertaining any of its proposals, citing the need to first consult with the United States' domestic stakeholders and global partners on how to move forward. Price's comments followed Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s Feb. 2 interview with CNN, in which he suggested that the European Union foreign could “choreograph” actions taken by Washington and Tehran to return to compliance with the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). But according
SnapshotsFeb 2, 2021 | 19:46 GMT
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny appears on a screen via a video link from Moscow's penal detention center during a court hearing of an appeal against his arrest in Krasnogorsk, Russia, on Jan. 28, 2021.
In Responding to Navalny’s Prison Sentence, the West Has Limited Options
In response to the jailing of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the United States and Europe will struggle to find penalties that actually reverse the Kremlin’s behavior, thus keeping Russia’s relationship with the West at an impasse. On Feb. 2, a judge sentenced Navalny to 3.5 years in a corrective labor colony, minus time already served under house arrest, for a total of two years and eight months. The sentence comes after the judge agreed to the government’s request to convert Navalny’s suspended sentence for a 2014 fraud conviction into a prison term. For years, Navalny has been repeatedly detained for short periods, but until now, Russian authorities had avoided permanently imprisoning him.
On GeopoliticsJan 29, 2021 | 22:42 GMT
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures as he gives a press conference in Ankara, Turkey, on September 21, 2020.
Turkey’s President Plays Nice, But for How Long?
Turkey’s traditionally combative leader is trying his hand at a more conciliatory approach, as the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic erodes his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)’s political standing. His warm words, however, will likely remain just that. In recent months, Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan has promised economic and judicial reforms at home and diplomacy with Europe, the United States and Israel abroad. But this notable shift in tone is likely aimed at shoring up investor confidence and avoiding sanctions just long enough for the Turkish economy to get back on track -- at which point, Ankara will probably return to its former confrontational self.
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