Browsing Archives of Author »Matt Finucane«

What’s in a Speech? Putin’s Address to the United Nations Decoded

October 5, 2015

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In the bumper week for Russian foreign policy just gone, we’ve seen war in Ukraine de-escalate and a new intervention in Syria—neither of which were particularly implied in President, Vladimir Putin’s speech to the UN General Assembly on Monday. Indeed, according to Samuel Greene, “it doesn’t really matter what [Putin] says.” Most of what we know derives from paying attention […]

After Riga: How Can Europe Promote a More Peaceful Neighbourhood?

June 23, 2015

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But a few weeks after the Riga Summit of EU and Eastern Partnership members quietly assembled and published its tentatively worded declaration, it is worth examining what Europe must really do to produce a peaceful neighbourhood. Reticence is understandable—diplomacy over Ukraine is ongoing, and has been demonstrably sensitive to ill-judged pronouncements. Accordingly, this post will not call for an escalation […]

Ukraine after Debaltseve: Appraisal and Prognosis

February 25, 2015

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With news of another “planned and organised” retreat, this time from the strategic hotspot of Debaltseve, it’s time for a reappraisal of the conflict raging in Eastern Ukraine. What follows is a summary of events, a survey of the relevant actors’ interests, activities, and likely courses of action, and a suitably damning prognosis for where this […]

Peace in Ukraine: Weighing Russia’s Latest Trophy

September 21, 2014

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Ukraine’s recent signing of the EU Association Agreement had all the hallmarks of a great political triumph—from President Petro Poroshenko’s “Slava Ukrayini!” (Glory to Ukraine) on Twitter, to the bouts of anthem-singing in Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, every impression that Ukraine had finally prevailed in its year-long political crisis was given. In reality, however, […]

The End of Iraq: How The West Still Pays for 2003

July 20, 2014

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The seemingly unstoppable march of ISIS/ISIL (now the Islamic State) through much of Iraq and some of Syria has quickly rekindled the vociferous debate surrounding the invasion of 2003. While today’s crisis is the product of many factors, the war in Iraq and its subsequent management not only predestined this conflict, but foreclosed any potential […]

Ukraine and the ‘New Cold War’: The Return of Neutralism

June 4, 2014

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Whether the Crimean crisis heralds a new era of international relations (or not), it has clearly been a pivotal moment in Russia’s relationship with the West. The world over balances of power are shifting, and though the United States remains unrivalled in sheer power, close to the borders of rising China and the increasingly-assertive Russia […]

Guest Post: China and the Crimea Conundrum

March 12, 2014

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With the EU-US alliance’s imposition of heavy sanctions on Russia over its de facto annexation of Crimea, the world is now looking to Russia’s perceived long-term strategic ally China to deliver a breakthrough in the diplomatic deadlock that has emerged between Putin and the West. While many analysts were expecting China to side with Russia on account […]