The speed with which this trend of US-China decoupling will continue, and whether it might be reversed, will depend, among other things, on how – and how quickly – the war in Ukraine comes to an end.
Geopolitics and Confidence Building in the OSCE Region
Since 2016, I have been working on several papers in the area of geopolitics confidence building in the OSCE region as part of my engagement in the OSCE Network of Think Tanks and Academic Institutions, in which I represent the Institute for Conflict, Cooperation and Security.
Together with my colleague Dr Nino Kemoklidze, I contributed a paper on “Trade as a Confidence Building Measure” to the 2016 OSCE Network Project on “Protracted Conflicts in the OSCE Area: Innovative Approaches for Co-operation in the Conflict Zones“. A revised and updated version of this paper was subsequently published as freely accessible article in Eurasian Geography and Economics.
In 2017, I directed a follow-on project on “Confidence Building Measures in the OSCE Economic and Environmental Dimension“. This involved two workshops: a brainstorming workshop at the University of Birmingham in July 2017 and a further drafting workshop at the OSCE in October 2017 at which initial findings were presented to officials from the OSCE Secretariat and the Austrian Chairmanship. Both workshops contributed to the final project report presented at the December 2017 meeting of the Economic and Environmental Committee of the OSCE in Vienna.
Building on the work done in 2016 and 2017, I wrote a report on “Economic Diplomacy and Connectivity: What Role for the OSCE?” which I presented to an audience of senior OSCE officials and diplomats at the 25th OSCE Ministerial Council in Milan in December 2018.
In addition, I have been working with my colleague Dr Nadja Douglas from the Centre for East European and International Studies in Berlin on a paper that examines confidence and security building measures in the context of the conflict in the Transdniestrian region of the Republic of Moldova. A work-in-progress draft of this paper can be downloaded here.
Most recently, I completed a report on China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Implications for the OSCE, which is part of a broader project that examines the challenges and opportunities that arise from the growing presence and activities of China for the Organisation and its participating States.
In light of Russia’s unprovoked aggression against Ukraine, the next missile launch from Kaliningrad may not be a simulation.
Related Notes The second stage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is underway. The scope of the war now appears to be...
Related NotesIn its scale and cost, as well as its broader implications for European and international security,...
As more reports of indiscriminate killing of civilians pour out of Ukraine, international security expert Stefan Wolff says holding Russians accused of war crimes accountable is difficult, but not impossible.
Ukraine has no good options if Russia refuses to accept anything less than its own peace terms, and there are challenges to making neutrality a viable option to end the war.
Ukraine: the complex calculations that will decide whether Belarus enters the conflict on Russia’s side
Differentiating between Belarus and Russia and carefully calibrating policies towards both countries should be among the priorities for western policy makers.
For the sake of Ukraine, the opportunity, however slim, to cooperate with China on stopping Russia’s aggression should not be discarded out of hand.
Creating the conditions for negotiations is not the same as creating the conditions for their success, as eight years of unsuccessful attempts to bring peace to eastern Ukraine sadly testify.
Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine is difficult to understand and impossible to justify within the bounds of normal rationality.
Muddying the diplomatic waters further with an unpalatable, and in all likelihood unattainable, “solution” wastes precious time and resources that now would be better devoted to achieving a stable ceasefire and an end to Russia’s aggression.