Vladimir Putin’s recent visit to Minsk has raised renewed fears that Belarus might be drawn into the war in Ukraine.
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.
US-China talks: Biden and Xi attempt to play down superpower tensions but Ukraine and Taiwan loom large
Presidents Xi Jinping of China and Joe Biden of the United States have held their first face-to-face meeting since 2017.
Ukraine war: Russia U-turns on grain deal after Putin’s attempt at escalation fails
It took four days of determined international diplomacy, spearheaded by Turkey and the UN, for Russia to rejoin a deal allowing for the export of Ukrainian grain to world markets.
Ukraine war: Putin escalates with sabotage and ‘false flag’ operations leaving the west struggling to find a response
From the start of his invasion of Ukraine, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has employed the threat of escalation to the use of nuclear weapons as a means to deter western support.
Ukraine war: latest UN vote shows world wants conflict to end – but can’t agree on how to prevent Putin going nuclear
Each time the United Nations gathers to debate and vote on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it becomes more obvious that the vast majority of the international community condemns the invasion and wants the conflict to stop.
Ukraine war: west condemns ‘sham’ referendums in Russian-occupied areas
Polls have closed in four Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine after four days of voting in referendums on their future status. Predictably, the results showed “overwhelming support” for joining Russia.
Ukraine war: Putin calls up more troops and threatens nuclear option in a speech which ups the ante but shows Russia’s weakness
Declaring a partial mobilisation and threatening the use of “lots of Russian weapons” in response to alleged western nuclear blackmail, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has upped the ante once more in his war against Ukraine.
Ukraine war: Putin’s failure will pave the way for China’s rise to pre-eminence in Eurasia
What had been suspected for some time has now come out into the open: China has “concerns” about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Next Ukrainian offensive could bring Russia to negotiating table on Kyiv’s terms
A key question is how a cornered Russian President Vladimir Putin will react to Ukraine’s recent battlefield successes.
Shutting down Nord Stream 1 pipeline shows Russia is running out of options
Russia has shut the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, a key gas supply to Western Europe, and blamed it on sanctions. But Europe has been preparing for this day, while Russian President Vladimir Putin is running out of options.
Ukraine war: the push to recover Kherson in the south is on – will it succeed?
Announcing the start of Kyiv’s offensive in the southern Kherson region, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky urged Russian soldiers to flee or surrender if they want to survive.