The gas supply deal signed in Brussels yesterday among Russia, Ukraine and the European Union âis perhaps the clearest indication yet that sanctions imposed on Russia are working in terms of changing Russia's behavior,â writes Timothy Ash, an economist who directs emerging markets strategy at Standard Bank in London.
Donetsk, Lugansk Vote for âParliamentsâ Violates Truce and Raises Risks, Say Analysts
The Russian-backed, miniature, âpeopleâs republicsâ declared in southeastern Ukraine are preparing to elect parliaments and heads of state on Sunday, a step backed by Moscow to consolidate their self-declared statehood. Those elections promise to further undermine the already wobbly political deal that underpins the half-effective ceasefire in the war. Does that increase the risk of a new surge in fighting?
That Is the Path She Should Take, for Herself and for Brazil, Atlantic Councilâs Sennes Says
Having barely won re-election in Brazilâs tightest presidential election in a quarter-century, Dilma Rousseff faces several key tasks if she is to govern effectively in her new four-year term, writes the Atlantic Councilâs nonresident senior fellow in Brazil, Ricardo Sennes. She must address official corruptionâincluding the broad bribery scandal in Petrobras, the state oil companyâand social demands from the growing middle class and the urban poor that were behind the protest movement of June 2013.
Official Tallies Are Tracking With Polls Predicting a Strong, Pro-Europe and Reformist CoalitionWith 71 percent of Ukraineâs ballots counted today, the official results are broadly tracking the recent daysâ polls, suggesting that Ukraineâs next government will be a pro-European coalition built across several political parties, with President Petro Poroshenko likely to rely on his alliance with a strengthened Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Despite the war in the southeast, and hundreds of thousands of uprooted families, voter turnout was greater than 50 percent, according to the Central Election Commissionâa reflection of the popular demands voiced last winter by Ukraineâs pro-democracy, anti-corruption Maidan movement, writes the Atlantic Councilâs Irena Chalupa.
Parliament Election is a Defeat for Russiaâs Putin: How Will He Respond?
If Sundayâs exit poll accurately depicts Ukraineâs parliamentary vote, the outcome is a stunning victory for reform and a pro-European orientationâand a big defeat for Russian President Vladimir Putin. It immediately raises the question whether Putin will respond with a new aggressive move in Ukraine.
As Brazilians vote Sunday in a presidential runoff election, the Atlantic Councilâs Peter Schecter and Jason Marczak discuss the significance and ramifications of this vote. Schechter is the director, and Marczak the deputy director, of the Councilâs Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center.
Three Questions with Magnus Nordenman: NATO, Russia, Sweden, and Security in the Baltic
As Sweden called off its week-long search today for a suspected foreign submarine in its territorial waters, the Atlantic Councilâs Magnus Nordenman discussed the implications of the incident, in which public discussion suggested a Russian military intrusion. The incident comes amid recent confrontations in the Baltic Sea between Russian ships or aircraft and those of NATO member states and of Sweden (which is not a NATO member). On October 21, fighter jets from Denmark and Sweden intercepted what NATO said was a Russian surveillance plane near their territories over the Balticâand then Portuguese F16s involved in the protection of Estonia escorted the Russian plane out of Estonian airspace. Russia has denied that it has had any submarine operating in Swedish waters.
Billionaire investment magnate and pro-democracy philanthropist George Soros has sounded what he says is a wake-up call to Europe (and to the United States) over a failure to see that it is âfacing a challenge from Russia to its very existence.â You can read here his full 3,200-word essay for the New York Review of Books, or take in his main points, below:
âYou Didnât See Us Here,â Officer Admonishes, as Moscow Keeps Military Options in Ukraine
As Ukrainians elect a parliament this weekend, new evidence pops up of Russiaâs military role in their country: Western journalists this week found destroyed Russian tanks in Donetskâand very live (if somewhat drunk) Russian soldiers happy to socialize at one of the last cafĂ©s still open in Lugansk.
âYou didnât see us here,â a uniformed officer named Slava tells the reporters as they leave, a bottle of vodka under his arm. And indeed the Russian army regulars in Lugansk operate in the background, leaving locals or imported Russian volunteers to the more visible roles, according to journalists Courtney Weaver and Max Seddon.