Russia’s foreign policy has always been closely tied to the price of its primary export—energy. With oil prices hitting record lows, can the country afford Vladimir Putin’s foreign adventures?
Eurasia Center Director John Herbst joined Debra Cagan, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense, to write an op-ed arguing that plunging oil prices will constrain Russia’s aggressive policies towards its neighbors.
Putin, of course, is no democrat; he can choose to ignore public opinion. But with oil prices at inconceivable lows, the Kremlin will have to make serious decisions on where to invest what will be increasingly limited resources.
The Kremlin and coronavirus
Despite recording some of the first cases outside of China in early 2020, Russia reported unusually low incidents of coronavirus while those in other regions climbed rapidly. However, in recent days the number of cases in the country has grown rapidly, leading to questions of honesty about initial government reports as well as how equipped Russia’s government and health systems are prepared to deal with a major outbreak. This is in addition to the Kremlin’s exploitation of the virus to spread disinformation, burnish its image abroad, and enlarge political control at home.
Wed, May 27, 2020
Russia’s response to the COVID-19 epidemic and the ensuing economic crisis does not impress. Arguably, it has hardly been worse than the average EU response—except for the Central European countries, where the pandemic arrived late and who protected themselves much better. The Russian authorities’ attempts to deny and conceal the epidemic have undermined popular trust in Putin, which is lower than ever. Nor have the authorities shown any sign of restart long dormant reforms.
Tue, Mar 24, 2020
Fabrications about COVID-19’s origins are meant to stir up anti-U.S. sentiment and fuel discord.
Article by Jakub Kalenský
Fri, Mar 27, 2020
The Russian government has been actively engaged in spreading disinformation and misinformation around the pandemic. The Kremlin has also been active in ordering internet platforms operating in the country to remove coronavirus “fake news” from their platforms, which follows previous Kremlin efforts to crack down on independent internet sites offering legitimate news.
New Atlanticist by Justin Sherman
More about our expert
The Eurasia Center’s mission is to enhance transatlantic cooperation in promoting stability, democratic values and prosperity in Eurasia, from Eastern Europe and Turkey in the West to the Caucasus, Russia and Central Asia in the East.