Time for Azerbaijan to open up
Azerbaijan has hydrocarbon riches and a strategic position, which means that all the great powers have an interest in good relations. But one family has dominated the political scene for many years, corruption is rampant and the economy needs diversifying. It’s time to open up, says Nicu Popescu
Updating Russia’s repressive software (and why the genie will say ‘no’)
The protests surrounding Putin’s third ascent of the presidential throne were dramatic and the new laws show the regime is fighting back. It will not be easy, says Nicu Popescu, and could turn into a protracted tug of war.
Power and Weakness in Putin’s Russia
Vladimir Putin’s support machine was strong enough to guarantee him victory on 5th March. Putin’s strength is the weakness of the opposition. But he should be worried by the divisions within his own government. His days would be counted if parts of his own elite chose to ally themselves with parts of the current opposition. In such a fragile situation, Nicu Popescu believes that the EU and US should develop a strategy that would weaken Putin and strengthen civil society.
Russia's liberal-nationalist cocktail: elixir of life or toxic poison?
Young, liberal figures such as Alexei Navalny and Vladimir Milov are building bridges between democratic and nationalist wings of the protest movement. Will this marriage prove a mix that mobilises a nation against the Putin regime, or will it taint the legitimacy of both sides in years to come, asks Nicu Popescu?
The beginning of the end for Putin?
Sunday’s heavily disputed election results were a disaster for the Kremlin, who seem to have underestimated the level of national frustration. Putin now finds himself in a crisis, and while he has historically used such situations to his advantage, might the task of regaining authority prove too much this time?