Twice in the past 14 years, a dispute between Ukraine and Russia has led Russia to cut off natural gas flows to Ukraine and Europe. The stage is being set for another cut-off in January. The European Union wants to ensure that gas continues to flow, so EU officials will attempt at a mid-September meeting to broker an agreement. But they face a difficult slog.
THE LOOMING CONFLICT
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy may meet President Donald Trump this weekend in Warsaw and is expected to travel to the United States later in the fall. This gives Mr. Zelenskyy the opportunity to reinforce Kyiv’s relationship with the United States. It also offers the opportunity to try to establish a connection to Mr. Trump, something that has proven elusive for most foreign leaders. Here are a few suggestions for Mr. Zelenskyy on dealing with the American president.
Significant progress has been made in improving the defense situation in the Baltic states since 2014, but NATO can take some relatively modest steps to further enhance its deterrence and defense posture in the region, according to a report by Michael O’Hanlon and Christopher Skaluba, which was based on an Atlantic Council study visit to Lithuania.
On Tuesday [June 4], the House Subcommittee on Strategic Forces debated the draft Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.
It voted out, on party lines, language that prohibits deployment of a low-yield warhead on the Trident D5 submarine-launched ballistic missile. That makes sense: The rationale for the warhead is dubious, and the weapon likely would never be selected for use.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy visited Brussels on June 4 and 5, where he met with the leadership of the European Union and NATO. He reaffirmed Kyiv’s goal of integrating into both institutions—goals enshrined earlier this year as strategic objectives in Ukraine’s constitution.
Ukraine is halfway through a presidential election: The first round took place on March 31, and the run-off is coming up on April 21. At the annual Kyiv Security Forum and in other conversations in Kyiv last week, I had the opportunity to catch up on the latest developments in Ukraine, and came away with five key observations.
UKRAINE AGAIN SCORES A DEMOCRATIC ELECTION
April 5 marks the 10th anniversary of the speech in which Barack Obama laid out his vision for a world without nuclear weapons. It did not gain traction. Instead, the United States and Russia are developing new nuclear capabilities, while the nuclear arms control regime is on course to expire in 2021. The result will be a world that is less stable, less secure, and less predictable.
A WORTHWHILE VISION
March 18 marks the fifth anniversary of Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, which capped the most blatant land grab in Europe since World War II. While the simmering conflict in Donbas now dominates the headlines, it is possible to see a path to resolution there. It is much more difficult with Crimea, which will remain a problem between Kyiv and Moscow, and between the West and Russia, for years—if not decades—to come.
THE TAKING OF CRIMEA
The Trump administration has finished off the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a treaty mortally wounded by Russia’s deployment of a banned intermediate-range missile. That leaves the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) as the sole agreement limiting U.S. and Russian nuclear forces.
In December, Secretary of State Pompeo said Russia had 60 days to come back into compliance with the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. Otherwise, the United States would suspend its treaty obligations.
The clock runs out on February 2. Unfortunately, U.S. and Russian officials, already anticipating the treaty’s demise, have turned to finger-pointing…and Washington is losing the blame game.
CHARGES OF TREATY VIOLATIONS
Today, January 14, marks the 25th anniversary of the Trilateral Statement. Signed in Moscow by President Bill Clinton, Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk, the statement set out the terms under which Ukraine agreed to eliminate the large arsenal of former Soviet strategic nuclear weapons that remained on its territory following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
On December 21, the United Nations General Assembly voted down a Russian-proposed resolution calling for support for the INF Treaty. That Moscow gambit failed, in large part because Russia is violating the treaty by deploying prohibited missiles.
This bit of diplomatic show came one week after Russian officials said they would like to discuss INF Treaty compliance concerns. That could be—not is, but could be—significant. Washington should test whether those suggestions represent just more Kremlin posturing or a serious effort to save the treaty.
Timothy Josling, a professor emeritus at the former Food Research Institute and an affiliate of The Europe Center known for his encyclopedic knowledge of international agricultural policy, died on Nov. 27.
Timothy Josling, a Stanford professor emeritus of agricultural economics, died at his home in Davis, California, on Nov. 27 after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 78.
The Europe Center is pleased to announce that Professor Anna Grzymala-Busse will assume its directorship on September 1, 2018. Founded in 1997 and jointly sponsored by the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) and Stanford Global Studies (SGS), The Europe Center (TEC) provides an interdisciplinary platform for collaboration among scholars who teach and conduct research on the histories, cultures, institutions, and people of Europe. Grzymala-Busse will succeed Kenneth Scheve, a senior fellow at FSI and professor of political science, who has led the center since 2013.
Americans have different ideas about what makes taxes ‘fair.’ But the GOP bill has something all sides oppose.
In the New York Post article written by Ken Scheve and David Stasavage, the co-authors of Taxing the Rich: A History of Fiscal Fairness in the United States and Europe, the real motivation behind opposition to the GOP tax bill is examined in light of their research.
To read the full article, please visit the Washington Post (Monkey Cage) webpage.
In the years since World War II, as the global geopolitical map was drawn and redrawn along ideological lines, the world witnessed ascension of many authoritarians. They often ruled for long stretches, but eventually most faced a political reckoning. The people they governed no longer accepted their authority and demanded change.
New Stanford research explores immigrants’ decision to return to Europe during historical Age of Mass Migration
Today’s conversation about immigration and the role of immigrants in America is not so different from the conversations that took place more than 100 years ago, when European immigrants settled in cities and on farms in the United States.
Patrick Chamorel, senior resident scholar at the Stanford Center in Washington DC, weighs in on the geopolitical impact of the French and UK elections in a Scholars' Circle interview. Joining the discussion are Jeroen Dewulf, associate professor of German at UC Berkeley and Mark Amsler, associate professor of European Languages and Literature at the University of Auckland.