I had the privilege of visiting Russia three times in 2014. Yes, in the midst of the Ukraine crisis, I was exploring Moscow and St. Petersburg as a tourist.
The Swedish Armed Forces were put on high alert this weekend, as there was an apparent intrusion -- not for the first or the last time -- by a Russian submarine into Swedish territorial waters, in the Stockholm Archipelago.
I was 18-20 at the time. It was a very difficult time, and I would not characterize it as a feeling of freedom. Freedom was the last thing everyone was thinking about, but the inflation, food, and shortage of everything else were foremost on everyone's mind.
The collapse of soaring oil prices signaled the beginning of the 2008 Great Recession. This milder repeat performance is not so confusing if we look at the basics -- and remember that what counts about oil is not where it is produced, or exactly how much we need, but its price.
The point is that "protectionism" either for trade/job reasons or national security is a dangerous game that most likely will end up hurting everyone involved more than the basic problems that led to that type of economic warfare.
Saying that "Ukraine is empowered to join Europe" is an empty phrase. However, when you point out the mutual interests that ensure that, as in Mandeville's fable of the bees, where private vices commingle to produce public good, Ukraine will in fact be part of Europe, it becomes a phrase with real impact.
The isolationism of the United States before 1940 is long gone. The new world of instantaneous communication has destroyed the isolation of Americans from the world. With the end of the post-Cold War era, there are potentially serious future threats to American security.
People in Poland are eating apples these days. Lots of apples. Here in Warsaw, they're pressed into your hands at a street festival, or baked into piles of pies and cakes. You see them everywhere. It's an act of defiance.
The Ukraine crisis has forced Russian companies to seriously consider working with Chinese industry. Both state-owned and private Russian industrial enterprises have begun searching for potential Chinese partners that could compensate for the negative consequences of breaking ties with Europe. The initial results are encouraging.
As the world becomes more chaotic, what should the role of the United States be?
There is no practical solution to the Russo-Ukrainian war. The most one can hope for is to "freeze" it and thereby transform hot war into cold war between Russia and Ukraine and between Russia and the West. Cold war may not be the West's optimal solution, but, while inconvenient for everyone, it will be infinitely preferable to a hot war.
The new, preliminary report on the Sept. 14, 2014, elections in Russia, prepared by the independent Russian electoral rights group Golos, describes in bewildering detail how vote manipulation is carried out. In St. Petersburg, it says, "all known illegal techniques were used" against opposition and even rival pro-government candidates.
Until Turkish mainstream political parties fully embrace democratic values, Turkey's future becomes an uncertain one. Turkey may find itself going down the path of Russian style expansionism, or falling prey to religious extremism.
Western sanctions are harming the Russian economy, but that doesn't mean they will achieve anything the West wants in Ukraine.
Russian leaders see the protests in Ukraine as part of a Western plot. For them, color revolutions are not manifestations of popular will but a new form of warfare invented by Western governments seeking to remove independently minded national governments. They have argued that this is part of a global strategy to force foreign values on a range of nations around the world that refuse to accept U.S. hegemony, and that Russia was a particular target of this strategy.
The sanctions on Russia aren't working, and can't work. The plight of French farmers shows how the sanctions can be self-destructive, and the news from UEFA are a signal that Russia is still a trusted partner and an ideological ally of the European Union.