The Russian Federation truly is the successor state of the Soviet Union when it comes to working the levers of the United Nations to its benefit. From its position as a permanent member of the Security Council, it gains both the prestige that comes with such a lofty place in the international system and a platform to tweak the great powers of the world whenever it wants.
At the end of March, with the crisis spreading from Crimea to eastern Ukraine, Kerry instinctively reached out to Lavrov anew. The pair held four hours of inconclusive talks in Paris. Then it was back to Geneva in mid-April for quadrilateral discussions with the European Union and the Ukrainians: Seven hours of negotiating delivered a new set of “Geneva Accords” outlining plans for the pro-Russian separatists occupying government buildings in the east of the country to disarm.
It was no surprise when pro-Russian forces seized eight European military monitors in eastern Ukraine last week. A growing number of international observers have deployed to Ukraine over the past two months, and it was only a matter of time before some were snatched. A United Nations envoy, Robert Serry, had to make a quick exit from Crimea in early March after an encounter with a posse of armed men.
The paper Fueling a New Order? The New Geopolitical and Security Consequences of Energy examines impacts of the major transformation in international energy markets that has begun. The United States is poised to overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s largest oil producer and, combined with new developments in natural gas, is on track to become the dominant player in global energy markets. Meanwhile, China is in place to surpass the United States in its scale of oil imports, and has already edged out the U.S. in carbon emissions.
Ukraine and its backers won support from little more than half the members of the United Nations General Assembly to declare invalid Crimea’s referendum to secede, as Russia wielded diplomatic and economic pressure for members to abstain or cast no ballot.
Read the full Bloomberg Business Week article here.
Bruce Jones appeared live on LA's KTLA Channel 5 to discuss his new book, Still Ours to Lead: America, Rising Powers, and the Tension Between Rivalry and Restraint as well as the ongoing tensions between Russia, Crimea and the Ukraine. You may purchase the book here.
Less than a week before its planned deployment, the future of the EU military mission to the Central African Republic (CAR) is increasingly in jeopardy. In four consecutive force generation conferences held in February and early March, EU member states have been unable to muster the required troops and equipment. Subsequently, in an appeal letter to EU governments dated 11 March, EU High Representative Catherine Ashton warned that the lack of necessary capabilities puts the plans to launch the operation by mid-March at risk, adding that a delay would taint the EU’s credibility.