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Section: The Conversation (USA)

      For Rex Tillerson in Russia, stakes are high and outlook is dim
      Apr12

      For Rex Tillerson in Russia, stakes are high and outlook is dim

      U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is welcomed by U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Tefft Maxim Shemetov/ReutersDonald Trump entered office in January vowing to improve US relations with Russia. Less than three months into his presidency, however, the prospects for a rapprochement with Putin seem to be as remote as they have been under any of his...

      With crackdown on protests, Russia’s new friend Belarus tightens its grip on power
      Apr06

      With crackdown on protests, Russia’s new friend Belarus tightens its grip on power

      Recent months have seen unprecedented social protest in Belarus. According to Human Rights Watch, citizen mobilisation has also resulted in mass and arbitrary arrests of demonstrators, human rights activists and journalists in this authoritarian nation. On orders of President Aleksandr Lukashenko, who has ruled the country since 1994, some 1,000...

      Politics podcast: Matthew Sussex on Russia’s long game
      Apr06

      Politics podcast: Matthew Sussex on Russia’s long game

      A cloud continues to hover over Russian interference in the US presidential election. Associate professor Matthew Sussex, academic director at the Australian National University’s National Security College and a specialist in Russian foreign and strategic policy, says Russia’s meddling has been “exceptionally damaging”. “I think that...

      Who is a better ally for the US – Russia or China?
      Apr06

      Who is a better ally for the US – Russia or China?

      3D_creation/www.shutterstock.comForty-five years ago last February, U.S. President Richard Nixon returned from a visit to China that shocked the world and unsettled leaders in Moscow, who were awaiting a visit from Nixon a few months later. Soviet leaders wondered if they were finally witnessing the birth of a U.S.-China alliance that they had...

      Central European University has become the battleground in Hungary’s war of ideas
      Apr05

      Central European University has become the battleground in Hungary’s war of ideas

      Ignoring protest from around the world, the Hungarian government has fast-tracked legislation to tighten rules governing foreign universities operating in the country. The law could force the closure of the Central European University (CEU). The new law requires foreign universities to gain agreement for their foreign operations from their home...

      How the Trump budget undercuts security risks posed by pandemics
      Apr05

      How the Trump budget undercuts security risks posed by pandemics

      President Trump proposed a US$54 billion military budget increase to solidify the security of our nation. However, the government also recognizes pandemic threats as an issue of national security – one that knows no borders. In the last four years, we have faced the Ebola epidemic – contained after significant loss of life – and Zika, which is...

      Why Russia gave up Alaska, America’s gateway to the Arctic
      Mar29

      Why Russia gave up Alaska, America’s gateway to the Arctic

      One hundred and fifty years ago, on March 30, 1867, U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward and Russian envoy Baron Edouard de Stoeckl signed the Treaty of Cession. With a stroke of a pen, Tsar Alexander II had ceded Alaska, his country’s last remaining foothold in North America, to the United States for US$7.2 million. That sum,...

      Defrosting relations with Russia and debunking ‘grand narratives’
      Mar29

      Defrosting relations with Russia and debunking ‘grand narratives’

      Igor Bukhlin/ShutterstockInternational affairs is about whose story wins. The fine line between diplomacy and public relations is about the distinction between communicating policies and selling them. Nothing illustrates this better than the current hyper-polarized talk about clashing “narratives” on World Order between the West and Russia. Major...

      Why we signed the open letter from scientists supporting a total ban on nuclear weapons
      Mar27

      Why we signed the open letter from scientists supporting a total ban on nuclear weapons

      The UN is debating a total ban on all nuclear weapons. WikimediaThese are dangerous times. The Doomsday Clock sits at just two and a half minutes before midnight, which represents global catastrophe. The Doomsday Clock has been maintained by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1947, and has only ever been closer to midnight back in 1953,...

      Russia and Iran’s growing cooperation hints at a new Middle East
      Mar27

      Russia and Iran’s growing cooperation hints at a new Middle East

      Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, will meet for the eighth time in four years from March 27 to 29. According to the Tehran Times, both sides are “preparing more than ten documents for signing” on various economic and political issues. The meeting, set in Moscow, highlights the debate surrounding the...

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