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Brief: More Russian Weapons Headed for Belarus

Background: Belarus is a strategic ally of Russia and a critical part of its western buffer, bordering Poland and two of the Baltic states....

Brief: Russia Wants More From Kazakhstan

Background: Russia made progress last year shoring up its southern and western border areas, by placing peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh and siding with Belarus’ embattled...

Brief: Redrawing Georgia

Background: Russia needs the Caucasus to be stable and under its influence to serve as a buffer between it and powerful states like Iran...

Brief: Ukraine and Russia’s War of Words

Background: Ukraine and Russia are still at odds over Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014. (A popular referendum later upheld the annexation.)...

Brief: Russia Demonstrates Its Commitment to the Balkans

Background: The Balkans is a region where the interests of many powers – namely Russia, the United States, the European Union and Turkey –...

Brief: In Azerbaijan, an Opportunity for Mediation

Background: The recent Nagorno-Karabakh conflict made Azerbaijan hostage to the competition between Iran and Israel, which has put the government in Baku in the...

Brief: U.S.-Mexican Relations Go South

Background: The U.S.-Mexico relationship is among the most difficult to manage for both Washington and Mexico City. Disagreements are common but are normally kept...

Brief: Russia’s Show of Strength in the Black Sea

Background: The Black Sea is an important buffer for Russia and provides its fleet with critical access to the Mediterranean. In recent years, especially...

Brief: Russia and Japan Jostle Over the Kurils

Background: Russia and Japan have jockeyed for power in the northwestern Pacific for more than a century. The two countries never even signed a...

Brief: Havana’s Rare Concession to Protesters

Background: For Washington, Cuba’s proximity to the United States and location at the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico makes it a strategically important...

Brief: With Long-Range Bombers, the US Sends a Message

Background: The United States is trying to make good on its plans to reduce its global military footprint. At least partial troop withdrawals have...

Brief: Turkey Comes Around on Economic Reform

Background: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan can no longer ignore the (most recent bout of) trouble Turkey is in. The economy is in shambles, support...

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