The items listed below represent potential emerging issues that our analysts are tracking. These can be long term or short term, but will be updated daily. If an item on our Watch List becomes critical, we will email you a full analysis explaining its significance.

Each Saturday, we will follow up our daily Watch List for each week with our conclusions on these issues.

Aug. 9, 2016

  • Russia-Ukraine: There are some indicators showing that the Russians might be building up their forces east of Ukraine. The Ukrainian government makes frequent charges about Russia but they are developing some specificity. This and some other indicators warrant a careful watch of the area. The indicators might well be completely wrong, but we need to watch this.
  • Turkey-Russia: The talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have taken place but we don’t have clarity on whether a strategic shift is occurring. We need to look for indications of direction.
  • Armenia-Azerbaijan: There are signs that the Russians are forcing Armenia to make concessions on Nagorno-Karabakh as part of their opening to Turkey. This could indicate the direction Russian-Turkish relations will go. There is tension in Armenia. Watch for a breakthrough on this.
  • Kazakhstan: There is a report from Turkish media that Kazakhstan helped broker the Turkish-Russian opening. Our forecast is for instability in Central Asia. How might this affect it?
  • Serbia: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is going to Serbia. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is also going to Serbia. Why the high level interest in Serbia?
  • Jordan: Jordan is complaining about U.S. strategy in Syria, particularly in the direction of their border. What is the U.S. doing there that makes them so nervous?
  • Venezuela: Venezuela has made a $700 milllon settlement with a Canadian gold mining company whose property they seized. Given its economic situation, why make such a huge settlement now?
  • Iran: A news story out of Iran says that an Iranian businessman was arrested to prevent him from talking about a business he is involved in. There is something odd here that we should try to understand. May be nothing. May be something.