BRICS – A new way to global power?

Foto: Roberto Stuckert Filho/Wikimedia Commons

Five of the world’s most influential leaders, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, India’s Narendra Modi, Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff, China’s Xi Jinping, and South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma were last summer attending at the 7th BRICS-meeting in Ufa in Russia. The powerful quintet was gathered to discuss the cooperation among them, and the future of their countries’ association. Critical voices say these assemblies are just opportunities for the leaders for a show-off and demonstrate their position in the world. Behind the scene, internal disagreements have so far destroyed BRICS’ opportunity to reach their most important goal.

I argue in this blog post that BRICS, even with their enormous potential, is unlikely to become a global actor as one united block. However, the cooperation between them can be beneficial for each country individually on their way to a leading position on the global stage.
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Turkey shot down Russian jet – what’s next?


Tuesday morning, November 24, Turkey shot down a Russian Su-24 fighter-bomber near the Turkish border to Syria. Turkey says the reason for the shot down was that the Russian jet flew into their airspace, and where not responding to several warnings. Russia on their side claims that they never crossed the border, and says it actually was the Turkish F16 jet that was the offensive part and crossed the Syrian border. No matter which of the two countries telling the true story, the tensions in the Turkey-Russian relation are now highly increased. Continue reading

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Major 2: Why influence over Ukraine is important to Russia

Photo: RIA Novosti      Yanukovich and Putin, Photo: RIA Novosti

Russia annexed Crimea in March 2014 and have since been a de facto part of the Russian Federation. A short time after, the conflict between the Russian-supported Pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian governmental forces in the oblasts Donetsk and Luhansk in the Donbass area erupted. One of the reasons behind this conflict is the direction of Ukraine’s foreign relations. For Russia, it is important that Ukraine chooses them, and not Western Europe, as their closest ally. I have structured the arguments for why Ukraine is important to Russia in following sections:

1. Historical reasons – to who belongs the history of the territory?
2. Economic – Gas pipeline connections and the Eastern European Union
3. Military –Prevent further NATO expansion and securing access to the Black Sea
4. Russian nation building – Influence over Ukraine to secure status as a great power

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Poroshenko getting richer, other oligarchs lose

Visite du président de la république d’Ukraine Petro Porochenko au Conseil de l'Europe. Strasbourg 26 juin 2014.

Foto: Claude Truong-Ngoc / Wikimedia Commons

According to a ranking newly published by the magazine Novoye Vremya over the richest Ukrainians, President Petro Poroshenko is placed sixth on the list. The whole list shows that the richest oligarchs of Ukraine in general, are losing money. However, there is one exception, Ukraine’s president. His net worth last year increased by 20 percent.

He promised in his election campaign to sell his chocolate company Roshen if he became President, and the Western states have pressured for more economic equality. The result so far shows that the work is not resulting in any financial losses for the President himself. How can this impact Poroshenko’s reputation and trust?

Kyiv Post:

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Democracy or not – Lukashenko stays in power

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A large photo of a smiling Belarusian president, and the headline “ALEXANDER LUKASHENKO elected President of Republic of Belarus” adorned the front page of The Minsk Times, an English-written Belarusian newspaper. The 61-year-old mustached man, often-labeled “Europe’s last dictator”, won October 11 his fifth presidential election. Lukashenko is ready to start his 22nd year in power. Continue reading

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First major blog post: Russian nationalism – internal or imperial?

3.Russia-ethnic-groupsThe first major blog post is now published. I have looked at the emerging of Russian nationalism from the 19th century and to the First World War. Was Russian nationalism a cover for Russian imperialism, or a way to strengthen Russian identity inside the existing Russian territories?  Could these forms nationalism still be relevant today?

Read the blog post here, and feel free to comment, argue and discuss!

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Some reflections after four days in Tbilisi

IMG_0055“I want a good relationship with Russia, but that is just not possible now”, said a young local Georgian when she showed me around in her hometown Tbilisi. It is now seven years since the Russian-Georgian war, but by the youth in Tbilisi, has Russia always been considered as an enemy. Four days in the capital of the West-oriented Georgia showed me a country with complicated relations with the giant neighbor.  Continue reading

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