If archenemies could become bona fide friends, Turkish-Russian relations would be the most suitable example. Despite its very late emergence in the 16th century, the Russian Empire was probably one of the main actors in the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire by constantly and consciously violating its borders and boosting "pan-Slavic" sentiments across the Ottoman provinces in the Balkans. Furthermore, Russians have always sensed a visceral cultural threat from Turkic-Mongol people who were the most powerful actor in Russia until 1552. However, the fear of a potential reoccurrence of pan-Turkic movements has dominated the mindset of the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and today's Russia. Nevertheless, times have changed and none of Turkey's external relations have turned around as drastically as this one. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the emergence of the new Russia, the security perceptions of Turkey and Russia toward each other had visibly changed and turned into major … [Read more...] about The windfall in Turkish-Russian relations
Ethno nationalist foreign policy
Volodymyr Zelenskiy is the new president-elect of Ukraine. This is a fresh political reality for both Ukraine as well as Russia, where the presidential elections in its neighboring country garnered perhaps greater attention than those at home in Russia last year. Generally speaking, Moscow will be satisfied with the outcome of the Ukrainian elections. Its main hope — "Anyone but Poroshenko"— came to pass. What's more, it did so without any particular effort from the Kremlin except for pointedly cutting off contact with Petro Poroshenko after the Kerch Strait incident (which derailed the meeting between Putin and Trump in Buenos Aires). The Kremlin did not predict Zelenskiy's victory; it worked on diminishing Poroshenko's position (to later highlight the failure of his tough ethno-nationalist agenda and fixation on confrontation with Russia), and, if possible, seeing the relatively pro-Russia candidate Yuriy Boyko (backed by outright pro-Russia Viktor Medvedchuk) make … [Read more...] about How Will the New President of Ukraine Build Relations With Russia?