Russia and Eastern Europe

Russian Presidential Press and Information Office

Russia’s annexation of Crimea and support for rebel forces in Eastern Ukraine have precipitated a dramatic fracture in relations between between Russia and the West. In response, a broad Western economic sanctions regime has bitten into the Russian economy, and the United States has sought to shore up support among Eastern European and Baltic states. The annexation and response represent a major test-case for international governance, principles of sovereignty and the reliability of the American security umbrella, particularly NATO.

Latest in Russia and Eastern Europe

Russia and Eastern Europe

Deal or No Deal? International Influence and the Serbia-Kosovo Conflict

Almost three decades after the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the conflict between Serbia and Kosovo continues to be a source of local tension and an issue in international politics. The dispute stems from Serbia’s refusal to recognize Kosovo as a country after Kosovo seceded from Serbia in 2008. The failure to resolve the dispute between Kosovo and Serbia has prevented both countries from joining the European Union (EU).

Sanctions

Lifting of Treasury Sanctions on Deripaska Highlights Role for Congress in Foreign Affairs Decisions

On Dec. 19, the Trump administration notified Congress that in 30 days it would lift sanctions on several companies connected with sanctioned Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska: aluminum giant Rusal and two related entities named EN+ and EuroSibEnergo (ESE). The relief comes after the companies agreed to reduce Deripaska’s ownership in the companies below 50 percent and make other organizational and governance changes to diminish Deripaska’s control.

Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act

Russia Asserts Immunity in the DNC Case

Writing in Lawfare in April 2018, I considered the role of foreign sovereign immunity in the Democratic National Committee’s lawsuit against the Russian Federation and Russian individuals and entities. The case raised an interesting set of issues, I noted, but “these questions will only arise if Russia and the state-related defendants are properly served and if they decide to litigate rather than default.” The courts may get to think through some of these questions after all.

Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

U.S. Withdrawal From the INF Treaty: The Facts and the Law

President Trump announced on Oct. 20 that the United States would pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a 1987 bilateral agreement prohibiting the United States and Russia from possessing, producing or test-flying ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers and their launchers.

Documents

Document: Seven GRU Officers Indicted for Hacking and Disinformation Operations

On Thursday, the Department of Justice unsealed an indictment of seven officers in the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency, on charges of computer hacking, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering. The charges concern a disinformation operation against international anti-doping agencies in the wake of news reports on the Russian government’s systematic doping of the country’s athletes.

Russia

How Putin Works to Weaken Faith in the Rule of Law and Our Justice System

In the summer of 2016, a Facebook group called “Secure Borders” began fanning the flames of rumors that a young girl had been raped at knifepoint by Syrian refugees in Twin Falls, Idaho. The group accused government officials, including the prosecutor and judge in the case, of conspiring to protect the immigrant community by covering-up the true nature of the crime.

Russia and Eastern Europe

I Wrote About Russian Election Interference. Then I Was Trolled Online.

A colleague and I recently published an op-ed in Svenska Dagbladet, one of Sweden’s leading daily newspapers, about Russia’s attempts to influence elections in democratic countries. Among the Russian tactics we described was the use of “troll factories” to distribute misinformation. So perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised when we were attacked online, probably by Russian trolls, after our article posted.

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