Russia's choice to destroy contraband food items has been met with widespread outcry both at home and abroad. What was the logic behind this move? What larger strategic purpose does it serve?
Russia's economic downturn hasn't been the largest surprise of 2014, but the rapid nature of the shift on the back of falling oil prices is a cause for concern. While currency collapse has been partially avoided, sanctions ensure Russian business will struggle to secure financing and investment from abroad going into 2015.
In the wake of South Stream's surprise cancellation, Turkey presents an opportunity for Russia to bypass Ukraine and still reach the European market, but price concessions may be needed to entice Ankara. Concrete plans have not followed the cancellation, leaving room for a policy reversal yet again.
As Russia’s economy falls deeper into recession, Russian President Vladimir Putin is increasingly finding himself backed into a corner. Putin, known for acting unpredictably and leveraging any and all options available to Russia, has yet to play what some believe to be his trump card. Read more for a SitRep on Russian gas.