Late To The ASEAN Game, Putin Pitches Energy and Arms

Overshadowed by President Obama’s trip to Vietnam and Japan, Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted a multilateral summit recognizing the 20th anniversary of ASEAN-Russia Dialogue Partnership at the seaside resort of Sochi on May 19-20. This was the first time the summit has been held in Russia; the first was held in Kuala Lumpur in 2005…

Will Russia And China Divide Or Unite The G7?

When President Obama arrives in Japan this week to attend the G7 Summit and visit Hiroshima, he will do so in two roles with two different purposes. As President of the United States, he will discuss the commanding heights of the global economy at the G7 meeting while seeking to reaffirm relations with an indispensable…

Vietnam Arms Embargo Lifted, What Happens Now?

Over the weekend, I wrote an article laying out the drivers, policy options and geopolitical context of President Obama’s pending decision whether to lift the longstanding arms embargo prohibiting the sale of U.S. lethal weapons to Vietnam. While recognizing the push to fully lift the ban, I suggested that the President would likely take a…

Managing Expectations Ahead Of Obama’s Vietnam Trip

EXCERPT: Obama is unlikely to announce a “full and unconditional” lifting of the arms embargo while visiting Vietnam on May 23-25. A more likely outcome is a further easing of restrictions to broaden the types of U.S. weapon platforms that can be sold to Vietnam, but  still subject to approval on a case-by-case basis and…

Russia-Saudi Relations Still On Ice

Only weeks ahead of the upcoming OPEC meeting scheduled for June 2, Russia’s top oilman delivered what could be interpreted as OPEC’s eulogy. In an interview with Reuters published on May 10, Igor Sechin, who leads Rosneft as chairman of the board, said that OPEC “has practically stopped existing as a unified organization.” The even…

Russia’s South China Sea Conundrum

On April 29, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held a joint press conference in Beijing during which they strongly opposed the deployment of a THAAD anti-missile defense system in South Korea by the United States as well as outside interference by non-claimants in the South China Sea (SCS) territorial…