Pavel K. Baev

Dr. Pavel K. Baev is a senior researcher at the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO).

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Articles by Pavel K. Baev

Putin Casts Shadow Over US Presidential Campaign

One striking feature of this year’s United States presidential election campaign has been the invisible but remarkably persistent background presence of Russia and its leader, President Vladimir Putin. Putin can

A String of Intrigues on Putin’s Eastern Tour

The G20 summit in Hangzhou, China (September 4–5), was not expected to produce major news in global governance. But for Russian President Vladimir Putin, it opened a unique opportunity to

The Futility of Dialogue With Putin

The need to keep the channels of dialogue open with an unpredictable Russia is taken as an absolute imperative by many Western politicians. But they are often surprised when this

Russia Bargains and Bluffs for Breakthrough in Ukraine

For months, the various negotiations formats on conflict management in Ukraine appeared deadlocked. But suddenly, in mid-January 2016, signs of a breakthrough in the making have multiplied—bringing both hopes and

Pavel Baev Interviewed by CNN

Long-time Russia expert Pavel Baev was interviewed by CNN, on October 15, regarding Russian's air campaign over Syria.

NYT Quotes Jamestown Russia Expert Pavel Baev

Regular contributor to Jamestown's Eurasia Daily Monitor Pavel Baev was quoted by The New York Times, on July 15, regarding Moscow's reluctant approach toward the Iran nuclear deal.

Iranian Deal Leaves Russia in Deeper Isolation

Moscow tried its best to present the hard-negotiated deal in Lausanne, Switzerland, on curtailing and controlling the Iranian nuclear program as a success of its firm diplomatic position for a

Two Summits and a Military Exercise

The postponed Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan summit took place last Friday (March 20) in Astana, but the program was cut so short that the only point for staging the event appeared to be

Russia Makes Haste in Severing Ties With Europe

Russia has achieved much success last week in its rush toward self-isolation, and perhaps the most demonstrative step was made in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

Futile Hope for the Dubious Summit in Astana

Despite the apparent deadlock in armed clashes in eastern Ukraine, an idea to bringing together the presidents of Russia and Ukraine, together with their peers from Belarus and Kazakhstan as

Could Normandy Help Ukraine Contain Russia?

Russian President Vladimir Putin had more meetings than could have been expected with his European peers and even with US President Barack Obama during the ceremonies in Normandy last Friday

The Munich Shadow over the US-Russian Post-Reset

The traditional Munich security conference had a particular and very different meaning last weekend for US Vice President Joseph Biden and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who had an hour-long

Russia Steps and Slips into Foreign Policy Limbo

The notion of “re-Sovietization” has been on the lips of many Russia-watchers, and now US State Secretary Hillary Clinton has spelled it out after a rather disappointing meeting with Russian

Putin’s Energy Games Turn Increasingly Erratic

As the US, French and British airstrikes are maintained on Libya, the recent major question about Russia’s reliability as energy supplier for Europe is becoming smaller. Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin,

Moscow Learns to Play by Asia-Pacific Rules

The visit to Moscow by Japan’s Foreign Minister, Seiji Maehara, on February 11 did not lessen the diplomatic row between Russia and Japan that acquired a spectacular character during the

Medvedev Enjoys Foreign Policy “Successes”

Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, has completed an unprecedented foreign policy marathon that started on October 19, with the a trilateral meeting in Deauville with French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, and German

Medvedev Adrift in a Sea of Economic Multi-polarity

The G20 summit in Seoul last week was outstanding in its intensity of divergences that this crisis-born institution sought to harmonize. The US unfortunate unilateralism in money-making and China’s shameless

Merkel and Sarkozy Talk Shop with Medvedev

The trilateral summit between French President, Nikolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev was advertised as an event of greater significance rather than just another cozy

Russia: Stuck in a Year of Events and Little Change

Last year was for Russia both extraordinarily hard and very unlucky –but it saw strikingly little economic reforms and practically no political development. Opinion polls show that a significant majority

Russian Economy Failing to Modernize

In his first comment on the sudden explosion of violent conflict in Kyrgyzstan, President Dmitry Medvedev tersely observed that “the protests reflect an extreme disaffection with the incumbent authorities among

Russia Finds Itself Passed its Security Prime

At the annual Munich security conference last weekend, Russia received as little attention as it had attracted at the Davos World Economic Forum in the previous week. The star presenter

Russian Gas Offensive Tests EU Energy Plans

The intensity of energy-political conflicts in Europe has been subsiding since the Russian-Ukrainian "gas war" in January, but last week Moscow launched a new offensive aiming at three crucial targets:

Russia’s Sinking Economy and Wandering Politics

The high-intensity but low-yield gas war with Ukraine allowed the Russian leadership to engage in the bargaining and blackmailing that it thrives on. Now that Prime Ministers Vladimir Putin and

Gazprom’s War Has Damaged Russian Interests

It was hardly a surprise when Prime Ministers Vladimir Putin and Yulia Tymoshenko, both dressed in black, solemnly announced an agreement to end the Russian-Ukrainian gas conflict in the wee

Russia’s Slow Start into a Post-Prosperity Year

The extra-long Christmas-New  Year-Rozhdestvo (Orthodox Christmas) celebrations in Russia have been muted this season, and unmistakable anxiety stands in stark contrast to the exuberance that greeted the arrival of the

MEDVEDEV’S ADDRESS IS RETURNED FOR REVISIONS

A major presidential performance had been scheduled for last week in the Kremlin, but it was postponed indefinitely at the last possible moment and without any convincing explanation. President Dmitry

THE POST-WAR TRAJECTORY OF RUSSIA-EU NON-PARTNERSHIP

Very few features of the “five-day war” between Russia and Georgia testify to the proposition that common political sense prevailed over military opportunism: Russian tanks stopped outside Tbilisi; the Russian

RUSSIAN “TANDEMOCRACY” STUMBLES INTO A WAR

Moscow was disconcertingly taken by surprise with the sharp escalation of hostilities in South Ossetia last Friday. The most apparent part of the problem was the lack of leadership, as

MEDVEDEV’S FOREIGN POLICY TAKES INDEFINITE SHAPE

President Dmitry Medvedev, after completely ignoring foreign policy issues on the election trail, has performed a high-intensity campaign of visits, speeches and meetings since late May, wrapping up this season

A TRAP FOR MEDVEDEV IN THE TNK-BP CONFLICT

Political salons in Moscow are bubbling with rumors about President Dmitry Medvedev’s liberal agenda, but in a peculiar way, with Russia’s sports victories in ice hockey and football adding credibility

HOW MUCH WILL EUROPE MATTER FOR MEDVEDEV?

The anguish in the Kremlin corridors as the hyper-presidential system of power is being reformatted into an experimental two-headed form is hard to overestimate. Just a few days before the

MEDVEDEV DARES NOT VENTURE INTO INTERNATIONAL ARENA

European leaders have been quick to check the attitude and indeed the authority of the Russian President-Elect Dmitry Medvedev. French President Nicolas Sarkozy was the first to call with congratulations

MOSCOW RAISES STAKES IN IRAN GAME

In the last days of 2007, Moscow made several purposeful steps that barely registered in the West, where the Christmas break was already well underway. The first step was the

MOSCOW LAMBASTES WEST DURING ELECTION LULL

Russia has slipped into a distinctly anti-climactic mood since the December 2 parliamentary elections delivered exactly the result planned in the Kremlin. In hindsight the massive propaganda campaign appears to

RUSSIA HAS VOTED AS ORDERED, NOW WHAT?

The big political event that happened in Russia yesterday, December 2, can hardly be called “elections,” since few of the 60 million Russians who cast their vote really cared about

MOSCOW WITHDRAWS FROM EUROPEAN SECURITY SYSTEM

“We don’t need no arms control” – was the message enthusiastically chanted by Moscow last week. It could have been a week of constructive engagement with Europe, as Prime Minister

HIGH INFLATION REVEALS PUTIN’S MISTAKES

Russia may appear to be an island of tranquility in the sea of troubles that engulfed the world economy last week. Its stock market continues to rise, its banks are

PUTIN HAS FEW ANSWERS FOR IMPORTANT QUESTIONS

Russian President Vladimir Putin has established an annual tradition of long, televised meetings where he answers carefully selected questions from “loyal subjects.” The session held on Thursday, October 18, had

MOSCOW MEASURES THE NEW WESTERN UNITY ON IRAN

International issues have been overshadowed during the last three weeks as the Russian governmental crisis triggered an avalanche of speculation that has swept aside two stale presidential hopefuls – First

ZUBKOV: THE TAX MAN COMETH?

Just one week after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s surprise dismissal of the government, experts and commentators in Moscow still remain in the dark about the real meaning of this development.

RUSSIAN FLAG STAKES ENERGY CLAIM AT NORTH POLE

Russia made big international waves last week with a successful Arctic expedition that combined scientific and geopolitical goals. The research ship Akademik Fedorov and the nuclear icebreaker Arktika left Murmansk

MOSCOW ESCALATES DIPLOMATIC ROW WITH LONDON

Russian President Vladimir Putin has characterized the current deterioration of Russian-U.K. relations as a “mini-crisis” that would be overcome in the “interests of common sense.” In fact, however, this diplomatic

PUTIN TAKES THE CASPIAN ROAD TO KENNEBUNKPORT

Russia-U.S. relations show few signs of improvement in the last days before the eye-to-eye meeting between Presidents Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush in the informal atmosphere of the Bush

PUTIN SAILS THROUGH HIS LAST G-8 SUMMIT

As is usually the case, the weeks preceding the G-8 summit saw a dramatic escalation in tensions between Russia and other members of this elite club, in particular the United

PUTIN’S DOUBLE TRIUMPH NOT YET IN THE BAG

While Russian President Vladimir Putin has recently had serious disagreements with the United States and the European Union and bitter quarrels with Belarus and Ukraine, he has always been at

DOES PUTIN HAVE AN ARMS CONTROL AGENDA?

The wave of loud protestations in the West against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “moratorium” on implementing the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty (1990/1999) has temporarily subsided, as the concerned

IN FAREWELL ADDRESS, PUTIN DISTRIBUTES OIL MONEY

It was the “moratorium” on implementing the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty, a largely symbolic gesture of little practical consequence, that captured Western attention in Putin’s address to parliament

A BAD WEEK LEAVES PUTIN WITH ANOTHER 50 TO GO

Russia saw a truly macabre chain of disasters last week. On Saturday, March 17, a Tu-134 missed the runway and crash-landed in Samara, killing six passengers but miraculously not bursting

RUSSIA’S MILITARY PR PART OF KREMLIN INTRIGUES

After one month as Russia’s second first deputy prime minister, Sergei Ivanov is enjoying ample, uniformly positive media attention that will secure him higher numbers in opinion polls and expert

THE IRANIAN TEST FOR PUTIN’S NEW COURSE

The report on Iran’s nuclear program that Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), presented to the UN Security Council on February 22 presents an inescapable

PUTIN EXPANDS THE GOVERNMENT AND DEROGATES THE MILITARY

A huge bureaucratic surprise occurred in Moscow on February 15 when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced new appointments in the government, typically providing very little explanation for his sovereign decisions.

PUTIN PLANS TO “STAY THE COURSE” FOR 2008

Russian President Vladimir Putin obviously enjoyed this year’s installment of his annual press conference. Held on February 1, the 2007 session set a new record of three and a half

MOSCOW IS REMINDED THAT “WAR ON TERROR” IS NOT OVER

Unprecedented nation-wide preventive measures against a possible terrorist attack were introduced in Russia on Tuesday, January 16, on orders from Nikolai Patrushev, the head of the National Anti-Terrorist Committee (NAC).

THE CHECHEN EXECUTION SQUAD COMES TO MOSCOW

On Saturday evening, November 18, machine-gun fire erupted on Leninsky Prospect in downtown Moscow. Special police forces and a bomb squad quickly arrived at the scene and discovered one fatality.

COULD CORRUPTION BE GOOD FOR RUSSIA?

The new Corruption Perception Index, published by Transparency International last week, put Russia in 121st place together with nine other states, including the Philippines and Rwanda. This ranking is one

PUTIN DOWNPLAYS ENERGY DIALOGUE IN PARIS

Russian President Vladimir Putin resumed his European engagements last week, traveling to Budapest and Paris; he also plans a sentimental trip to Dresden in mid-October. The atmosphere at the meetings,

RUSSIA WRAPPING UP ITS WAR AGAINST TERROR

The outstanding success of the British secret services in foiling a terrorist plot that could have claimed hundreds of lives did not fail to make headlines in the Russian media.

MOSCOW QUIETLY RAISES ITS GAME IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Three weeks after the eruption of hostilities in Lebanon, Russia has remained uncharacteristically cautious and reserved. President Vladimir Putin took a very active stance in the debates on the conflict

ENERGY SECURITY DOMINATES SUMMER SUMMIT SCHEDULE

In mid-June, the heads of one North American, some Eurasian, and most European states travel non-stop, seeking to patch holes in the laboriously spun networks of cooperation. Russian President Vladimir

RUSSIA TAKES ANOTHER STEP AWAY FROM DEMOCRACY

Last Friday, June 9, the Russian State Duma approved legislation that would eliminate the voting option "against all" in the ballots provided for elections at all levels, from local to

Shifting Battlefields of the Chechen War

The constant stream of “small bad news” from Chechnya and the North Caucasus creates the impression of a stagnant local war and a region-wide condition of “stable instability,” with smoldering

SELLING “ENERGY SECURITY” IN BUDAPEST AND PRAGUE

For many years Russia's European policy neglected the group of states from Slovenia to Poland that are now new EU members. These former "satellites" were perceived as intrinsically "Russia-phobic." Russian

RUSSIAN ECONOMIC BOOM GOES UNNOTICED IN DAVOS

This year's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, featured many themes that could have benefited from a Russian perspective. From the "New Mindset for the UN" to "Europe's Identity Crisis"

HAS MOSCOW TURNED ITS BACK ON TEHRAN?

The protracted, slow-moving intrigue around Iran's nuclear program accelerated sharply last week as the international seals on the research facility at Natanz were removed. The frustrated European "troika" -- France,

PUTIN PROTECTS ISLAM AND PRAISES DEMOCRACY IN GROZNY

The newly elected Chechen parliament held its first session on Monday, December 12, and the big surprise was the unscheduled appearance of Russian President Vladimir Putin (Vremya novostei; Kommersant, December

PUTIN’S RUSSIA AS AN UNCERTAIN PROPOSITION

The presentation of the first annual Failed States Index – a joint project of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Fund for Peace – provided considerable fodder for

PUTIN PERFORMS A EUROPEAN PIROUETTE

A visit to the Netherlands on November 1-2 provided Russian President Vladimir Putin with a timely opportunity to re-establish his European credentials. The previous week had a distinct Asian flavor

NOBEL COMMITTEE SENDS WARNING TO THE RUSSIAN MILITARY

The Kremlin approved wholeheartedly the "exceptionally right decision" to award the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize to the International Atomic Energy Agency and Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei, noting particularly that "he does

STATE BUDGET POSES RISKS FOR RUSSIAN ECONOMY

Last week 11 leading Russian economic experts sent a letter to Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov warning about the possible – and possibly grave – negative economic consequences from the planned

PUTIN PRAISES STABILITY AND PROMISES PROSPERITY

Yesterday, September 27, Russian President Vladimir Putin spent nearly three hours answering questions from Russians who had gathered in specially organized studios across the country. The questions had been carefully

GAZPROM’S NEW EUROPEAN ROUTE: CRY UKRAINE?

Russian President Vladimir Putin's brief visit to Berlin last week was not only perfectly timed for the German elections but also loaded accordingly: He delivered a valuable gift to his

MOSCOW DODGES IRAN’S NUCLEAR OFFENSIVE

The European troika (France, Germany, and the UK) was clearly taken by surprise last week by Iran's determined drive to resume its uranium enrichment program. Their proposal, delivered to the

PUTIN’S SINKING PRESIDENCY: WHAT EFFICIENCY?

Last week saw a significant shift of emphasis in the unseasonably hot political commentary in Moscow: It was not whether but how Vladimir Putin will secure a third presidential term

DISENTANGLING THE MOSCOW-BERLIN AXIS: FOLLOW THE MONEY

Russian foreign policy under Vladimir Putin’s presidency has been generally undetermined and often opportunistic with only one constant: strategic partnership with Germany. This country definitely occupies the central place in

MOSCOW IS UNIMPRESSED BY PUTIN’S CELEBRATIONS

The long-heralded celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Victory Day are finally over, and many Muscovites find themselves with an odd aftertaste. The event that was supposed to be both

THE NORTH CAUCASUS SLIPS OUT OF CONTROL

The collapse of Askar Akayev's regime in Kyrgyzstan, so similar to the events in Georgia or Ajaria, has reinvigorated the debates simmering in Moscow since the Orange Revolution in Kyiv:

Putin’s Team in Disarray Over Oil Money

Yet another quarrel between Gazprom and Rosneft, Russian state-owned energy companies that are due to merge but cannot agree on conditions, hardly qualifies as news (Financial Times, March 16). Their

WILL PUTIN PULL THE PLUG ON THE CIS?

Observing the bitter disputes around Russian military bases in Georgia, sour demarches in the State Duma against Moldova, and icy diplomatic exchanges between Russia and Ukraine, it is hard to

MOSCOW INSISTS ON SEEING NO EVIL IN IRAN

Russia's position on Iran, as presented by President Vladimir Putin to President George W. Bush in Bratislava and by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to the EU "troika" in Luxembourg, is

IS EUROPE TOO SMALL FOR BOTH BUSH AND PUTIN?

"Disappointing" may be the common post-mortem on the Bratislava summit, but it would still be unfair to call the meeting a non-event. Reviewing the unresolved issues, it is now possible

GAZPROM’S CRISIS OF OVERGROWTH

Gazprom, Russia's almighty monopoly producer, distributor, and exporter of natural gas, is in serious trouble. Its directors' meeting on January 26 was expected to reveal the bitter disagreements about the

PUTIN’S ERODING SUPPORT BASE

Putin's extraordinary approval ratings have become a constant in the multi-variable equations of Russian politics; it is quite possible that they would remain up in the 60% range even after

WHAT IS WRONG WITH ANDREI ILLARIONOV?

Russian President Vladimir Putin clearly wanted to have the last word about the year 2004. First he shifted his "traditional" lengthy press conference to December 23, and then he confidently

WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO RUSSIA’S ECONOMIC POLICY?

Russia has seen controversial political initiatives, acute security crises, and bitter electoral battles in the last half-year. What it has not seen is a series of consistent economic steps or

GEORGIA CHALLENGES THE KREMLIN’S WORLDVIEW

The October 3 presidential election in Abkhazia has produced a far greater reaction in the Russian media than the scale of Russia's involvement in this Georgian separatist region or indeed

MOSCOW CONVENIENTLY FORGETS CHECHNYA

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was certainly in his element at the UN General Assembly last week, packing a full schedule of meetings and delivering a hard-hitting speech. Admittedly, he

The European Troika Meets In Sochi

On the last day of summer, French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder visited Russian President Vladimir Putin at his vacation residence, Bocharov Ruchei, near Sochi. Their discussions

PUTIN THE PACIFIST?

By Pavel K. Baev Despite all the excitement the Second Gulf War is generating, it may be worthwhile to take a moment to reflect on the desperate maneuvering that took

A USEFUL WAR?

By Pavel Baev Last week Vladimir Putin issued orders for a constitutional referendum to be held in Chechnya, paving the way for presidential and parliamentary elections there. However, fighting in

THE CIS: REFUSING TO FADE AWAY

By Pavel Baev The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), created hastily in late 1991 as the Soviet Union was falling apart, is such an obvious failure as an integration project

Shifting Battlefields of the Chechen War

The constant stream of “small bad news” from Chechnya and the North Caucasus creates the impression of a stagnant local war and a region-wide condition of “stable instability,” with smoldering