Papers in English

“Religion is a weapon and a victim of the conflict in Ukraine”

10 févr, 2019 Bruno Husquinet

The Autocephaly granted to the Ukrainian Church created headlines in the international media about an aspect of the situation in Ukraine that had remained a concern for specialists. Not surprisingly there are two divergent narratives on events. On the one hand, Moscow is outraged by the decision and reads this step as a politically motivated act to tear Ukraine apart from Moscow. On the other hand, most Western chancelleries welcomed the creation of a new Orthodox church independent from Moscow, who stands accused of playing a negative role in Ukraine. On February 3, 2019 Epiphany was enthroned as the first patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, a title that few Orthodox Churches recognize for the moment. IVERIS has discussed the theopolitical situation with Ukrainian specialist Dmytro Vovk to shed further light onto a complex matter that has not finished shacking the world of soft religious politics.

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A look on Kyrgyzstan celebrating its 27 years of independence

10 oct, 2018 Bruno Husquinet

Kyrgyzstan celebrated its twenty-seven years of independence following the end of the Soviet Union. Over the past three decades, the country located in the heart o Central Asia has gone through difficult economic and political times. Bruno Husquinet has talked to Talant Sultanov, director of the Center for Strategic Initiatives and former advisor to the exPrime Minister Sapar Isaakov. In this captivating interview, Talant Sultanov elaborates on the internal situation, on the relation between Bishkek and it Russian and Chinese neighbours, as well as with the United States and Europe. Hetackles as well the delicate issue of young radicalised Kyrgyz who have joined the Islamic State.

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Iran at Odds with Washington and Moscow

05 févr, 2017 Maria Liamtceva

The year 2016 saw the return of Iran to the international scene. It cooperated closely with Russia on Syria, and relations with the West improved since the ‘Iranian deal'. The turn of 2017 heralds a very different year. In this interview, Julia Sveshnikova, research fellow at the Expert Institute of the National Research University “Higher School of Economics” analyses potential changes of the new American administration over Iran. She examines as well the situation of Tehran in the complex reshuffling in the Middle East.

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EU Migration Paradigm: Risks and Opportunities

19 janv, 2017 Liubov Yaroshenko

Today the world finds itself facing the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War. And Europe finds itself struggling to deal with the high influxes of people seeking refuge within our borders” Dimitris Avramopoulos, Migration and Home Affairs Commissioner, Brussels, 14 August 2015, Speech to European Commission : "A European Response to Migration:Showing solidarity and sharing responsibility"

The recent flow of migrants to Europe remains at the core of EU agenda and has already become a highly sensitive political and public issue for both EU policy-makers and Member States leaders. The questions of security and sovereignty confronts those of integration and human rights' protection. Europe lived through the most vivid population movements in both the 20th and 21st century, and even before. For instance, Russians moved to Western Europe after the October revolution. Few years later, an exchange of populations took place between Greece and Turkey after World War I. After World War II, resettlement of the displaced people saw massive population movements. The decolonization process triggered movement of population from Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia to the former colonial powers. The 1990s and the collapse of the Yugoslavia followed by the ethnic conflicts added to the number of people seeking better life in Western Europe. Eventually, the two latest waves of the EU enlargement also let more people legally move and work in Western Europe.

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The Arctic: A Polar Crossroad for Ecology, Natural Resources, Security and Economics

08 déc, 2016 Maria Liamtceva

Interview with Elena Stetsko, PhD, Associate Professor in World Politics at the International Affairs Faculty, Saint Petersburg State University. Elena Stetsko was a guest speaker at the Moscow Conference organised by the Russian International Affairs Council in October 2016. The two-day conference gathered world specialists and leaders to discuss international cooperation in the Arctic region, the borders of which remained a bone of contention.

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The future of Russian-Chinese cooperation

02 oct, 2016 Interview with Yana Leksyutina, Dr.Sc. (Doctor of Political Sciences) and Associate Professor at the department of American Studies, Saint-Petersburg State University.

Recent Sino-Russian cooperation has contributed to solving emergent and long-standing issues such as the withdrawal of chemical weapons from Syria or reaching an agreement on Iranian nuclear programme. Is it the sign of an alliance between countries or the pragmatic convergence of interests?

 It is indeed a convergence of interests. Or a ‘proximity' of approaches between two countries towards international and regional issues, as it is often referred to in official statements. This proximity impacts upon many ongoing issues pertaining to regional and global security. When it comes to China, one should not expect it to sacrifice its interests for the sake of others, even when China deals with its closest and highly-valued diplomatic partners. Beijing acts exclusively upon its pragmatic interests. 

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Questions to Andrei Ostrovskiy

05 sept, 2016 Maria Liamtceva

Relations between Russia and China have grown stronger since the Ukrainian crisis, a crisis that has created a rift between the West and Russia. The year 2014 became a turning point for Russia that has led to a rebalancing of economic and security priorities with many of her neighbours. This increased closeness with China has led to the signing of the largest energy contracts – worth USD 400 billion – as well as multiple large scale infrastructure projects. Also worth recalling the large joint Sino-Russian naval exercise in the Mediterranean Sea in May 2015, alongside the two countries formal cooperation in other forums such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
The role of China is no longer regional and her global ambitions are ready apparent, as can be clearly seen in the outcomes of the Asian Investment Bank for Infrastructure's first annual meeting at the end of June 2016. Nonetheless, China has maintained a public distance on Crimea and the Donbass: Beijing has neither officially endorsed nor condemned Russian's actions.
As the Chinese Chinese city of Hangzhou hosts the 11th G20 summit Professor Andrei Ostrovskiy, specialist in Sino-Russian relations and a member of the Russian Science Academy, shares his opinion on the current situation in this exclusive interview.

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ISIS communication process

30 mars, 2016 Dr Marcin Styszynski

Although information chaos and various forms of jihadist propaganda, ISIS has implemented particular communication methodology regarding official announcements of terrorist attacks and further promotion of jihadist activities.

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ICC : chronicle of a disaster

06 févr, 2016 Leslie Varenne

Minutes of the first week of hearing broadcast live on the ICC website [i].

The first week of the trial of Laurent Gbagbo and his short lived Minister of Youth, Charles Ble Goude, at the International Criminal Court (ICC) overly demonstrated the amateurism of the Court. As the procedure on Ivory Coast has been on the table for five years, the institution had time to prepare. Yet the Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, her senior prosecutor, Eric MacDonald and the representative of the victims, Paolina Massidda, demonstrated their ignorance of Ivory Coast. For a long time, criticism of the ICC focused on its legitimacy, on the fact that it was only prosecuting Africans and that it was an instrument of international policy for the West, as are diplomacy, sanctions or embargoes. After this week's hearing a threshold has been crossed. The central issue is now clearly the ability of this court to deliver justice. If this trial comes to an end, which is far from certain, there will only be losers : the international justice, the accused and their defense, finally and above all, the Ivorian victims. No truth can come out of this Court. 

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Political Islam is not monolithic

05 févr, 2016 Dr Marcin Styszynski

Jihadist groups like al-Qaida or the Islamic state (EI) refer to the Quran, the hadiths (words and deeds attributed to the Prophet Muhammad), sharia and Islamic tradition in order to justify terrorist attacks, executions of hostages and brutal fights in Syria and Iraq. In recent times, public opinions in the West have considered Islam as a religion of violence, persecution and intolerance. The latest attacks against migrants and mosques show the increase of populism, of stereotypes and Islamophobia. In this regards, it is important to identify and clarify the meaning of Islam in politics and its role in activities of organizations such as ISIS or al-Qaida. Exploitation of Islam by different groups rely on three main factors.

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The Ivorian crisis, by Choi Young-jin

27 janv, 2016 Leslie Varenne

Before analyzing the content of Choi Young-jin's book on the Ivorian crisis, let us first tell its strange story. Choi Young-jin is from South Korea and was appointed UN Special Representative in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) in October 2007 by his compatriot Ban Ki-Moon. He remained in office until August 2011. He therefore led the UNOCI when the Ivorian crisis broke out in November 2010 until the end of the war in April 2011. He was a major player and witness to the important events that occurred during this period. In early 2012, the website of the major French book retailer FNAC advertised the release by the publisher “Nouveau Monde” (New World) of the UN special representative's book entitled "Au Coeur de la crise ivoirienne" (At the heart of the Ivorian crisis). In February 2012, Choi Young-jin was appointed South Korean Ambassador to Washington. No news on his book. Three years later, in September 2015, the Lettre du Continent reported that the book would be published by Michel Lafon and available in October 2015. However, Ivorian newspapers have been commenting on the book since August. Printed and published in Paris, it was already available in the Ivorian capital where 15000 copies were successfully sold. But it is nowhere to be found in Paris, although all those who had closely followed the Ivorian crisis - journalists, diplomats, historians - were eager to read Choi Young-Jin. The IVERIS looks for the book, and then, the plot thickens...

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