New Caspian Accord Resolves Some Issues, Not All

Old Soviet Volga car and abandoned oil rig on the shore of Caspian sea, Azerbaijan (Shutterstock)

by Mark N. Katz Ever since the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, the five states bordering the Caspian Sea (Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and Iran) have been unable to reach agreement on a legal regime for the body… Continue Reading  

Putin Benefits from Trump’s Anti-Iran Sanctions

6EsjKIDU37RNOSX5qO1A13VuNAZ1YpdW

by Mark N. Katz Russia is the one country that has arguably benefited the most from the Trump administration’s insistence that other countries (including America’s Western allies) reduce their petroleum imports from Iran to zero or face U.S. sanctions. Both… Continue Reading  

Putin and Netanyahu: Converging Interests?

GX0Fn3tXvkAxpBc15nWYAAwDcC2SJ3PT

by Mark N. Katz In the wake of President Trump’s announcement of the U.S. withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear accord and the direct clashes between Israeli and Iranian forces in Syria, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went to Moscow to… Continue Reading  

Moscow and the U.S.-led Attack on Syrian Chemical Weapons Facilities

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in 2015 (Wikimedia Commons)

by Mark N. Katz Many observers have already pointed out how the latest U.S.-British-French attack on three of the Assad regime’s chemical weapons facilities has not done much to harm the Assad regime. Indeed, it has not even ended Assad’s… Continue Reading  

Can Russia Succeed Where America Failed in the Middle East?

Lavrov

by Mark N. Katz At a recent Valdai Discussion Club conference in Moscow, the Russian participants were highly critical of U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East (as were many speakers from the Middle East, Europe, and the U.S. itself).… Continue Reading