Skip to main content


Showing posts from May 30, 2014

The Geopolitics and Evolution of the Eurasian Economic Union

Russian President Vladimir Putin (back C) attends a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council at the Kremlin in Moscow on Dec. 24, 2013ALEXEI NIKOLSKY/AFP/Getty Images


Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan will sign the foundation treaty of the Eurasian Economic Union on May 29, with the bloc set to formally debut on Jan. 1, 2015. The Eurasian Economic Union is about much more than economics; it is a bloc meant to rival the European Union and the United States in its influence in Russia's near abroad. The crisis in Ukraine has aggravated long-standing tensions between Russia and the West, and the Eurasian Economic Union will serve as a primary platform for Moscow to challenge EU and U.S. influence in the former Soviet periphery in coming years.


The very name of the Eurasian Economic Union implies that it is something other than European. This is not merely a geographic distinction; it is a political distinction showing that to be part of this grouping means not being…

Argentina: Disputing the Power of Provinces

Argentina's former secretary of domestic trade wears a lapel badge of national energy firm YPF.(YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/GettyImages)


A burgeoning fight over hydrocarbons between Argentina's national and provincial governments is beginning to take center stage in Buenos Aires. Governors from 10 oil-producing provinces will meet with Argentine Planning Minister Julio de Vido on June 3 and President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner on June 9. The ostensible reason for the meetings is to discuss the standardization of provincial taxes on state-owned energy company YPF. The national government is pushing for provincial taxes of no more than a 3 percent on the company's gross income. The real question is whether the firm can force provincial governments to offer better, more consistent terms. The implications of this political struggle go far beyond YPF and will help set the stage for a more favorable investment climate for foreign companies.


Click to Enlarge

The meeting …