The financial reserves accumulated in times of prosperity (more than US$162 billion in the stabilisation funds and nearly US$598 billion in the currency and gold reserve) alleviated the negative impact of the crisis, although this failed to prevent the deep declines in macroeconomic indicators.
The real threat posed by militant Islam seems to be rather limited, and its roots lie outside Central Asia. This region is unlikely to become a key front of global jihad. Nevertheless, this does not guarantee peace and safety in Central Asia, as the Islamic threat remains an element of the geopolitical rivalry in the region – the ‘New Great Game’.
Russia’s actions so far have led to a kind of deadlock. Moscow has managed to stop NATO enlargement into the CIS area, persuade the USA not to deploy the missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, and avoid major consequences after the war with Georgia; nevertheless, the full implementation of its objectives remains unlikely.
The fraudulent parliamentary elections in April 2009, the violent demonstrations held by the opposition in Chisinau and the government’s brutal reaction, as well as the deadlock over the election of the president, revealed a systemic crisis of the Moldovan statehood.
On the fifth anniversary of the Orange Revolution and in the final period of the presidency of Viktor Yushchenko, who then embodied the hopes for state reform, a tentative assessment of the situation in Ukraine is appropriate. Did the revolutionary social upheaval bear revolutionary fruit? Have democratic mechanisms strengthened?
Less demand for gas and the need to reduce production are also having a positive impact – the Russian company is likely to avoid the difficulties in meeting all of its export commitments which, only a year or so ago, it was expected to experience.
Even though the economic crisis proved harmful to the Russian economy and people's living standards, it has nonetheless failed to make the elite revise its policy. Despite some problems, the government has managed to sustain economic and political stability, thanks to the reserves it amassed in the times of prosperity...
A new form of 'transformational crisis' has been observed in Bosnia and Herzegovina since at least 2005. Politicians representing the three major ethno-political communities (Bosnians, Croats and Serbs) have successively been raising disputes and have employed various political tools to preserve the conflicts instead of resolving them.
Important changes have occurred in recent years in the attitude of a majority of the German elite towards the history of the 20th century and the political identity built on collective memory. Until recently, the sense of guilt for the crimes of the Third Reich and the obligation to remember were prevalent.