Director of the Russia/ Newly Independent States Centre at IFRI (French Institute of International Relations based in Paris and Brussels). Member of the Valdai Discussion Club.
Previous positions: Lavoisier Fellow at the State Institute for International Relations (MGIMO), Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Security Studies (European Union – Paris) and Marie Curie Fellow at Department of War Studies (King’s College – London), lecturer on international affairs at the Special Military School of Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan; co-director of the IFRI/CSIS project Europe, Russia, and the United States: Finding a New Balance (2008).
Research interests: post-Soviet space.
Selected publications: “Russian Civil-Military Relations: Putin’s Legacy”, (2008); “Russie.Nei.Visions” (2009); “EU-Russia Relations, Toward a Way Out of Depression” (2008). Articles: “L’Europe marginal-isée”, (2008); “Russia Alone Forever? The Kremlin’s Strategic Solitude”(2008);“Washington-Moscou: la nouvelle donne”(2009); “Obama and Russia: Facing the Heritage of the Bush Years”(2009).
The problem of Russian diplomacy, especially in the Middle East, is its ability to take the lead. Russia’s foreign policy is a very interesting area where one can observe the real ideological divergence between Russia, on the one hand, and Europe and the U.S., on the other.
Putin has succeeded Yeltsin as a modern leader who renewed the old partocratic elites, becoming a fresh face in the Russian politics. Today he is becoming a representative of the older generation, which is not a tragedy in itself, as statecraft largely comes from experience.
The Russian web is a sort of public intermediate space, and obviously it was very useful for the opponents to criticize the government or the regional authorities. From this point of view, it is very important to be observed to try to anticipate some changes in Russian politics in the next two years.
Russia will have to face certain challenges in the economic sphere in order to solve the problems of economic modernization. In the short term, one of the important things for Russia is what is going on in Europe, because if there is a deep recession in Europe, which is possible, there is no doubt that Russia will suffer as well because of its external trade relations with the European market.
RuNet is much more open than other media for expressing discontent with the existing order. At the same time, the authorities are also active in it. It is also a place where part of the population, the most educated and young users express their abilities as entrepreneurs. There are real success stories in the RuNet.
It is on one level a clear signal about the Ukrainian leadership’s current weakness. Not only has it been trapped by this trial, it will suffer severe reputational damage as a result. This reflects the weakness of Ukraine’s leadership. It remains in a position which will see them struggle to build a consensus within their elites regarding both domestic and foreign policy.
The reality remains as follows: the President is appointed first, and only later is elected. It seems that the President is self-appointed, and afterwards elected. This means that the concept of there being alternatives is completely absent from Russia’s political tradition.