When protesters gathered in the Ukrainian capital Kiev in November of last year, few could expect that the sequence of events that unfolded there would lead to the worst crisis between Russia and the western world since the collapse of the Soviet Union over two decades ago.

Written by: Elena Pavlova, Victor Chauvet

On April 22, a meeting of the Russian Security Council for the Arctic state policy took place in Moscow. In the next few years, Russia accordingly decided to push for the development of its Arctic areas, referring to the creation of new transport infrastructures, the implementation of large-scale mining programs and the strengthening of its military presence.

The tone of the statements made from Brussels and Washington and their decisions taken with regard to the Russian Federation, Russian businesses and officials imply that West is unlikely to go beyond ‘cosmetic’ sanctions.

These findings are based on the official statistics of the CU (Eurasian Economic Commission), analysis of statements and comments made by the representatives of government, diplomatic and business circles of the Republic of Belarus, Republic of Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation on the situation in the national economies and the social sphere in the framework of the Customs Union.

It began with a roar and it ended with a whimper.As 2012 wound down in Russia, the soaring expectations for change that accompanied the civic awakening and mass protests at the year’s dawn had clearly faded.

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has blessed the cornerstone of a new Orthodox church outside the walls of the academy of the Federal Security Service (FSB) in western Moscow.

Russian company Northern Caucasus Resorts (NCR OJSC) and Chinese Dalian Wanda Group Corporation and China Oceanwide Holdings Group – in the presence of Heads of both states – signed a Memorandum of Intent regarding China’s investment in the development of Northern Caucasus resorts.

After inauguration Vladimir Putin will undoubtedly place a focus on Asia. This region will remain a dominating geopolitical and geoeconomic vector for Russia during the following years.

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