It was a warm welcome Vladimir Putin received on his 6th visit to Austria since 2001. Initially the Austrian side considered to arrange a state visit, but in the end,  it was downgraded to a working visit. Hard to tell whether this was due to outside pressure to have no visit at all or some other reasons. Officially, the visit was linked to the 50th anniversary of the gas sales contract between Austria and the late Soviet Union signed back in June 1968. In reality, this visit was part of a deliberate Austrian effort to raise its profile … Continue Reading ››

The Agony of the Iran Deal

In a reckless decision, the U.S. withdrew from the Iran nuclear agreement – signed back in July 2015 as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – and reinstated all nuclear-related sanctions on Iran on May 8. Given the secondary nature of the sanctions, all companies trading with and investing in Iran are bound to wind down their contracts within 90 to 180 days. Trump has decided to please his voter base with the termination of the deal. He went on with his notorius ambition to deconstruct Obama’s legacy and gave in to his hawkish advisers. In addition, Israel … Continue Reading ››

Next Stop: Dead End. Russian-Western relations. Where do we stand, what to expect? A brief assessment

Quite a bunch of pundits and scholars had hoped for a realignment in US-Russian relations after the inauguration of Donald Trump as US President. At that time bilateral relations between the great powers had long been on a downward spiral and essentially rotten when Obama left the White House. As we all know now, relations have not only not improved, but gotten even worse. Despite all the high-level tweets by Trump cozying up with Putin, Trump never had a comprehensive strategy how to improve relations with Russia (and neither had Russia). Besides, with all the allegations of election … Continue Reading ››

Interview mit der TZ Der Standard über die Wahlen in Russland

Russland-Experte Mangott: "Putin wollte eine Krönung"

Dem russischen Präsidenten ist es gelungen, sich innerhalb des Machtkartells an der Spitze Russlands abzusichern – mit Tricks, meint Gerhard Mangott. Das Land habe aber eigentlich andere Probleme Der Politologe Gerhard Mangott nennt die Wahl in Russland zwar unfair, die schmutzigste aller russischen Wahlen sei sie allerdings nicht gewesen. Man habe sich aber einiger sowjetischer Traditionen der Wählerbeeinflussung bedient. Wahlsieger Putin müsse sich jetzt auf die sozialen Probleme des Landes konzentrieren. Die Beziehungen mit dem Westen bleiben nach Mangotts Einschätzung auch in Zukunft schlecht.

DER STANDARD: Putin wurde wie … Continue Reading ››