From Malcolm Davis, The Strategist (ASPI): “Russia faces real challenges in sustaining its military modernisation efforts, given low oil prices, Western sanctions and the cost of operations in Ukraine and Syria. Despite that, Moscow looks set to continue the program. At its heart is nuclear weapons modernisation. Russia’s most recent military doctrine, released in 2014, continues to emphasise the primacy of nuclear weapons in Russian defence policy.”
From Carl Bildt, The Strategist (ASPI) and Project Syndicate: "Russia is once again at the center of policy debates in many Western capitals. And for the third time in a row, a new US president will start his administration with ambitions to improve bilateral relations. To understand why achieving this goal has been so difficult, it helps to take a longer historical view of the Russian state. It is now a quarter-century since the Soviet Union disintegrated; and 2017 will mark the centennial of the Russian Revolution, which toppled the teetering, centuries-old czarist empire. As it happens, there are telling similarities between the periods that followed each of these imperial denouements."