SOURCE: Stratfor

Stratfor

April 14, 2014 08:30 ET

Stratfor: Ukraine Conflict to Dominate Global Geopolitical Agenda in Second Quarter

Leading Geopolitical Intelligence and Consulting Firm Releases Quarterly Forecast, Expects Cold War-Style Relations as United States and Russia Negotiate Ukraine's Future

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwired - Apr 14, 2014) - Stratfor today released its 2014 Second Quarter Forecast, focusing largely on the broader regional impact of Russia's confrontation with Ukraine and the resulting U.S.-Russia standoff.

Known globally for the company's in-depth geopolitical analysis and forecasting, Austin, Texas-based Stratfor has been tracking the resurgence of Russia and its maneuvering within the former Soviet periphery since Vladimir Putin's rise to power 15 years ago.

"Events between Russia and Ukraine in recent months are by no means the beginning, nor the end, of Russia's efforts to redefine its borderland with Europe in an attempt to maintain its regional influence," said George Friedman, Stratfor's founder and chairman. "If Putin is unable to maintain a neutral Ukraine, he risks shattering the legitimacy he has built for Russia and the world's perception of him as a master strategist. This will be a long conflict, one that will likely settle into a framework of bilateral negotiations between the United States and Russia, similar to what defined much of the Cold War."

VIDEO: Watch additional commentary from Stratfor's George Friedman on the Ukraine conflict and dynamics impacting the U.S.-Russia standoff.

Additional trends and highlights from Stratfor's Second Quarter Forecast include:

  • The United States will refrain from permanent basing on Russia's border and will avoid the discussion of NATO integration for Ukraine and Georgia. Russia will in turn bolster its military position in Belarus and in western Russia, but will not invade mainland Ukraine.

  • Negotiations between the United States and Iran on a nuclear framework will encounter hurdles, but nothing significant enough to fully derail the talks altogether. Russia will meanwhile try to sabotage the negotiation through its own dealings with Iran, though Iran will keep its distance from Moscow.

  • Europe is likely to experience increased division, not just from the rise of nationalist parties amid stagnant economic conditions, but also from the EU's inability to form a clear position on how to deal with Russia while coping with significant political and economic tensions at home.

  • Structural reforms will again take a backseat to stability efforts in China. Defaults by mining, steel and related businesses on loans tied to shadow lending products could in turn lead to credit crunches, heightened insolvency risks and even bankruptcies by small and medium-sized banks in regions heavily reliant on these sectors.

  • The Venezuelan government will negotiate with the opposition with the intent of dividing its opponents, but any compromises will be limited and fail to address the underlying problems causing political unrest, including high inflation, food shortages and a soaring crime rate.

Stratfor's complete 2014 Second Quarter Forecast is available to subscribers on the company's website at www.stratfor.com/forecast/stratfors-second-quarter-forecast-2014.

About Stratfor
Stratfor is a leading geopolitical intelligence and consulting firm that provides strategic analysis and forecasting to individuals and organizations around the world. By placing global events in a geopolitical framework, the company helps customers and subscribers anticipate opportunities and better understand the broader impact of regional and international developments. Full analysis on global events and more details on the company can be found on Stratfor's website at: www.stratfor.com.