Summary

A hefty slate of diplomatic talks is now scheduled for January: one track between Russian leaders and NATO, and another with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). At issue will be the ongoing Russian military build-up on Ukraine’s eastern borders, as well as a list of security guarantees recently circulated by the Kremlin. Whether the build-up turns out to be an act of diplomatic brinkmanship or an actual prelude to Russian invasion, two things are clear: 1) the post-Cold War geopolitical environment of Eastern Europe is transitioning toward something entirely new; and 2) the fate of Ukraine will figure prominently in how this transition continues to unfold.