Published daily by the Lowy Institute

Matthew Sussex

Matthew Sussex is Senior Fellow at the Centre for Defence Studies, Australian Defence College, and Adjunct Associate Professor at the Griffith Asia Institute, Griffith University. He was formerly a Nonresident Fellow at the Lowy Institute. His research specialisations include international security, Russian politics and foreign policy, strategic studies and international relations theory. His most recent publications have been in the areas of energy security, power relations in the Asia Pacific, security in the former Soviet space, and Australian strategic policy.

Articles by Matthew Sussex (26)

  • The war of the cold words: Russia, the West and propaganda

    Superficially, Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky’s recent claim that Netflix was a CIA plot resembles another excitable pronouncement from a Kremlin hierarchy increasingly out of touch with reality. The same goes for the regularly inflammatory comments of Dmitry Rogozin, the possible successor to Vladimir Putin, who famously warned the West in 2015 that ‘tanks don’t need visas’, and that the West would crumble ‘under pressure from ISIS and gays’.
  • Litvinenko Inquiry: Pursuing populism at the expense of foreign policy?

    Many of the popular responses to the Litvinenko Inquiry — released nearly a decade after the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko in 2006 with polonium, probably by former agents of the Russian FSB — have been inane, poorly informed, and wildly speculative. Some have taken the line that having killed off Russian democracy, Vladimir Putin should be brought to trial for state-sanctioned murder.
  • Putin's pivot: The Russians are coming to Asia

    Vladimir Putin has told the West that it has nothing to fear, yet the conflict in Ukraine is flaring again. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is warning his citizens of a full-scale Russian invasion. Contacts between NATO and Russian forces have increased markedly. Reports of Russian strategic bombers close to the UK, and of a Russian submarine in Finnish territorial waters, have grabbed headlines.
  • Should the West arm Ukraine?

    Should the West arm Ukraine against Russian-backed rebels? That's a question guaranteed to generate earnest debate among armchair foreign policy pundits. But it also found its way into the just-concluded 51st Munich Security Conference. Chancellor Angela Merkel, Munich Security Conference, 8 February 2015 Traditionally a forum for tedious re-commitments to global security, this year's conference came alive with discussion over Western 'lethal defensive' aid to Ukraine.
  • First reaction: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at the Lowy Institute

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko finished his speech at the Lowy Institute about 90 minutes ago. His visit was the first ever by a Ukrainian leader to Australia, after he accepted an invitation from Tony Abbott to discuss security and trade issues in the wake of the loss of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukrainian territory on on July 17 this year. A transcript of the speech will be available soon, but meantime here are the highlights, with my initial reactions:
  • It's time for the West to re-evaluate its whole approach to Russia

    Presidential systems of government often feature an annual speech by the chief executive. In general they are carefully choreographed affairs that are less about governance than grandstanding. They tend to reflect a list of outstanding achievements, punctuated by vigorous applause, while carefully skirting over the past year's policy missteps. Vladimir Putin's recent state of the nation address was no exception.
  • Shirt-fronting: Why Abbott missed the mark

    Was it really necessary for Tony Abbott to promise to 'shirt-front' Vladimir Putin at the upcoming G20 summit in Brisbane? Seasoned public servants often blanch when their political masters make populist remarks about other nations or their leaders. An intemperate comment from a politician can ruin a bilateral relationship, or at least jeopardise many years of patient diplomacy. Except, in the case of Australia-Russia ties, there isn't much of a bilateral relationship to speak of.
  • Putin's 'New Russia' looks a lot like the old one

    I have just returned from St Petersburg, regarded as the most 'European' of all Russia's cities. Burgeoning investment has made St Petersburg look modern (if still a little grim), and many of its residents have a worldly and cultured air. Shiny new office developments are starting to crowd out older grey concrete monoliths, and expensive products are advertised everywhere. But for all that, St Petersburg is still Putin's Russia. The only media sources are state-approved.