Leonid Bershidsky

For Leonid Bershidsky's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Jul 8, 2014

Shevardnadze's lessons for the West

Eduard Shevardnadze, the former Soviet foreign minister and Georgian president who died Monday at 86, was not an effective leader, but if Western leaders had paid closer attention to what he said when he was alive, they would have been better prepared for today's ...

Jul 1, 2014

U.K.'s David Cameron loses and so does the EU

The U.K. and the EU may well part ways simply because that's the way the tide is going. Like Jean-Claude Juncker's selection to lead the European Commission despite British Prime Minister David Cameron's objections, it's beginning to look like predestination.

Jun 21, 2014

EU should embrace Albania's pot industry

If Brussels considered legalizing marijuana throughout the EU, then Albania, with its well-developed cannabis industry, could be welcomed to the union as a country with a legitimate, honorable specialization.

Jun 3, 2014

Sex and drugs to be counted in Europe's GDP

In the next few months all EU countries that do not already include illegal and gray-market businesses in their gross domestic product calculations will have to do so. After all, there is no substantive difference between the services of a prostitute and a corrupt ...

May 23, 2014

How Putin won big in Chinese natural gas deal

Russian President Vladimir Putin has achieved what Western leaders feared — a long-term deal to supply natural gas to China at a respectable price. But Russia could end up China's satellite if it does not at least partially rebuild a relationship with the West.

May 19, 2014

Europe's economic Iron Curtain

Twenty-five years after the Berlin Wall fell, a just-released set of gloomy economic forecasts demonstrate how the countries formerly under Moscow's sway are still painfully connected to Russia and to one another.

May 2, 2014

Can Russia fix its mess in Ukraine?

Russian President Vladimir Putin can neither resolve the crisis in east Ukraine nor admit his powerlessness to end what he started. Kiev needs to find a way to negotiate with the local elite and law enforcers, providing convincing guarantees of safety.