FA Today
 
Don't Mistake Russia for Iran Don't Mistake Russia for Iran
Why the Same Sanctions Strategy Won't Work
By Eric Lorber and Elizabeth Rosenberg

With sanctions beginning to bite, Russia is starting to play a new economic game. To alleviate the pain of Western restrictions on its financial and energy sectors, Russia is turning for help to non-Western partners. Last week alone, Russia and China signed over 40 agreements that provide Russian firms with lines of credit worth billions of dollars and establish strategic partnerships in the energy sector. The United States, in turn, is looking to step up its own game. Policymakers are considering giving global companies a choice: stop providing long-term financing and energy assistance to major Russian companies or be kicked out of the U.S. financial system. Such measures resemble the sanctions the United States placed on Iran a couple of years ago. But Iran was a different problem. And treating Russia the same way would be a...

 
 
The Mission for Manila The Mission for Manila
A Conversation With Benigno Aquino III
By Benigno Aquino III

In the last four years, Benigno Aquino III -- generally known by his nickname Noynoy -- has turned the Philippines from one of Asia’s underperformers into one of its economic stars. Aquino is a scion of the Philippines’ most beloved political dynasty; his father, the opposition leader Benigno Aquino, Jr., was assassinated by President Ferdinand Marcos in 1983, and his mother, Corazon Aquino, won the country’s first democratic election after the dictator’s fall. Thanks to an aggressive anticorruption campaign and sound, conservative macroeconomic policies, Aquino has racked up a long list of accomplishments since his 2010 election. In 2012 and 2013, the economy grew by 6.8 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively; inflation dropped; the stock market soared; and for the first time in its history, the country scored an investment-grade rating from the three main credit-rating agencies. This year, however, Aquino started to stumble, with corruption scandals and legal and political battles eroding his once-stratospheric approval rating. In late September, Aquino met with Foreign Affairs managing editor Jonathan Tepperman in New York to discuss the challenges he and his country...

 
 
Opening Indonesia Opening Indonesia
A Conversation With Joko Widodo
By Joko Widodo

On July 9, nearly 135 million Indonesians went to some 480,000 polling stations and picked a new president -- just the third to be directly elected in the country’s history. (Indonesia overthrew its longtime dictator, Suharto, in 1998, but his initial successors were chosen by the legislature.) Their choice: Joko Widodo, known universally as Jokowi. A former small-town mayor from central Java, Jokowi first burst onto the national scene when he was elected governor of Jakarta in 2012. A populist and technocrat, Jokowi is neither rich nor wellborn; he dresses simply, is a self-professed metalhead with a special fondness for Metallica, and worked in the family furniture business before entering politics. His wild popularity and rapid ascent -- from provincial unknown to the leader of the world’s third-largest democracy -- have drawn comparisons to another president who spent part of his middle-class childhood in Indonesia: Barack Obama. But high expectations can be a curse as well as a blessing, and Jokowi faces huge challenges: endemic corruption, a once-promising economy that has gone into a tailspin, and a lingering threat of Islamic...

 
 
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