Russia-Ukraine relations take leap of faith

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky (L) to have first face-to-face encounter in Paris on December 9, 2019  The relationship of the famous Ukrainian oligarch and billionaire Ihor Valeriyovych Kolomoyskyi with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky lends itself to various interpretations. Both Kolomoyskyi and Zelensky (rather, his spokesperson Iuliia Mendel) are …

Tehran taunts US with Fordow; pokes at Trump with Agent Levinson

Satellite imagery of Iran’s underground Fordow uranium enrichment facility north of the city of Qom Tehran announced on November 7 that it has begun refining uranium at Fordow, a secretive site built inside a mountain to the north of the holy city of Qom, apparently to protect it from any aerial bombardment, and one that …

The endgame begins in Yemen’s war

Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman and AbuDahbi Crown prince Mohammed bin Zayed witness the signing of the Riyadh Agreement between the Yemeni government and the Southern Transitional Council, Riyadh, November 5, 2019  The power-sharing agreement signed in Riyadh on November 5 between the Saudi-backed Yemeni government headed by Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and UAE-backed southern …

Expectant hush in Delhi as Sri Lanka chooses president

Top presidential candidates Sajith Premadasa (L) and  candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa (R) greeted each other at a chance encounter in Colombo, October 7, 2019   An engrossing presidential election is due to take place in Sri Lanka on November 16. Considering that this is the first major election in Sri Lanka following the ‘regime change’ in …

Europe’s gas alliance with Russia is a match made in heaven

Amidst the excitement over the killing of the ISIS chief Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, a development of much impact on international security passed by when Denmark made the innocuous announcement on October 30 that it would permit the proposed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to pass through its exclusive economic zone.  Copenhagen modestly explained that it …

Passage to the door opening to Kashmir Valley

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a delegation of  European Parliament MPs, New Delhi,  October 28, 2019. The government’s initiative to sponsor the visit to J&K by a 28-member delegation of the members of the European Parliament (MEPs) is a belated step in the right direction. It is a modest step, likely tentative and probably intended …