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 …

US, China, Russia lend gravitas to Afghan peace talks

Chinese Special Envoy Deng Xijun (L), Russian Presidential Representative Zamir Kabulov (C) & U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad (R) met in Moscow on April 26, 2019 for the second round of trilateral consultation on Afghanistan. From a modest start one month ago on March 20-21 in Washington, the trilateral format of the special representatives of …

Russia throws down the gauntlet to US on Venezuela

(An airplane with the Russian flag was seen at Simon Bolivar International Airport in Caracas, Venezuela, March 24, 2019.) The Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova acknowledged in Moscow on Tuesday that Russian “specialists” are indeed in Venezuela within the ambit of a 2001 military-technical cooperation agreement with Caracas. Zakharova underscored that Russia’s bilateral military cooperation …

Russia and China offer the SCO platform for India-Pak de-escalation

(Foreign ministers of Russia, India and China on the sidelines of the RIC meet at Zhejiang, China, on Feb. 27, 2019) Saudi Arabia is pushing forward as mediator between India and Pakistan with a messianic zeal that patently enjoys US backing. The Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir is arriving in Delhi …

‘America First’ means nuclear superiority

(Russia test-fires enhanced version of RS-24 Yars thermonuclear intercontinental missile, 6th February, 2019.) The US president’s annual State of the Union address traditionally focuses on domestic issues but it also throws some light on the foreign policy priorities. President Trump’s speech on Tuesday adhered to the pattern and if anything, the portions on foreign policy …

Russian deployment to Venezuela served the purpose

(Russian Tu-160 strategic bombers in Venezuela, Dec 10) The brief deployment of two Russian Tupolev Tu-160 ‘Blackjack’ strategic bombers to Venezuela last week became a sensational event. Indeed, it is a display of the growing Russian military prowess that has been restored under President Vladimir Putin’s watch. Blackjack has appeared on the Syrian skies more …