Category: Politics

Obama’s ‘red line’ on Syria grows softer

WASHINGTON LA TIMES– President Obama softened his threat to Syria over its possible use of chemical weapons, telling reporters that if conclusive proof of such activity emerges, he “would rethink a range” of retaliatory options that might not include military action.

Decision Time for Central Asia: Russia or China?

Vladimir Putin’s vision of an expanded Eurasian Customs Union poses a dilemma for Central Asia’s former Soviet republics – do they privilege their relations with Russia or deepen their ties with China? Li Lifan and Raffaello Pantucci consider the problems…

Russia’s European Prospects

MOSCOW (ISN)– In 1966, Charles de Gaulle’s vision of a Europe “that stretched from the Atlantic to the Urals” was provocative. Today, Russian President Vladimir Putin has advanced an even more ambitious goal: “a common market stretching from the Atlantic…

Vladimir Putin warns foreigners not to intervene in Russian politics

Guardian: Vladimir Putin has warned against foreign meddling in Russia‘s politics in a speech designed to spell out his priorities for the year ahead. “Direct or indirect meddling in our domestic politics is unacceptable,” Putin told a gathering of around 1,000 politicians in…

The Obama victory and Russia

EIU: The Russian establishment has generally welcomed and been relieved at the re-election of the US president, Barack Obama. The authorities were right to be relieved. Attempts to argue that the outcome of the election would make no difference, or…

Country ratings for political/financial risk

RATINGS CHANGES There were changes to risk scores in 37 countries during the latest monthly updating cycle of the Risk Briefing model. These led to upgrades of the overall score in only four cases, but there were 17 downgrades. In…

Chavez dirty tricks? Venezuela prints a confusing ballot

CSMonitor: Ballots are already printed for Sunday’s election in Venezuela, but the opposition candidate’s photo is shown in at least four places where, if marked, the vote will not be counted for his party.

Georgia election could herald change of allies

(Reuters) – Public anger over a prison abuse scandal played into a parliamentary election in Georgia on Monday which could determine if the former Soviet republic keeps its close relationship with the West or moves back to Russia’s orbit.