Russia and ex-Soviet Union (English)

Russia has always looked on at events in the Middle East from afar, shut out of the action, and remains an onlooker today, absorbed by its own problems. Eric Walberg looks at the implications for Russia of the revolutions and no-so-revolutions sweeping the Middle East  

Russian politics is in turmoil as a result of the uprisings in the Arab world, in particular the Egyptian revolution. Those fed up with an increasingly autocratic political system hope that Russian citizens will be energised, while those who came out on top following the collapse of the Soviet Union are quick to dismiss any implications for the Russian political scene.

Medvedev’s presence in Lisbon was more a show of Russia’s importance than of subservience to the Euro-Atlantic alliance.

The new Ottomans and the new Byzantines are poised for an intercept as the US stumbles in the current Great Game, reports Eric Walberg

The neocon plan to transform the Middle East and Central Asia into a pliant client of the US empire and its only-democracy-in-the-Middle-East is now facing a very different playing field. Not only are the wars against the Palestinians, Afghans and Iraqis floundering, but they have set in motion unforeseen moves by all the regional players.

Russia's accommodation of the US and NATO continues apace, with new support of the Afghan war and even missile defence, notes Eric Walberg
 
The Atlantists are on the ascendant these days in Moscow. Russian President Dmitri Medvedev's hamburger lunch with United States President Barack Obama during his visit to Silicon Valley last month apparently left a pleasant taste in his mouth. Now relations with NATO are on the mend, as Russia plans to send 27 Mi-17 helicopters to Afghanistan, NATO Military Committee Chairman Giampaolo di Paola said after a meeting with Chief of Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Nikolai Makarov last Friday. Rosoboronexport has even offered to throw in the first three helicopters for free.

The Russian leader has re-enacted the famous American goodwill tour of his predecessor a half century ago, but faces the same Cold War scheming. Will his attempts to befriend Europe have more success, wonders Eric Walberg

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Eric's latest book The Canada Israel Nexus is available here http://www.claritypress.com/WalbergIV.html