On the heals of the Russian (and Chinese) veto of a U.N. Resolution meant to deal with the Syrian slaughter of civilians, let's not forget who the former USSR really is!
"... When we speak of the Iranian nuclear capability, it is Russia that is enabling them to build it. When we speak of Iranian missile defense it is Russia that is enabling them to build it. From an economic standpoint, Russia is in no hurry to impose sanctions on its trading partner. The same can be said for China who is dependent on Iranian oil to fuel its economic growth.
Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that sanctions imposed now would be premature. China Thursday had glowing comments about its growing economic alliance with Iran. So when, according to these two countries, would the time be right? The larger question, which is really a rhetorical one, is whether Russia and China are really our allies in this battle at all, or just self-serving players in this negotiation charade? The answer is obvious, and before the world reaches the nuclear day after tomorrow, action has to be taken..."
"Coverage of Vladimir Putin’s impending return to the Presidency of Russia on March 4th has so far focused almost exclusively on the menace posed to Russia’s teetering democracy. Conspicuously, little analysis has been offered regarding the impact Putin’s eminent reprisal of the Kremlin’s top job is having on Russia’s foreign policy – particularly when it comes to how political events are playing out in Syria and the Middle East.
Throughout his presidency, informed observers have maintained that President Dmitry Medvedev has been the puppet to Putin’s puppeteer. In several areas of foreign policy however, Medvedev wielded a substantial degree of independence until recently. Medvedev’s ascension to the presidency coincided with Obama’s arrival in Washington and the new leaders enjoyed decidedly more amicable relations than Putin experienced with Obama’s predecessor, George H.W. Bush. Putin’s successor has displayed a markedly more benign outlook towards the liberal values espoused by Washington and to the White House itself, further encouraging a rapprochement between Moscow and Washington.
The ideological differences between Putin and his successor emerged most noticeably in the wake of NATO’s bombing campaign against the forces of former Libyan dictator Muammar Kaddafi. Putin, incensed by France’s delivery of weapons to Libyan rebels, fumed that UN and NATO actions resembled “a medieval call for a crusade.” In contrast, Medvedev cautiously supported UN actions against Libya, pointing out that Kaddafi’s regime was committing terrible crimes against its own people. Even more, Medvedev bristled at Putin’s use of the word ‘crusade,’ arguing that such language threatened to “lead to a clash of civilizations..."