Russia’s awareness of regional around Afghanistan

By Nina Bachkatov

For those waiting for clear Russian signals about Afghanistan, the clearest one came from President Putin himself on 3 September when he addressed a plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum. The Forum has been established by presidential decree in 2015 to support the economic development of the Eastern part of Russia and attract foreign investors. Putin’s message to the West, with whom Russia had tense relations, was to remind that the Russian eagle on the flag had to heads, one looking West and the other East. By chance, it was from Vladivostok that Putin found himself explaining Russian positions, about Afghanistan, after a Western debacle.

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Belarus going nuclear, against all odds

By Nina Bachkatov

Technically speaking, the preliminary report of the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG) about the Ostrovets Belarusian Nuclear Power Station reflects E.U. worries about its security. But political considerations are part of the equation, bearing in mind Belarus’ internal situation, the tortuous relations between the European Union and its Eastern Partnership’s allies, the unfinished creation of a single Baltic grid. And, the relations of the different actors with Russia. Continue reading “Belarus going nuclear, against all odds”