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NATO Deputy Secretary General highlights Chicago outcomes, praises reforms in trip to Georgia

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Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, NATO’s Deputy Secretary General, welcomed the progress Georgia is making in democratic reforms during a two-day visit there on 26-27 June. READ MORE

Russia Versus China

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Russia is seeking ways to halt unauthorized Chinese production of Russian jet fighters. This has proven very difficult, especially since Russia and China are supposed to be allies these days. Earlier this year the extent of the problem was made quite stark when China refused to buy Su-35 fighters from Russia if a "no unauthorized duplication" clause was included in the contract. The Chinese wanted to buy the Su-35s but were not willing to sign a binding agreement to not copy the Russian design. READ MORE

Moscow Fears Shift in Central Asia’s Strategic Balance Post-2014

By Roger McDermott

Moscow has reacted with concern after learning about the ongoing talks between Washington and three Central Asian countries aimed at agreeing on the handover of equipment linked to the NATO drawdown in Afghanistan. Russian officials fear that such equipment donations to the Armed Forces in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan not only go way beyond the existing arrangements to assist in reverse transit using the Northern Distribution Network (NDN) but could upset the strategic balance in Central Asia post-2014. In diplomatic circles in Moscow, this development is portrayed as entirely unacceptable to Russia and may indicate a worsening in US-Russian relations. A potential diplomatic crisis between Washington and Moscow is brewing precisely in this area due to a number of inter-related factors, but with President Vladimir Putin under pressure domestically he may choose to use this at some stage to boost his image at home by confronting the United States more directly. READ MORE

Russia to modernize border security

By Trude Pettersen

Russia is modernizing protection of its outer border by replacing outdated protective installations like barbed wire fences with advanced surveillance and monitoring equipment. READ MORE

Russia's role in Polish-Lithuanian tensions

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Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė said in an interview on 4 June that Lithuania and Poland should "have a pause" in their relations, adding that such a pause would be a better choice than to mend what cannot be corrected. READ MORE

Serbia Faces the Future

By Maia Lazar

A Conversation with Branislav Radeljić, Senior Lecturer in International Politics, University of East London. READ MORE

Two anniversaries mark milestones in NATO-Russia relations

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Fifteen years ago, on 27 May 1997, the signature of the NATO-Russia Founding Act provided the formal basis for bilateral cooperation. And ten years ago, on 28 May 2002, the creation of the NATO-Russia Council provided a forum for the Allies and Russia to meet as equals to discuss and cooperate on issues of common interest. Driven by a spirit of pragmatism in the face of shared security challenges, the relationship has come a long way since these milestones, though it has yet to live up to its strategic potential. READ MORE

New Serbian President Favors Putin, Opposes NATO and Independent Kosovo

By Stephen Schwartz

On May 20, Tomislav Nikolic was elected president of Serbia in a second-round runoff against incumbent Boris Tadic. Tadic, who sought a third term, and his Democratic party, have been described as victims of Serbian populist opposition to European Union financial austerity. Nikolic, candidate of the Serbian Progressive Party (SPS), calls for Serbia to join the EU but favors economic coordination with Russia instead of Western Europe. Tadic now seeks the prime minister’s post. READ MORE

Putin's Evolving Strategy in Europe

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By George Friedman

Putin's return to the presidency was not unexpected; he was never really unseated as Russia's leader, even during Dmitri Medvedev's presidency. But it comes as an anti-incumbent trend is developing in Europe, most recently demonstrated when socialist challenger Francois Hollande defeated Nicolas Sarkozy in France's presidential elections. In response to these changes, Putin will have to adjust Russia's approach in Europe. READ MORE

Russia Stays Home

By Javier Solana

Just three days before his return to the Kremlin as Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin met behind closed doors at his residence in Novo-Ogaryovo, outside Moscow, with US National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, who was there to transmit President Barack Obama’s renewed determination to strengthen cooperation with Russia. But Donilon returned home empty-handed: Putin will attend neither the G-8 summit on May 18-19 at Camp David, nor the NATO summit in Chicago on May 20-21, despite Obama’s effort to accommodate Russia by moving the G-8 summit from Chicago. READ MORE