The failure to agree with the Saudis on sustaining an agreed price for oil on world markets that led to a massive drop in the oil price was bound to hit the value of the rouble and no amount of assurance that Moscow knew what it was doing has made any difference. The alarm is … Continue reading The Rouble Plummets
When the Russians fell out with the OPEC cartel (the Saudis) over the future price of oil, they had not thought through the larger economic repercussions for their own economy were the Saudis to retaliate dramatically with unilateral measures directed at them to expand output. As a result the sudden, precipitate drop in prices by … Continue reading Russia Gambles with the Price of Oil
So Turkey and Russia have a ceasefire in Syria. Russian military intervention, which the Putin régime was warned against by those with some foresight, has led to endless complications and distractions for the Kremlin at a time when nothing much has been going well. Yet the siege mentality epitomised in commentary on "deep state" television … Continue reading The Erdogan-Putin Summit: Russia Counts the Cost
My enemy's enemy is my friend. It was only too apparent today, when the Russian Foreign Ministry condemned the Americans for bombing the Taliban after the latter launched further attacks on Afghan government forces, that Moscow does not actually want the Americans out of Afghanistan, even at the cost of the Russians taking the side … Continue reading Afghanistan: Russia Wants the U.S. to Stay
A not unreasonable analysis of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan published in the hardline newspaper Vzglyad ru today that seems to reflect some understanding of the complicated ethnic tapestry of Afghanistan has, however, a very odd title: "The End of the American Occupation Will Make Afghanistan an Ally of Russia." One can just imagine the hysterical … Continue reading Afghanistan: Russia’s New Ally?
President Erdogan had a telephone conversation with President Putin in which he pressed to be permitted to face Syria one on one without Russia's involvement, This was obviously not going to get anywhere. And Putin phoned his Iranian opposite number to reassert that Iran and Russia stand together on the fate of Syria. Today, 29 … Continue reading Turkey Piles on the Pressure
Ever since President Erdogan sent in 10,000 troops to forestall the annihilation of the Syrian opposition in north-western Syria, he has faced the very present danger that his men would come into direct collision with Russia, Assad's protector. Erdogan is now paying the price for sidling up to the Russians, placing orders for military aircraft … Continue reading War with Russia? Turkey’s Dilemma, Russian Unease