Azerbaijan is taking its turn as the Chair of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, and is attempting to put its own stamp on the body’s policy and pronouncements.
Within five years, Russia’s power — military and economic — will have no real check from the West.
The comparison between Nagorno-Karabakh and Crimea — sham elections, displaced persons, and Russian military behind it all — is too obvious for even international affairs reporters to miss.
Reports from Ukraine’s security services that known fighting elements from Moldova’s breakaway Transdniester region have been active in Eastern Ukraine are a sign of several, related, ominous developments.
Over the course of the last ten days, Margvelashvili has made the circuit of every major Western wire service, extolling the virtues of the West and reassuring Russia that everything will be just fine.
The last year has shown that Putin perceives that his strengths are paired with Western weaknesses; if the West is to seriously contest with him, it must become serious.
Today, Ukraine stands as the border between Russia’s expansionist drive and the West. Where does Poland fit in?
Putin only cares about controlling vassal states from a large enough territory and population to maintain that control, as every Russian Empire has ever done.
Gazprom fuels Russian military and political power; broken of that, Russia will be merely Venezuela with less political stability.
It is now reasonably safe to say that Vladimir Putin believes he is the Emperor of Eastern Europe. It is also safe to say he’s right.