Friday, February 09, 2007

Putin heads out to the Middle East

AS RUSSIA'S president heads to the Middle East this week, the former KGB lieutenant-colonel may relish the fact that, here at least, his country is recouping some of its cold-war losses. Vladimir Putin's Russia is still less of a player than it was. It no longer has a network of Soviet client states. It does not baldly challenge Western interests by backing revolutionary forces and flexing its own military might. But Mr Putin has exploited the decline in American prestige, brought about by, among other things, the Iraqi morass and the poisonous issue of Israel and Palestine. So he may find it easier to reinsert Russia as a counterweight to the lone superpower.


What can I say. The Economist does not lie. But seriously; it feels good to be back in world affairs after the 1990-s collapse.

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