Archive for the ‘obama’ Tag

Another Perspective on Iran   Leave a comment

iran_flag_centerSome have claimed that the revelation of the existence of a second Iranian nuclear facility diverted the focus of the recent G20 meeting from the global economic situation to nuclear proliferation.

The United States, Great Britain, and France were quite quick to condemn Iran and call for additional sanctions.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev did not participate. It would appear that he is the voice of reason. Former US President George Bush referred to Iran, Iraq, and North Korea as the “Axis of Evil” in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Even though the US government claimed otherwise, no evidence of the existence of weapons of mass destruction was found in Iraq.

Russia, since Tsarist times, has had an interesting relationship with Iran that goes much deeper than some of the current political rhetoric. Russia may know something other nations do not, and Russia has played a key role in the construction of Iran’s nuclear facility at Bushehr.

Russia is clearly not advocating unchecked proliferation of nuclear weapons, but rather a measured approach to policy and relations with an important nation.

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South Ossetia: One Year Anniversary   Leave a comment

ossetian_flag04.August.2009

Russian troops in South Ossetia have been put on increased combat readiness amid rising tensions on the de facto border with Georgia, officials said today.

Andrey Nesterenko, the spokesman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry, said the move was meant to prevent more violence.

The situation near South Ossetia has become increasingly tense as the first anniversary of the Russian-Georgian war approaches Friday.

U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev discussed the “lessons of last year’s Georgian crisis” in a telephone conversation late Tuesday, the Kremlin said in a statement. There was no elaboration.

After the war, Russia recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another separatist region in Georgia, as independent nations and permanently deployed thousands of troops there.

Closure of Sole U.S. Military Base in Central Asia   Leave a comment

kyrgyz_flagPresident Kurmanbek Bakiyev of Kyrgyzstan has ordered the closure of U.S. military’s only base in Central Asia, further squeezing access for troops and supplies heading into Afghanistan.

Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan serves as a U.S. supply route for troops and supplies into Afghanistan.

Two other central Asian nations — Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – have indicated that they will allow transit of U.S. cargo to Afghanistan.

Increasing militant attacks on land routes through Pakistan and no likelihood of access through Afghanistan’s major western border with Iran, are putting the the United States under pressure to establish new supply chains from the north.

Manas’ closure could deal a significant blow to U.S. military efforts in Afghanistan just as President Barack Obama plans to step up U.S. troop levels to halt a resurgence of the country’s former Taliban rulers.

The utility of the arrangements with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan would still depend on how much access the United States would have for flights and cargo. It is unlikely they will fully replace capacity lost in Kyrgyzstan.

Chu: Increased Demand for Oil   Leave a comment

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, a champion of renewable energy and biofuels, has a clear position about the future of oil. neft_01

He says global demand for it will increase over the next two decades and even with more efficiency and alternative fuels, prices will increase again.

In the long run, over the next two decades, he said, he’s certain the price of crude will be significantly higher than today. Crude oil has dropped from a high last summer of $145 a barrel to a recent low of about $34.