Blinken’s diplomatic cart will have a bumpy ride

US Secretary of State-designate Antony Blinken at confirmation hearing of Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Washington, Jan 19, 2021 The confirmation of Antony Blinken as US secretary of state by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is a foregone conclusion. That makes his opening statement at the senate hearing Tuesday an important document. Blinken did not throw …

US makes aggressive opening move on Russian chessboard

Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny was detained at the airport in Moscow upon arrival from Germany, January 17, 2021   A regime change project in Russia was launched on Sunday with the return of political activist Alexei Navalny to Moscow. It was a highly symbolic event — except that Navalny was travelling by an aeroplane …

Turkey gets an ally in Ukraine

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar (L) and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (L2); Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba (R2) and Defense Minister Andriy Taran (R) held a press conference after meeting in a ‘2+2’ format, Kiev, Ukraine, Dec, 18, 2020. Turkey under President Recep Erdogan has been variously accused of ‘neo-Ottomanism’, revanchism or radical Islamism. But …

Return of Great Game in Post-Soviet Central Asia

The Wakhan Corridor: A narrow strip of land in Eastern Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province, 295 km long and 15 to 57 km wide, connecting Afghanistan with China and passing through the territory of Tajikistan, historically a buffer between Russian Central Asia and British India.  The recent Issue Brief by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission …

France challenges Russian peacekeeping in Caucasus

A Russian peacekeeper patrols at checkpoint outside Askeran, Nagorno-Karabakh, November 19, 2020. (AFP Photo) The trilateral agreement on November 10 between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia over Nagorno-Karabakh is leading to a geopolitical struggle in the Caucasus. So long as Armenia and Azerbaijan were ferociously fighting, the great game lurked in the shade.  But no sooner …

Historical undercurrents in Nagorno-Karabakh

Armenian cemetery (1579) in Surat, India. 16th century onwards, Armenians from Iran formed an important trading community in Surat port city which had sea borne trade with Bandar Abbas. The analysts focusing on the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis through the prism of regional politics fail to factor in that the Caucasus comprises ancient peoples. The Russian President Vladimir Putin …

Biden’s “normalcy” means return of “ancien régime”

There has been a spate of reports in the American media that the US president-elect Joe Biden is assembling his cabinet of ministers. Most reports mention that Biden’s secretary of state will be Susan Rice, former US ambassador to the United Nations and National Security Advisor in the Barack Obama administration. Reportedly, Biden’s choice for …