Russia’s suggestive banter may have some overtones of childish games, but it’s clear they really want to produce some different outcomes in their talks with the West by bringing up these threats. From the IHT:
“Our neighbors are close to us in many respects, and are a traditional area of interest for the Russian nation,” he said. “We are so close to each other, it would be impossible to tear us apart, to say Russia has to embark on one path, and our neighbors on another. The issue here is our shared common history, the connection of our economies and close affinities of our souls.” Medvedev also said that Russia would build economic and military ties with nations willing to do so even if the West dislikes some of these alliances. “There are many other interesting places in the world with governments maintaining friendly ties with us,” he said. “And if they like developing economic, humanitarian and military ties with us, we won’t say no.”
I wonder who on earth he could be referring to? There’s no reason for Washington to really fear this relationship … although they would like to pretend otherwise, Iran’s interests are not aligned with those of Russia – for example, Gazprom explicitly needs sanctions against Iran to prevent the development of its massive natural gas reserves.