From the Asia Times:
Apropos the “correlation of forces” (to use Marxian idiom) in the international arena, Putin has made a big statement. He has shrewdly estimated that Washington is doing all it can to mend fences with Beijing so as to put Moscow at a disadvantage in the highly sensitive triangular equations involving the three powers; that equilibrium must be found through improving Russia’s relations with Europe; that a thaw in chilly Russian-American relations remained unlikely in the short term.
The author also has some good analysis on Russia’s relationship with its key BRIC competitor, India, after the cut.
From M K Bhadrakumar in the Asia Times:
From India’s point of view, Medvedev comes as a mixed blessing. New Delhi would be hard-pressed if Russia were to veer away on an anti-West orientation. Delhi would hate to revisit non-alignment, but a slide toward a new cold war is even less likely under Medvedev. Quintessentially, he is a liberal who would charm the leadership in Delhi.But then comes the rub. Delhi hardly knows him. There is no shred of evidence to show that Delhi had the foresight to spot him or cultivate him. Beijing, in comparison, didn’t take a chance. It stole a march over Delhi. The Chinese leadership got Medvedev over to Beijing, chatted him up despite (or, probably because of) Gazprom’s tough negotiating tactic on the Siberian gas heading for China.Medvedev’s rise underscores for Delhi that a new generation is ascending to Russian leadership. The new faces have scarcely any recollection of the romance of Indo-Soviet friendship. Their natural inclination is toward the West. They will prove tough bargainers for Delhi, unlike their Soviet predecessors who ultimately put a friendship tag on transactions with India.The realization comes starkly home, as a major challenge waits Delhi in restructuring Russian-Indian relations, which remain a sizeable chunk of the unfinished business of India’s haphazard transition to the post-Cold War era.