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While China has received much attention for its diplomatic and economic efforts in Africa, Russia has been quietly seeking a foothold in the Central African Republic. Years of chaos and a violent civil war have set the stage for Russia’s entrance in the country, where it is now plying security expertise and pursuing investments in the mining sector. Russia’s discreet, low-stakes approach may help ensure its success.
Russia is making a big push for closer ties with African countries. It aims to gain access to energy resources and in return offers military support and arms sales. Its goals are not only economic, however. It wants to show its people and the world that it is still a global power, as well as challenge the U.S., Europe and China as they make their own inroads on the continent.
Dr. Stephen Blank
Events are moving fast in the Middle East. The hoped-for rapprochement between Russia and the U.S. that could bring an end to the war in Syria appears to have collapsed. Growing tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia could spark a war at any moment. But the most explosive issue for this region of minorities is the prospect of independence for Iraqi Kurdistan.
Dr. Samir Nassif
Professor Stefan Hedlund
Russian weapons business is facing a critical juncture. Once coequal with the
United States as the world’s biggest arms exporter, Russia must now advance
technologically or be displaced by rising competitors. The biggest threat is
posed by two countries that were traditionally Russia’s best clients – China