Our contributor Jonathan Strong reviews the worrisome growing ties between Russia and Venezuela at his site The Strong Conservative.
The US recently announced that it would be restricting military arms sales to Venezuela. It seems as though Russia is now stepping up to fill that vacancy. Russia recently announced that it would be looking into selling the Su—27SK Flanker and Su—30MK fighters and the Mi—28N Night Hunter attack helicopter to Venezuela. [....]
Russia has also been troubled over the expansion of NATO. The absorption of Ukraine into NATO would have a profound effect on Russia's relations with the Europe and America. Russia's foreign minister has gone so far as to suggest that Ukraine joining NATO would amount to a global geopolitical shift sparking fears of a renewed Cold War. Ukraine has actively been seeking membership in NATO to stifle the heavy Russian influence that has clouded its history for more than a century. [....]
Similarly, there is no doubt that Russia's warming of relations with Venezuela has a cooling effect on Russian—American relations. Mistrust and suspicion seem to be on the rise between the eagle and the bear in recent years despite the warm relations once shared between Bush and Putin. Nevertheless, the US and Russia continue to have a common enemy in radical Islamic terrorists. It is in the interests of both nations to cooperate on terrorism.
Well worth a read. And consider it in the context of Douglas Hanson's reporting on the Russo—American rivalry playing out in the Caucasus. My own view is that, as with the French, the Russians are willing to play a bit of footsie with certain Islamist elements for geo—political advantage versus the superpower America. That's a dangerous game.
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