The most striking moments from Vladimir Putin’s December 17 press conference came when the Russian president condemned Turkey in rather colorful terms—the English transcript cleaned it up from “lick the Americans in a certain place” to “brown nose the Americans”—over its downing of a Russian Su-24 fighter bomber on November 24, an act Putin had previously termed a “stab in the back.”
In early December, Russian and foreign press published the first mention of a new transport route linking China and Europe which has just come into operation. The partners of the project: Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey have offered Chinese industrialists express deliveries of goods to the EU by rail in 8-12 days.
U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden visited Ukraine this week, bringing with him the promise of $190M in new assistance and insistence that the Ukrainian government press on with economic reforms and the fight against corruption.
There can be little doubt that the question of U.S. policy towards Russia is due for a rethink. Russian actions over the last two years have challenged assumptions in Washington about Russian preferences, and debate rages regarding possible responses and policies.
By Douglas Farah
Senior Non-Resident Fellow, Americas Program
In parts of the impoverished, dusty Choloma neighborhood on the outskirts of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, rag tag children stream down unpaved roads to a bare cinderblock community center where they receive a small bowl of soup and some bread, often the bulk of their daily nutrition.
July 24 marks a significant milestone in the global effort to eradicate polio: Nigeria, one of the countries where wild poliovirus has proven hardest to extinguish, has reported no cases of the disease for a year. While the success should be celebrated, it also should be viewed with a note of caution. The country’s polio program needs continued political attention and sufficient resources to achieve official polio-free certification, a determination made formally by the World Health Organization only after three full years with no cases.