Vladimir Putin's Russia is charging back into the international spotlight, the Christian Science Monitor reports, challenging European and US policies on a variety of issues. Putin has thrown a wrench into Kosovo’s all-but-assured independence from Serbia, backing Belgrade’s efforts to keep the province. Russian planes recently violated Norwegian airspace, and the Kremlin has stalled on sanctions for Iranian uranium enrichment.
Said an expert, “Europe's strategic partnership with Russia isn't working properly.” Indeed, Putin has changed his tune on EU and NATO expansion, now fighting the membership of Ukraine and Belarus. Some say the Cold War loser is only looking for some influence, and not for actual confrontation: Indeed, warnings about withholding gas deliveries appear to have been mere posturing.