Russia has made a sudden shift when it comes to combatting narcotics trafficking in Afghanistan. For years, Russian officials saw US involvement in Central Asia as a greater national security threat than Afghan drugs.
It may be the dead of winter in Central Asia and the Caucasus, but it seems like the leaders of such countries as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have the “Arab Spring” still very much on their minds.
Russia is upping the ante in the Caspian Sea with talk of bolstering its naval forces. The move reflects Moscow’s frustration over the inability of the five Caspian littoral states to define the sea’s boundaries.