26 February, 2009 – Global Research
Despite the problems of the ruble and the weak oil price in recent months for the Russian economy, the Russian Government is pursuing a very active foreign policy strategy. Its elements focus on countering the continuing NATO encirclement policy of Washington, with often clever diplomatic initiatives on its Eurasian periphery. Taking advantage of the cool relations between Washington and longtime NATO ally, Turkey, Moscow has now invited Turkish President Abdullah Gul to a four day state visit to discuss a wide array of economic and political cooperation issues.
In addition to opening to Turkey, a vital transit route for natural gas to western Europe, Russia is also working to firm an economic space with Belarus and other former Soviet republics to firm its alliances. Moscow delivered a major blow to the US military encirclement strategy in Central Asia when it succeeded earlier this month in convincing Kyrgystan, with the help of major financial aid, to cancel US military airbase rights at Manas, a major blow to US escalation plans in Afghanistan.
In short, Moscow is demonstrating it is far from out of the new Great Game for influence over Eurasia.