Two of Russia's staunchest allies are assessing their ties with Moscow with the Ukraine crisis in mind.
(From L) Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian. (SERGEI KARPUKHIN/AFP/Getty Images, JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images, ALEXEY DRUZHININ/AFP/Getty Images)
"Russia is in deep crisis … the president [Putin] is going to want to look decisive and he hasn’t been, he’s failed in most things he has done,” said Friedman. “He’s had a lot of reversals, he needs to get some points on the board – if you can’t get it diplomatically, I’m afraid he is going to get it militarily."
"Of all the kings Saudi Arabia has had, King Salman’s ascension to the throne comes at the worst time in the history of the kingdom," Kamran Bokhari, adviser for Middle Eastern and South Asian affairs at Texas-based consulting firm Stratfor, said by telephone from Toronto. “He comes in with so many domestic and external challenges."
"Regardless of the technical and political purpose behind the decision to implement quantitative easing, and however defensible it is on its own grounds," Friedman writes, "the moral lesson is that Europe ultimately is a continent, not an idea."
The ideological leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Ibrahim Suleiman al-Rubaish, declared France a greater enemy of Islam than the United States in an online audio message released Jan. 30, AFP reported.
Syrian rebels fighting against the government of Bashar al Assad detonated a large amount of explosives in a tunnel under an army post in Idlib province, inflicting heavy casualties on government troops, AP reported Jan. 30.
Russia will take measures to respond to a U.S. missile defense system that violates the START III Treaty and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, armed forces chief Gen. Valery Gerasimov said, Interfax reported Jan. 30.
Georgia will suspend trade talks with Russia because it does not make sense, Georgian Foreign Minister Tamar Beruchashvili said while on a visit to the United States, Trend news agency reported Jan. 30.