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US Secretary of State H. Clinton said in a comment on the Strategic Defense and Security Review submitted to Great Britain's House of Commons that the country will remain the most capable US partner in the military sphere. In the past, the ties between the US and Great Britain used to be described as a special relationship since the term was floated by W. Churchill in his famous 1946 Fulton speech which marked the start of the Cold War.

President D. Medvedev's recent talks with his Turkmen colleague Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow in Ashgabat produced significant results. Importantly, the leaders of the two major gas-exporting countries brought to the negotiating table consonant assessments of the current state of the European gas market. As Russian deputy prime minister I. Sechin explained the situation, Europe's gas demand will be growing minimally in the coming 3-4 years and prospects for increasing gas supply to Europe in the nearest future are dire. 

Georgian deputy foreign minister N. Kalandadze announced on October 11 that Georgia planned to unilaterally lift the visa requirements for Russia's Caucasian republics and to allow Russian citizens residing in Dagestan, Chechnya, North Ossetia, the Kabardino-Balkar Republic, the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, and the Republic of Adygea to visit Georgia for up to 90 days without visas.

The US Congress finally ran out of patience after years of coercing China into the yuan appreciation and passed a bill authorizing the US Chamber of Commerce to slap punitive duties on Chinese imports. The very next day Beijing responded by propelling the yuan to the dollar exchange rate to the unprecedented 6.6732:1 mark and thus demonstrated its receptiveness to US criticisms.

These days, Mexico is increasingly often added to the list of failed states. The country started to spiral downwards following the signing of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which exposed its economy, finances, and trade to the devastating pressure from the US. Mexico's industry and agricultural sector are overwhelmed by the flow of imports supplied by the country's northern partner, the result being a tide of bankruptcies after which masses of people are forced to turn to the criminal underworld for survival.

The call for Russia's joining NATO, which was recently voiced by Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Executive Secretary Igor Yurgens, could be regarded as just one in a series of outbursts of reset-style optimism and simply ignored, considering that Russia's proponents of total change have floated countless ideas of the kind over the past two decades. Nevertheless, there are serious reasons to focus on this particular issue.

Since the Alliance for European Integration (AEI) came to power in Moldova the country’s raprochement with neigbouring Romania has speeded up. Bucharest has intensified the promotion of its interests in the republic of Moldova (RM) and expanded its presence not only in the mass media and non-governmental organizations but also in the state agencies of Moldova while receiving support from the US.

Like a huge abscess, Iran infects the political world around itself. The political phase of the preparation for a military operation began with Washington's attempts to pacify the Palestinians with Israel. If the Arab elite in Tehran show irritation and even hostility, the same cannot be said about the Arab in the street. Obama does not want to undermine the Iranian campaign and has proclaimed a course of building bridges with the Muslim world. For this it is necessary to break Netanyahu’s resistance, who is in fear of losing face in Israel and the reaction of the opposition, and is in no hurry to extend the moratorium on the construction of Israeli settlements on the West Bank. Once Washington and Israel agree upon the Palestinians, we can assume that the initial stage of preparation for the operation will be complete.

A new political crisis is ripening in Serbia’s Kosovo. The resignation of Kosovo’s President Fatmir Sejdiu was followed by the resignation of the government of Hashim Thaçi, which means that early parliamentary elections will be held. It also means the postponement of talks between Belgrade and Pristina and possibly a new allocation of forces in the Albanian camp.

Finally, the parliamentary elections in Kyrgyzstan to which the republic exhausted by the permanent crisis and craving for at least some sort of stability was inching so nervously are over. Contrary to alarmist forecasts, they neither were accompanied by another round of public unrest nor provoked clashes like those Kyrgyzstan's south was shattered by last July.