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The main core of the book Af-Pak: the challenge of stability (Francesco Brunello Zanitti, Af-Pak: la sfida della stabilità, Fuoco Edizioni/IsAG, Rome 2014) is the presentation of future hypothetical scenarios of Afghanistan and Pakistan, considering ISAF’s withdrawal

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have conducted another session of the CSTO Foreign Ministers Council, which was held in a constructive and trustworthy atmosphere and was quite substantial. We exchanged opinions on topical problems of regional and international security, primarily in the area of the Organisation’s responsibilities and in adjacent regions.

We paid special attention to the reinforcement of foreign policy coordination within the framework of the CSTO. The documents, which we have approved today, will contribute to this: The Plan of consultations of representatives of member states of the organisation on foreign policy, security and defence issues for the second half of 2014 – first half of 2015 (the Plan includes more than twenty measures) and the List of topics for joint statements of the CSTO member states in the UN, the OSCE and other forums. About ten topics have been agreed, on which a document for joint presentation to the respective multilateral structures will be prepared.

The profound and pervasive crisis in Ukraine is a matter of grave concern for Russia. We understand perfectly well the position of a country which became independent just over 20 years ago and still faces complex tasks in constructing a sovereign state. Among them is the search for a balance of interests among its various regions, the peoples of which have different historical and cultural roots, speak different languages and have different perspectives on their past and present, and their country's future place in the world.

Given these circumstances, the role of external forces should have been to help Ukrainians protect the foundations of civil peace and sustainable development, which are still fragile. Russia has done more than any other country to support the independent Ukrainian state, including for many years subsidising its economy through low energy prices. Last November, at the outset of the current crisis, we supported Kiev's wish for urgent consultations between Ukraine, Russia and the EU to discuss harmonising the integration process. Brussels flatly rejected it. This stand reflected the unproductive and dangerous line the EU and US have been taking for a long time. They have been trying to compel Ukraine to make a painful choice between east and west, further aggravating internal differences.

The causes of Moscow’s action in the Ukrainian crisis are much more complicated than that represented by the stereotypical analysis in the Western media and academic circles.

The dominant discourse in the U.S. and Europe is a consensus that the Kremlin is commanded by one man

On March 27th, 1999 in Brussels, the NATO leadership could not believe what they were hearing. For the first time in the history of its combat operations, a highly "secret" U.S. Air Force stealth fighter plane was not only detected by Yugoslavian air defense radar, but it was also shot out of the sky and came down near Belgrade. It was a heavy blow to the American military-industrial complex and the Lockheed Corporation. The Pentagon claimed that there had been a technical problem and the so-called "invisible plane" had simply crashed somewhere in the forests of Serbia. It was not until 25th November 1999 that the U.S. military admitted that the F117a had been shot down and destroyed. The truth was concealed not only from ordinary Americans, but also from numerous customers.