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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.

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.

The US Administration and Afghanistan's government chose to get in touch with the Haqqani clan renown as a particularly ominous group in the ranks of the Afghan resistance. No doubt, the step reflects Washington's awareness of its inability to prevail in the conflict in Afghanistan, and the Talibs' guerrilla tactic must be credited with efficiency high enough to force the US ask for peace, which is the objective the anti-Western tribal coalition has been pursuing from the outset.

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.

The meeting of North Korea’s ruling party (Workers' Party of Korea - WPK) on September 28, the first one since the party’s congress of 1980, is the most important event in country’s domestic policy.

Note, that the gatherings of the ruling party are rather exceptional events which are not held on a regular basis. They are held only when the most crucial issues must be considered.

It seemed suspicious recently that Washington which tends to denigrate the “immature” democracies of Latin America and the Caribbean without restraint made serious efforts to demonstrate respect for Brazil. G. Bush's Administration bracketed as “immature” the Latin American states with populist regimes and, generally, any countries showing a measure of defiance defending their national interests under the US pressure.

Debates between the US and China over the valuation of the yuan are currently gathering momentum. A new campaign of pressure on Beijing is initiated by the US Congress which proposed a bill authorizing the government to slap duties on China's imports based on the view that the yuan is grossly undervalued. The lower chamber approved the legislation.

Interview with the Democrat Party leader

1. From your perspective, what is the current state of the relations between Russia and Moldova?  In the context, what can you say about the agreement of cooperation between the United Russia party and Moldova's Democrat Party?

In my view, at the moment the state of the relations between Moldova and Russia is unnatural — what is going on is totally inappropriate for the two countries having much in common and largely sharing the same history, culture, and mentality.

Ecuador's police forces played the key role in the coup attempt which shattered the country on September 30. The passing of a law affecting the police officers' bonuses and job benefits became a pretext for the rebellion which erupted in the capital city of Quito and the Guayquil seaport town. Actually, the law was not supposed to entail pay reductions, but those who masterminded the coup managed to convince the police that it would and thus provoked the uprising.