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At the moment, there is little doubt that Francois Hollande can count on winning the presidential run off in France.  The questions naturally arising in the context are which, if any, transformations await the French foreign policy under the incoming president and, in particular, how Paris will be shaping its relations with Moscow in the coming five years.

A statement released by Hollande in December, 2011 - with an eye to the elections on the horizon - contained passages to the effect that Russia's domestic policies, including the alleged crackdown on opposition protests in the wake of the parliamentary poll, were a cause for serious concern and that Russia should do more to guarantee the freedoms of expression and public dissent.

Now living through a kind of a social crisis, Germans are looking forward to early land elections in the country’s most populous (17.8 million) state of North Rhine-Westphalia scheduled for May 13.Given the current balance of political forces in Germany, the main intrigue is about who will hold the majority in Westphalia. 

Elementary arithmetic routinely holds keys to much more complex political algebra. At the moment, for example, it appears that fairly simple regards explain the bizarre conduct of the Arab League which, contrary to reasonable expectations, alligned itself with the West in destabilizing Syria and keeping B. Assad under pressure.

The current situation in Syria remains one of the most important components of the Middle Eastern and international policies. Using Syria’s domestic crisis and pursuing their own goals NATO’s leading states, Israel, Turkey and the monarchies of the Persian Gulf are trying to undermine the Syrian regime.

The EU oil embargo recently slapped on Iran and the threats voiced by the US and other Western countries to come up with further sanctions against the country led watchers to conclude that an armed conflict between Iran and the West finally became imminent.

The “color revolution” will continue to be the preferred route for the United States in effecting regime change in Central Asia. But the limits to the United States’s capacity to intervene also cannot but be noted. As a perceptive observer recently noted, the US is a “renter rather than a bona-fide landlord of Eurasian property” – and a renter can always be evicted by the landlord.

The United States’ defence strategy unveiled by President Barack Obama in Washington on January 5 has been occasioned by the need to slash the spending of the Pentagon by nearly half a trillion dollars over the next decade. There is undeniably some merit in the viewpoint that this is a strategy that has been driven by budget woes – although Obama and the Pentagon chief Leon Panetta have insisted that it is indeed a pure strategy.

A Nato air strike on a Pakistani border coordination center on 26th November, which killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, has caused extensive coverage in the media and critical feedback from all over the globe. IN a phone talk with his Pakistani counterpart, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed that violating other countries` sovereignty, including as part of counter-terrorism operations, is inadmissible.

The deeper the crisis in Syria, the more evident it becomes that its former ally, Turkey, has played its part in the process. As the only moderate Islamic NATO member state, Turkey has turned into a springboard for the Syrian opposition. Istanbul announced the creation of a Syrian national council, analogous to the Libyan NTC. Opposition members are actively collaborating with Turkish governmental bodies. Actually, Turkey homes a headquarters of Syrian immigrants who handle all those destructive policies at home.

Economically and politically embattled, the EU nevertheless struggles to retain whatever influence it has over the post-Soviet republics. In the process, Brussels mostly relies on its already floated initiatives including the Eastern Partnership, a project which  reflects the European Union's attempt to outpace the US in pulling FSU countries out of Moscow's orbit and securing a grip on the post-Soviet space.