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The Big Picture

Russia Puts Itself in the Spotlight

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ss1039416523-Russian President Vladimir Putin
  • Russia is increasingly getting the West’s attention, on issues from gas supply, renewed Ukraine and EU border tensions, and new military technology.
  • That's challenging the broad US-led narrative that what’s most important is managing relations with China, not Russia.
  • Russia’s sustained role in the Mideast, strategic relationship with China and increasingly modernized military also give it heft.

Moscow has been at the center of a number of accusations by the West that have seen Russia blamed for causing the gas crisis in Europe, backing Belarus' orchestration of the refugee and migrant crisis on the EU border and planning to invade Ukraine in the coming weeks. Moscow denies the charges and points instead to Nato's growing military activities in the Black Sea and in the air, just 20 kilometers away from the Russian border, and military support for Ukraine. The West, Moscow says, is crossing the very red lines it has warned against.

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