The Russian economy has at long last make a decisive turn upwards. After a decade of decline, gross domestic product increased by 3.2 percent last year, and it is rose by an annualized 8 percent in the last quarter last year and first quarter this year. The numbers are clear enough, but everybody has become so pessimistic about Russia that nobody faces up to the positive facts any longer.
Political developments in Russia already have begun to impede the "development of the of the national economy," which, according to the new foreign policy doctrine, should be the "main priority in the foreign policy of the Russian Federation in international economic relations."
Democratic transformations are never simple, linear processes. If it wants to promote democracy, the international community will have to accept the messy, compromise–driven policymaking process with which the citizens of democratic countries are familiar.
Does the United States still need to deploy thousands of nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert? Governor George W. Bush reflected the consensus view of experts across the political spectrum when he announced his plan last week to cut the nuclear arsenal and remove weapons from high alert status.
At the ongoing NPT review conference, Arab states have strongly expressed their resentment over Israel's barely concealed nuclear arsenal, and have signaled their displeasure at the "discriminatory" approach of the United States towards nuclear weapons in the Middle East.
This month in New York, diplomats from 187 countries have convened for the latest Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Since entering into force in 1970 and renewed indefinitely in 1995, this landmark agreement has been the central barrier to the spread of nuclear weapons.