The forthcoming Monday meeting in Vienna between US Special Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov should herald the start of a new arms control process, and every small step counts.
Russian President Vladimir Putin endorsed a new nuclear deterrent policy which allows him to use nuclear weapons in response to a conventional strike targeting the country's critical state and military infrastructure. But the document is more about effect than substance.
With new amendments to Russia’s Law on Citizenship, the Kremlin is establishing a legal pretext to threaten or actually to use force based on a claim to protect Russian citizens resident in neighbouring states.
Israeli opinion generally regards the country’s efforts to contain Iran, especially in Syria, as having been successful. In fact, the trendline runs the other way: Iran is constraining Israel, entrenching all around the Jewish state.