A continuation of last night’s concerns.
Russian presidential heir apparent Dmitry Medvedev, in his first major campaign speech yesterday, said he would seek to boost the power of the United Nations and would not sever Moscow’s ties to “problem states” like Iran, despite Western pressure.
Mr. Medvedev, chairman of the energy giant Gazprom and longtime ally of President Vladimir Putin, also said Russia’s economy needed “decades of stable development” to catch up to the West and promised a vigorous drive to root out corruption.
The nationally televised address took a softer rhetorical line than that favored recently by Mr. Putin but came on a day when Russia’s military staged another exercise heavy with symbolic echoes of the old Soviet superpower days.
Spook’s take on the exercise is:
At the risk of sounding redundant, the Russian exercise in the Bay of Biscay makes a Bear run against the U.S. eastern seaboard all-but-inevitable. With TU-95s scheduled to participate in the current exercise, it would be easy to add an extra “cell” of bombers (two aircraft) to the formation. As the Bears approach the Greenland-Iceland-U.K. Gap, most of the bombers would turn south, steering around Britain and heading toward the exercise area. The remaining two-ship element would break west, bound for our east coast. After flying parallel to the coastline, the Bears would land in Cuba or Venezuela, then return by the same route a few days later.
While you’re at Spook’s place the first article you’ll encounter is this: Pyongyang Takes Notice.
Read it, too.