• At the Arctic Council in Finland, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talked about the crisis in Venezuela. This was also the most important topic of the phone call between Trump and Putin. In The Moscow Times, analyst Vladimir Frolov argues that the Kremlin is testing the water for a deal to exchange spheres of influence: Venezuela for Donbass.
    by Vladimir Frolov
  • For Russia challenging the US self-proclaimed 'sphere of influence' in Venezuela is a very cheap gamble, says our security expert Mark Galeotti. An airplane with armed men, a couple of threathening statements, and flexing of some muscles is all it costs. Rosneft investments in the Venezuelan oil industry could suffer. But that is probably an affordable loss and shrewd political calculation.