(And other articles like it.)
Hmm. I'm not exactly sure what's up with Russia these days.
Putin barely says a word when withdraw from ABM. He offers more cooperation with the war in Afghanistan than many of our European allies. He stays silent when we set up shop in former Soviet republics before we actual go into Afghanistan. He's leaning toward a more balanced approach vis-a-vis Israel.
Then, all of a sudden, he comes out with a huge 10-year multi-reactor contract to help Iran become a nuclear power. The party line about the reactors being for "civilian" purposes only is bogus; there will almost inevitably be opportunities for Iran to get its hands on some of the spent fuel, and the nuclear technology is dual-use by its very nature and aiding Iran with it will contribute to Iranian scientists' expertise, which they can then turn towards military pursuits on their own.
Why is it in Russia's interests to help Iran become a nuclear-weapon state, anyway? Isn't Russia having a problem with Islamic fundamentalism right now? Isn't that one of the pillars of the new Russo-American working framework?
I'm not in any way implying that Putin should or has to cozy up to American interests. However, I'm just not sure I see the clear aim of his policy or a clear, unified strategy for reestablishing Russia's place in world politics, which is clearly Putin's ultimate goal. The man's an ardent Russian nationalist.