A fresh crisis in former Soviet Central Asia offers an opportunity for cooperation when Russian President Dmitry Medvedev calls on President Barack Obama at the White House next week.

Russia's leading independent media company, today announced the launch of the CTC-International channel in Israel... Anton Kudryashov, Chief Executive Officer of CTC Media, commented: "The launch of CTC-International in Israel is in line with our international expansion strategy and follows the introduction of the channel in the U.S. at the end of last year..."

The curious reality is that the 15-nation [Security] council is frequently unwilling to formally acknowledge that it is meeting to discuss the many security crises that land on its door. The problem is that once an issue is officially "placed on the agenda" of the Security Council, it's hard to get it off, granting the U.N. Security Council an open-ended opportunity to play a role in the affairs of a politically sensitive or unstable region.

The Russian delegation, headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Serguei Ryabkov, offered Nicaragua a generous package of aid in the areas of transportation, budget assistance and technical support..the Russian government agreed to provide Nicaragua with $10 million in budget support, a new fleet of inner-city buses and a shipment of LADA vehicles, as well as reinitiate a twice-weekly commercial flight from Moscow to Managua, via Cuba.

In Turkey, diplomacy and commerce go hand in hand: when ministers travel abroad, they take a train of businessmen...A new pipeline running from Russia to Turkey might carry gas onwards to Syria or Lebanon – but not Israel.

After patient and persistent diplomacy and a few perks, Russia and China, Iran's powerful trading partners, finally fell into line. But divisions have emerged elsewhere in the Security Council, signifying concerns about a strategy that appears to stress pressure over engagement with Iran.

Expert of Turkish studies Artak Shakaryan is convinced that Russia-Turkey relations are of economic nature mainly. "...Turks themselves accept these relations not as strategic, political, but as economic ones,” Shakaryan told reporters today.

The list of countries where Russians can travel without visas has become longer. The agreement about non-visa travel between the citizens of Russia and Brazil came into effect on June 7. Russian diplomacy has taken a lot of efforts during the recent years to make the list of visa-free destinations for Russian travelers as long as possible.