Russia's ambassador to NATO has criticized the bloc's latest strategic concept, saying it contains mixed messages on Moscow. The diplomat says the West still can't decide whether Russia is an ally, a friend, or a threat.

Russian diplomacy has been on a roll in recent months, the revival of ties with Ukraine being the most dramatic manifestation. But a string of successes, major and minor, sung and unsung, has been notched up below that high point - in Poland, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Norway and Syria.

Closer Russo-Turkish relations and the latest indications that these relations may grow from economic cooperation into strategic partnership have caused concern among political circles in Armenia.

The Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, yesterday criticised the United States for not doing enough to foster peace in the Middle East, warning that the regional situation was "dangerous" and could slip out of control.

Lacking, however, is support from Washington in the form of a carefully thought-out and articulated U.S. public diplomacy policy toward Russia. With so much emphasis on public diplomacy toward the Arab world, crucial matters such as improving relations with Russia get too little attention. Needed is a coherent, cohesive strategy for Russia, endorsed by the White House and State Department, as the foundation on which American diplomats in Russia can build. This should include greater use of new media technologies, connecting with the Russian diaspora, developing partnerships between U.S.

So, is this finally the new Russia, reaching out without the defensiveness that has so long characterized its attitude toward the rest of world? Particularly with regard to the United States, the answer is "No."

MOSCOW---To commemorate the 65th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany, Russia staged an impressive Victory Day celebration on May 9, with plenty of troops and military hardware rolling through Red Square and a display of air power in the sky above Moscow. On first glance, it was just like the good old (or bad old) days.

But among those troops on parade were U.S. and British soldiers. Joseph Stalin’s picture was banned from the many posters in the center of the city, and Lenin’s Tomb – the reviewing stand for so many Cold War ceremonies – was covered by a billboard.

The emotional rapprochement between Poland and Russia after the death of President Lech Kaczyński and 95 members of the Polish elite is clearly still strong. On the other hand, Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski has said that an 'emotional breakthrough' does not necessarily mean a 'political breakthrough'...