Russia's Sphere of Influence

| Mon Sep. 1, 2008 3:29 PM EDT

RUSSIA'S SPHERE OF INFLUENCE....Today brings news that Russia is happily playing the neo-Cold War game too:

President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia on Sunday laid out what he said would become his government's guiding principles of foreign policy after its landmark conflict with Georgia — notably including a claim to a "privileged" sphere of influence in the world.

....In his unabashed claim to a renewed Russian sphere of influence, Mr. Medvedev said: "Russia, like other countries in the world, has regions where it has privileged interests. These are regions where countries with which we have friendly relations are located."

Asked whether this sphere of influence would be the border states around Russia, he answered, "It is the border region, but not only."

Noted without comment, except to say that this is exactly the kind of time when you'd like to have a steady hand on the foreign policy tiller. John McCain, who apparently gives these kinds of situations about five minutes thought before tossing off a depth charge just to see how it sounds on the evening news, is not that kind of guy.