Although multilateral cooperation on nuclear issues has been effective in some cases, such as in ratifying the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, it has been inadequate in others, such as in easing tensions with Iran and North Korea. In fact, even when China, Russia, and the US share the same agenda, their differing diplomatic tactics often undermine their ability to achieve their objectives.
Russia has economic and diplomatic interests in Iran's continued alienation from the West. Russian firms benefit from the reluctance of Western companies to invest in Iran due to the numerous unilateral and multilateral sanctions imposed on its government for its nuclear activities. These tensions preserve Russian firms as Iran's major economic partners.
Inside Afghanistan, the problem is that the government and its security forces still experience major difficulties in providing good governance and the rule of the law, promoting economic development and job creation, combating corruption and narcotics trafficking, and protecting Taliban members who attempt to reintegrate peacefully into Afghan society.
Russian military reform should focus around local threats, counterterrorism, smaller and more effective modern weapons, thinks Dr. Richard Weitz, Director of the Center for Political-Military Analysis at Hudson Institute
Dr. Richard Weitz, Director of the Center for Political-Military Analysis at Hudson Institute: Both countries are threatened by narcotics traffic. But the Unites States is not so affected by the traffic from Afghanistan, as Europe and Russia.
One of the main elements of the reform included transitioning from a mass-mobilization army to a smaller number of better trained and effective permanent combat readiness forces, with the undermanned (“cadre”) units consolidated into a smaller number of fully manned and combat ready brigades.
Despite their improved relationship, China and Russia have not formed a mutual defensive alliance and still tend to pursue distinct, if largely parallel, policies regarding many issues. Personal and economic exchanges between China and Russia remain minimal compared to those found between most large countries in Europe and North America.