After the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, the newly formed Russia, under the leadership of Boris Yeltsin, pursued democratic policies which led to somewhat cordial US-Russia relations. The author notes that while the two states cooperated on matters of regional security and nuclear proliferation, both exhibited a strong distrust in each other. Russia viewed the US denial of its sphere of influence and the American adventurism with suspicion and pursued hardline policies under Vladimir Putin. The author explains that despite Putin’s assertive stance, Russia has continued to build cordial relations with its neighboring states and the West. However, this cooperation ends when the American and Russian interests clash.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Uzbekistan emerged as an independent state, and was determined to stabilize itself by way of assuming a market-centered economic system. The Pak-Uzbek relations are bound by a shared religious and cultural background. Trade agreements and joint railway projects can strengthen the ties between the two countries, and may pave the way for an even stronger relationship in thee future.
After a year-long delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Summer Olympics are finally being held in Tokyo, Japan. The Olympic Games, which started off with only 13 participant states in 1986, have now become an international competition between 206 states. The author, Mahnoor Nafees, notes that in the history of the Olympics, the major powers, particularly the US, China, and Japan, have managed to win most of the gold medals. She explains that this can be attributed to their long standing participation in the Olympics, their budget allocation to sports, and their extensive training and practice methods. When the performance of Pakistan is compared to that of the major powers in the Olympics, it can be observed that the state has severely neglected its sports department and failed to provide adequate training to its athletes.
President Trump’s era proved to be markedly different from the traditional policies and narratives of past presidents. President Trump has pursued an increasingly biased foreign policy towards Israel – bestowing Israel with legitimation, and acceptance of its oppressive and violent policies in Palestine. By appointing like-minded officials on important positions, the president had made it clear that he would not be accommodating the Palestinians and their demands.