Putin knows that Isil will be strangled without more oil as price falls further
Published 30/09/2015 | 02:30
Regular readers of this column will know that we forget Russia on the global stage at our peril. Russia is still a major player in our part of the world.
Much of the EU lies at the end of a huge pipeline of Russian gas. Russia will heat Europe this winter. In what is now known as the 'Middle East', Russia has long been a presence. When Russia looks south it sees the Muslim world. When we look south we see the sea. Russia's entire southern border is Islamic; America's is Mexico. The Soviet Union was defeated, not by Americans, but by Muslims in Afghanistan.
As a result, Russia is always keenly aware of the region, its ethnicities, and various ancient peoples who live cheek-by-jowl whether Persians, Turks, Kurds or Arabs.