The Palace of Serbia was the venue for July 2019 talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Serbia President Aleksandar Vucic / credit: Twitter/KremlinRussia_E

Sanctions Pressure Sticks Serbia Between Western Hammer and Russian Anvil

Only a handful of European countries have refused to impose sanctions on the Russian Federation after the United States called for them once Moscow’s “special military operation” in Ukraine began on February 24. Serbia is one such outlier. As a result, the West is pressuring the Balkan nation to change its foreign-policy vector and pick a side in the Russo-Ukrainian conflict, reports Nikola Mikovic.

Women in burqa in Kunduz City, Afghanistan / credit: Wanman uthmaniyyah on Unsplash

United States Outruns Regional States in Race for Kabul

The U.S. Treasury Department quietly signaled on February 2 that it was “tweaking” sanctions against Afghanistan’s Haqqani Network, a Sunni Islamist militant organization. International banks can now transfer money to the Taliban, including its affiliated Haqqani Network, without fear of breaching sanctions, which means the United States may now have a say in the Taliban-run government, writes M.K. Bhadrakumar.