Moscow chooses new ambassador to Japan
A key figure at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is poised to succeed Mikhail Galuzin as Russian ambassador in Tokyo. He will have to continue playing the delicate diplomatic dance between the two countries.
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Based on their own observations and diplomatic contacts with Pyongyang, the Russian intelligence services expect North Korea to test an inter-continental ballistic missile before 20 September and possibly carry out a nuclear test subsequently in response to a recent South Korean-US military exercise.
The Belarusan president is putting the finishing touches to the foundations of his new political and security policy by assuring himself of the support of popular veterans and his loyal base. Moscow, meanwhile, has sent former spymaster Boris Gryzlov to keep an eye on goings-on in Minsk.
Moscow has grand plans for its networks of influence abroad over the coming year, starting with the need to maintain its declining dominance in Central Asia. But these ambitious goals could come up against the situation in Kazakhstan, where India, China and other powers are using their own approaches.
The "Centre", the headquarters of Russia's SVR foreign intelligence agency, has long used compatriots for intelligence or influence operations. Ukraine has in contrast relied little on its own nationals or descendants living abroad. But Volodymyr Zelensky now intends to exploit this precious resource.
Being both head of the SVR and chairman of the Russian Historical Society puts Sergey Naryshkin in a position to reinstate a number of Soviet-era intelligence officers and in doing so furthering the Kremlin's regional strategy.
At a time when the Indo-Pacific is gaining strategic importance on the world stage, Russia's diplomatic and security apparatus is looking to lock down its political alliance and defence relationship with Vietnam, with the help of some key emissaries.
Yevgeny Primakov Jr, the head of the Russian soft-power institution Rossotrudnitchestvo, has former SVR and FSB officers helping him to win the hearts and minds of Russians abroad, aided by so-called national research institute for the development of communication.