more galling with the seemingly ever-increasing power of its former arch-rival, the USA – it becomes ever more determined to maintain its influence in areas of the globe where it can still lay claim to be the dominant power. However, even in the post-Soviet space, Russia’s influence is becoming less all pervasive, as former Soviet states seek new allies in their quest to create a non-Russian- dominated future. Russia, too, is beginning to look at a security picture which stretches beyond the geographical confines of the old USSR, hence its recent relatively small-scale military exercise with China and the possibility of a larger military exercise in the future involving India as well as China. In traditional areas where Russian influence was great and unchallenged – Ukraine, Caucasus, Central Asia – the influence of the West becomes gradually more apparent. For its part, Russia has not forcefully attempted to prevent any of the former Soviet republics from pursuing policies which, in Russia’s eyes, would appear to be taking them further away from Russia’s sphere of influence. This is not least because it has lacked the necessary military, political and economic levers. Things may change as Russia’s economic position strengthens and neighbouring states look afresh at what Russia has to offer.