Venezuela's Chávez recently bought tanks and missiles from Russia. Several countries – including Brazil, Colombia, and Chile – are increasing their defense spending in a region that faces no major external threats.
Iran appeared to understand there was new urgency on the nuclear issue, agreeing at the Geneva talks to open its second enrichment facility to inspectors.
Beijing is against sanctions as a matter of principle – and because of recent multi-billion dollar energy deals with Iran.
Revelations about the Qom facility could give the US and its partners a stronger hand in dealing with Ahmadinejad. But experts say it's no alternative for sanctions.
Russian President Medvedev made few new concessions in response to the canceling of Russia's Eastern European missile-shield plan. But new ways to cooperate on threats like Iran's nuclear program and instability in Afghanistan are emerging.
The sale of Opel to a Russian-Canadian consortium has prompted allegations that Germany's Merkel sweetened the deal to retain jobs at the expense of other Europeans.