This week's rapprochement between Western governments and Russia appears to be gaining pace as both sides step up their strikes against a common enemy: Islamic State.
The terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday and the recent downing of a Russian passenger jet in Egypt were both claimed by the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group and have brought about a sense of renewed cooperation and closeness between Russia and the West.
After Russia's security service confirmed that the Russian Metrojet airliner which was downed in Egypt in late October was the result of a homemade bomb detonated on board, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia would "punish those responsible." Seeming to confirm a renewed sense of cooperation, early on Wednesday, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev tweeted that he "firmly believed" that Russia and the west "must join forces" in defeating ISIS.
The rapprochement comes after a prolonged period of estrangement and tense relations between Russia and the west. Relations between regions deteriorated following Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea and its role in the uprising in east Ukraine, which prompted the west to impose sanctions on Moscow.
The latest geopolitical row came this summer after Russia's intervention in Syria's civil war, ostensibly to prop up the controversial regime of Bashar Assad rather than to help western countries defeat ISIS.