This academic year, one story we've been following involves the worsening relations between two world powers, Russia and the U.S. Russia's suspension of part of the nuclear agreement with the U.S. America's suspension of talks with Russia over ending the civil war in Syria. These are just two examples of the recent troubles between the countries.
There's also disagreement over Russia's involvement in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. And now, the White House is formally accusing Russia of meddling in the upcoming U.S. presidential election, which Russia denies doing.
One thing U.S. President Barack Obama has attempted to do is to isolate Russia, to try to separate it from other countries and to make it look as if Russian President Vladimir Putin is alone in the world. A Russian ambassador says that's not working.
SUBTITLE: Who are Putin's allies?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Putin is often cast as isolated in the world, targeted by international sanction, shunned on the international stage. But, in fact, he has been steadily building alliances in areas where Western powers struggled.
The obvious example is Syria, where Russia has intervened militarily to prop up Bashar al-Assad, Moscow's long time ally. Russia's air force and navy has been pounding anti-Assad rebels, turning the tables on the battlefield, sending a powerful message that Moscow can be a both a strong and reliable ally and a formidable enemy.
Russia has a working relationship with Iran and is increasingly seen as a serious player once again to the Middle East. Putin is building an important relationship with China as well, where Russia has a shared interest in trying to balancing the power of the United States, where China are building economic closer ties, particularly in energy, where the two countries have agreed among other things a $400 billion gas deal.
Russia's status as a major gas and oil producer has encouraged countries like Turkey and Saudi Arabia sometimes themselves at odds with Moscow in other areas to forge closer ties with the Kremlin.
So, the relationship with United States and others in the West may be testy. But when it comes to Russia, much of the rest of the world is still keen to do business.