For Putin and Medvedev, the regional conflicts in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus have posed both challenges and opportunities. Kosovo, the first conflict, is important because the dispute not only involves one of Russia's closest friends Serbia, but also because of the so-called Kosovo precedent. The Russian legislature introduced initiatives to further strengthen ties between Russia and Serbia and the Russian population in general felt anger towards the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) countries, but particularly the United States. For Russia, the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh is a complicating factor in developing relations with Azerbaijan because of Russia's ties to Armenia. The on-going frozen conflict in Transdniestria has been the subject of both a Russian military presence and Russian attempts at conflict resolution. Russia certainly increased its strategic position in the region due not only to the presence of ground forces but also to the establishment of new bases in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.