Russia Expands Grip on Wheat Exports as Asia Set to Buy More

File Photo of Wheat Field in Kenya, adapted from image at usda.gov

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Manisha Jha, Anatoly Medetsky – August 31, 2017) Russia, the world’s biggest wheat exporter, is about to grab even more customers in the fast-growing economies of Asia — a region that normally gets most of its imported grain from somewhere else. A farm industry that emerged from the former Soviet Union to become a wheat-trade powerhouse […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian economy boss: sanctions no longer bite” – AP

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

“… Maxim Oreshkin … [said that] the Russian economy is on track to grow at least 2 percent this year. That would be a first after 2014, when the economy sank into recession driven by sinking oil prices and sanctions over Russian actions in Ukraine. … he said, ‘we see more willingness on the Asian side to work with us.’ He wouldn’t […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia to spend $2.5 bln on Trans-Siberian, Baikal-Amur railroads. Investment is first stage in expanding railroad capacity to increase exports from Far East Russia.” – Asia Times

Russia Map

“Russian [sic] has approved US$2.5 billion to expand and modernize the Trans-Siberian and Baikal-Amur railways as part of a larger rail project to boost economic growth and exports from the country’s Far East region that borders the Pacific Ocean. … Putin has given the green light for the government to allocate money from the National Welfare Fund for this stage of […]

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Russia setting priorities of its EAEU presidency – Medvedev

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

ASTANA. Aug 14 (Interfax) – The Russian presidency of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in 2018 will focus on trade barriers, interaction with international partners, labor standards, and support for exports, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council’s meeting in Astana on Monday. “Russia will be presiding in the Eurasian Union next year. We are setting […]

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CSTO Rift Grows Between Moscow And Astana

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Samuel Ramani – Aug. 6, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/qishloq-ovozi-csto-kazakhstan-russia-nazarbaev/28661553.html) Samuel Ramani is a DPhil candidate in International Relations at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford, specializing in post-1991 Russian foreign policy. He is also a journalist who contributes regularly to The Washington Post, the Huffington Post, and Diplomat […]

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NEWSWATCH: “New Challenge to U.S. Power: Chinese Exceptionalism; Once-reticent citizens now see their country as ascendant-and America in decline” – Wall Street Journal/ Te-Ping Chen, Josh Chin

Asia Map

… Chinese exceptionalism is on the rise. … challeng[ing] a decades-old tenet of U.S. foreign policy … that argued exposure to the West would lead Chinese to embrace Western values. … President Xi’s signature slogan, the ‘China Dream,’ appeals to Chinese who aspire to a middle-class lifestyle and cheer China’s return to international prominence. … China’s government exercises near-absolute authority over education, […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia’s Evolving Grand Eurasia Strategy: Will It Work?” – Carnegie Moscow Center/ Dmitri Trenin

Asia Map

“With a shift in strategy, 2014 was a pivotal year for Russia’s foreign policy. It was then that Moscow began moving away from its traditional focus on Europe and the Atlantic, with secondary attention to the former Soviet borderlands. The Ukraine crisis served as the coup de grâce for the two concepts that had guided Russian foreign policy since the […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping] Press statements following Russian-Chinese talks

Asia Map

(Kremlin.ru – July 4, 2017) Vladimir Putin and President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping made statements for the press following Russian-Chinese talks. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President Xi Jinping, ladies and gentlemen, The official visit to Russia by President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping is certainly the central event of this year […]

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The Key to North Korea Is Russia; Unfortunately, the idea of a grand bargain with Russia is less popular in Washington than ever before.

North Korea Map and Flag, adapted from .gov image

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – May 18, 2017) Leonid Bershidsky is a Bloomberg View columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru. The idea of a grand bargain between the U.S. and Russia is less popular in Washington than ever before. And yet one of the biggest foreign […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Replies to journalists’ questions (transcript continued)

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Kremlin.ru – May 15, 2017) Vladimir Putin answered media questions following a working visit to the People’s Republic of China. Question: Mr President, an international cyberattack was reported on May 12. It hit targets in 150 countries, including agencies, banks and companies in Russia. How much has this attack harmed Russia and the world in general? What can be done […]

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RUSSIALINK: “A CHINESE SILK NOOSE” – Valdai Club/ Georgy Toloraya

Asia Map

“… In response to the Chinese initiative, Russia advanced an even more ambitious project of a Greater Eurasian Partnership … incorporate[ing] the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and even the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). … However, Russia lacks the resources and integration ties with the numerous countries of the Euro-Pacific space for implementing this ambitious […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Belt and Road international forum

Asia Map

(Kremlin.ru – May 14, 2017) Vladimir Putin spoke at the opening of the Belt and Road international forum in Beijing. The event is dedicated to China’s projects – the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. Russian President has arrived in China on a two-day visit. The forum that is taking place in the Chinese capital […]

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Russia Still Migrant Magnet Even as Wages Stay Below China’s

Russian Migrant Workers file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas – April 19, 2017) The vast pool of labor across Russia’s porous borders is relieving strains in the labor market, helping drain the economy of inflationary pressure as it accelerates after almost two years of recession. A steady flow of arrivals has continued even as shrinking wages and Russia’s worst currency crisis since 1998 […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Interview to Mir broadcasting company

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

(Kremlin.ru – April 12, 2017) Vladimir Putin gave an interview to Mir television and radio broadcasting company on the eve of his visit to Kyrgyzstan. The interview took place on April 11. President of Interstate Television and Radio Company Mir Radik Batyrshin: The Collective Security Treaty Organisation celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The benefits for Russia’s allies are clear. […]

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Re: The Gathering Storm

Eurasia Map

Subject: The Gathering Storm Date: Fri, 27 Jan 2017 From: David Law <davidmurraylaw@gmail.com> The Gathering Storm By David Law Senior Associate, Security Governance Group; former Head of NATO Policy Planning and Speechwriting Unit With Donald Trump now sworn in as the American President and Commander-in-Chief, here are some thoughts on where the world may be headed. In 1948, Winston Churchill […]

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NEWSWATCH: “China Goes Food Shopping-to Russia; ‘Everything that can be consumed by a human being in China is something they’re interested in,’ Russian official says” – Wall Street Journal/AMIE FERRIS-ROTMAN/Liyan Qi

Asia Map

China bought more than $1 billion in food products from Russia last year, replacing Turkey as the top importer of Russian foodstuffs. … central to Russia’s economic and political pivot toward Asia, as the Russian economy continues to suffer under Western sanctions and the low price of oil, and U.S.-Russian relations deteriorate …. Russia and China … describe current relations […]

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Russia Is Finally Making Headway In Its Pivot East

Asia Map

(Oilprice.com – Colin Chilcoat – November 22, 2016) Russia’s long planned pivot east found itself unexpectedly wrong-footed in early 2014, following the Crimean referendum and subsequent western rebuke. The global collapse of oil prices – and that of the ruble – later that same year further eroded Russia’s leverage in Asia. Fast forward to the present and we’ve seen substantially […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Replies to media questions following APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting

Map of Asia-Pacific Highlighting APEC Member States

(Kremlin.ru – November 21, 2016) Vladimir Putin answered media questions following the working sessions of the economic leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon. Or good evening. Or good night already in Moscow. Let us get straight to your questions, without any introductory remarks. Please. Question: There was fear on the meeting’s sidelines […]

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Will the Russia-Japan “tug-of-peace” yield any results?

Japan Map

The upcoming Russia-Japan summit might mark the beginning of an actual compromise on the Southern Kuril Island territorial dispute, but this can only be the first of many steps, writes a Russian Japan expert. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – NIKOLAY MURASHKIN, SPECIAL TO RBTH – November 21, 2016) The writer is a doctoral candidate, at the faculty of […]

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Russia’s Strategic Calculus: Threat Perceptions and Military Doctrine

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(PONARS Policy Memo – PONARS Eurasia – ponarseurasia.org – Dmitry Gorenburg – November 11, 2016) Dmitry Gorenburg is Senior Research Scientist at CNA Corporation and Associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. Russian foreign policy is driven by the political elites’ search for a new basis for national self-esteem after the collapse of the […]

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NEWSLINK Forbes/Sara Hsu: “Is A Russia-China Economic Alliance On The Horizon?”

Asia Map

“As Russia continues to contend with sanctions from the United States and European Union after annexing Crimea in 2014, it has cast its eye on a new ally: China. The two countries are already aligning themselves for security purposes, a prime example being their position against the U.S. missile shield deployment plans in South Korea. Both China and Russia have […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Interview to Rossiya Segodnya International News Agency and IANS News Agency

India map

(Kremlin.ru – October 13, 2016) Ahead of his visit to India, Vladimir Putin gave an interview to Rossiya Segodnya International News Agency and IANS News Agency. Question: Russian-Indian relations can be qualified as privileged strategic partnership. As to the economy, a perfect example of this point is cooperation in atomic energy, I particular, the construction of the Kudankulam NPP. What […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Answers to media questions

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

(Kremlin.ru – September 17, 2016) Vladimir Putin answered questions from Russian journalists upon completing his working visit to the Republic of Kyrgyzstan. The President of Russia participated in a meeting of the CIS Council of Heads of State. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon. What are we going to talk about? What would you like to know? Question: Mr […]

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What Putin Didn’t Get In Hangzhou

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – September 8, 2016) One of the most significant things about the G20 summit was something that didn’t happen. Hangzhou didn’t become Yalta. China didn’t become Munich. But Vladimir Putin sure wanted it to. In fact, Russia’s actions in and around #Ukraine over the past month appear to have been, at least in part, […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Eastern Economic Forum (excepts)

Asia Map

(Kremlin.ru – September 3, 2016) Vladimir Putin took part in the plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum. This year, representatives of 35 countries applied to attend the forum. In total, delegations from 56 countries are taking part. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ms Park Geun-hye, Mr Shinzo Abe, friends, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to Vladivostok, to the second Eastern […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Sources of Russian Conduct. Kennan’s Long Telegram needs an update for Putin’s Russia.” – The National Interest/Thomas Graham

Eurasia Map

Writing a lengthy piece for The National Interest, Thomas E. Graham of Kissinger Associates comments upon U.S.-Russian relations. … we need to see Russia in a global context. Today, we largely see it through a European prism, which inevitably magnifies the discord between us as we fall back on memories of the Cold War…. But, if Russia is not a […]

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RBTH: Russia and China – unfulfilled potential of complementarity

Asia Map

Despite excellent political ties between Russia and China, bilateral trade stands at just $68 billion. This, obviously, makes both countries look for new sources of growth. A Skolkovo analyst shares her views on how Moscow and Beijing can fulfill their trade potential. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ANASTASIA BELOSTOTSKAYA, SPECIAL TO RBTH – June 9, 2016) The author […]

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Interfax: Putin’s China visit to give powerful impetus to Russian-Chinese strategic partnership – Lavrov

China Map

MOSCOW. May 31 (Interfax) – Russia is convinced that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to China will help further bolster the two countries’ partnership, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “We are convinced that President Putin’s upcoming visit to China in June will give a powerful impetus to the Russian-Chinese multifaceted strategic partnership and will help further realize its inexhaustible […]

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The Futility of Dialogue With Putin

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 13, Issue 100 – Pavel K. Baev – May 23, 2016) The need to keep the channels of dialogue open with an unpredictable Russia is taken as an absolute imperative by many Western politicians. But they are often surprised when this tactic backfires. The foreign ministers of the member states of […]

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NEWSWATCH Carnegie Moscow Center/Kevin Rudd: “Asia’s Rise, Russia, and the Future of the Global Order”

Asia Map

The Asia-Pacific region contains dynamic twenty-first century global economies in the midst of a positively nineteenth-century set of security policy arrangements. Unresolved territorial disputes litter the region, including the Korean peninsula, the East China Sea, Taiwan, the South China Sea, the Sino-Indian border, and the continuing problem of Kashmir. … unresolved territorial disputes have given rise to multiple fractious security […]

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How Russia is moving ahead with its Asian pivot

Asia Map

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov recently visited Mongolia and Japan. His goal was to initiate a real “Eastern turn” in Russian foreign policy. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – GEVORG MIRZAYAN, RBTH – April 20, 2016) At first glance Russia made an Eastward turn a long time before the West imposed sanctions on the country. However, until now we […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Government members

Siberian River, Forest, Mountain

(Kremlin.ru – March 16, 2016) Vladimir Putin held a meeting with Government members to discuss measures to develop the Far East, including improvements to the electric power pricing policy, as well as other current issues on the socioeconomic agenda. In particular, the President heard reports from Russian Railways President Oleg Belozerov and Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov about work to improve […]

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Russian Nationalists Oppose Moscow’s Plan to Resettle Ukrainian Refugees in Far East

Russia Map

(Paul Goble – Staunton, February 16, 2016) Duma deputies are proposing and the Russian Ministry for Far Eastern Development has come out in support of a plan to resettle as many as 50,000 Ukrainian refugees who had fled their country because of the fighting but have not yet found permanent residences in the Russian Federation. This plan reflects the convergence […]

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Is There A Non-West for Russia to Lead?

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(PONARS Eurasia – ponarseurasia.org – Keith Darden – January 28, 2016 – ponarseurasia.org/memo/non-west-for-russia-to-lead) Keith Darden is Associate Professor in the School of International Service at American University. (PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Recently, Russian policymakers and strategists have articulated a vision of a vibrant non-Western world, one in which the United States and European leaders are increasingly marginal and where Russia […]

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NEWSLINK Russia Direct: “Russia, China and the US need to work together in 2016. At the Gaidar Forum in Moscow, Russian and foreign experts discussed the role of the great powers in shaping the current system of international relations, as well as the potential ability for Russia and the U.S. to find common ground in 2016”

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China’s Economic Turmoil Ruins Russia’s New Year

Asia Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – January 14, 2016) New fears over China’s economy and sharp falls in the price of oil have worsened the outlook for Russia as it tries to emerge from recession. The price of crude, the linchpin of Russia’s economy, fell almost 20 percent in the first two weeks of January to just above […]

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Why Vladimir Putin won’t go to Davos

World Economic Forum Signage file photo

The Russian delegation at the Davos Forum will be headed by Yury Trutnev, a deputy prime minister and the Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far East. According to experts, this means that Russia will primarily focus on the presentation of Asian projects at the forum. Neither the president nor the prime minister will travel to Switzerland. (Russia Beyond the Headlines […]

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Russian-Chinese Trade Plummets in 2015

Asia Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 13, 2016) The volume of Chinese exports to Russia fell by 34.4 percent last year to $32.9 billion, the TASS news agency reported Wednesday, citing China’s customs department. Trade turnover between China and Russia dropped by 27.8 percent to $64.2 billion in 2015. The volume of Russia’s exports to China declined last year by […]

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Russia Seeks To Drive Wedge Into Central Asia

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Bruce Pannier – January 5, 2016) Russia appears to be practicing a bit of “divide-and-conquer” politics in Central Asia, and state-owned Gazprom is spearheading the campaign. On January 4, Russia’s main news agencies quoted a “source” within Gazprom Export, the Gazprom wing charged with handling gas imports from other countries, saying Russia would not be importing any […]

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Sino-Russian energy relations reversed: a new little brother

Asia Map

Don’t be fooled. Russia’s growing ties to China may not be what they seem. (opendemocracy.net – Morena Skalamera – December 22, 2015) Morena Skalamera is a post-doctoral fellow at the Belfer Center, Harvard University, where she researches the geopolitics of energy and European-Russian energy co-operation. In the year since Russia and China signed a landmark $400bn natural gas pact in […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Dmitry Medvedev’s interview with Renmin Ribao

Asia Map

(Government.ru – December 13, 2015) Ahead of his visit to China, Dmitry Medvedev gave an interview to the Chinese daily. Question: Russia and China are good neighbours, reliable partners and friends. The leaders of the two countries frequently meet each other and are consistent in their efforts to strengthen bilateral relations as a comprehensive strategic partnership, which has already become […]

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Over one-third of Russians expect big changes in country following ‘shift to the East’ – poll

Asia Map

MOSCOW. Dec 14 (Interfax) – Russians believe that Russia and Asian countries are being drawn together primarily through common interests in political (20%) and economical (25%) areas, a public opinion poll conducted by the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) suggests. However, almost half of the respondents (47%) could not decide what mostly gives a common ground to Russia and […]

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2015: A mixed bag for Russia’s Asian ‘Pivot’; Ties with ASEAN and China grow, but relationship with Japan remains frosty

Asia Map

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – AJAY KAMALAKARAN, RBTH – December 10, 2015) Russia’s strategic and economic push towards Asia achieved mixed results in 2015, with Moscow strengthening ties with ASEAN countries and China, while its ties with Japan and Australia remained frosty. “When it comes to Asia, the biggest strategic economic gains came to Russia from the ASEAN […]

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