Tag Archives: Congress

NEWSWATCH: Rep. Ed Royce/Wall Street Journal: Countering Putin’s Information Weapons of War

Ed Royce file photo

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Rep. Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, addresses what he characterizes as a Russian information war, featuring anti-American propaganda and conspiracy theories. Of concern to Royce is that U.S. international broadcasting services that played a stronger role during the Cold War have “withered,” such that Russian propaganda will flourish unless the U.S. services […]

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CONGRESSIONAL HEARING: ‘Confronting Russia’s Weaponization of Information’ Peter Pomeranzev prepared remarks

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

Peter Pomeranzev Senior Fellow, Legatum Institute House Committee on Foreign Affairs April 15 2014, ‘Confronting Russia’s Weaponization of Information’ During the Russian invasion of Crimea last year, most of the world’s journalists seemed confused. Most of the West’s leaders were taken aback. But when it was over, the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), General Philip M. Breedlove, defined what had happened […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Victoria Nuland Testimony on Ukraine Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

File Photo of Victoria Nuland Testifying

US Department of State TESTIMONY ON UKRAINE BEFORE THE SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE Testimony Victoria Nuland Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Statement Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Washington, DC March 10, 2015 As prepared Chairman Corker, Ranking Member Menendez and members of this committee-thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today on the situation […]

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TRANSCRIPT: A Military Assessment of the Russian War in Ukraine

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

A Military Assessment of the Russian War in Ukraine Stephen Blank Senior Fellow American Foreign Policy Council February 2015 Testimony Presented to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, March 4, 2015 Ukraine needs military help from abroad in terms of weapons, training, and finances to help sustain its government and economy in the face […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Russian aggression against Ukraine and the West’s policy response. Steven Pifer Testimony to Senate Foreign Relations Committee

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation Statement for the Record Russian Aggression against Ukraine and the West’s Policy Response Steven Pifer Senior Fellow, Center on the United States and Europe The Brookings Institution March 4, 2015 [Also appeared at foreign.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/030415_Pifer_Testimony.pdf] Russian Aggression against Ukraine and the West’s Policy Response Introduction Mr. Chairman, Senator Shaheen, distinguished […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Victoria Nuland Testimony on Ukraine Before the House Foreign Affairs Committee

File Photo of Victoria Nuland Testifying

US Department of State Testimony on Ukraine Before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Testimony Victoria Nuland Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Statement Before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Washington, DC March 4, 2015 As prepared Chairman Royce, Ranking Member Engel and members of this committee – thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today on […]

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NEWSWATCH: On Military Aid to Ukraine, the Administration Zig-Zags

White House

[“On Military Aid to Ukraine, the Administration Zig-Zags” – David J. Kramer – Wall Street Journal – February 4, 2015] David J. Kramer comments on the Obama administration’s shifting public postures regarding its Ukraine policy. … Wednesday, Ash Carter, the administration’s nominee for defense secretary, said that he is ‘very much inclined’ to send arms to Ukraine. One hopes that this is […]

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NEWSWATCH: Obama’s Pentagon nominee suggests support for arming Ukraine

Ashton Carter File Photo

[“Obama’s Pentagon nominee suggests support for arming Ukraine” – Reuters – Phil Stewart, Andrea Shalal- February 4, 2015] Reuters reports on remarks by U.S. Secretary of Defense nominee Ashton Carter regarding U.S. policy towards Ukraine and Russia, such as arms for Ukraine and continued economic pressure on Russia. President Barack Obama’s pick to become defense secretary told Congress on Wednesday he […]

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STATEMENT BY SENATORS JOHN MCCAIN AND LINDSEY GRAHAM ON NEED TO SUPPORT UKRAINE IN FACE OF RENEWED RUSSIAN AGGRESSION

File Photo of U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

(mccain.senate.gov – Washington, D.C., November 18, 2014) U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) today released the following statement urging the Obama Administration and the European Union to provide the support Ukrainian leaders have long sought in the face of renewed Russian aggression: “President Putin’s renewed aggression in Ukraine demands more than additional empty rhetoric and threats of […]

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STATEMENT BY SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN ON RUSSIA PROVIDING MILITARY AID TO SEPARATISTS IN UKRAINE

John McCain file photo

(mccain.senate.gov – November 7, 2014) Washington, D.C. ­- U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today released the following statement following reports that Russia has violated its ceasefire agreement and again supplied pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine with military equipment and arms: “No one should be surprised by reports today that large columns of Russian tanks, artillery, and military personnel have moved back […]

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Interfax: Congress Republicans to step up pressure on Obama to toughen Russia policy – analyst

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(Interfax – November 5, 2014) The Republicans who have gained control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate in the U.S. Congress following the latest elections are likely to put pressure on a politically weakened President Barack Obama to toughen policy in relation to Russia and resolving the issue of weapons for Ukraine, says Alexei Makarkin, First Vice […]

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U.S. Midterms Raise Fears of Decades-Long Russia Sanctions Law

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – November 1, 2014) Concerns are rising among U.S. businesses in Russia that Washington lawmakers could move to enshrine sanctions on Russia in new legislation, extending their impact and delaying their repeal. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously passed such a legislative proposal last month and analysts warn the measure is more likely […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [DoD Senate Testimony:] “Security Assistance and Support for Ukraine”

Aerial Photo of Pentagon and Environs

US Department of Defense “Security Assistance and Support for Ukraine” Senate Foreign Relations Committee Testimony by Assistant Secretary of Defense Derek Chollet July 9, 2014 TESTIMONY FOR THE RECORD Chairman Menendez, Ranking Member Corker, and Committee Members: Thank you for inviting me to discuss the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, which was precipitated by Russia’s occupation of Crimea and its ongoing […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Steve Hadley Senate Testimony:] Russia and Ongoing Developments in Ukraine

Ukraine Map and Flag

Testimony Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Statement of Stephen J. Hadley July 9, 2014 Russia and Ongoing Developments in Ukraine It is a great privilege to have the opportunity to appear before the committee this morning. I would like to discuss briefly what Russian President Putin is seeking to achieve by his actions in Ukraine, how far he is […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Zbigniew Brzezinski Senate Testimony:] Russia and Developments in Ukraine

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee “RUSSIA AND DEVELOPMENTS IN UKRAINE” A Statement by Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski Counselor and Trustee Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) July 9, 2014 More than three months have passed since Putin’s triumphalist speech to the Russian Parliament. In it, he exalted in his military seizure of Crimea while basking in an orgy […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Treasury Department Senate Testimony:] Russia and Developments in Ukraine

Portion U.S. Treasury Department Building Facade, North Side, with Sculpture of Alexander Hamilton

US Department of the Treasury Testimony of Assistant Secretary Daniel L. Glaser Senate Foreign Relations Committee Russia and Developments in Ukraine Wednesday, July 9, 2014 Chairman Menendez, Ranking Member Corker, and distinguished Members of this Committee, thank you for inviting me to speak to you again about the Administration’s response to Russia’s occupation and purported annexation of Crimea and its […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Russia and Developments in Ukraine; Nuland Statement Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Victoria Nuland file photo

(US Department of State – July 9, 2014) Testimony of Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Statement Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Washington, DC As prepared Chairman Menendez, Ranking Member Corker and members of this committee-thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today on the situation in Ukraine and for your personal investment in the […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Chairman Menendez’s Opening Remarks at Hearing on Russia and Developments in Ukraine

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(US Senate Foreign Relations Committee – Washington, DC – July 9, 2014) U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, delivered the below statement, as prepared for delivery, at today’s hearing titled “Russia and Developments in Ukraine.” “This hearing will come to order. We have two distinguished panels today to help us look more closely at […]

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VIDEO: Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on “Russia and Developments in Ukraine”

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Watch the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on “Russia and Developments in Ukraine” here: foreign.senate.gov/hearings/070914 … or here: businessweek.com/videos/2014-07-09/nuland-glaser-chollet-testify-on-ukraine-pt-dot-1  [note from web producer: C-Span version embedded below]

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Ukraine Crisis Drives a Quiet Lobbying Boom in U.S.

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Margaret Talev, Jonathan Allen – May 23, 2014) Turmoil in Ukraine has sparked a boomlet of lobbying in Washington, with an almost five-fold increase in the number of companies and organizations weighing in with lawmakers and officials. The subject is so sensitive that the lobbyists even more than usual want to be heard and not seen. […]

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TRANSRIPT: Ukraine – Countering Russian Intervention and Supporting a Democratic State

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

Hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee “Ukraine – Countering Russian Intervention and Supporting a Democratic State” Testimony by David J. Kramer President, Freedom House May 6, 2014 Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Corker, Members of the Committee, it is an honor to appear before you once again, this time to discuss what I consider to be the greatest global challenge […]

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‘Speaking Truth To Power:’ Pussy Riot Members Tell Congress Of Rights Abuses

File Photo of Pussy Riot Members in Courtroom Enclosure, With Man Showing Papers to One While Female Guard Looks On

(RFE/RL – Luke Johnson – WASHINGTON, May 6, 2014) Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina from the Pussy Riot art collective walked out of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting room to the snapping of cameras from the major television networks as around 20 reporters waited to hear them speak. “We have to talk about these people, we have to talk […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Hearing on the United States, Ukraine and Russia; Testimony by Dr. Angela E. Stent

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing on the United States, Ukraine and Russia. May 6, 2014 Testimony by Dr. Angela E. Stent Director, Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies, Georgetown School of Foreign Service. Chairman Menendez, Ranking Member Corker, Members of the Committee: Thank you for giving me this opportunity to testify before the Foreign Relations Committee at this […]

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Stratfor: The United States Opts for Ineffective Sanctions on Russia

White House

(Stratfor.com – George Friedman – April 29, 2014) The United States announced new sanctions on seven Russian government officials April 28. A long-used tactic, sanctions can yield unpredictable effects or have no effect at all, depending upon how they are crafted. It is commonly assumed that sanctions are applied when a target country’s actions are deemed unacceptable. The sanctioning nation presumably chooses […]

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Statement by Senators McCain and Graham On Sanctions Against Russia and the Situation In Ukraine

U.S. Capitol at Twilight With Washington Monument, National Mall, Washington, D.C., Environs and Sunset in Background

(mccain.senate.gov – Washington, D.C. – April 28, 2014) U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) today released the following statement on the Obama Administration’s latest round of sanctions against Russia and the situation in Ukraine: “The Obama Administration’s latest round of sanctions is days late and dollars short. While a unified U.S. and European response to Russia’s aggression […]

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‘Slap On The Wrist': Congressional Critics Slam ‘Tepid’ Russia Sanctions

File Photo of U.S. Capitol Dome

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – WASHINGTON – April 28, 2014) A fresh round of U.S. sanctions against top Russian officials amounts to little more than a “slap on the wrist” and will do little to halt the unrest in Ukraine, Republican lawmakers said. Members of Congress in recent days had called for the Obama administration to impose sanctions on key economic players in Russia, such […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Ukraine: Confronting Internal Challenges and External Threats – Testimony of Ambassador Motsyk

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Commission on Security & Cooperation in Europe: U.S. Helsinki Commission “Ukraine: Confronting Internal Challenges and External Threats” April 9, 2014 Testimony :: Ambassador Motsyk Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States – Ukraine Embassy Washington, DC Dear Members of Congress: Today’s hearing comes at a time of great challenge and grave danger not only for Ukraine, but also for the […]

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Lavrov says U.S. Congressmen’s anti-Russian position aimed at undermining Obama

File Photo of John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov at Separte Podiums, Kerry with a Visible Earpiece; Adapted from Photo at state.gov

(Interfax – April 10, 2014) Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that he believes that US congressmen, who uphold an anti-Russian position, for example over events in Ukraine, are thus trying to undermine US President Barack Obama’s positions, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 10 April. “A huge number of facts point to the idea that those who […]

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Interfax: Moscow to respond proportionally in case Washington expands Magnitsky List – official [Matviyenko]

Valentina Matviyenko file photo

(Interfax – December 18, 2013) The so-called Magnitsky List is an utterly unfriendly step regarding Russia and Moscow will take proportionate measures if it is expanded, Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said. “I think that this law is an unfriendly step regarding us and does not contribute to improving the climate in our bilateral relations with the United States. […]

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Browder Expects Broader Magnitsky List Sanctions for Russian Officials in U.S., Europe

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 20, 2013) The United States may publish the extended version of the “Magnitsky list” as early as next month, while Europe is expected to pass a  similar measure, Hermitage Capital investment fund president and bill supporter William Browder said. The Magnitsky Act, enacted by the U.S. Congress in December 2012 and named after late […]

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U.S. Shutdown Could Cause Moscow Embassy to Close

Artist's Rendition of U.S. Embassy, Moscow, with the Russian Foreign Ministry in the Background

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 12, 2013) Employees at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow may soon join an estimated 800,000 U.S. government workers furloughed in the midst of a partial government shutdown following U.S. Congress’ failure to approve a spending bill for the new fiscal year. Should the embassy run out of funding, only key diplomats and the consular […]

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Interview: McCain On Russia, Putin, And His Pravda.ru Op-Ed

John McCain file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – NEW YORK, September 20, 2013) U.S. Senator John McCain (Republican-Arizona) has defended an opinion piece he wrote this week that was critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin, telling Yuri Zhigalkin of RFE/RL’s Russian Service that his remarks were based on the facts about rights abuses in Russia. RFE/RL: Senator, I had the feeling that critics and […]

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Could U.S. Assets Seizure Lead To Expansion Of Magnitsky Blacklist?

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Richard Solash – WASHINGTON, September 18, 2013)  As shady Russian businessmen snapped up luxury apartments in New York, lawyer Sergei Magnitsky was confined to the few square meters of a Moscow jail cell. He would die there under suspicious circumstances in 2009 after revealing a scheme by a circle of high-ranking government officials and associates to […]

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Senator McCain invited to speak live on Rossiya 1 television

John McCain file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 15, 2013) Russian Journalist Vladimir Solovyov has invited U.S. Republican Senator John McCain to speak live in his evening program on Rossiya 1 television. “On behalf of the radio and television holding VGTRK, I invite Senator John McCain to speak live in the Sunday Evening program,” Solovyov wrote in his Twitter blog. Solovyov said later on […]

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Georgian government extends contract with U.S. lobby company

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(Interfax – TBILISI, August 22, 2013) The Georgian government has extended its contract with the influential lobby and legal firm Patton Boggs, which is headquartered in Washington, DC, until the end of 2013, the Georgian media have reported. Under the contract, Patton Boggs will receive monthly payments of $110,000 for its services, which is $20,000 more than it received before. […]

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Testimony on Russian-American Relations on the Question of Chechnya

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(Andranik Migranyan testimony – House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade – April 26, 2013 – http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/hearing/joint-subcommittee-hearing-islamist-extremism-chechnya-threat-us-homeland) Joint Subcommittee Hearing: Islamist Extremism in Chechnya: A Threat to the U.S. Homeland? Prepared Testimony of Andranik Migranyan  Director of the Institute for Democracy and Cooperation, New York U.S.-Russian relations on Chechnya have a […]

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Magnitsky List ensnares Moscow, Obama and Congress

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Russia Beyond the Headlines/RIA Novosti – rbth.ru – Fyodor Lukyanov – April 24, 2013) Fyodor Lukyanov, the chairman of the Presidium of the Council for Foreign and Defense Policy, explains why the Magnitsky Act will have long-term consequences on U.S.-Russia relations. Conflicts associated with the Magnitsky Act are not going away any time soon. Congress will not drop the subject, […]

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Blacklists Hang Over Future of U.S.-Russia Ties

File Photo of U.S. Capitol Dome

(RIA Novosti – Carl Schreck – WASHINGTON, April 15, 2013) ­ The United States and Russia struck a conciliatory chord Monday following tit-for-tat blacklists of alleged human rights violators, but the contentious US legislation that sparked the diplomatic dust-up appears set to become a permanent fixture in ties between Washington and Moscow. “There is no sunset clause on the Magnitsky […]

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Lavrov: Magnitsky act ‘Russophobia’ product

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Interfax – MOSCOW, April 11, 2013) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has branded the U.S. Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act as a manifestation of “the Russophobia that is traditionally present” in U.S. Congress. One of the architects of the Magnitsky act was Hermitage Capital investment fund chief executive William Browder, who “illegally hoarded a large fortune in the […]

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Envoy Denies Blanket Ban on US Entry for Russian Lawmakers

Ambassador Michael McFaul file photo

MOSCOW, March 8 (RIA Novosti) ­ US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul denied late Thursday that hundreds of Russian legislators may be blacklisted for US entry for supporting a ban on adoptions of Russian children by Americans. “This is not our policy at the moment,” McFaul said in a Russian-language interview on Ekho Moskvy radio. A US petition drive proposed […]

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‘Cloud Atlas,’ Russian style; How a bizarre adoption drama can be traced back to Magnitsky’s death

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – February 25, 2013) Anna Arutunyan is the politics editor of The Moscow News A story needs a beginning and end, but what has become the main narrative of Russia’s current political era doesn’t seem to have either. And the weak are meat the strong do eat, as David Mitchell coined in his […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Dmitry Medvedev’s interview with CNN

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

(Government.ru – January 27, 2013) Fareed Zakaria: Mr Prime Minister, thank you for agreeing to this meeting. In 2009, when you were President of Russia, you wrote a very interesting and important essay about Russia’s future. You said that the two major problems of the Russian economy were excessive dependence on oil and excessive corruption. A look at current statistics […]

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Medvedev: U.S. Magnitsky Act, Russia’s response do not benefit relations between countries

File Photo of U.S. Capitol Dome

(Interfax – January 28, 2013) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has described as an intentional legal mistake the adoption of the Magnitsky Act by the U.S. Congress. “I think that the whole situation is bad. It is not beneficial for either Russian-American relations or international law and order,” he said in an interview with CNN, the transcript of which is […]

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US Senate Appeals to Russia to Reconsider Adoption Law

File Photo of U.S. Capitol Dome

WASHINGTON, January 3 (By Maria Young for RIA Novosti) The US Senate has unanimously approved a resolution condemning a new Russian law banning US citizens from adopting Russian children and calling on President Vladimir Putin and the Russian leadership to reconsider the measure on humanitarian grounds. In its resolution, approved in a vote late Tuesday, the Senate affirmed that all […]

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Russian Ban on U.S. Adoptions Reflects Strained Relations

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Nicole Gaouette & Flavia Krause-Jackson – December 28, 2012) Russia’s move to prohibit Americans from adopting Russian orphans is the latest threat to the Obama administration’s flagging attempt to “reset” relations between the two Cold War rivals. President Vladimir Putin today signed a bill to ban U.S. adoptions of Russian children that the country’s parliament approved […]

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Moscow hopes to get rid of thorns in Russia-U.S. relations despite the Magnitsky Act

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Interfax – December 26, 2012) Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov hopes that the damage done by the Magnitsky Act to Russian-U.S. relations will not be irreparable. “Hopefully, we will turn this page, the damage done to our relations will not be irreparable, and we will be able to make further progress. Although, certainly, this burden will weigh us down,” […]

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U.S. Senators created a Catch 22 for Obama, hit reset issue – Lavrov

U.S. Capitol at Twilight With Washington Monument, National Mall, Washington, D.C., Environs and Sunset in Background

MOSCOW. Dec 24 (Interfax) – The adoption of the Magnitsky Act in the United States was inevitable, Senators set a trap for U.S. President Barack Obama, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov believes. “I don’t think this (the adoption of the Magnitsky Act) was the first thing Obama did when he was re-elected. This was inevitable,” he said in an interview […]

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Deputies Threaten Harsh Measures Against U.S.-Linked NGOs

Russian Duma Building

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – December 19, 2012) As the State Duma considers a bill countering the U.S. Magnitsky Act, a group of lawmakers is threatening to add a provision that would massively increase pressure on nongovernmental organizations they believe to be meddling in domestic politics. The deputies support amendments that would enable authorities to close […]

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Ban on US Adoptions Advances in Duma

Duma Session file photo

MOSCOW, December 19 (RIA Novosti) ­ A controversial amendment that would ban US citizens from adopting Russian children passed in a second reading in the State Duma on Wednesday. The draft law retaliates for enactment of the Magnitsky Act in the US, which imposes visa bans and asset freezes on Russian officials deemed guilty of human rights abuses. The amendment […]

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Retaliatory Ban of U.S. Adoptions Proposed

Russian Duma Building

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jonathan Earle and Howard Amos – Dec. 18, 2012) State Duma deputies stepped up Russia’s retaliatory response to the so-called Magnitsky Act on Monday by introducing a measure that would ban U.S. citizens from adopting Russian orphans. The move was roundly condemned by children’s rights advocates, who warned that a blanket ban on U.S. adoptions […]

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