NEWSLINK Russia Direct: “Conventional arms race draws the world closer to state of brinkmanship. With NATO’s military buildup near Russian borders and signs of instability from the Middle East to East Asia, it’s no longer inconceivable that the great powers could find themselves involved in a conventional war.”

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NEWSLINK Foreign Policy/DAVID FRANCIS, LARA JAKESA: “‘Sanctions Are a Failue…Let’s Admit That.’ With Europe debating re-opening economic ties to Russia, have U.S. sanctions on Moscow lost their teeth?”

File Photo of G7 Leaders and other Officials Around Round Table at the Hague, with Flags » Read more

NEWSLINK Russia Direct: “Reasons to be hopeful after the Russia-NATO Summit. Russia and NATO renewed their dialogue for the first time since the beginning of the Ukraine crisis, but the talks failed to produce any results. However, the very fact that the summit took place means a lot and gives reason to hope that the two sides can eventually find a compromise.”

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NEWSLINK Russia Direct: “How Ukraine’s new prime minister can put Kiev on a European path. Ukraine’s new government has a tough task ahead: It must deal with a controversial legacy of governance, improve its image abroad and fulfill plans for EU integration – all while reducing the nation’s dependence on Russian gas.”

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine » Read more

NEWSWATCH New York Times: “Chernobyl’s Silent Exclusion Zone (Except for the Logging)”

Chernobyl File Photo

  … on Ukraine’s dirtiest patch of land, Stop Corruption says, … under-the-table dealings of the bureaucrats who manage the area are flourishing … the group says, the Exclusion Zone Management Agency has turned a blind eye to … Chernobyl logging. The Zone of Alienation, as it is also known, is a rough circle with an 18-mile radius, fenced off […]

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VIDEO & NEWSWATCH PBS: “Two years into new regime, grim realities persist in Ukraine”

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

Ukraine has faced many challenges in the two years since violent protests drove the country’s president from office. The Russian occupation of the Crimean Peninsula in particular sparked a military conflict between pro-Russian secessionists and Ukraine’s government. Correspondent Kira Kay and Producer Jason Maloney from the Bureau for International Reporting take us inside Ukraine to asses the country’s struggle for […]

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Russia will watch for “adverse consequences” of Ukraine-EU deal – Kremlin

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

(Interfax – April 21, 2016) Russia will only be “too happy” if Ukraine’s association agreement with the EU brings it economic stability and prosperity, but will take “balancing measures” if the deal has a negative impact on Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. “This topic rather concerns the EU and Ukraine. As regards the economic aspect, to the extent that […]

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Polish Minister Says Russia More Dangerous Than Islamic State

Russian Jet Buzzing U.S. Navy Destroyer, adapted from U.S. Navy photo

(RFE/RL – April 15, 2016) Poland’s foreign minister has said that Russia is an “existential threat” to European countries and is more dangerous than the Islamic State (IS) militant group. Speaking at a conference in Bratislava on April 15, Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said “Russia’s activity is a sort of existential threat because this activity can destroy countries.” The migration […]

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Putin doesn’t expect Western sanctions to be lifted soon, says Russia to keep countersanctions in place

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

MOSCOW. April 14 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin does not expect the Western sanctions to be lifted from Russia in the near future. “I don’t think our partners will decide to lift the restrictions and limitations from our country in the near future,” Putin said during a Q&A session on Thursday. “Even though the Minsk Agreements on southeastern Ukraine […]

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Russia Wins Silent Victory Against Ukraine With Dutch ‘No’ Vote

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Eva Hartog – April 8, 2016) The Netherlands on Thursday awoke to a post-election hangover dominated by questions over how to interpret the results of a plebiscite in which an overwhelming majority of voters opposed a trade deal between the EU and Ukraine that for years has been a source of conflict with Moscow. The […]

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RBTH: Dutch vote on Ukraine: Result will force Europe to ‘restrain’ ambitions

Europe Map

Most Russian media have welcomed the Dutch rejection of an EU association agreement with Ukraine, hoping that the results may not only affect the attitude of Europeans to Ukraine but also to force the EU to “restrain” its ambitions. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – IGOR ROZIN, RBTH – April 7, 2016) Dutch voters have rejected the association agreement […]

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Dutch Voters Snub Kiev, Not Brussels

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – April 7, 2016) It’s easy to discount the outcome of Wednesday’s Dutch referendum on Ukraine’s association agreement with the European Union as another sign of minority discontent with the European project. It has far more significance than that though, particularly for Ukraine: The faltering state has failed to gain support among ordinary Europeans, […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Dutch referendum on Ukraine: A hard Dutch kick: Voting down the EU’s treaty with Ukraine would hand Vladimir Putin a win.” – The Economist

EU Map

… Yanukovych … succumbed to Russian pressure and renounced an association agreement with the European Union that he and his predecessors had spent six years negotiating. Many Ukrainians thought their country’s best hope for transforming itself from a corrupt gangster state into an orderly democracy … had been sacrificed on the orders of … Putin …. Thousands set up camp […]

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How Russia Is ‘Weaponizing’ Migration to Destabilize Europe

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Josh Rogin – March 24, 2016) Some officials in Europe see Russia’s hand in the rising migration crisis, accusing the Kremlin of exacerbating anti-Muslim sentiment to benefit right-wing parties at a fragile moment for the European Union. Even before the latest terror attacks in Brussels, anti-Muslim and anti-refugee sentiment in Europe had been on the rise. […]

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Moscow Accuses Itself

Sergei Lavrov file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – The Daily Vertical: Brian Whitmore – March 24, 2016) Well, it was predictable, but Sergei Lavrov has not let us down. He’s proven yet again the axiom that if you want to know what Russia is doing, pay close attention to what it accuses the West of doing. The Russian foreign minister yesterday urged Europe to […]

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It Isn’t Time to Normalize With Russia Yet

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Marc Champion – March 22, 2016) Marc Champion writes editorials on international affairs. He was previously Istanbul bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal. He was also an editor at the Financial Times, the editor-in-chief of the Moscow Times and a correspondent for the Independent in Washington, the Balkans and Moscow. He is based in London. […]

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NEWSWATCH Reuters: “Risk of nuclear war in Europe growing, warns Russian ex-minister [Igor Ivanov]”

Iskander Missile with Launch file photo

The East-West standoff over the Ukraine crisis has brought the threat of nuclear war in Europe closer than at any time since the 1980s…. said Igor Ivanov, Russia’s foreign minister from 1998 to 2004 and now head of a Moscow-based think-tank founded by the Russian government. … Russia and the United States have cut their nuclear arsenals [but] the pace […]

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NEWSWATCH: “RUSSIAN HYBRID WARFARE AND OTHER DARK ARTS” – War on the Rocks/Michael Kofman

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  Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea, hybrid warfare has become conversational short form in the West for describing Moscow’s sneaky ways of fighting war. … a dangerous Kremlin innovation the West must learn to grapple with. … the word has mutated from describing how Moscow was fighting its war in Ukraine to incorporating all the various elements of Russian influence […]

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NEWSWATCH “Ukraine will not join EU, NATO for another 20-25 years, Juncker says” – DPA

EU Map

The push for closer ties between Ukraine and the EU lies at the heart of the current crisis … triggered by protests in 2013 over a failed attempt to finalize … EU-Ukraine free trade …. The agreement has since been signed and implemented, while the EU is paving the way for Ukrainian citizens to be able to visit the bloc […]

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Russian media silent as U.S. extends sanctions against Moscow

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

The U.S. has extended its economic sanctions regime against Russia. While the mass media kept quiet on the news, one or two outlets speculated about the possible reasons behind the decision as well as about the likely outcome of a coming EU vote on whether to follow suit. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – NIKOLAI SHEVCHENKO, SPECIAL TO RBTH […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia Achieves Tactical Success in the Middle East, But No Strategic Victory; Russia needs good ties with the West more than short-term gains in Ukraine and Syria” – Thomas Graham/YaleGlobal Online

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

… From the beginning of its military operation in Syria, Moscow has operated on the now indisputable proposition that … rampant unrest in the Middle East and … mounting challenges to the unity of the European Union are inextricably linked. The wager was that Europe would eventually seize an offer of cooperation in Syria to constrict the migrant flow and […]

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Russia, Syria Said Using Migrant Crisis As ‘Weapon’ Against West

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(RFE/RL – rferl.org – March 2, 2016) NATO’s top commander warned that Russia and Syria have turned the refugee crisis into a “weapon” against the West at a time when it lacks resources to counter a “resurgent, aggressive” Russia. U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, who commands the 28-member military alliance, said the flow of hundreds of thousands of migrants […]

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Russians Not Ready to Forgive Turkey for Downed Plane – Poll

File Photo of Russian SU-24 Military Jet Harassing U.S. Navy Vessel in Black Sea, Adapted from U.S. Military Video

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 1, 2016) The majority of Russians are not ready to restore relations with Turkey after it downed a Russian warplane in November 2015, a survey by the state-run VTsIOM pollster published Monday revealed. Some 63 percent of respondents think the Kremlin should not lift the anti-Turkish sanctions that were imposed by Moscow following the […]

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Fitch Says Russia Forces Choice Between Sanctions and Ratings

File Photo of Outdoor Electronic Sign with Russian Exchange Data

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Anna Baraulina, Anna Andrianova – February 29, 2016) Fitch Ratings Ltd. said it will probably stop issuing local ratings on Russian companies under new rules that make it impossible to abide by European Union and U.S. sanctions against Moscow. The rules create a dilemma for international firms because they run counter to the penalties imposed by […]

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Continuation of Western Sanctions on Russia Increasingly Depends on Ukraine, Ogryzko Says

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, February 29, 2016) The maintenance of Western sanctions is contingent upon Ukraine’s willingness to reform itself, according to former Ukrainian foreign minister Vladimir Ogryzko. If Ukraine does not act, the West will ultimately lift the sanctions; and Ukraine will have only itself to blame for its resulting isolation. In a commentary today, […]

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Second Anniversary of Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(US Department of State – February 20, 2016) US Department of State Press Statement Mark C. Toner Deputy Department Spokesperson Washington, DC February 20, 2016 Today, we join the people of Ukraine in honoring the memory of their Revolution of Dignity and those who gave their lives to build a more just, democratic, and European Ukraine. They braved sniper fire […]

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NEWSWATCH: “A Pyrrhic Victory for President Poroshenko” – Atlantic Council/Anders Aslund

Rada File Photo

… February 16, the Ukrainian parliament deemed the performance of its government unsatisfactory with 247 votes, but only 194 parliamentarians voted for a no-confidence measure. The government did not fall … this strange vote may appear a victory for … Poroshenko, but it seems a Pyrrhic victory that may have broken the ruling coalition in parliament and brought Ukraine closer […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Russian Connection Between Syria and Ukraine. Moscow may try to link cooperation in the Syrian crisis to relief from sanctions.” – The National Interest/Joseph Nye

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night » Read more

NEWSLINK: “Europe’s Extremists Are Not Putin’s Fault. Europeans should look to Brussels – not Moscow – for the source of their extremism problem” – Foreign Policy Magazine/Scott Radnitz

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TRANSCRIPT: Dmitry Medvedev’s interview for Handelsblatt, Germany

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

(Government.ru – February 11, 2016) Ahead of the Munich Security Conference, the Prime Minister answered questions from Editor-in-Chief Sven Afhüppe and international correspondent Mathias Bruggmann. Question: Mr Prime Minister, thank you for finding the time to meet with us. You will come to Munich to attend the Conference on Security. Handelsblatt will cover the proceedings and primarily your participation in […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Dmitry Medvedev’s meeting with Russian and German business leaders at the Munich Security Conference

Map of Germany

(Government.ru – February 13, 2016) Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Buechele, colleagues. I welcome you to our breakfast on this Saturday morning. It’s this kind of morning meal where you don’t usually have the chance to eat anything. The goal of such meetings is naturally different. I consider this meeting to be useful and timely. Despite all that’s going on and all […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Dmitry Medvedev’s interview with Time magazine

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

(Government.ru – February 15, 2016) Dmitry Medvedev has given an interview to Time magazine correspondent Simon Shuster following the Munich Security Conference. Question: Thank you very much for agreeing to this interview with Time magazine. I would also like to thank you for your remarks today at the conference. This was a very interesting and eloquent speech. You made a […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Dmitry Medvedev’s interview with Euronews TV channel

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

(Government.ru – February 14, 2016) The Prime Minister spoke with Global Conversation presenter Isabelle Kumar on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference Question: Mr Prime Minister, thank you for joining the Global Conversation. The Syrian issue is a priority; it dominates the international agenda. It is now believed that we are approaching a turning point, although it remains to […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Interview of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to Sputnik News Agency

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

(Government.ru – February 12, 2016) Question: The organizers of the Munich Security Conference welcomed your participation in the conference, stressing that it is even more important to dialogue at a high level during times of crisis. What aims do you set before your delegation for your trip to Munich? What are the main theses of your speech? Dmitry Medvedev: The […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Dmitry Medvedev’s interview for Handelsblatt, Germany

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

(Government.ru – February 11, 2016) Ahead of the Munich Security Conference, the Prime Minister answered questions from Editor-in-Chief Sven Afhüppe and international correspondent Mathias Bruggmann. Question: Mr Prime Minister, thank you for finding the time to meet with us. You will come to Munich to attend the Conference on Security. Handelsblatt will cover the proceedings and primarily your participation in […]

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Russia Sends Medvedev to Munich Seeking Sanctions Relief

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – February 12, 2016) At last year’s Munich Security Conference, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov took to the stage to defend Russia’s actions in Ukraine. Scheduled between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the U.S. vice president, Lavrov faced a tough sell. He did his best to toe the government line, declaring Russia’s annexation of […]

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