Don’t Expect Anti-Russian Ardor from Germany; Germans are looking for a rapprochement with Russia. One popular politician wants to ensure they get it.

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – August 9, 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. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is the darling of Russia hawks because of her steadfast insistence on Ukraine-related sanctions against the Kremlin. But if she wins the […]

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Putin hasn’t Destroyed Russia but Rather Russia has Destroyed Him, Konchalovsky Says

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 3, 2017) Many people accuse Vladimir Putin of destroying Russia, film director Andrey Konchalovsky says; but instead “Russia has destroyed Putin” because like any Russian ruler, he finds it hard “rule a state whose population has no idea about democracy … and by according to inviolable tradition voluntarily delegates all power […]

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New U.S. Website Aims To Track Russian ‘Disinformation’ On Twitter

File Image of Laptop Computer, Tables and Mobile Device, adapted from image at energy.gov

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Aug. 3, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/us-pro-democracy-group-german-marshall-fund-launches-website-tracking-russian-disinformation-twitter/28656024.html) WASHINGTON — A pro-democracy group has launched a new website to monitor and highlight what it says is Russian-backed disinformation on Twitter. The site, called Hamilton 68, which was launched on August 2, is a project of the Alliance for Securing Democracy, […]

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Interfax: Russia’s Lavrov “flattered” by election meddling claims

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(Interfax – July 13, 2017) Moscow denies that it is meddling in German elections, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said. “We are, of course, flattered that we are being portrayed as a country which decides the fate of the world, both in the US and Germany,” he said, responding to a question about alleged Russian interference in German elections. […]

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Article by Vladimir Putin published in the German business newspaper Handelsblatt (re G20)

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(Kremlin.ru – July 6, 2017) Ahead of my trip to Germany to take part in the Summit of the Group of Twenty, I would like to share some thoughts about cooperation within the G20 framework with the readers of Handelsblatt, one of the most popular and reputable German newspapers. Over the years of its existence, the Group of Twenty has […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Western sanctions and languid Russian economy; Stringent international sanctions imposed on Russia for its role in the Ukraine conflict have sucked the momentum out of the Russian economy over the past couple of years. The nation’s growth prospects remain lethargic.” – Deutsche Welle/ Srinivas Mazumdaru

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Talks between … #Merkel and … #Putin … focused mainly on geopolitical and security problems, such as … #Ukraine and #Syria. … [they] did not explicitly bring up … #sanctions at the press conference … with the #German chancellor simply saying she hoped some of the sanctions could be lifted if Moscow helped make significant progress in implementing the Minsk peace plan. * * * The sanctions […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin and Merkel] Press statements and answers to media questions following meeting with Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel

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(Kremlin.ru – Sochi, May 2, 2017) President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to begin by thanking the Federal Chancellor for coming to Sochi and for the opportunity to have a meaningful conversation on preparations for the upcoming July G20 meeting in Hamburg, and review urgent matters on the bilateral agenda, as well as […]

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Interfax: “Conflict in Ukraine cannot be settled without direct talks between parties to it – Putin”

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

SOCHI. May 2 (Interfax) – It is impossible to settle the conflict in southeastern Ukraine without a direct dialogue between Kyiv and Donbas, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “It’s necessary to finally make representatives of the Kyiv authorities and representatives of these unrecognized republics sit down at the same negotiating table. It’s impossible to achieve the conflict’s settlement without a […]

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Hitler’s Anschluss and Putin’s – Similarities and Differences

File Photo of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler Riding in Convertible

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 13, 2017) Seventy-nine years ago today, Adolf Hitler issued the law on the unification of Austria and Germany, an event subsequently known as the Anschluss, and one that both resembles and differs from what Vladimir Putin did in the case of Ukraine’s Crimea, according to two Ukrainian experts. Yuri Shapovalov, a […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Study looks at free-trade-with-Russia scenario. Free trade between the EU and Russia could bring enormous benefits for both sides, a study by the Munich-based Ifo economic research institute suggests. Only, the Ukraine conflict still stands in the way.” – Deutsche Welle

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A free trade area for the European Union, Russia and other states would have economic advantages for all sides involved, according to model-based calculations by the Ifo research institute. … The study admits that a free trade agreement of this kind is barely conceivable as long as the Ukraine conflict remains unsettled and Western sanctions against Russia are in place. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “As Trump re-evaluates NATO, NATO must rethink Russia; With tensions running high in NATO, it seems the alliance is in sore need of a fresh course on Russia and a new deal on security. A former US ambassador to Moscow and an ex-German envoy to NATO gave their takes to DW.” – Deutsche Welle/Darko Janjevic

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… In addition to calling NATO ‘obsolete,’ Trump has pressured … members to increase … defense spending and signaled a more isolationist foreign policy …. * * * Unlike Trump, Matlock believes … boosting defense spending would be a step in the wrong direction. * * * … With the United States changing its stance, European powers will need to […]

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NEWSLINK: “German intelligence finds no evidence of Russian meddling; But authorities warned Russia has been on a ‘confrontational path’ since 2014 and its media is ‘hostile.'” – PoliticoEU/ESTHER KING

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“A year-long investigation into potential Russian interference with German politics has failed to uncover evidence of Kremlin-backed meddling, Süddeutsche Zeitung reported Monday. German intelligence authorities found no concrete proof of disinformation campaigns targeting the government and have decided against publishing the 50-page report to avoid further straining relations with Moscow, according to SZ. …”

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Putin and Trump Want to Team Up, but That’s Not Going to Be Easy

Donald Trump

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner, Mikhail Fishman – January 27, 2017) No actor on the world stage was as publicly energized by the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency as Russia. At first glance, the support seemed entirely emotional. But there was also a rational interest: Trump was open to lifting sanctions, after all. Sanctions have had a […]

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NEWSWATCH: “For 1st time since Cold War, U.S. tanks roll into Russia’s backyard” – CBS

U.S. Army Tanks in Transport Arriving in Germany, adapted from army.mil

“… All the massive hardware of a U.S. combat brigade arrived in Germany over the weekend, and started rolling east toward Poland, where 4,000 American soldiers will be waiting for it. … the first build-up of American troops and weapons in Europe in almost 30 years … meant, in large part, to reassure America’s nervous allies in Europe that the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Thousands of U.S. Troops En Route to Eastern Europe; Hundreds of tanks, fighting vehicles, and attack helicopters to be deployed in unprecedented operation” – Transitions Online

Globe Highlighting NATO Members

“A massive movement of U.S. troops and materiel is underway, headed for Eastern Europe with one goal uppermost: ‘to deter Russian aggression.’ U.S. troops began offloading more than 2,000 pieces of equipment including Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles … [to] equip around 3,500 U.S. troops  … one of the largest movements of American forces in Europe since the end […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin interviewed by the German ARD TV channel

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Government.ru – August 29, 2008) “We are not going to play by some special rules of our own. We want everyone to follow the same rules that are also referred to as international law.” Thomas Roth: Mr Prime Minister, After the escalation of tensions in Georgia, the Western public and politicians, as well as the press and other people, believe […]

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Third of Russians deem potential Trump victory in U.S. presidential race to be advantageous for Russia – poll

Donald Trump

MOSCOW. Aug 25 (Interfax) – Some 12% of Russians are closely monitoring the progress of the U.S. presidential election campaign, and another 73% have heard something about it, the Levada Center told Interfax. Fifteen percent learned about the upcoming U.S. elections during the poll of 1,600 respondents in 137 populated localities in 48 regions on August 5-8. Fifty-two percent of […]

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Putin’s Reliance on American Commerce Has Never Been Greater

File Photo of Boeing 747, adapted from image at navy.mil

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Jake Rudnitsky, Ilya Arkhipov – June 15, 2016) U.S. becomes Russia’s No. 5 partner as trade war hits EU worse Boeing, Cargill, Yum! lead U.S. companies expanding in Russia President Vladimir Putin loves to reel off statistics, but here’s one he may not trumpet at his annual investment forum in St. Petersburg this week: Russia’s reliance […]

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VIDEO & TRANSCRIPT: The Baltics Remember, Russia Forgets

Map of Baltics and Environs, Including Kaliningrad

(RFE/RL – The Daily Vertical: Brian Whitmore – June 15, 2016) [Video further below] Seventy-five years ago this week, an ethnic cleansing campaign began. Seventy-five years ago this week, tens of thousands of people were uprooted from their homes, from their lives, and from their families. Seventy-five years ago this week — when the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were […]

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Getting Each Other Wrong

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Maxim Trudolyubov, Senior Fellow, Editor-at-Large, Vedomosti Daily – June 14, 2016) Politicians have to walk the walk in order to be credible. This is even more true in today’s world, given the rise of populist demagoguery and the sorry state of trust between the most important players. The dialogue taking place between Russia, the U.S., […]

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What has Russia become for Germany: Rival, partner or challenge?

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A new draft of Germany’s “white book,” the country’s security doctrine, has ruffled feathers in Russia over the description of Moscow as a rival instead of a partner. Opinions vary drastically: Some say this is “absolutely no sign of confrontation,” while others believe Berlin is embarking on a strategy of “military antagonism” with Moscow. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Step-by-Step Rapprochement. Germany Considers Easing of Russia Sanctions. Standing tough on Russia remains official policy, but Germany has begun working on the careful easing of sanctions imposed following Moscow’s aggression in Ukraine. The US is opposed, but many in the EU could support the new approach.” – Der Spiegel

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… What Merkel didn’t say … is that behind the scenes, her government has long since developed concrete plans for a step-by-step easing of the sanctions against Russia and that the process could begin as early as this year. … the message has been that the trade and travel restrictions will only be lifted once all the provisions foreseen by […]

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OPPORTUNITIES: Research fellow openings at Centre for East European and International Studies (Zentrum für Osteuropa – und internationale Studien)

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

Subject: Job advert Date: Mon, 30 May 2016 From: Lejly Agamuradova <agamuradova@dgo-online.org> Job advert Centre for East European and International Studies (Zentrum für Osteuropa- und internationale Studien) The German Bundestag has allocated funds to enhance expertise on Russia and Eastern Europe in Germany. On this basis, the Federal Government is establishing the Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS) […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The U.S. and Russia Plan for Conflict” – Stratfor

File Photo of F-22 Fighter and Ground Crew

… In critical areas, including … Syria and Ukraine and arms control … both [the United States and Russia] would genuinely like to negotiate viable solutions. Nevertheless … mistrust … runs deep … vast differences of opinion and outright conflicts of interest will continue to undermine efforts …. With little hope of a positive outcome, the strategic decision-makers in Washington […]

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NEWSATCH: “Will Any More European Powers Contribute to NATO’s Eastern Force?” – Wall Street Journal

Map of Baltics and Environs, Including Kaliningrad

Now that the U.S. is only sending one—not two—battalions for the alliance military force on the eastern flank, there is a big question regarding which country will fill the void. … [NATO] has been working on a plan to step up its deterrence of Russia by creating a force of about 4,000 troops, a battalion for Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and […]

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The West Shouldn’t Fear Russia’s ‘Hybrid Warfare’

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – May 18, 2016) In the two years that have passed since Russia annexed Crimea, the expression “Russian hybrid warfare” has become a fixture in the Western political, media and academic lexicon. It’s a catch-all for Russian hostility — and a perfect mirror image of the Kremlin’s own paranoia about the West. The Atlantic […]

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RBTH: Peace in Donbass no closer as Kiev and Moscow refuse to give ground

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

Talks in Berlin between the foreign ministers of Germany, Russia, France and Ukraine have failed to provide a breakthrough on the resolution of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, with the issue of elections continuing to be a sticking point. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ALEXEY TIMOFEYCHEV, RBTH – May 12, 2016) The two-year-old conflict between government forces and […]

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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

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(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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Jerusalem Post: Ukraine backtracks on Babi Yar plans amid accusations of Holocaust revisionism. Ukrainian gov’t is facing allegations that it’s engaging in historical revisionism following announcement of plans to revamp massacre site to generic symbol rather than emblem of Holocaust.

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Russian Entente Nears as Allies Give Ukraine Sanctions Hint

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – January 26, 2016) After almost two years on the outside, signs are growing that Russia may soon be invited in from the cold. The worsening of crises from Syria to Libya are forcing the international community to reconsider sanctions slapped on President Vladimir Putin’s government over Ukraine as a way of getting a key diplomatic power […]

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NEWSLINK Russia Direct: “Review of the week: Putin’s Bild interview and US-Russia relations. The most important Russian foreign policy events of the past week centered on Ukraine, including a discussion of the Minsk agreements and the potential for increased Russia-U.S. coordination in bringing the confrontation to an end.”

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Interview to German newspaper Bild. Part 2

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Kremlin.ru – January 12, 2016) The final part of Vladimir Putin’s interview to the German newspaper Bild is being published. The interview was recorded on January 5, 2016, in Sochi. Question: Mr President, will you take any steps to re-establish the G7 format as the G8? And another question: what did you think when the US President said that Russia […]

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Seven powerful politicians from around the world that speak Russian

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

Russian is considered one of the most difficult languages to learn yet there are many influential politicians around the world that have taken it up. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – NATALIA MASHINISTOVA, SPECIAL TO RBTH – January 12, 2016) [Videos with Michael McFaul and Condoleezza Rice here: rbth.com/arts/lifestyle/2016/01/12/7-powerful-politicians-from-around-the-world-that-speak-russian_558729] Most Russian-speaking politicians live in former Soviet republics and other […]

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Détente NOW!

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Subject: Détente NOW! Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2015 From: “Dr. Christian Wipperfürth” <cwipperfuerth@email.de> Your readers might be interested in the “Détente NOW!” – Initiative by leading members of the Social Democratic Party (which takes part in the German government), the industrie and NGOs. It can be found at http://www.cwipperfuerth.de/2015/10/detente-now-english/ —- Pax Christi Press Release (translation) Berlin, October 2015 For a […]

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Ukraine Is Being Told to Live With Putin

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – October 5, 2015) Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has long had trouble understanding that the Western support of his government is conditional. Now the leaders of France and Germany have told him that in no uncertain terms: The ceasefire agreement for eastern Ukraine has just been recast to put the onus on Poroshenko, rather […]

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Deutsche Bank confirms its retreat from Russia

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Jason Corcoran in Moscow – September 18, 2015) Deutsche Bank, a lender whose ties with Russia span 134 years, will exit its investment banking business in Moscow by the end of year following allegations its bankers laundered money on behalf of its clients, it was confirmed on September 18. The German bank’s corporate finance […]

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To Escape Putinism, Russia Must Expunge Muscovy as Germany Did Prussia, Sklyarov Says

Moscow Night Lights Satellite Image

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 29, 2105) Many commentators suggest that the way to move beyond the Putin regime involves economic growth, de-militarization, and re-entering the international community, but “these are all second-order tasks” that pale in comparison with what is the most important one, according to Andrey Sklyarov. The historian says that the central task […]

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NEWSWATCH Christian Science Monitor: Living on Prussia’s ruins, Kaliningraders embrace Germanic past

Map of Baltics and Environs, Including Kaliningrad

The Christian Science Monitor covers some of the interplay in Kaliningrad between Germanic cultural history and more recent Russian control, amidst Russia’s tensions with the West over Ukraine. … a growing movement of mainly younger Kaliningraders – supported by local government – … are working to roll back the Soviet-imposed amnesia that convinced generations of people who grew up on this ancient territory […]

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NEWSWATCH CNN/Matthew Rojansky, Michael Kofman: Isolated Russia has little left to lose

NATO Meeting file photo

Writing for CNN.com, Matthew Rojansky and Michael Kofman address historic shifts in relations between Russia and the West, amidst Western reactions to the Russo-Ukrainian War, the downing of civilian airliner MH-17 and other developments. … MH17 was a turning point, after which many European leaders abandoned their previously held view that Russia could be successfully integrated into Western-led economic, political, or […]

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VIDEO & TRANSCRIPT: Conversation: The Standoff Between Russia and the West Over Ukraine

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Stratfor.com – June 23, 2015) Conversation: The Standoff Between Russia and the West Over Ukraine is republished with permission of Stratfor; article also appeared at stratfor.com/video/conversation-standoff-between-russia-and-west-over-ukraine. Transcript follows below video. Video Transcript Lauren Goodrich: Hello, my name is Lauren Goodrich, and I’m the senior Eurasia analyst here at Stratfor. I’m joined by Sim Tack, our military analyst, and today we’re going to […]

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Putin: Russia has no relations with G7 but ready to cooperate with its members bilaterally

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

(Interfax – June 10, 2015) Russia currently does not maintain any relationship with the G7, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “We have no relations with the G7, what relations could there be?” Putin told journalists following negotiations with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on June 10. At the same time, “if our partners want it, we will be developing active […]

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NEWSWATCH Wall Street Journal: Defense Chief: Subversion, ‘Big Lie’ Are in Russia’s Arsenal. Ash Carter favors more military exercises, better intelligence sharing

Ashton Carter File Photo

[Wall Street Journal – Defense Chief: Subversion, ‘Big Lie’ Are in Russia’s Arsenal. Ash Carter favors more military exercises, better intelligence sharing – GORDON LUBOLD – June 6, 2015] The Wall Street Journal covers remarks by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter after a European trip to discuss Russia and the crisis in Ukraine. Mr. Carter made clear at the end of an […]

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What Putin Got Wrong

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

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – May 28, 2015) Since the Ukraine crisis erupted, Vladimir Putin has befuddled his foes with hybrid-war tactics, poisoned discourse with a sophisticated disinformation campaign, and alarmed the West with a series of provocative moves aimed at probing NATO’s defenses. The Russian president has kept his opponents off balance and on the defensive; and […]

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Tefft Says Obama Would Be ‘Happy’ to Get Involved in Ukraine Peace Talks

File photo of Barack Obama and Petro Poroshenko facing one another, with Obama gesturing

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – April 22, 2015) Moscow would welcome the involvement of any country that could pressure Kiev into observing a cease-fire with separatists, the Kremlin said, after the U.S. ambassador to Russia suggested President Barack Obama would readily participate in the Ukrainian peace talks if he were invited. Ambassador John Tefft said U.S. officials […]

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NEWSLINK AICGS: Ostpolitik Reset; How Germany is Re-Evaluating its Relationship with Russia

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The Chancellery recently announced that Angela Merkel will not attend the May 9 Moscow celebration to mark the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II. She will, however, lay a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow with President Vladimir Putin the following day. This dual message symbolizes where German-Russian relations are today: reluctance to […]

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