NEWSWATCH: “Joint U.S.-Russia statement calls for U.N.-supervised elections in Syria” – Politico/ Nancy Cook

Syria Map

“… a new joint statement on Syria between the U.S. and Russia … [says] Syria must eventually hold U.N.-supervised elections to bring new leadership to the country as part of … ending its … civil war [say] two senior State Department officials. … follow[ing] … U.N. Security Council resolution … 2254. … [the election is to] include the ballots of the Syrian diaspora, displaced from the country […]

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Moscow Ponders Trump’s Fire and Fury

North Korea Map and Flag, adapted from .gov image

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – MAXIM TRUDOLYUBOV – August 11, 2017) Maxim Trudolyubov, Senior Fellow with the Kennan Institute and editor-at-large with Vedomosti, has been following Russian economy and politics since the late 1990s. He has served as an opinion page editor for Vedomosti and editor and correspondent for the newspaper Kapital. As North Korea’s nuclear missile program advances, U.S. […]

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Press Briefing on the President’s Meetings at the G20 by Secretary of State Tillerson and Secretary of Treasury Mnuchin on the President’s Meetings at the G20

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

U.S. Department of State July 7, 2017 Press Briefing on the President’s Meetings at the G20 BY SECRETARY OF STATE TILLERSON AND SECRETARY OF TREASURY MNUCHIN ON THE PRESIDENT’S MEETINGS AT THE G20 Hamburg Messe Hamburg, Germany SECRETARY TILLERSON: Thank you, Steve, and thanks for staying with us late these evening. President Trump and President Putin met this afternoon for […]

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NEWSLINK: “This Is How the G-20 Summit Helped Trump and Putin Claim Victories. Don’t anticipate a swift improvement in the largely dysfunctional U.S.-Russia relationship. For Putin, the dysfunction is useful for domestic politics.” – The National Interest: Matthew Rojandsky

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“The much anticipated first face-to-face meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin has taken place on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. The two presidents met for over two hours, with only translators and their respective chief diplomats—Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov—joining them. Despite its length, the meeting’s narrow agenda, which […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Trump Administration Has A New Plan For Dealing With Russia. A classified document by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson lays out a new path for Russia and the US. But does the president, weighed down by scandal and investigation, support it?” – Buzzfeed/ John Hudson

Rex Tillerson file photo, adapted from image at state.gov

“… The former Texas oilman, who worked extensively with Kremlin officials as CEO of Exxon Mobil, has crafted a three-point framework for future US-Russia relations that takes a narrow view of what can be achieved between the former Cold War adversaries, but seeks a constructive working relationship with Putin on a limited set of issues. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Rosneft chief Sechin looks beyond Russia sanctions. Putin ally wants stronger ties between oil heavyweights Russia, Saudi Arabia and US.” – Financial Times

File Photo of Rosneft and Russian Flags Next to Rosneft Banner

“… while sanctions may mean Mr Sechin, Rosneft and Russia currently have a strained relationship with the US energy industry, the resolute former deputy chief of staff to Mr Putin has ambitions for a grand coalition between oil’s superpowers: Russia, Saudi Arabia and the US. … reflecting on President Donald Trump’s campaign stance on developing better relations with Russia — which has since […]

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NEWSLINK: “ExxonMobil Just Challenged Trump to Get Serious With Russia Policy” – Fortune/ Richard Nephew, Colin Rowat

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

“Earlier this month, news leaked that ExxonMobil was pushing the Treasury Department to grant it a sanctions waiver, which would allow the company to resume its joint venture Black Sea drilling operations with Russian oil giant Rosneft. The Treasury Department has since denied the waiver application, as waivers are granted for humanitarian and policy reasons, not for business reasons—which was […]

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VIDEO & TRANSCRIPT: [Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson] Remarks With Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at a Press Availability

Rex Tillerson file photo, adapted from image at state.gov

US Department of State [Tillerson] Remarks With Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at a Press Availability Press Availability Rex W. Tillerson Secretary of State Moscow, Russia April 12, 2017 [transcript follows below video] FOREIGN MINISTER LAVROV: (Via interpreter) Good evening. This has been a long day. We have had talks with State Secretary of the U.S. Rex Tillerson. Right now, […]

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NEWSLINK: “Pulling the U.S.-Russia Relationship Back from the Nuclear Brink; The downward spiral in U.S.-Russia relations makes the objective of reducing nuclear risk all the more urgent.” – The National Interest/ Kingston Reif and Maggie Tennis

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“This week U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets in Moscow with his Russian counterpart Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the first high-level sit down between the Trump administration and Russia since President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Though the discussion is likely to be dominated by the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons last week and its aftermath, the two diplomats […]

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NEWSLINK: “The White House is getting smarter on Russia – but still has a lot to learn” – Washington Post Editorial

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

“… Though President Trump has yet to make a critical remark in public about Vladi­mir Putin, his aides are lambasting the Kremlin for its tolerance of, and possible complicity in, a chemical-weapons attack by Syria. … “

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NEWSWATCH: “Is Russia Testing Trump?” – New York Times/ MICHAEL J. MORELL, EVELYN FARKAS

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“This week Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is making his first diplomatic visit to Russia, where he’s likely to press Moscow on its handling of Syria, which he has called ‘incompetent.’ … Tillerson should recognize that Russia’s involvement in Syria is only one example of the increasingly active, and disruptive, role that … Putin has been playing on the world stage … […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia needs American help to seal the deal in Syria; After the air strikes, closer co-operation between Putin and Trump is more likely” – Financial Times/ Dmitri Trenin

Syria Map

“The Russian reaction to the use of force by the U.S. president was strong but measured. Moscow condemned it … but gave no order to Russian air defence units in Syria to intercept American missiles. Nor did the Kremlin cancel the forthcoming visit by secretary of state Rex Tillerson. …”

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia Suspends Syrian Air Operations Accord With U.S. After Airstrikes; The decision poses a new complication for Trump administration’s push against Islamic State” – Wall Street Journal/ Thomas Grove, Nour Malas, Maria Abi-Habib, James Marson

U.S. Naval Vessel Firing Tomahawk Cruise Missile at Night

Moscow swiftly suspended an agreement with Washington for military coordination in Syrian skies on Friday following the U.S. missile attack on a Syrian base …. heightening concerns of more unpredictable reactions from … al-Assad’s backers, in particular Iran, to the U.S. strike, conducted in retaliation for a suspected regime chemical attack on a village. It threatens to derail the delicate alliances that […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Trump’s Rapid Rapprochement Plans With Russia Fade; Investigations into Russia’s alleged interference in U.S. presidential election complicates relationship” – Wall Street Journal/CAROL E. LEE/PAUL SONNE/THOMAS GROVE

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“Expectations that … #Trump’s election would lead to a rapid U.S. rapprochement with #Russia are fading, as the White House pushes off the #Kremlin’s proposals for a meeting with … #Putin and takes an increasingly skeptical view of reaching a grand bargain with #Moscow. … high-level national-security officials discussed possible approaches to Russia, looking to nail down elements of administration policy […]

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Putin’s Tough Choice: China Or The West

Eurasia Map

(Oilprice.com – Robert Berke – February 3, 2017) To many observers, the appointment of Tillerson to the helm the State Dept signaled the Administration’s priority of supporting the oil industry, which in recent years has been under severe pressure from OPEC’s campaign of over-production that forced prices down to a post-recession low. Seen from a different angle, the move also […]

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How Tillerson Could Fuel A Russian Arctic Drilling Boom

Rex Tillerson file photo, adapted from image at readyagain.gov

(Oilprice.com – Robert Berke – January 23, 2017) Robert Berke is an energy financial analyst with experience as a government consultant to the State of Alaska. It’s now clear to nearly everyone that U.S. President Trump intends to seek warmer U.S. relations with Russia, while putting China and Iran relations in the deep freezer. Trump has made no secret of […]

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Peskov on next U.S. State Secretary Tillerson: we aren’t wearing rose-tinted glasses

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

MOSCOW. Jan 11 (Interfax) – The Kremlin is counting on the ability of the next U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to be receptive to arguments pertaining to Moscow-Washington cooperation. Presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov commented on abstracts from the speech Rex Tillerson would deliver at the confirmation hearing in Senate, which had been published by the Western media. Peskov […]

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Could Tillerson Open Up The Russian Arctic For Exxon Again?

Arctic Map

(Oilprice.com – Nick Cunningham – December 16, 2016) If the ExxonMobil CEO is confirmed as the new U.S. Secretary of State, the evolving relationship between Russia and the United States will take an interesting turn. Rex Tillerson could be in a position to hand his former company a major victory if he helps orchestrate a removal of U.S. sanctions on […]

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RBTH: What does Moscow expect from new U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson?

Rex Tillerson file photo, adapted from image at readyagain.gov

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has selected ExxonMobil chief Rex Tillerson as a key member of his team. “Pragmatic,” “professional” and a “friend” of Vladimir Putin – the announcement of his appointment comes as potentially good news to Russia. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – YEKATERINA SINELSCHIKOVA, RBTH – December 14, 2016) Donald Trump has chosen the next U.S. Secretary […]

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NEWSWATCH: “In Moscow, Trump’s tapping of Tillerson lifts hope of U.S. rapprochement; Russian experts know ExxonMobil CEO and Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson well, and see Trump’s selection of him as a signal that genuine detente is a possibility.” – Christian Science Monitor/Fred Weir

Rex Tillerson file photo, adapted from image at readyagain.gov

“It’s a rarity for Moscow to be enthusiastic over a US president’s choice for secretary of State. It certainly wasn’t the case for either of the past two secretaries, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. … Trump’s decision … to nominate ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson is proving to be a pleasant surprise to Russia. … the nomination … seems evidence to […]

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Tillerson Rise Aided by Savvy Negotiating in Putin’s Russia

Rex Tillerson file photo, adapted from image at readyagain.gov

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Joe Carroll – December 12, 2016) For Rex Tillerson, Russia was the proving ground that helped vault him to leadership of a company whose annual sales dwarf the economic output of most nations. Tillerson, Exxon Mobil Corp.’s chairman and chief executive officer since 2006, has emerged as President-elect Donald Trump’s favorite for secretary of state despite, […]

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