RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2016-99 :: Tuesday PM, 31 May 2016

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

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2016-#99 Tuesday, 31 May 2016 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs The contents do not necessarily represent the views of IERES or the George Washington University. JRL homepage: russialist.org – JRL […]

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NEWSLINK Valdai Discussion Club/Paul Saunder: “G7 SUMMIT IN JAPAN: NO HISTORIC HIGHS. The G7 has yet to redefine its purpose and role following Russia’s exclusion. Reinvigorating it will require leadership, creativity, and a degree of reflection.”

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

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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Why is Russia borrowing money on the foreign markets?

Cash, Calculator, Pen

The Russian Finance Ministry has issued 10-year Eurobonds worth $1.75 billion with an annual yield of 4.75 percent. What is Moscow hoping to achieve with the issue, who has lent money to Russia, and how likely are they to get their money back? These and other questions are answered here. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ALEXEI LOSSAN, RBTH […]

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RBTH: The Georgian on their mind: Why Russians still approve of Stalin

Joseph Stalin file photo

Public opinion surveys show that today support for Stalin in Russia is the highest it has been since the fall of the Soviet Union. More than half of Russians believe that he played a positive role in the history of the country and the Communist Party is even planning to use the image of the Soviet leader in the next […]

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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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Putin Invaded Ukraine to Deflect Russian Nationalist Threat to Himself, Demushkin Says

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, May 30, 2016) Vladimir Putin launched his “Russian world” project and invaded Ukraine in the hopes that radical Russian nationalists who represented a threat to his rule would go there and die, thus “killing two birds with one stone,” according to Dmitry Demushkin, the leader of the ethno-political movement “The Russians.” In […]

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Savchenko swap: Will there now be a breakthrough in Moscow-Kiev relations?

Nadiya Savchenko file photo, adapted from image at osce.usmission.gov

Some believe that the exchange of Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko for two Russians who participated in the armed conflict in the Donbass, is a sign of an upcoming improvement in Ukrainian-Russian relations. RBTH spoke to several analysts to find out if there are grounds to think so and looked at the main scenarios for how relations between Moscow and Kiev […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Joint press conference with Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras [excerpt re: Ukraine]

Ancient Temple Ruins in Greece with Tourists

(Kremlin.ru – May 27, 2016) Following the Russian-Greek talks, Vladimir Putin and Alexis Tsipras made a joint statement for the press. [excerpt re: Ukraine] Question: The European Union is currently debating the issue of extending sanctions against Russia. How much was this topic discussed at your talks today? Do you think the exchange of Savchenko for our guys will have […]

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In Estonia, we should be careful not to overstate the impact of the information war

Map of Baltics and Environs, Including Kaliningrad

The Baltic States are now seen as the next frontline in Russia’s hybrid war. But the political preferences of ethnic Russian communities are more complicated than meets the eye. (opendemocracy.net – Vassilis Petsinis – May 30, 2016) Vassilis Petsinis is a political analyst at the European Commission’s representation in Greece. His specialisation is european politics and ethnopolitics with a regional […]

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Russian liberal radio station sees off “censorship” move

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Interfax – May 27, 2016) A dispute about freedom of speech at the Ekho Moskvy radio station in Moscow seems to be resolved to the satisfaction of the journalists and with the editor-in-chief’s authority enhanced. New contract and “censorship” The argument began when talk show presenter Yevgenia Albats refused to sign a new contract that she said amounted to censorship. […]

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There is hope Russia, EU can take relations trajectory consistent with interests of their countries – Peskov

EU Map

MOSCOW. May 30 (Interfax) – There is hope for an improvement of Russia-EU relations, and the participation of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum can help that, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said. “On the whole, the subject of Russia-EU relations has paramount importance, relations with the European Union are still crucial for the […]

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Pravda.ru: West shocked to discover revival of Russian economy

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Pravda.ru – Lyuba Lulko – May 26, 2016) Western media have started to notice positive changes in the Russian economy. Russia is an attractive country for foreign investors. Domestic investors have been showing signs of life as well – they were ready to buy the stock of Russian Eurobonds. Sanctions no longer frighten people, because there are long-term attractive projects […]

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Putin’s Longstanding Plan for Long-Term Confrontation with the West Being Implemented Ever More Rapidly, Illarionov Says

Kremlin and River

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, May 28, 2016) For the last decade, Vladimir Putin has pursued a plan to isolate his country from the outside world by pursuing rearmament and confrontation with the West, Andrey Illarionov says. Now, there is evidence that the Kremlin leader is stepping up his efforts I that direction even during the current […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting with Russian Media

Ancient Temple Ruins in Greece with Tourists

(Kremlin.ru – May 28, 2016) Following the Russian-Greek talks, Vladimir Putin met with Russian media representatives. Question: Mr President, may I ask you a question about domestic policy rather than talks with Greece? Vladimir Putin: Are you having trouble sleeping? Remark: I am. The whole country is thinking about this issue. Vladimir Putin: Go ahead. Question: Mr Medvedev visited Crimea […]

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Medvedev opens Moscow’s fourth airport Zhukovsky

File Photo of Airplane Approaching Runway About to Land

Zhukovsky. May 30 (Interfax) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has opened the Moscow aviation hub’s fourth international airport, Zhukovsky, an Interfax correspondent reported. One of the first airlines to begin scheduled flights from Zhukovsky will be Kyrgyzstan’s Air Kyrgyzstan. The first flight is scheduled for June 20, a representative of the carrier told journalists on Monday. At the opening […]

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Number of smokers in Russia down 16-25%, Health Ministry wants to make access to tobacco impossible for those born after 2015

Cigarette Being Lit

MOSCOW. May 30 (Interfax) – The number of smokers has decreased in Russia over the past 25 years, by 16% according to the Russian Federal Statistics Service (Rosstat) and by 25% according to public opinion polls, Russian Health Minister Veronica Skvortsova said. “The number of smokers has decreased in our country for the first time in 25 years, in the […]

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NEWSWATCH: Freed by Russia, Ukraine’s ‘Joan of Arc’ may be thorn in own leaders’ side – Reuters/Pavel Polityuk

Nadiya Savchenko file photo, adapted from image at osce.usmission.gov

Securing … Savchenko’s release from Russian captivity was a PR coup for … Poroshenko but the outspoken woman … may ultimately prove a thorn in his side. … in jail, Savchenko was named a lawmaker in … the main opposition party at a time of growing disillusion with the slow pace of reforms and … corruption. She … condemned a […]

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RUSSIA – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2016-97 :: Monday AM, 30 May 2016

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

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2016-#97 Monday, 30 May 2016 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs The contents do not necessarily represent the views of IERES or the George Washington University. JRL homepage: russialist.org – JRL […]

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Interfax: Russia-U.S. disagreements over INF treaty not resolved so far because Washington unready to accommodate Moscow’s concerns – Ryabkov

Iskander Missile with Launch file photo

MOSCOW. May 27 (Interfax) – The Russian Foreign Ministry is still committed to the 1987 Treaty Between the United States of America and the Soviet Union on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty), Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said. “The Russian Federation is committed to this treaty and abides by all of its provisions,” Ryabkov […]

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Confusion about the Presidential Economic Council and the Stolypin Club

Kremlin and River

Subject: Confusion about the Presidential Economic Council and the Stolypin Club Date: Thu, 26 May 2016 From: Rachel Douglas <cmgusa@frontiernet.net> Glad to see some attention to the Russian Presidential Economic Council meeting of May 25, but, setting aside the evaluations, there were quite a few errors of fact in two of the items included in JRL 2016-#95/May 26. Stratfor – […]

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Three ways out of Russia’s crisis: The plans on Putin’s table …. #RUSSIA

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

Russian economists have proposed three programs to help the country get out of the crisis. They were presented to President Vladimir Putin at the session of the Economy Council on May 25. RBTH tries to understand the essence of each plan and how such proposals were realized in the past. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ALEXEI LOSSAN, RBTH […]

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Kremlin Says Russia ‘In Favour’ of Returning Donbass to Ukraine

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 27, 2016) The Kremlin is ready to support the return of Ukraine’s troubled eastern regions to Kiev government control, according to President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, the RIA Novosti news agency reported on Thursday. In a move some have interpreted as an invitation to dialogue, and others as bluff, Peskov said on Thursday […]

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Many Fear Real Elections Will Bring Fascism to Russia But Their Absence Helps It Rise, Piontkovsky Says

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, May 21, 2016) Both before the 1917 revolution and since 1991, Russian liberals and their foreign backers have often feared that genuine elections, ones in which the outcome was not determined by those in power who supposedly were committed to reform might lead either to a return to communism or the rise […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting of the Russian Literature and Language Society

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

(Kremlin.ru – May 26, 2016) Vladimir Putin took part in the plenary session of the Russian Literature and Language Society’s Congress. The Russian Literature and Language Society was established in 2016 to consolidate the efforts of scholars, teachers, cultural figures and the global public to preserve the leading role of Russian language and literature in educating young people, strengthening the […]

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Confusion about the Presidential Economic Council and the Stolypin Club

Kremlin and River

MOSCOW. May 27 (Interfax) – The Russian Foreign Ministry is still committed to the 1987 Treaty Between the United States of America and the Soviet Union on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty), Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said. “The Russian Federation is committed to this treaty and abides by all of its provisions,” Ryabkov […]

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Geopolitics versus the political marketplace: the origins of the war in Ukraine

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

These two books on the war in Ukraine open up fresh questions into how we interpret the causes of conflict. (opendemocracy.net – Mary Kaldor – May 27, 2016) Mary Kaldor is Professor of Global Governance at the London School of Economics and Political Science and author of ‘New and Old wars: Organised Violence in a Global Era’ 3rd edition, 2012 […]

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Savchenko ready to become Ukraine’s president if people want it

Nadiya Savchenko file photo, adapted from image at osce.usmission.gov

KYIV. May 27 (Interfax) – Nadiya Savchenko said she was ready to become Ukraine’s president if citizens of the country wanted it. “Ukrainians, if you want me to become the president, I will be the president,” Savchenko said at a press conference in Kyiv on Friday. Savchenko also said she was not sure that “people have already learned not to […]

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Ukraine’s New Hope

Nadiya Savchenko file photo, adapted from image at osce.usmission.gov

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – May 25, 2016) So after holding her in captivity for 708 days, the Kremlin has finally released its most famous hostage. And as a result, Ukraine might have gained something it has long lacked — and badly needs: a political figure with clear and unambiguous moral authority; someone unsullied by the past and […]

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What is causing the conflict in Ukraine?

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

Understanding the economic roots of rebellion in eastern Ukraine suggests that the resolution to the crisis must address restoring economic and political justice. (opendemocracy.net – Tymofiy Mylovanov – May 25, 2016) Tymofiy Mylovanov is the interim President of the Kyiv School of Economics, and Associate Professor at University of Pittsburgh. He received his economics PhD from the University of Wisconsin, […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with French business community representatives

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – May 25, 2016) Vladimir Putin met at the Kremlin with French business community representatives. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, friends, Let me welcome you all to Moscow. It is a great pleasure to meet the members of the Economic Council of the Franco-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. France is without a doubt one of our longstanding […]

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Re #93/Olga Oliker, “No, Russia Isn’t Trying to Make Nuclear War Easier”

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

Subject: Re #93/Olga Oliker, “No, Russia Isn’t Trying to Make Nuclear War Easier” Date:     Wed, 25 May 2016 From:     Cynthia Roberts <car52@columbia.edu> Re Johnson List #93 article by Olga Oliker, “No, Russia Isn’t Trying to Make Nuclear War Easier.” Oliker is right about the flawed analysis on this topic, particularly in the government.  Too often existing work misreads the original […]

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Was Russia’s First Bond Sale in 3 Years a Success?

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – May 26, 2016) [Chart here themoscowtimes.com/business/article/was-russias-first-bond-sale-in-3-years-a-success/570254.html] Bidding opened suddenly on the morning of May 23. After a three-year absence from international markets, and with very little warning, Russia announced it wished to borrow billions of dollars. The Finance Ministry sought to help finance a yawning budget deficit caused by the low price […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting of the Economic Council Presidium

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Kremlin.ru – May 25, 2016) Vladimir Putin held a meeting of the Economic Council Presidium to examine growth sources for the Russian economy through to 2025. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues, The Economic Council Presidium is at work once again, this time with the task of discussing and outlining key guidelines and objectives for our economic policy […]

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‘I Will Never Return To Donetsk’ — Conflict Reduces One Woman’s Life To Rubble

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

Former Donetsk resident Nadia Zaslavska spoke to Dmitry Volchek from RFE/RL’s Russian Service about why the conflict in eastern Ukraine drove her from the city even though she had spent many happy years living there. (RFE/RL – rferl.org – May 24, 2016) I was born in the Dnipropetrovsk region but I spent more than 30 years in Donetsk. I built […]

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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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‘Reintegration of Donbass Will Be Impossible After Five Years,’ Senior Kyiv Official Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, May 24, 2016) Ukraine must move quickly to promote the reintegration of the Donbass because “five years from now,” Georgy Tuka, the deputy head of the Kyiv ministry responsible for overseeing such plans, says, “it will already be impossible” to do so because the region will have been so affected by the […]

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Russia Hails Eurobond Triumph as Traders Ask: Who Bought It?

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Andrey Biryukov, Lyubov Pronina – May 25, 2016) Russia hailed its sale of $1.75 billion of Eurobonds as a triumph in the face of sanctions and “unprecedented pressure” from U.S. and European Union governments. While Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said the deal showed foreigners have “trust” in Russia, investors expressed concern the bond won’t be admitted […]

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Russians demonstrate record pessimism as economic slump goes on

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

The results of a new survey shows consumers in Russia are at their gloomiest for 11 years as disposable income dries up, with many unable to afford a vacation. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ANNA KUCHMA, RBTH – May 4, 2016) Russian consumers are more negative about their economic prospects than they have been for the last 11 […]

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Is the U.S. behind Japan’s reluctance to sign a peace treaty with Russia?

Japan Map

In the second part of this series on Russia-Japan ties, Rakesh Krishnan Simha looks at how the two countries are finding common cause in many areas, despite being unable to settle the over 70-year old dispute over the Southern Kuril Islands. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – RAKESH KRISHNAN SIMHA, SPECIAL TO RBTH – May 25, 2016) The Russia-Japan […]

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