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Tag Archive for Syria

Russia Calls for Joint Effort With U.S. to Fight Islamic State

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 29, 2014) Russia’s deputy foreign minister on Monday called for a joint effort between Moscow and Washington in fighting the radical group Islamic State, but appeared to play down fears of a high number of Russians in the group. “The Americans say terrorism represents a direct threat to their

One Year After Leader’s Death, North Caucasus Insurgency Soldiers On

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(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Liz Fuller – September 7, 2014) September 7 marks the first anniversary of the death from poisoning of Doku Umarov, the Chechen field commander who abandoned the cause of an independent Chechen Republic Ichkeria in 2007 and instead proclaimed a Caucasus Emirate (IK) encompassing the entire North Caucasus. While Umarov’s death has had

Islamic State to Putin: We Are on Our Way to Russia

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – September 4, 2014) Members of the Islamic State, a violent group of extremists presently terrorizing Iraq and Syria, have released a video threatening President Vladimir Putin and vowing to wage war in Russia’s restive North Caucasus. Message to Putin A video released by Al Arabiya and reportedly filmed

Obama’s Reluctance to Arming Rebels Stiffened by Airliner Strike

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated Before Russian and U.S. Flags

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Margaret Talev – July 23, 2014) The downing of a Malaysian passenger aircraft in Ukraine may stiffen Obama administration resistance to providing heavy armaments to rebels — or even besieged governments — seeking U.S. help in hotspots around the world. In the wake of the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) disaster, President Barack

Interfax: Putin will have phone conversations with Obama on Ukraine, Syria, Iraq in next few days – Ushakov

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated Before Russian and U.S. Flags

MOSCOW. June 20 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama will have a phone conversation on issues related to the situation in Ukraine, Iraq, and Syria in the next few days, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov told reporters. “Putin and Obama plan to have a phone conversation in the next

RIA Novosti: Preview: Lavrov, Kerry to Talk Ukraine, Syria in Paris

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MOSCOW, June 5 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his US counterpart, John Kerry, are due to meet in Paris on Thursday to discuss Syria and Ukraine, two countries that both have recently held presidential ballots amid what is largely described as a civil war. The two foreign policy officials have a

Interfax: Russia adherent to joint work with U.S. in settling Syrian crisis – deputy FM

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

MOSCOW. March 27 (Interfax) – Russia is ready to continue working together with the United States on the settlement of the Syrian crisis, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bodanov said. “We are prepared to carry on the coordinated work with our American partners on the basis of the earlier agreements. The entire Geneva negotiating process

NEWSLINK: Russia, NATO plan joint operation on Syria’s chemical weapons

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["Russia, NATO plan joint operation on Syria's chemical weapons" - Reuters - Gabriela Baczynska and Adrian Croft - February 14, 2014 - reuters.com/article/2014/02/14/us-syria-crisis-russia-nato-idUSBREA1D0Y120140214] Reuters covers plans for a NATO-Russian joint naval operation in the Mediterranean to protect a U.S. ship playing a role in the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons.  The mission would be a

Interfax: Assad overthrows Washington’s fixed idea – Russian lawmaker

Alexei Pushkov file photo

MOSCOW. Jan 26 (Interfax) – Attempts to explain all of Syria’s current problems by President Bashar al Assad’s tenure hold no water and only reflect Washington’s obsession with the idea of Syrian president’s overthrow, chairman of the State Duma’s International Affairs Committee Alexei Pushkov said in remarks about U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech

Syrian crisis: Book with an open ending

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Fyodor Lukyanov, special to RBTH inShare0 – January 27, 2014) Fyodor Lukyanov is the chairman of the board of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy. The stakes are high for both the U.S. and Russia as Geneva II gets underway. The Geneva II conference is the most

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Geneva II stalled because of Syrian opposition

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Andrei Ilyashenko, special to RBTH – January 21, 2014) Syria’s opposition group’s inability to come to a united understanding threatens to delay the start of the peace conference. In making any predictions about GenevaII, the Syrian peace conference that opens on January 22 in Montreux, Switzerland, no degree

Interfax: Moscow, Washington convinced conference on Syria should be held on Jan 22 – Russian Foreign Ministry

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(Interfax – January 10, 2014) Russia and the United States share the opinion that it is necessary to hold the international conference on Syria in the time scheduled, on January 22, and consider military resolution in the Syrian conflict to be not viable, the Russian Foreign Ministry said following the Russian-U.S. consultations on Syria. “The

First Batch of Chemical Weapons Leaves Syria

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MOSCOW, January 7 (RIA Novosti) The first consignment of chemical weapons has left the Syrian port of Latakia on a Danish cargo vessel, the international chemical weapons watchdog said on Tuesday. “The removal of the first consignment of priority chemicals from the Syrian Arab Republic took place today,” the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical

Russia at home and abroad: past successes, future challenges

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(opendemocracy.net – Margot Light – January 5, 2014) Margot Light is Professor Emeritus of International Relations at the Department of International Relations of the London School of Economics and Political Science. 2013 produced several foreign policy successes for President Putin, increasing Russia’s prominence on the international stage. At home, the Volgograd suicide attacks brought the

RIA Novosti: Russia’s Successes, A Likely Trap?

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

(RIA Novosti – Fyodor Lukyanov – December 2, 2013) Fyodor Lukyanov is Editor-in-Chief of the Russia in Global Affairs journal ­ the most authoritative source of expertise on Russian foreign policy and global developments. One can only marvel at how quickly things change. Just a short while ago, Russia seemed to be retreating on all

RIA Novosti: Foreign minister explains Russia’s opposition to humanitarian corridors in Syria

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, November 18, 2013) Moscow fears that the Syrian opposition would receive weapons through humanitarian corridors, should they be created, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. The Syrian opposition earlier spoke of the need to open humanitarian corridors through the territories under Syrian government control as a condition for taking part

Interfax: Syrian opposition’s demand that Assad go is unrealistic – Lavrov

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

VLADIVOSTOK. Nov 18 (Interfax) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has described the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces’ demand that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must go as a precondition for its participation in the Geneva II conference as unrealistic and going against the Geneva communique. “The opposition, primarily that represented by the

RIA Novosti: Russia Dismisses US Doubts Over Syrian Chemical Arms Data

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MOSCOW, November 8 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia considers unfounded US skepticism over the sincerity of Syria’s declaration of its chemical weapon stockpiles, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said Friday. US envoy to the United Nations Samantha Power said earlier this week that Washington was closely reviewing Syria’s declaration of its chemical weapons stockpiles, in light

Syrian Crisis Undermines Moscow’s Control of the North Caucasus

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(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 5, 2013) The Syrian crisis, which gave Vladimir Putin a much-celebrated diplomatic victory, now threatens  Russia’s territorial integrity not because Russian citizens are among the combatants in Syria but because Moscow’s mishandling of the Circassian issue in the Middle East is radicalizing the Circassian republics of

Interfax: Russia about to decide on degree of its financial contribution to Syria’s chemical disarmament – diplomat

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MOSCOW. Nov 1 (Interfax) – Russia will make a decision on the degree of its financial contribution to the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons in the near future, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said. “The Russian material contribution was considered during these consultations. We don’t yet have a reason to publicly announce its parameters, but

Syria deal prompts Forbes to name Putin World’s Most Powerful Person – analysts

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

MOSCOW. Oct 31 (Interfax) – Russian political scientists believe that U.S. business magazine Forbes decided to place Russia’s President Vladimir Putin at the top of its Most Powerful People rating largely thanks to his influence and the effectiveness of his initiative aimed at tackling problems linked to the conflict in Syria “The reasons why Putin

Interfax: Syria situation shows that Russia is “on the right side of history” – Russian ambassador

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MOSCOW. Oct 29 (Interfax) – The situation in Syria provides proof that Russia’s efforts to settle the conflict politically are correct, contrary to their American partners’ claims, said Russia’s ambassador to Syria, Azamat Kulmukhametov. “Our American partners kept saying that we are on the wrong side of history. However, our entire policy and the latest

RIA Novosti: Russia Criticizes Results of London Diplomatic Meeting on Syria

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MOSCOW, October 23 (RIA Novosti) ­ A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said Wednesday that a meeting of 11 nations on resolving the Syrian conflict resulted in a call for regime change, a challenge that upsets plans for a peace conference in Geneva. The final document adopted at the London meeting on Tuesday “again sets regime

Russian diplomatic activity prevents foreign invasion of Syria – poll

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MOSCOW. Oct 24 (Interfax) – Russian citizens are aware of the Russian-U.S. agreements concerning Syria, which are supported by UN resolutions, and think the deal has helped prevent a military operation against Syria, sociologists from the Russian Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) said. Some 68% of the respondents showed an interest in Syrian events, among them,

Obama Joins Putin War as Syria Jihadists Stalk Olympics

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Arkhipov and Henry Meyer – October 25, 2013) President Vladimir Putin is turning to Barack Obama for help protecting the costliest Winter Games ever from attacks by Islamic extremists, including hundreds of battle-hardened jihadists now fighting in Syria. About 400 Russian nationals, mainly from the North Caucasus, are currently battling

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in a changing world

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yulia Ponomareva, RBTH – October 17, 2013) As Lavrov’s achievements in the negotiations regarding the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria put him in the spotlight, RBTH takes a look at the man beyond his political persona. The agreement on the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons, which was

Interfax: Newspaper blames U.S. failure to sway Syria opposition for Geneva II delay

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(Interfax – October 17, 2013) The Geneva II international conference on Syria has been rescheduled once again due to the Syrian opposition’s reluctance to reach agreements, Russia’s Kommersant newspaper said on Thursday. The end of November or even December is now being discussed as a possible date for the conference instead of the middle of

RIA Novosti: Geneva-2 Talks to Start November 23 – Syrian Official

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, October 17, 2013) An international peace conference on Syria backed by Russia and the United States will take place on November 23-24, a senior Syrian governmental official said Thursday. The Geneva-2 conference will proceed despite leading Syrian opposition groups’ continuing reluctance to participate, Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil said at a

Lavrov calls Russian-U.S. agreement on Syrian chemical weapons renaissance of diplomacy

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(Interfax – BRUSSELS, October 15, 2013) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called the Russian-U.S. understandings on Syria’s chemical weapons a renaissance of diplomacy aimed not at building coalitions but at reaching common goals. Speaking at the Brussels-based Royal Institute for International Relations (Egmont Institute), Lavrov suggested that the world has switched to a polycentric

Taking the U.S.-Russia framework seriously; Cooperation between the White House and Kremlin may even bear fruit.

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexander Gasyuk, Nora FitzGerald, special to RBTH, October 8, 20-13) There is a long journey ahead to audit and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons program, analysts agree, and there are many concerns and inevitable delays in the days and weeks ahead. Yet the international community is closer than it

Putin hails Russian-U.S. ‘mutual understanding’ on Syria

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(Interfax – October 8, 2013) Russian President Vladimir Putin has welcomed the Syrian leadership’s response to the Russian-US proposal for eliminating the country’s chemical weapons, adding that he hoped this work would continue in the pace and spirit it had started in. He also expressed satisfaction with the position his US counterpart Barack Obama had

Interfax: Judging by how chemical weapons liquidation proceeds in Syria, we are on right path – Putin

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(Interfax – MOSCOW, October 2, 2013) Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was content with the situation development regarding chemical weapons liquidation in Syria. “Judging by what work related to the Syrian chemical weapons liquidation is currently being held, we have grounds to think that we are on the right path,” Putin said when answering

Interfax: Most Russians opposed to Libya-style intervention in Syria – poll

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(Interfax – October 2, 2013) Over half of polled Russians (59 per cent) are against an international military operation in Syria similar to the one that was carried out in Libya, the Russian news agency Interfax reported on 2 October, quoting an opinion poll carried out by the independent pollster Levada Centre amongst 1,601 Russian

Moscow to Conduct Its Own Probe into Syria Chemical Attacks

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, October 1, 2013) ­ Russia announced Tuesday it will carry out its own investigation into chemical weapons attacks in Syria as an international disarmament inspection team, reportedly comprising one Russian, arrived in the Middle Eastern nation. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow wanted to establish who was behind the August

Americans Say Putin Most Effective Leader on Syria, Obama Least – Poll

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(RIA Novosti – WASHINGTON, September 26, 2013) ­ Americans think Russian President Vladimir Putin was far and away the most effective world leader in dealing with the Syrian chemical weapons crisis, with US President Barack Obama trailing him in a distant second place, a new poll shows. Nearly half of 1,000 American adults polled ­

TRANSCRIPT (continued): [Putin at] meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club (transcript concluded)

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Valdai Club 2013 Meeting, Adapted from Screenshot of Valdai Club Video at youtube.com

(Kremlin.ru – Novgorod Region, September 19, 2013) [Complete transcript here http://eng.kremlin.ru/transcripts/6007] VLADIMIR PUTIN: And one more question for our American friend and colleague. What will the United States do about the budget deficit, the debt that has reached an incredible size? It is the largest debt in the United States’ post-war history. How will the

RIA Novosti: Russia Says Sarin Gas in August 21 Syria Attack Was ‘Homemade’

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(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, September 26, 2013) ­ Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with a US newspaper published Thursday that homemade sarin nerve agent was used in a chemical weapons attack in Damascus on August 21, an attack that the United States maintains was carried out by the Syrian regime. Lavrov

Syrian crisis: between unilateralism and collective effort

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexander Yakovenko, special to RBTH – September 24, 2013) Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, talks on Syria. It is widely agreed that the latest proposal to put Syrian chemical weapons under international control and subsequently destroy them has drastically changed the terms of debate on

RIA Novosti: Moscow Suspects Syrian Rebels of Holding CW Components

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(RIA Novosti – NEW YORK, September 25, 2013) ­ Russia insists that all chemical weapons in Syria, including chemical arms components possibly held by Syrian opposition forces, should be destroyed, the Russian foreign minister said. Speaking after a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in New York early on Wednesday, Moscow time, Russian

Saudi Arabia ‘a root’ of Syrian crisis – Russian expert

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(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 24, 2013) Russian Public Chamber member Sergei Markov said the world community must forge a mechanism for dealing with situations similar to the one in Syria. “One should make use of the energy of this crisis and work out a model of dealing with such conflicts,” Markov told the Open Rostrum

Drawing the Syrian poison

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yevgeny Shestakov, special to RBTH; Yevgeny Shestakov is Editor of the international politics desk at Rossiyskaya Gazeta. – September 23, 2013) Reporting from last week’s Valdai Club meeting as part of Foreign Minister Lavrov’s press retinue, Yevgeny Shestakov canvasses expert Russian opinion ­ both on and off the

Kremlin aide: there may be ‘some pretext’ for war on Assad if chemical arms scrapped

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(Interfax – VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, September 23, 2013) Syria may still be in danger of a military strike from abroad if it fulfills its commitment to scrap all its chemical weapons because there may be “some other pretext” for war, the Kremlin’s top aide said. Sergei Ivanov, president Vladimir Putin’s chief of staff, said in a

Interfax: West lacks irrefutable evidence of Syrian govt’s role in August 21 chemical attack – top Russian diplomat

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(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 24, 2013) Any arguments presented by the West that it was President Bashar al-Assad’s regime that carried out a chemical attack in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21 can be overturned, which is being done today, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said. “Strong objections can be presented in response

UN May Permit Force in Syria Only If Obligations Unfulfilled – Moscow

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(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, September 24, 2013) ­ The United Nations Security Council may permit armed intervention in Syria only if that government refuses to fulfill obligations, such as removing chemical weapons stockpiles, a senior Russian government official said Tuesday. Washington and Moscow are expected to clash at the UN General Assembly later this week

TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club (partial transcript continued)

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Valdai Club 2013 Meeting, Adapted from Screenshot of Valdai Club Video at youtube.com

(Kremlin.ru – Novgorod Region, September 19, 2013) SVETLANA MIRONYUK: Thank you. Mr President, Mr Rühe wants to respond. Mr Rühe, please go ahead. VOLKER RÜHE: President Putin, I go along with you, what you said on Iraq. And we were as critical; the French were, also. It was not a NATO ­ it was an

Interfax: Cyrillic marking on rocket splinter doesn’t implicate Syria government – Kremlin official [Sergei Ivanov]

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(Interfax – VLADIVOSTOK, Russia. September 21, 2013) The Kremlin’s chief of staff, in comments on a recent find in Syria, has dismissed suspicions that a Cyrillic inscription on a splinter of a rocket that apparently carried a chemical charge was evidence that the Syrian government was the perpetrator of last month’s chemical attacks near Damascus.

TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club (partial transcript continued)

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Valdai Club 2013 Meeting, Adapted from Screenshot of Valdai Club Video at youtube.com

(Kremlin.ru – Novgorod Region, September 19, 2013) MODERATOR SVETLANA MIRONYUK: They say that Senator McCain followed your example and published an article of his own in Pravda newspaper. He probably remembers from the Soviet years that Pravda was a well-known publication and the most popular newspaper in the country. True, a lot of time has

Putin Talks Syria, Gays and John McCain at Valdai

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Valdai Club 2013 Meeting, Adapted from Screenshot of Valdai Club Video at youtube.com

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – September 20, 2013) [View entire 3-hour event here http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-PtsodE-ZkY&feature=m-ch-fea] At the 10th-anniversary meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club on Thursday, President Vladimir Putin lapped up praise for his recent New York Times op-ed on the Syria crisis and his “achievement” of averting a U.S. military strike. Putin

TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club [partial transcript]

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Valdai Club 2013 Meeting, Adapted from Screenshot of Valdai Club Video at youtube.com

(Kremlin.ru – Novgorod Region, September 19, 2013) Vladimir Putin took part in the final plenary meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club. The theme of the club’s anniversary session is Russia’s Diversity for the Modern World. PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, friends, ladies and gentlemen, I hope that the place for your discussions,

Timeline, Assad estimates $1 billion adequate for weapons disposal – Russian expert

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 19, 2013) The estimates of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, according to which the disposal of Syrian chemical weapons would require approximately one year and cost about $1 billion, are fairly accurate, Chairman of the Council on the Foreign and Defense Policy Fyodor Lukyanov said. “It is probably close to the truth.

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