Tag Archive for U.S.-Russian Relations

Sanctions Update Part 3, Practical Steps.

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

Subject: Sanctions Update Part 3, Practical Steps. Date: 15 Oct 2014 From: Paul Backer <pauljbacker@gmail.com> Part 3. Practical aspects of sanctions impact optimization for Russian companies. Violating sanctions or hoping for a world without sanctions is not a sanctions policy. Effective sanctions policies optimize transacting and protect assets. They work at the nexus of regulatory,

Life in Russia with $80 oil

Oil Well file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Chris Weafer – October 17, 2014) Chris Weafer is Senior Partner at Macro-Advisory, which offers bespoke Russia-CIS consulting. From late 2010 until the middle of August this year, the price of Brent crude has traded within a relatively narrow range and averaged close to $110 per barrel. Over the

Interfax: Russian defence chief “seriously concerned” by US counterpart’s statement

Sergei Shoigu file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, October 16, 2014) US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel’s statement on the necessity of preparing the American army for “dealing with the Russian armed forces” is evidence that military scenarios near the borders of the Russian Federation are being worked on, Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu has told journalists. “Chuck Hagel’s point

Preparing for War Against the US on All Fronts – A Net Assessment of Russia’s Defense and Foreign Policy Since the Start of 2014

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

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 11, Issue 183 – Pavel Felgenhauer – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – October 16, 2014) In a series of recently published interviews, President Vladimir Putin (kremlin.ru, October 15), Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (Interfax, October 15) and national security council secretary Nikolai Patrushev (Rossiyskaya Gazeta, October 15) have outlined Moscow’s strategic vision

Hagel: U.S. Army Must Be Ready to Face ‘Revisionist’ Russia

Chuck Hegel gesturing, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 16, 2014) U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has issued a warning to his country’s armed forces, saying they should be prepared for the security threat posed by a revitalized Russia. “The demands on the [U.S.] Army will only grow more diverse and complicated going forward,” Hagel told the

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Kerry and Lavrov take a practical approach

File Photo of John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov at Separte Podiums, Kerry with a Visible Earpiece; Adapted from Photo at state.gov

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Nikolai Litovkin, RBTH – October 16, 2014) During a three-hour meeting in Paris on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry discussed cooperation against ISIS in Iraq and Syria as well as the political crisis in Ukraine. After the talks, Lavrov said

TRANSCRIPT: Kerry Remarks at a Solo Press Availability

John Kerry file photo

(US Department of State – John Kerry, Secretary of State – October 14, 2014) Paris, France SECRETARY KERRY: Well, good evening, everybody. Thanks for your patience. This has been a very productive couple of days, and I’m glad to have an opportunity to be able to catch up on the discussions that we’ve had, both

Experts Divided Over Whether Sanctions Against Russia Are Working

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Voice of America – Andre de Nesnera – October 15, 2014) After several rounds of international sanctions against Russia for its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in March and support of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, experts are divided over whether they are working. “It depends on what your understanding of the purpose of sanctions

RIA Novosti: Moscow Says Has Every Right to Introduce Sanctions Against US, But Chooses Not to

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated with Flags Behind

VIENNA, October 16 (RIA Novosti) – Amid numerous US sanctions against Russia, Moscow has every right to begin introducing sanctions against the United States, but chooses not to follow this path, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister told RIA Novosti. “This is a reflexive, instincts-based reaction of Washington on what does not fit into the American idea

Most Russians Think Western Sanctions Will Boost Nation’s Economy

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – October 16, 2014) Despite an economic slump and rising inflation, the majority of Russians believe that Western sanctions and Russia’s retaliatory ban on food imports will actually help the economy, a poll published Thursday showed. Only 25 percent of respondents expect sanctions to damage the Russian economy,

Russia Can’t Be Blackmailed Over Ukraine, Putin Says

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – October 15, 2014) It’s futile for the U.S. and its allies to “blackmail” Russia over the Ukraine crisis, President Vladimir Putin said in a newspaper interview. Russia’s partners should remember the risks involved in disputes between nuclear powers, Putin said. He accused Barack Obama of adopting a “hostile” approach in naming

Interfax: Medvedev: Reset for Russia-U.S. relations impossible for now

File Photo of Barack Hussein Obama and Dmitry Medvedev with Flags, Shaking Hands

(Interfax – October 15, 2014) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev believes a reset for Russia-U.S. relations will be impossible while sanctions are still in place, at least until the sides “go back to square one.” “No, of course not. It’s absolutely impossible,” Medvedev said in an interview with the channel CNBS answering a question whether

Interfax: Russian security chief says relations with USA resemble cold war

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated with Flags Behind

(Interfax – Moscow, October 14, 2014) The USA was involved in the collapse of the Soviet Union and tried to destroy Russia; Washington’s current attitude to Moscow resembles a cold war, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev has said. “President Barack Obama’s new administration started sending signals about the need to resume a mutually beneficial

Interfax: Russia will protect itself from Western sanctions by long-term measures, says Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov file photo

(Interfax – October 14, 2014) Russia will use long-term measures to protect itself from Western sanctions, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said. “We will certainly adopt all the measures needed to protect ourselves from unlawful restrictions. You are aware of the resources that are being allocated for these purposes. Beyond any doubt, it will

Letter from America

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

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Tim Ash, Standard Bank – October 13, 2014) I spent the last past week in DC trying to gauge better the Western response function to the crisis in Ukraine and with Russia. Herein are a few big picture take-outs from my discussions with a range of academics, journalists and

RIA Novosti: Lavrov: Moscow Opposes Following ‘Primitive Scenario’ of Confrontation With West

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MOSCOW, October 13 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow opposes confrontation with the West as a joint international effort is required to counter threats to global stability, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday. “Despite the hostile behavior of the Western partners, we still oppose sliding into the primitive scenario of a direct confrontation between Russia and

Russia’s Oil Field Actions to Take Edge Off U.S. Sanctions

Oil Well file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Stephen Bierman, Elena Mazneva – October 10, 2014) U.S. and European Union moves to pressure Russia by threatening its oil output overlook one detail: a mass of conventional resources across Siberia, according to Natural Resources Minister Sergei Donskoi. Russia will distribute more oil and gas deposits found in traditional areas during

RIA Novosti: U.S. Lethal Aid to Ukraine Could Spark Proxy War With Russia: Scholar

Ukraine Map and Flag

WASHINGTON, October 10 (RIA Novosti) – A proxy war between the United States and Russia could erupt in Ukraine should Washington decide to provide lethal assistance to help Kiev in its crackdown on independence supporters in the east, a scholar from National Defense University (NDU) told RIA Novosti. “Policy-wise it could lead to slow march

TRANSCRIPT: Nuland Remarks at the Aspen Institute

Victoria Nuland file photo

US Department of State October 9, 2014 Remarks at the Aspen Institute Victoria Nuland Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Berlin, Germany Assistant Secretary Nuland: It’s wonderful to be here with all of you at the Aspen Conference. Thank you to Aspen. Thank you to Microsoft for your support, this fantastic space. Thank

Ukrainian Tragedy and a New Cold War

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

Subject: UKRAINIAN TRAGEDY AND A NEW COLD WAR Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2014 From: George Enteen <gxe1@psu.edu> UKRAINIAN TRAGEDY AND A NEW COLD WAR George Enteen Professor Emeritus of Russian History Penn State University The appalling events in Ukraine have but a single explanation in the minds of Americans – Russian aggression. This is personified

Little Hope for Improved US-Russia Relations, Analysts Say

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

(Voice of America – Andre de Nesnera – October 8, 2014) Recent statements at the United Nations by President Barack Obama and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov indicated things are not well between Washington and Moscow. President Obama said the international community must urgently address what he called “Russian aggression in Europe” — a reference

TRANSCRIPT: Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland’s Remarks at Shevchenko University in Kyiv

Victoria Nuland file photo

(US Embassy Ukraine – October 7, 2014) Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv Thank you Rector Huberski, thank you students. I am so sorry to be late, I am so sorry to keep you waiting. I am so delighted to be here with the future

RIA Novosti: Lavrov on Western Sanctions: Lifting Them Is Up to Those Who Imposed Them

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

MOSCOW, October 8 (RIA Novosti) – Speaking about the possible removal of sanctions against Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday that the matter was for Western states to decide. “Sanctions is the business of our western colleagues, the business of the countries that decided to use this illegal instrument for some reason, possibly

Interfax: Tymoshenko and Nuland discuss implementation of Minsk protocol for Ukraine

Victoria Nuland file photo

(Interfax – October 7, 2014) Ukraine’s Batkivshchyna party leader Yulia Tymoshenko and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland met in Kyiv recently to discuss the implementation of the September 5 Minsk agreements offering steps to settle the conflict in south-eastern Ukraine. Gazprom proposes to pay for gas transit with Ukrainian debt Gazprom proposes to

Russian companies’ failures to adopt effective sanctions policies worsen sanctions’ impact

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

Subject: Sanctions, Part 2. Date: Tue, 7 Oct 2014 From: Paul Backer <pauljbacker@gmail.com> Part 2. Russian companies’ failures to adopt effective sanctions policies worsen sanctions’ impact. Russian companies failed to address key aspects of sanctions: 1. Large law firm incentives are against giving operationally useful sanctions advice and 2. Nature and enforcement of sanctions differ

Russia’s Nuclear Euphoria Ignores Reality

Russia ICBM on Mobile Launcher

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Golts – October 7, 2014) Muscovites are staging a campaign against Western sanctions called: “Fighting sanctions with fashion.” Participants trade in their old T-shirts with Western slogans for new shirts bearing such inscriptions as: “Sanctions? My Iskander laughs at sanctions,” or “The Topol couldn’t care less about sanctions” –

RIA Novosti: US to ‘Roll Back’ Sanctions Against Russia if It Fulfills Minsk Agreement

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated with Flags Behind

WASHINGTON, October 3 (RIA Novosti) – US ready to lift some of the sanctions against Russia if the ceasefire agreement reached in Minsk is observed, US Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland stated. “When the Minsk agreement is fully implemented, we can and will begin to roll back some sanctions. It is in Russia’s hands

RIA Novosti: Biden Says US Forced EU Countries to Impose Sanctions Against Russia

File Photo of Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin in front of U.S. Flag and Russian Flag

MOSCOW, October 3 (RIA Novosti) – The United States and US President Barack Obama personally forced the European Union members to introduce sanctions against Russian over its stance on the Ukrainian crisis, US Vice President Joe Biden announced. Washington rallied “the world’s most developed countries to impose real cost on Russia” and introduce restrictive measures

‘Same-Sex Adoption’ Killed U.S.-Russian FLEX Exchange Program

FLEX Student Exchange Program Logo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – October 2, 2014) David Petrosyan had hoped his 15-year-old sister would spend a year studying at a U.S. high school, something he had done years earlier that had a lasting impact on his ambitious academic pursuits. “For me, doing a FLEX program proved that I can achieve something with

Putin Doesn’t Make Decisions Under Pressure, Sechin Says

Igor Sechin file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Arkhipov, Ryan Chilcote – September 30, 2014) President Vladimir Putin won’t be swayed by sanctions over Ukraine because he doesn’t allow such pressures to affect his decisions, said Igor Sechin, head of OAO Rosneft (ROSN), Russia’s biggest oil company. “He will never let himself be pressured into making a decision,”

Russia cancels participation in U.S. education program after Russian student stayed in U.S. – children’s rights commissioner

FLEX Student Exchange Program Logo

(Interfax – October 1, 2014) Russia has withdrawn from the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) education program with the U.S. as the latter has violated its obligations on returning Russian schoolchildren home after they studied there, says Russian presidential commissioner on children’s rights Pavel Astakhov. “One of the reasons is the gross violation by the host

RIA Novosti: Obama: There Will Be No War Between NATO and Russia

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

WASHINGTON, September 29 (RIA Novosti) – US President Barack Obama has excluded the possibility of military confrontation between Russia and NATO over the Ukrainian crisis in his interview to CBS Monday. “No, I don’t think there’s going to be a military confrontation between NATO and Russia, although we have worked very hard to reassure that

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

Map of Iraq

(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

U.S.-Russia Cycle of One-Upmanship Could Prove Catastrophic

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

(Moscow Times editorial – themoscowtimes.com – September 29, 2014) The Ukraine crisis has sparked a resurgence of one-upmanship in U.S.-Russian relations, unparalleled since the height of the Cold War, that – if left unchecked – could take a truly catastrophic turn. After the Maidan movement brought an end to Viktor Yanukovych’s reign in Kiev, Russia

Russia needs reforms, not a sanctions war

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Vladimir Mau, special to RBTH – September 24, 2014) Vladimir Mau is the rector of the Russian Presidential Academy of the National Economy and Public Administration. Mutual sanctions are always extremely unpleasant, and the application of sanctions and the “hot” trade war between Russia, Europe and the United

Why study Russian? It’s not all politics

Russian Folk Singers file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Ivan Savvine, special to RBTH – September 10, 2014) Ivan Savvine is an art historian and writer as well as a teacher. He was raised in St. Petersburg. There is a popular belief that in the United States, interest in all things Russian and in particular Russian language

WHITE HOUSE TRANSCRIPT: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and U.S. President Barack Obama in the Oval Office on Sept. 18

White House

(White House – September 18, 2014) PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, it is a great pleasure to welcome President Poroshenko to the Oval Office. He and I have been working together a lot over the last several months. And as I told him personally, and I want to repeat publicly, I think his leadership has been absolutely

Moscow Times: Ukraine Crisis Halves Number of U.S. and EU Tourists Visiting Russia

File Photo of Airplane Approaching Runway About to Land

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 10, 2014) Russian travel agencies say 40 to 60 percent fewer European and U.S. holiday makers came to Russia in the first half of this year than in the same period of 2013, while three times fewer Russian tourists went abroad, a trend they attribute to bad blood between

Interfax: Sanctions against Russia already affecting production of tight reserves, could impact shelf

Oil Worker file photo

KHANTY-MANSIISK. Sept 10 (Interfax) – The sanctions imposed by the EU and U.S. against Russia are already affecting the production of tight reserves, Russian Natural Resources Minister Sergei Donskoi said at a briefing in Khanty-Mansiisk. “The sanctions, first due to technology, have not yet impacted [the country's economy], but are already affecting the production of

Interfax: State obligation is to defend business from illegitimate actions of foreign countries, companies – Medvedev

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev Before Gold Flag with Elaborate Design

GORKI. Sept 9 (Interfax) – The state will continue to provide support to Russian business amid the Western sanctions, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said during a meeting with NOVATEK (MOEX: NVTK) CEO Leonid Mikhelson. “You can have no doubt that in the face of such unfair actions the state has always supported and will

Consumers Stay Away From Moscow’s Malls as Sanctions Deepen Russia’s Slump

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 9, 2014) Nearly 25 percent fewer people visited Moscow’s malls in the week leading up the start of the school year than in the same period of 2013, a survey said, indicating that Western sanctions and an economic slowdown are hitting Russian consumer demand. A report by consumer market

Interfax: Russia dramatically reduces imports of sanctioned products from non-CIS in August

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

MOSCOW. Sept 9 (Interfax) – Russia dramatically reduced imports of products that are under the food embargo in August compared with July. The food embargo was imposed on August 7, 2014. According to the Federal Customs Service (FCS), vegetable, dairy, poultry and pork supplies declined the most dramatically. So, in August the cost of imports

Baseball: The great Russian pastime?

Rotating Baseball

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Anna Boiko, special to RBTH – September 7, 2014) Baseball has struggled in Russia, but is showing signs of life among the nation’s youth. The all-American sport of baseball has few fans among the Russians, who have long favored soccer or hockey. Yet the game has its own

RIA Novosti: Political Analyst: US Backs Kiev Regime As Only Anti-Russian Force in Ukraine

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated with Flags Behind

MOSCOW, September 8 (RIA Novosti) – The United States supports Nazi-like Kiev regime as it is the only anti-Russian force that exists in Ukraine, director of the Moscow-based Institute of Globalization Studies said Monday. “The US supports them out of need, simply because they are the only existing anti-Russian,Russophobic force that exists in Ukraine. It’s

Moscow Times: Mrs. America Defies Politics and Brings Beauty Pageant to Crimea

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 5, 2014) While NATO on Thursday called on Russia to “end its illegal annexation of Crimea,” the organizers of a U.S. beauty pageant seem unfazed about the peninsula’s political status, and are planning to ship the country’s most beautiful married women to Sevastopol. Organizers of the Mrs. America beauty

Moscow Times: U.S.-Russia Split Over Ukraine Gives Islamic State Upper Hand


(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – September 5, 2014) As the NATO summit gets under way in Wales and world leaders put on a united front against the growing threat posed by radical terrorist organization the Islamic State, continued bickering between Russia and the West over events in Ukraine threatens to give the

Interfax: Stepashin: U.S., its allies are looking to get Putin out of power, isolate Russia

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated with Flags Behind

MOSCOW. Sept 5 (Interfax) – Sergei Stepashin, chairman of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society and former prime minister of Russia, believes the purpose of the sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its allies on Russia is to get Vladimir Putin out of power and isolate Russia on the international scene. In his letter to U.S.

Poll: Most Russians Would Sacrifice Booze and Cigarettes to Hurt West

Cigarette Being Lit

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 4, 2014) More than 70 percent of Russians would ban imports of booze and cigarettes from Western countries in retaliation for sanctions, but few would give up foreign cars or pay an additional tax on vacations abroad, a recent poll indicated. Other popular measures included blacklisting foreign hotels (supported

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Hot rhetoric, chilly war? Politicians and analysts on the future of U.S.-Russia relations

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated with Flags Behind

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – David Miller, RBTH – September 3, 2014) Relations between the U.S. and Russia deteriorated in 2014 at a rate few would have predicted, as divisions over civil unrest in Ukraine escalated into tit-for-tat rounds of economic sanctions. But is it a new Cold War? Political observers – and

RIA Novosti: “John Tefft Sworn In as New US Ambassador to Russia”

John Tefft file photo

WASHINGTON, September 3 (RIA Novosti) – The new US Ambassador to Russia John Tefft has been sworn into office in Washington, the US Embassy in Moscow reported on Twitter. “Congratulations! Today John Kerry has sworn new US Ambassador to Russia John Tefft into office,” the Tweet on Tuesday said. The date of the diplomat’s arrival

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