RBTH: Polls: Corporate corruption in Russia falls to U.S. level

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

Russian companies have recorded a drop in the number of kickbacks and bribes in their sectors, a study by Ernst & Young has revealed. According to the survey, corporate corruption in Russia has dropped so much that it is now on a par with the U.S. A similar conclusion has been reached by experts from PwC. (Russia Beyond the Headlines […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Iran and Russia Move Closer but Their Alliance Has Limits” – Reuters

Iran Map and Flag

When Iran took delivery of the first parts of an advanced Russian air defense system this month, it paraded the anti-aircraft missile launchers … to mark Army Day. … the Kremlin’s decision a year ago to press ahead with the stalled sale of the S-300 system was the first clear evidence of a growing partnership between Russia and Iran that […]

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NEWSLINK Russia Direct: “Reasons to be hopeful after the Russia-NATO Summit. Russia and NATO renewed their dialogue for the first time since the beginning of the Ukraine crisis, but the talks failed to produce any results. However, the very fact that the summit took place means a lot and gives reason to hope that the two sides can eventually find a compromise.”

File Photo of Official at Podium in Front of Large NATO-Russia Council Signage » Read more

Same Level of Corruption Recorded in Russian, U.S. Businesses – Survey

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 23, 2016) Thirty-four percent of respondents in Russia and and the United States agree that bribery and corruption are widespread in their country, a survey by multinational financial services company EY reported. The survey results show business professionals in both countries agreed that corruption in business was widespread in their respective nations. EY – […]

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NEWSLINK RBTH/Gazeta.ru: “Why Russia hopes for realism from the next U.S. president. With the election picture gradually becoming clearer in the U.S., political analyst Fyodor Lukyanov asks whether the identity of the next American president really matters in Russia, and explores the crisis of realism in U.S. foreign policy.”

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain » Read more

Poll Shows Russians Want Trump to Win U.S. Presidential Election

Donald Trump

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 20, 2016) The majority of Russian citizens would like to see Donald Trump become the next president of the United States, according to a poll held by the Britain-based research firm YouGov. 20,000 citizens from G20 countries were surveyed and asked their opinions on the upcoming U.S. elections. Thirty-one percent of Russians gave Trump […]

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Bilateral trade: Russia and U.S. must ‘avoid the point of no return’

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

Commodity turnover between Russia and the U.S. has declined by 50 percent since the introduction of sanctions However, Russia is not losing hope and is offering attractive conditions for small and medium-sized American businesses looking to invest in the country. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ANNA KUCHMA, RBTH – April 20, 2016) [Charts here http://rbth.com/business/2016/04/20/bilateral-trade-russia-and-us-must-avoid-the-point-of-no-return_586555] With the introduction […]

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NEWSWATCH: “‘But I love Russia, and I love Russians’; Former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul speaks to Meduza”

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

First … it is true that the United States … from the very beginning, has had allies that are autocratic regimes. Our first … was France, a monarchy and a dictatorship. … Without the French, we would have lost the war against the British. … then there was the French Revolution, and there was a debate … about whether we […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Perpetual Geopolitics. Putin Returns to the Historical Pattern.” – Foreign Affairs/Stephen Kotkin

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

For half a millennium, Russian foreign policy has been characterized by soaring ambitions that have exceeded the country’s capabilities. Beginning with … Ivan the Terrible … Russia managed to expand at an average rate of 50 square miles per day for hundreds of years, eventually covering one-sixth of the earth’s landmass. * * *  Throughout, the country has been haunted […]

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Ben Aris : JRL#71 response/Brian Whitmore

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

Subject: JRL#71 response/Brian Whitmore Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2016 From: Ben Aris <baris@bne.eu> (Ben Aris, editor-in-chief – bne IntelliNews – bne.eu) I would like to respond to item #9 in JRL #71 of April 15 “What I learned on Russian TV” by Brian Whitmore. I should do a ripose entitled “what I learned from reading this piece”, but I am […]

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Ford Mulls New Russia Investment as Quarterly Sales Jump 93%

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Andrey Lemeshko, Yuliya Fedorinova – April 14, 2016) Ford Motor Co., which spent more than $1.5 billion with a partner in the past five years to build cars and engine factories in Russia, is studying new investments in the country in a bet on economic recovery. The national car market could still become Europe’s biggest, and […]

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Putin doesn’t expect Western sanctions to be lifted soon, says Russia to keep countersanctions in place

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

MOSCOW. April 14 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin does not expect the Western sanctions to be lifted from Russia in the near future. “I don’t think our partners will decide to lift the restrictions and limitations from our country in the near future,” Putin said during a Q&A session on Thursday. “Even though the Minsk Agreements on southeastern Ukraine […]

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Putin: Obama ‘Personally’ Invited Russian President to Nuclear Summit

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – April 8, 2016) Russian President Vladimir Putin said U.S. President Barack Obama had “personally” invited him to attend the nuclear summit held in Washington last week, but he declined over insufficient prominence offered to Russia at the event, and Moscow’s complaints about implementation of a disarmament deal. “Yes, I was invited, and […]

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Russia’s Inability to Deal with Its Past Imperils Its Future, Inozemtsev Says

Balaklava harbour, the cattle pier, Crimea, Ukraine, 1855; adapted from image at loc.gov; Fenton, Roger, 1819-1869, photographer;

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 7, 2016) Russians love to compare themselves and their country with others and especially with the United States and to ask why others have done better than they have, Vladislav Inozemtsev says; but in general, Russians focus on differences in economic, legal or belief systems rather than on the critical problem […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Mikhail Lesin’s Strange Death in U.S. Follows a Fall From Russia’s Elite” – New York Times

U.S. Capitol at Twilight With Washington Monument, National Mall, Washington, D.C., Environs and Sunset in Background

It took more than four months for the city’s medical examiner to announce the cause of death … not a heart attack … but rather ‘blunt force injuries.’ But the autopsy left the manner of death undetermined. … fuel[ing] speculation … Lesin might have been murdered, presumably by a financial or political rival …. *** police … continue to treat […]

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NEWSLINK Newsweek.com/Ben Nimmo: “PUTIN’S PARANOIA IS DRIVING HIS FOREIGN ADVENTURES”

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

The Soviet Adventures Of Steve Jobs

Mac Computer file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Carl Schreck – April 1, 2016) In the summer of 1985, a young commercial attache at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow sat down with two representatives of the California computer company Apple who were visiting the heart of the Soviet empire. One was an “older guy,” the attache, Mike Merin, recalls. The other was “this lanky, […]

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Trump’s New Russia Adviser Has Deep Ties to Kremlin’s Gazprom

Donald Trump

Carter Page brings a “real-world” resume-and says his close relations with Russian business are a strength. (Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Zachary Mider – March 30, 2016) A globe-trotting American investment banker who’s built a career on deals with Russia and its state-run gas company, Carter Page says his business has suffered directly from the U.S. economic sanctions imposed after Russia’s […]

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Russian Karjakin to Compete in Chess World Championship Title Match

Chess Pieces File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – March 30, 2016) Grandmaster Sergei Karjakin will become the first Russian since 2008 to compete in a title match of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) championship, after he defeated Fabiano Caruana of the United States in Moscow on Monday, according to an announcement on the FIDE website. Karjakin, playing the white pieces, […]

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Nuclear cooperation still key for Russia, despite boycott of U.S. summit

Radioactivity Symbol

Despite refusing to attend the final Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C., Moscow remains committed to nuclear nonproliferation and securing radioactive waste. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – VLADIMIR MIKHEEV, SPECIAL TO RBTH – March 30, 2016) Russia will not be in attendance at the fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit, taking place March 31-April 1 in Washington, D.C. […]

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Budweiser Is Having a Ball in Russia

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Khrennikov – March 30, 2016) Budweiser is enjoying an unlikely source of growth in Russia’s declining beer market, even as the all-American brand continues to struggle at home. In a country where brewing output has fallen more than 30 percent since 2008, the self-proclaimed King of Beers is growing sales at a double-digit pace, according […]

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Russian minister and U.S. ambassador discuss privatization, sanctions

John Tefft file photo

(Interfax – March 28, 2016) The Russian privatization and sanctions against Russia were discussed during the meeting between Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev and UEc.S. Ambassador to Russia John Tefft in Moscow on March 28, along with other aspects of the Russia-U.S. trade and economic cooperation. “We have discussed a broad spectrum of the Russian-American economic ties, including both […]

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Russian, U.S. Chess Grandmasters Face-Off In World Champions Tournament

Chess Pieces File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 29, 2016) Eight of the world’s top chess grandmasters have converged on Moscow to compete for the right to challenge reigning World Chess Federation (FIDE) champion Magnus Carlsen for the championship title, the FIDE website reported. Going into the final round on Monday, Sergei Karjakin of Russia and Fabiano Caruana of the United States […]

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U.S. Embassy: No way of exchanging Savchenko for Bout and Yaroshenko

File Photo of Viktor Bout Behind Bars

(Interfax – March 29, 2016) Washington is not considering the possibility of exchanging Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko, who has been sentenced in Russia to 22 years in prison, for Russian citizens Konstantin Yaroshenko and Viktor Bout, currently serving prison terms in the United States for drug trafficking and arms dealing respectively, the U.S. Embassy in Russia has said. “No, we […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry

File Photo of John Kerry Shaking Hands with Vladimir Putin as Ambassador Looks On

Vladimir Putin received in the Kremlin US Secretary of State John Kerry. Mr Kerry arrived for a meeting with the Russian President after his talks with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Secretary of State, colleagues, I would like to heartily welcome all of you here. We are always glad to host you as your […]

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It Isn’t Time to Normalize With Russia Yet

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Marc Champion – March 22, 2016) Marc Champion writes editorials on international affairs. He was previously Istanbul bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal. He was also an editor at the Financial Times, the editor-in-chief of the Moscow Times and a correspondent for the Independent in Washington, the Balkans and Moscow. He is based in London. […]

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NEWSWATCH Reuters: “Risk of nuclear war in Europe growing, warns Russian ex-minister [Igor Ivanov]”

Iskander Missile with Launch file photo

The East-West standoff over the Ukraine crisis has brought the threat of nuclear war in Europe closer than at any time since the 1980s…. said Igor Ivanov, Russia’s foreign minister from 1998 to 2004 and now head of a Moscow-based think-tank founded by the Russian government. … Russia and the United States have cut their nuclear arsenals [but] the pace […]

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Interfax: Russia submits proposals to U.S. on monitoring truce in Syria

Syria Map

(Interfax – March 21, 2016) The Russian Defense Ministry submitted proposals on the provision and monitoring of the cessation of hostilities in Syria to the United States on Feb. 25 through military diplomatic channels, Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi, head of the Main Operative Department of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff, has said. “This document specifies a mechanism of consultations […]

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NEWSWATCH: “How Putin Could Make Russia Great Again” – Newsweek.com/William Courtney, Donald Jensen

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

After Russia annexed Crimea … Obama dismissed it as a regional power that acts ‘out of weakness.’ [ ] Russia is more … but a penchant for zero-sum statecraft and coercing neighbors lessens its stature. By cooperating more in the international arena, Russia could become a greater power.  … Putin’s announcement of a military drawdown in Syria hints that Russia […]

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NEWSLINK: “SYRIA: U.S.-RUSSIAN TEPID WAR. Syria appears unlikely to serve as a vehicle to improve the wider U.S.-Russia relationship in any sustainable way. A U.S.-Russian Tepid War can still lead to plenty of collateral damage.” – Valdai/Paul Saunders

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NEWSWATCH: “Don’t Fear the Russians” – New York Times/Anatol Lieven

Aerial Photo of Pentagon and Environs

Writing in the New York Times, Anatol Lieven argues for greater U.S.-Russian engagement on Ukraine and Syria. If you believe many of the commentators and policy makers in Washington … Putin … is an expansionist on the march. … he annexed Crimea and fueled a destabilizing conflict in eastern Ukraine. … intervened in the Syrian civil war and rescued his […]

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NEWSWATCH: “What is the best way to describe Vladimir Putin’s Russia?” – Reuters/John Lloyd

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

In January of this year, a British judge, Robert Owen, said … Putin … was ‘probably’ a murderer. * * * Litvinenko’s widow, Marina … called on Prime Minister David Cameron to expel all Russian spies … and for a range of … sanctions … on several figures close to the murder … includ[ing Putin] himself. * * * In […]

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TRANSCRIPT: “Ukrainian Reforms Two Years After the Maidan Revolution and the Russian Invasion” – Senate Testimony by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

(U.S. Department of State – March 15, 2016) Testimony of Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Statement Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Washington, DC As prepared Thank you Chairman Corker, Ranking Member Cardin, members of this committee for the opportunity to join you today and for the personal investment so many of you have made […]

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