Kennan Cable No.24: Russian Foreign Policy in the Arctic: Balancing Cooperation and Competition

Arctic Map

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Stacy R. Closson, Assistant Professor, Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, University of Kentucky – June 26, 2017) Introduction The Arctic region presents a particularly interesting case study of Russian foreign policy. In a time when Russia is showing renewed aggression on three fronts – the Baltic Sea region, Syria, and Ukraine – and meddling in […]

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NEWSLINK: “The UN’s Nuclear Weapon Talks May Be The Most Important Thing Nobody’s Paying Attention To. On Monday, a quixotic and necessary conference kicked off at the United Nations” – Huffington Post/Alexander Zaitchik

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“Over protests from the U.S. and other nuclear powers, more than 120 countries began work on a treaty at the United Nations this week with the aim of banishing nuclear weapons from the face and the oceans of the earth. In a sign of mounting nuclear anxiety around the globe, the conference timeline is extremely condensed by U.N. standards. As […]

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Russians Happier Than They Look, UN Study Shows

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 20, 2017) Don’t be misled by those grumpy faces on the Moscow metro: Russia is the 49th happiest place on Earth and it is becoming happier, a new study has found. The United Nation’s yearly World Happiness Report measures “subjective well-being” in 155 countries along criteria such as GDP per capita and life expectancy, […]

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Moscow Times: Read Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s Poem to Russia’s Late UN Ambassador

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 21, 2017) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has published a poem dedicated to his country’s late permanent representative to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin. Churkin died unexpectedly yesterday in New York, reportedly from heart problems, just a day shy of his 65th birthday. Since then, many politicians and diplomats have paid their respects to […]

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UN Braces as Trump’s Detente With Russia Upsets Balance of Power

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Kambiz Foroohar – January 31, 2017) President Donald #Trump’s outreach to #Russia is reverberating through the United Nations, where U.S. allies worry that a partnership between Washington and Moscow could undermine a historic balance of power dating to the early days of the Cold War. For decades, the five veto-wielding members of the 15-nation Security Council […]

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UN Syrian peace plan deal: What was agreed upon in New York?

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On Dec. 18 in New York, members of the International Syria Support Group agreed on the principles of reaching a political settlement to the crisis in Syria. Later, after five hours of discussions, the group’s decisions on Syria were unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council. But what questions are still hindering progress? (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Plenary session of St Petersburg International Cultural Forum

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(Kremlin.ru – December 14, 2015) Vladimir Putin spoke at the plenary session of the IV St Petersburg International Cultural Forum. The IV St Petersburg International Cultural Forum is taking place on December 14-16, 2015. Every year the forum brings together experts in culture, politicians, representatives of state bodies and business people, and this year’s event is dedicated to the 70th […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting of the Mariinsky Theatre Board of Trustees

Marinsky Theater file photo

(Kremlin.ru – December 9, 2015) Vladimir Putin held a meeting of the Mariinsky Theatre Board of Trustees. Items on the agenda included establishing a branch of the Mariinsky Theatre in Primorye Territory, using the Primorye Opera and Ballet Theatre as a base, and other projects the theatre is involved in, in particular, organisation of the Moscow Easter Festival, which will […]

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NEWSWATCH AP: “UN: Polio Outbreak in Ukraine Is a State of Emergency”

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

The AP covers the WHO’s reaction to public health issues in war-torn Ukraine. The World Health Organization is urging Ukraine’s health ministry to declare a state of emergency due to a polio outbreak … In September, Ukraine announced two polio cases — the first in Europe since 2010. * * * Half of Ukraine’s children have not been vaccinated against […]

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UN refugee agency delivers aid to eastern Ukraine for first time in months

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

(United Nations – UN News Centre- un.org – November 9, 2015) [Reprinted with the permission of the United Nations.] The United Nations refugee agency has managed to deliver aid for the first time in over two months to areas of eastern Ukraine beyond Government control where two million people are in urgent need of assistance, reaching 12,000 people – a […]

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UN: War in Donbass takes 8,000 lives

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

(Interfax – September 18, 2015) At least 8,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the hostilities in eastern Ukraine, Christof Heyns, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary execution, has said. Eight thousand people have died, and according to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, most of them have been civilians. Artillery shelling incidents are observed on both sides, […]

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RBTH: Russia waits on U.N. response over claim to extend Arctic borders

Arctic Map

After 14 years, Moscow is renewing an effort to claim a vast territory on the outer margin of the continental shelf abutting Russia’s land mass in the Arctic. What are the economic benefits of acquiring the legal rights to this underwater area and is Russia’s claim likely to be approved? (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH […]

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RBTH: The battle for Arctic heats up

Arctic Map

Russian scientists say their new model for the Arctic’s tectonic evolution shows that the underwater Lomonosov and Mendeleev Ridges are part of the Eurasian mainland. This apparently substantiates Russia’s claim to 1.2 million square kilometers of Arctic sea shelf. At stake is control over vast natural resources, and opposition from western nations is almost certain. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – […]

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NEWSWATCH New York Times: As the Arctic Thaws, New Temptations

Arctic Map

The New York Times comments on Russia’s attempt to use the United Nations to expand Russian territory in the Arctic, accompanied by expanded Russian military activity in the region. As the Arctic rapidly thaws and surrenders access to its awesome wealth of energy and precious minerals, it is inevitable that nations in the far north will stake claims over huge […]

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Half of Russians in favour of MH17 tribunal

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Henry Kirby in London – August 5, 2015) [Charts here bne.eu/content/story/bnechart-half-russians-favour-mh17-tribunal] Nearly half of all Russians would support the creation of a UN international tribunal to investigate who was responsible for last year’s MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine, according to a poll by Russia’s Levada Centre. This is in stark contrast to the clear […]

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Putin Scheduled to Address UN General Assembly

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – July 28, 2015) Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend this year’s United Nations General Assembly in September, according to a provisional list of speakers released by the UN. Putin plans to address the gathering of the world’s heads of states and governments on its opening day, Sept. 28, according to the list […]

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UN: At least 5 million Ukrainian citizens in need of humanitarian aid

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(Interfax – July 10, 2015) At least 5 million Ukrainian citizens are in need of humanitarian aid, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said on July 10. And 1.4 million of them are internally displaced persons. According to the information of the UN, the most vulnerable group is people living in the area of the so-called “contact […]

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UNOCHA: Five things you need to know about the crisis in Ukraine

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

(From the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – unocha.org – ©2015 Reprinted with the permission of the United Nations – also appeared at unocha.org/top-stories/all-stories/five-things-you-need-know-about-crisis-ukraine – June 29, 2015 ) “We can make a difference … but we do need to get the funds,” said UN Resident Coordinator Neal Walker on Friday at a New York Headquarters Briefing on […]

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Ukraine: UN kicks-off campaign to reach displaced persons with humanitarian aid

UN Building file photo

(UN News Centre  – un.org – Dec. 31, 2014) Amid continuing fighting and a deteriorating humanitarian situation in Ukraine, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today announced it is launching an initiative aimed at ferrying aid to the country’s internally displaced persons (IDPs), as well as other vulnerable citizens trapped by the ongoing hostilities. The latest figures from the UN human rights office, OHCHR, […]

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Interfax: Donetsk separatists urge UN to send peacekeepers to eastern Ukraine

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Interfax – Moscow, November 25, 2014) The leadership of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic [DPR] has suggested that a mixed Russian-European peacekeeping contingent should be sent to eastern Ukraine. “We urge the United Nations to send a mixed peacekeeping contingent including Russian and European peacekeepers,” the deputy speaker of the supreme council of the DPR, Denys Pushylin [Denis Pushilin], told […]

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RIA Novosti: UN Needs Access to Mass Graves in Donetsk: Official

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GENEVA, October 8 (RIA Novosti) – UN observers need access to mass graves discovered near the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, a senior official with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said Wednesday. Gianni Magazzeni, chief of the OHCHR Americas Europe and Central Asia Branch, told reporters that any reported violation of human rights needs […]

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RIA Novosti: Russian Envoy Slams Ukrainian Prime Minister’s Address to UN Assembly

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UNITED NATIONS, September 25 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin has criticized the speech delivered by Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk to the UN General Assembly. “It is strange that the Ukrainian prime minister, instead of resolving the numerous problems of his country, which is approaching an economic collapse, has headed to New York to […]

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Moscow Times: UN Says ‘No Hard Evidence’ of Russia Supporting Ukraine Insurgency

UN Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 1, 2014) The United Nations has not received any hard evidence that Russia supplied pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine with weapons, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said Thursday. “We were unable to get hard evidence of the supply of weapons,” Pillay said in comments carried by ITAR-Tass. Washington and Kiev have […]

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Interfax: Russia optimistic about comprehensive agreement on Iranian nuclear program – diplomat

Map of Iran with Stylized Radar Sweep and Radiation Symbol Background Image

(Interfax – June 12, 2014) Moscow welcomes progress in clearing a comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear program before negotiations between the P5+1 group of world powers and Iran in Vienna, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said following a meeting with an Iranian delegation in Rome. “I can say in summing up the results that the work on a […]

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Interfax: U.S. to continue search for Ukraine resolution with UN, EU, OSCE, Russia – diplomat

Ukraine Map and Flag

ASTANA. Apr 1 (Interfax) – The only way to resolve the Ukrainian crisis lies through diplomacy and defusing of military tensions in the region, United States Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal said. Today the world is watching the events in Ukraine with great concern. The U.S. and the international community advocate the […]

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Russia’s UN Delegation Walks Out During Saakashvili’s ‘Crazy’ Speech

UN Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Andrew McChesney September 26, 2013) [Video of speech here http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/russias-un-delegation-walks-out-during-saakashvilis-crazy-speech/486649.html] Outgoing Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili assailed Russia as “the last authoritarian empire in the world” during a speech to the UN General Assembly, and predicted that President Vladimir Putin would disappear from Russian politics, prompting the Russian delegation to walk out in protest. Russia’s ambassador […]

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

Syria Map

(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 over the terms of a […]

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Interfax: Moscow to send to UNSC proof that insurgents used chemical weapons in Ghouta – Lavrov

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 18, 2013) Russia intends to provide the proof, provided by Damascus, that the opposition used chemical weapons in eastern Ghouta near Damascus, to the UN Security Council. “Of course, we will provide all of this to the UN Security Council,” Russian Foreign Minister told reporters following his speech at the Valdai Discussion Club. This proof has […]

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RIA Novosti: Pundits Dismiss Russian Trace In UN Report On Chemical Attack In Syria

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

(RIA Novosti – September 17, 2013) Armed Syrian opposition could have used parts of Soviet ammunition when preparing the chemical attack in the vicinity of Damascus, editor-in-chief of the Natsionalnaya Oborona (National Defense) magazine Igor Korotchenko told RIA Novosti news agency on 17 September. The UN report confirming the use of chemical weapons in Syria, which was published on 16 […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Can Russia and the U.N. save Syria?

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yuri Paniyev, special to RBTH – September 17, 2013) Despite ­ or perhaps because of ­ its touchy bilateral relations with many member countries, Russia maintains that the United Nations is still relevant today. On Sept. 17, the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly was opened with a strike of a […]

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Obama Falls Right Into Putin’s Trap

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Michael Bohm, Opinion Page Editor – September 13, 2013) President Vladimir Putin loves to set traps for U.S. President Barack Obama. The only thing Putin loves even more is when Obama falls smack into one. Trap No. 1. Putin set his latest trap Monday with a seemingly attractive proposal to have international monitors identify and […]

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Russia passes proof of chemical weapons use by Syrian militants to UN Security Council – Duma deputy

UN Building file photo

(Interfax – September 11, 2013) Syrian insurgents possess chemical weapons, and Russia has given proof that they have used these weapons on Syrian territory to the UN Security Council, Russian State Duma international affairs committee head Alexei Pushkov said at a Duma plenary session on Wednesday. The Duma plans to issue a statement on the situation in Syria later in […]

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Moscow expects UN to start examining Russian bid for extending seabed borders

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 23, 2013) Russia expects that its application to the United Nations to approve its bid for extending the boundary of its part of the Sea of Okhotsk section of the continental shelf will receive consideration in the international organization early next year, said Deputy Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Minister Denis Khramov. Russia also wants the […]

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Gorbachev proposes establishing global peace movement

File Photo of Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan at Table Signing Documents

(Interfax – MOSCOW, July 16, 2013) Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev said he was concerned with the high number of armed conflicts around the world and that he proposed the creation of a global peace movement. “Something is not working in the world, the arms race is on again. Either protest movements or conflicts between tribes and entire nations are […]

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Lavrov accuses N. Korea of blatantly violating UN Security Council resolutions

North Korea Map and Flag

(Interfax – MOSCOW, April 10, 2013) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused North Korea of blatantly violating a UN Security Council resolution and warned that Moscow will consistently seek to calm the situation down. “Certainly, it is unacceptable when a state – in this particular case the DPRK, a UN member – openly and blatantly violates a UN Security […]

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Russia refuses to sign on UN conventional arms treaty renewal

Russian Helicopter file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – April 3, 2013) Russia and west continue drift into Cold War stand off after the Russian delegation abstained from voting to renew the International Arms Trade Treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on April 2. The document covers conventional arms of the UN member countries and introduces general standards for deals with […]

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