NEWSLINK: “The Best Western Correspondent in Moscow; A latter-day John Reed who has lived to tell the story” – Economic Principals/ David Warsh

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

“Fred Weir, of The Christian Science Monitor, has long seemed to me the most dependable and best-informed North American correspondent in Moscow. His reporting stood out on the agglomeration site Johnson’s Russia List, even before David Johnson offered a collection of fifty of Weir’s dispatches, 1999-2016, as a subscription premium. Last week provided a striking example. The occasion was a […]

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NEWSLINK: “Dimwitted and dangerous” – Paul Robinson/ Irrussianality

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“… in seeking to destroy Trump in this way, his opponents are threatening the internal order of their own country. Perhaps one other explanation for the obsession with Russia is that the ‘Never Trumpists’ aren’t seeking electoral advantage so much as some form of ‘soft coup’ or palace revolution. The hope isn’t to harm Trump’s electoral prospects in 2020, but to […]

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Interfax: Internal political struggle continuing in U.S. increases global political, economic tensions – Putin

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

BEIJING. May 15 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said he believes the continuing internal political struggle in the United States creates political and economic tensions worldwide. “As we see, a bitter internal political struggle continues in the U.S., which creates some nervousness not only in politics, but also in the economy,” Putin said at a press conference following his […]

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NEWSLINK: “It Was Inevitable That Trump Would Fire James Comey; The FBI director repeatedly ventured into matters above his pay grade” – The National Interest/ Jacob Heilbrunn

James Comey file photo, adapted from image at fbi.gov

“It was probably inevitable that Donald Trump would fire FBI Director James B. Comey. The surprising thing may be … that Trump waited as long as he did. Comey has repeatedly displayed lamentably bad judgment. … [In]Washington … [i]nstitution after institution has come into disrepute because of bungling by top government officials. Comey’s missteps are not an aberration, but part of a […]

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NEWSLINK: “Where the Russians Are. A color-coded map of the U.S., showing which states have the highest percentage of Russian immigrants [2005/2000]” – Russian Life

United States Map

“North Dakota is not normally the place one thinks of as having a large Russian emigre population. Yet, according to 2000 US Census Data recently released, fully 3.5% of that state’s population, or 22,514 individuals, are of Russian extraction — the highest percentage in the nation. …”

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NEWSWATCH: “Trump Attacks FBI on Leakers of Russia Reports: ‘FIND NOW'” – Reuters

FBI Headquarters File Photo

… Trump criticized the FBI … for failing to stop leaks of national security information to the media and directed the agency to find those who pass on classified information. … amid media reports that the FBI has refused a White House request that it refutes recent stories …. The Federal Bureau of Investigation … did not answer a request […]

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NEWSLINK: “Survey: U.S. Vital Interests Vis-à-Vis #Russia” – Russia Matters/Thomas Graham, Stephen Kinzer, Jack Matlock, Matthew Rojansky, Paul Saunders

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“Every new U.S. president assumes office with a firm intention to pursue polices based on national interests, but not every one of them publicly formulates what exactly these interests are. We have asked a handful of top experts on #Russia three related questions: (a) What are America’s top five vital national interests; (b) which of them can Russia significantly impact […]

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The Political Assassination of Michael Flynn

Michael Flynn file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Eli Lake – February 14, 2017) Eli Lake is a Bloomberg View columnist. He was the senior national security correspondent for the Daily Beast and covered national security and intelligence for the Washington Times, the New York Sun and UPI. If we are to believe the Trump White House, National Security Adviser Michael Flynn just resigned […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Two explosive reports on Trump and Russia. Zero on-the-record sources.” – Washington Post/Callum Borchers

Satellite Dishes

“… Which is it? Is the media making up fake nonsense? Or is the intelligence community leaking real information? …. anonymity invariably promotes skepticism about sources’ motives. The Times wrote that ‘all of the current and former officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the continuing investigation is classified.’ That makes sense; it also makes sense to wonder whether […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Challenging the U.S., Moscow Pushes Into Afghanistan. Russian inroads complicate U.S. efforts to strengthen the government, stamp out the Taliban and end America’s longest war.” – Wall Street Journal

Afghanistan Map of Ethnicities

“#Russia is making fresh inroads into #Afghanistan that could complicate U.S. efforts to strengthen the fragile #Kabul government, stamp out the resilient #Taliban insurgency and end America’s longest war. Moscow last month disclosed details of contacts with the Taliban, saying that it is sharing information and cooperating with the radical movement … to fight the local affiliate of #IslamicState, which […]

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Russian business ombudsman to attend Trump inauguration ceremony

Boris Titov file photo

MOSCOW. Jan 16 (Interfax) – Russian business ombudsman Boris Titov has gone to Washington to attend the inauguration ceremony of U.S. President Donald Trump on January 20, the ombudsman’s office told Interfax. “Yes. Titov has left for Washington. He is expected to attend the Trump inauguration. The business ombudsman is also scheduled to have a number of meetings in the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “U.S. reshaping budget to account for Russian military threat” – Reuters

Aerial Photo of Pentagon and Environs

Russia’s increasing military activities around the world have unsettled top U.S. military officials … reshaping … budget plans to better address what they now consider to be the most pressing threat …. ‘Russia is the No. 1 threat to the United States. … because of the nuclear aspect, an existential threat …’ Air Force Secretary Deborah James told Reuters …. […]

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D.C. EVENT: “Enchanted Evening of Vocal and Piano Duets” – Russian Chamber Art Society Concert in Washington, December 8

Tchaikovsky Sheet Music

Subject: Russian Chamber Art Society concert in Washington December 8 Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2016 21:14:38 -0500 From: Mary Kruger <mary.kruger.network@gmail.com> Concert: “Enchanted Evening of Vocal and Piano Duets” Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. Presented by the Russian Chamber Art Society at La Maison Francaise Embassy of France 4101 Reservoir Road, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20007 Street parking available […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine turns to Tampa group for help setting up new commando HQ” – Tampa Bay Times

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

Commando forces in … Ukraine were decimated … against pro-Russian insurgents and … “little green men” — masked Russian commandos in unmarked army uniforms. … when it came time to rebuild and adjust … Ukrainian officials turned … to the non-profit Global SOF Foundation, a Tampa-based special operations advocacy group. … credited with helping put Ukraine on the right footing […]

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Leonid Bershidsky: The Upside of Russian Interference

United States Map

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – November 8, 2016) Leonid Bershidsky is a Bloomberg View columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru. Who could expect, when the U.S. election campaign started, that Russia would end up with such a prominent part in it? At times, it looked as […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia Aims to Disrupt Other Western Elections, U.S. Officials Say; Electoral chaos in West being sowed to safeguard Putin’s hold on power, Kremlin watchers say” – Wall Street Journal/Alan Cullison

Stylized Artist's Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

… Russian-backed hacking … that has rocked the presidential campaign may peak on Election Day, but is likely to continue next year and into 2018 as Moscow seeks to influence U.S. politics and key elections in Europe … administration officials warn. Russian meddling … may become more potent in Europe than in the U.S., White House officials and other experts […]

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Russian Stocks Climb to Fresh Record as Ruble Gains on Oil, Fed

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ksenia Galouchko – September 5, 2016) Russian stocks climbed to a record for the second day in a row and the ruble rallied with bonds as oil advanced and investors speculated U.S. rates will stay low, fueling demand for higher-yielding assets. The Micex Index closed up 0.7 percent to 2,017.38 after piercing the 2,000-point level for […]

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Five Rules for Living Through and Looking Beyond the Putin Stagnation

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 20, 2016) Those who lived through the Brezhnev stagnation, commentator Dmitry Gubin says, know that “when the chances for change for the better don’t exist, one must particularly carefully filter information and choose one’s strategy of behavior.” Now, Russia is in another such period, and to help them, he offers five […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Report: U.S., Russia Slowly Reducing Nuclear Arsenals” – RFE/RL/AP/DPA

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

A Sweden-based nonproliferation think tank says the world’s biggest nuclear powers, the United States and Russia, are slowly reducing their nuclear arsenals but are modernizing their capacities. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) says … there were 455 fewer nuclear warheads at the start of 2016 among nine nuclear states than a year earlier. … the United States, Russia, […]

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RBTH: U.S. elections: Does Moscow really care if it’s Clinton or Trump?

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

Hillary Clinton has warned that should her opponent, Republican maverick Donald Trump win the U.S. presidential elections, “They’ll be celebrating in the Kremlin.” Is she right? And does this mean that a Clinton presidency would be perceived as a disaster in Moscow? (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – VLADIMIR MIKHEEV, SPECIAL TO RBTH – June 8, 2016) Addressing her […]

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Russians like Trump better than Clinton – poll

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

(Interfax – June 7, 2016) Russians are not united as to what outcome of the U.S. presidential elections would serve Russian interests best, the Public Opinion Foundation said in its report. Some 37 percent of respondents were undecided, and 26 percent claimed that U.S. election results were immaterial to Russia: “the U.S. attitude to Russia would not improve, no matter […]

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The Kremlin’s Arctic Plans: More Gutted than Grand

Arctic Map

(PONARS Eurasia – ponarseurasia.org – Sergei Medvedev, Professor of Politics; Deputy Dean for International Affairs Higher School of Economics, Moscow – June 7, 2016) Article also appeared at ponarseurasia.org/memo/kremlin-arctic-plans-more-gutted-grand Over the past decade, Russia has launched a diplomatic and symbolic offensive in the Arctic, supported by increased military activity, grandiose economic plans, and showy assertions of sovereignty. Russian officials have […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Obesity problem is as acute in Russia as in United States – Russian Health Ministry” – TASS

File Photo of Feet of Woman on Scale, With Red Toenails and Help on Scale Digital Display Screen

Russia has caught up with the United States in the number of obese people, Sergey Boitsov, a part-time expert on preventive medicine at the Russian Health Ministry, told journalists. … “The number of obese men in Russia has more than doubled over the past 20 years and has reached the number of obese women” …. Click here for TASS: Obesity […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The danger of Russian disinformation” – Washington Post/Anne Applebaum, Edward Lucas

…authoritarian regimes, led by Russia but closely followed by China, have begun investing heavily in the production of alternatives. Because national media is often weak, it has become far easier for channels such as RT (formerly Russia Today) and Sputnik (a Russian “news” agency) to establish credibility in smaller European markets. … even in larger countries, the Russian use of […]

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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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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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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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Russia’s Military Budget Ranks Fourth Worldwide – Report

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 5, 2016) Russia no longer ranks among the top three spenders on defense, dropping down to fourth place, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reported Tuesday. The United States remained the leader by far, accounting for 36 percent of all military spending in the world, according to the SIPRI report. In 2015, Washington […]

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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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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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The U.S. Election’s Echoes of 1996 Russia

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – March 7, 2016) The very strange U.S. presidential election bears some surprising similarities to the 1996 campaign in Russia — a momentous event that undermined a fragile democracy and led to the emergence of Vladimir Putin’s dictatorial regime. This precedent could be especially telling if Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump end up their […]

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Russia Missed Its Chance to Be Like America

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – March 4, 2016) Many Russians feel the U.S. and their country are much alike. Both are vast, they share a sense of adventure, along with underlying lawlessness and violence, and in both, the infrastructure often is an afterthought. So what is keeping Russia from turning into another America — a democratic nation and […]

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Nancy Reagan played important role in improving U.S-USSR relations – Gorbachev

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

MOSCOW. March 7 (Interfax) – Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev has expressed grief over the death of former U.S. First Lady Nancy Reagan. “It was with deep sorrow that I learnt the sad news and I can rightfully say: well done, Nancy! She said to Ronald Reagan: when you quit the post of U.S. president, you need to go as […]

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Why Russia sympathizes with Trump: Super Tuesday in the Russian press

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

Following big wins for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the contests for the Republican and Democratic nominations for the U.S. presidency on Super Tuesday, Russian media offered their interpretations of the leading candidates’ credentials. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ANNA SOROKINA, RBTH – March 3, 2016) Super Tuesday, the day on which 11 U.S. states hold their […]

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It’s official: Native Americans and Siberians are cousins

Siberian River, Forest, Mountain

After more than a century of speculation, an international group of geneticists has conclusively proven that the Aztecs, Incas, and Iroquois are closely related to the peoples of Altai, the Siberian region that borders China and Mongolia. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – ARAM TER-GHAZARYAN, SPECIAL TO RBTH – rbth.ru – February 23, 2016) Scientists have suspected for a long time […]

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Second Anniversary of Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(US Department of State – February 20, 2016) US Department of State Press Statement Mark C. Toner Deputy Department Spokesperson Washington, DC February 20, 2016 Today, we join the people of Ukraine in honoring the memory of their Revolution of Dignity and those who gave their lives to build a more just, democratic, and European Ukraine. They braved sniper fire […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Countering Putin begins with knowing what his regime is saying” [Bring back FBIS] – The Hill/Stephen Blank, Glen Howard, Enders S. Wimbush, Paul Goble

Recent media accounts have argued that the U.S. government suffers from an absence of high-quality expertise on Russia. * * * One such solution that does not require legislation is directing the intelligence community to resume the daily electronic Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) now supervised by the Open Source Center. … a daily electronic feed of worldwide media, press, […]

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U.S. Beats Russia in ‘Most Powerful’ Ranking

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 22, 2016) Russia is second only to its former Cold War foe the United States in terms of its power to influence the global agenda but lags behind many other countries in most categories, a new ranking presented at the Davos World Economic Forum said. Moscow scored a 9.4 in the “Power” category, which […]

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U.S. Comprehensive Strategy Toward Russia

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

(Heritage Foundation – heritage.org – James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Ted R. Bromund, Ph.D., Dean Cheng, Luke Coffey, Lisa Curtis, Helle C. Dale, Michaela Dodge, David Inserra, Bruce Klingner, Daniel Kochis, Ryan Olson, James Phillips, Ana Quintana, Bryan Riley, Brian Slattery and William T. Wilson, Ph.D. – December 9, 2015) Introduction Since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. has […]

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RBTH: Syrian rebels ask U.S. for arms to defend against Russian strikes

Syria Map

Representatives of “moderate” rebel groups in Syria opposed to the regime of Bashar al-Assad have asked the U.S. to supply them with surface-to-air missiles to counter Russian air strikes, American media have reported. Russian observers say this is unlikely but caution that arms may be supplied by the key regional sponsors of Syria’s opposition, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. (Russia Beyond […]

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Putin Praises American Qualities in Interview with U.S. Television

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – September 25, 2015) In excerpts from an upcoming American television interview, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said he admired American creativity and open-mindedness – a break from his usual anti-U.S. rhetoric ahead of a planned meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama. CBS network’s “60 Minutes,” an American TV news program, posted an interview […]

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[Ashton] Carter Reaffirms U.S. Commitment to Ukraine

Aerial Photo of Pentagon and Environs

(US Department of Defense – defense.gov – Terri Moon Cronk, DoD News – WASHINGTON, September 24, 2015) The United States will continue to back the Ukrainian military’s right to defend itself when Russian-separatist forces attack its positions, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said today. In a joint news conference with Ukrainian Defense Minister Col.-Gen. Stepan Poltorak following their meeting during Poltorak’s […]

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Russian Authorities Close Down American Center in Moscow

Artist's Rendition of U.S. Embassy, Moscow, with the Russian Foreign Ministry in the Background

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – September 17, 2015) The Russian government has shut down the U.S. Embassy’s American Center in Moscow after 22 years in operation, Ambassador John Tefft said, warning the Kremlin is eroding ties that were preserved even during the Cold War. “The U.S. Embassy in Moscow deeply regrets the Russian government’s unilateral decision to […]

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