JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S., Russia Clash at U.N. as Lavrov Calls for Easing of North Korea Sanctions” – Wall Street Journal/ Jessica Donati (Sept. 28, 2018)

File Photo of UN Building with Flags

“The Trump administration worked to move ahead on its top diplomatic priority – the denuclearization of North Korea – but ran head-on into opposition to its plans from Russia, which called for the easing of United Nations sanctions against Pyongyang. The proposal by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the U.N. Security Council ran directly counter to the U.S. demand […]

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NEWSLINK: “Britain may have MISSED real Novichok ‘assassins’ with CCTV suspects acting as ‘watchers’, ex-spy claims” – The Mirror (UK)/Will Stewart, Abigail O’Leary

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

“The retired agent has doubted that Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Bochirov are plausible as killers after they were spotted numerous times on CCTV … The pair, who are suspected of poisoning the Skripals, were spotted numerous times on CCTV and entered the country on Russian passports. Choosing to remain anonymous, the ex-spy said the two men, who claimed to be […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Once again, Putin gives us a lesson on the usefulness of the blatant lie” – Washington Post/Anne Applebaum

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“They were, they declared, just tourists. Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov – identified … as … Russian intelligence agents who poisoned four people in … Salisbury – were simply on vacation …. This type of tactic has a history. … [During] the invasion of Crimea … Putin insisted … Russian troops marching across the peninsula were locals who … picked […]

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RUSSIALINK: “U.S. Tells Russia it Could Avoid Novichok Sanctions in Exchange for Chemical Inspections” – Moscow Times

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 14, 2018) The United States has said Russia would be able to avoid a second, more punishing round of sanctions over the nerve-agent attack in Britain if it allows chemical weapons inspections. The U.S. sided with the U.K. last month in concluding that Moscow had used a nerve agent against a former Russian agent […]

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NEWSLINK: “Implausible Deniability: Novichok Victim Dies: Did the Kremlin Really Lose Control of its Deadliest Poisons? The real question is where does the Russian criminal state end and the criminal underworld begin, and how do they work together in what amounts to a new murder incorporated?” – Daily Beast/Amy Knight

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

“… Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley visited … Salisbury and somehow ingested the exotic nerve agent used in the poisoning of Russian defector Sergei Skripal and his daughter …. Sturgess died. … a 44-year-old mother of three. … the police now have a murder case on their hands.  The masterminds of the Skripal attack, at least, are thought to be […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Differing approaches to Korea crisis may jeopardize N. Korea-U.S. summit – Kosachyov” – Interfax

North Korea Map and Flag, adapted from .gov image

MOSCOW. May 16 (Interfax) – The differing approaches of Washington and Pyongyang to the settlement process on the Korean Peninsula and the bilateral summit may jeopardize the very fact of the summit and its outcome, Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Konstantin Kosachyov said on Facebook. “The problems that emerged shortly before the pivotal meeting between the U.S. and North […]

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NEWSLINK: “Revealed: UK’s push to strengthen anti-Russia alliance; Exclusive: ministers will use series of summits to pursue containment strategy and urge rethink of diplomatic dialogue” – The Guardian (UK)/Patrick Wintour

File Photo of G7 Leaders and other Officials Around Round Table at the Hague, with Flags

“The UK will use a series of international summits this year to call for a comprehensive strategy to combat Russian disinformation and urge a rethink over traditional diplomatic dialogue with Moscow, following the Kremlin’s aggressive campaign of denials over the use of chemical weapons in the UK and Syria. British diplomats plan to use four major summits this year – […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Is Russia Sponsoring Terrorism?” – New York Times/Senator Cory Gardner

American Flag and Partial View of U.S. Capitol Dome, adapted from image at aoc.gov

“… The State Department should consider adding [Russia] to its list of state sponsors of terrorism, alongside its close allies Iran and Syria. … Russia has invaded … Georgia and Ukraine … supports the murderous regime of Bashar al-Assad and our enemies in Afghanistan … is engaged in active information warfare against Western democracies, including meddling in the 2016 United […]

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NEWSLINK: Doctors ordered at gunpoint to deny Syria chemical attack or else their children will be killed; ‘Unless you give a testimony, doctor, that there wasn’t a gas attack, we’ll be killing your children'” – The Mirror (UK)/Andrew Gregory

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“Unless you give a testimony, doctor, that there wasn’t a gas attack, we’ll be killing your children”

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NEWSWATCH: “U.S. postpones fresh sanctions on Russia, Kremlin retaliation options limited” – bne Intellinews/Ben Aris

Nikki Haley file photo, adapted from image at usembassy.gov

“The Trump administration postponed imposing yet another round of sanctions to the ‘near future’ in the wake of … airstrikes on Syria. … Nikki Haley said … the U.S. would impose fresh sanctions … that would primarily target Russia’s defence sector and single out companies … linked to chemical weapon production. Russia’s markets opened flat … the next day … […]

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NEWSLINK: “In Syria, Trump Faces the Limits of Bluster” – New York Times Editorial

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“A world grown numb to the slaughter of civilians in Syria has been roused in the last 48 hours by photographs on social media of lifeless men, women and children in the rebel-held town of Douma, many with white foam coming from their mouths and nostrils, victims of chemical weapons. Outraged Western nations blame President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and demand […]

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To Avert U.S. Retaliation, Russia Proposes Inspection of Syria Attack Site

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 10, 2018) Russia said on Tuesday it will propose to the United Nations that international inspectors visit the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack in the Syrian town of Douma, a move which follows U.S. President Donald Trump’s warning of quick, forceful action in response to the incident. At least 60 people were […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Poisoned Door Handle Hints at High-Level Plot to Kill Spy, U.K. Officials Say” – New York Times/Ellen Barry, David E. Sanger

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“British officials investigating the poisoning of Sergei V. Skripal … former Russian double agent, believe it is likely that an assassin smeared a nerve agent on the door handle at his home. … so risky and sensitive that it is unlikely to have been undertaken without approval from the Kremlin …. Skripal … was freed in a spy swap with […]

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NEWSWATCH: “We must avoid new Cold War: German government’s Russia expert” – Reuters

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“Germany wants to keep up a dialogue with Moscow despite joining Western expulsions of Russian diplomats and must avoid a new Cold War, the German government’s coordinator for Russia said …. [EU] member Ireland [and]Moldova … joined the list of countries expelling Russian diplomats over the attack on [Sergei] Skripal, a former double agent. The list includes 22 EU states; […]

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RUSSIALINK Interfax: “Russia ready to probe Skripal’s poisoning together with UK – Nebenzya”

File Photo of UN Building with Flags

NEW YORK (UN). March 15 (Interfax) – Russia is not involved in the poisoning of former Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the United Kingdom and stands ready to investigate this situation together with the UK, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said. “Russia has nothing to do with this incident. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Nuclear Dangers from North Korea: Managing the Risks to the U.S. and Russia” – RussiaMatters/ Joshua H. Pollack

North Korea Map and Flag, adapted from .gov image

“Among the most disturbing aspects of the North Korean nuclear problem today is the lack of a common perspective between Washington and Moscow. More than any other government, Russian authorities have been reluctant to acknowledge the emergence of a genuine nuclear and missile threat from North Korea to the United States. This perceptual gap is more than a mere irritant. […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Chemical disarmament completed in Russia”- KremlinRu

Chemical Weapons Hazard Symbol, adapted from image at dni.gov

(Kremlin.ru – September 27, 2017) The President listened to a report via videoconference on the destruction of Russia’s last remaining chemical weapons. Mikhail Babich, Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Volga Federal District and Chairman of the State Commission for Chemical Disarmament, reported to President Vladimir Putin on the completion of chemical disarmament ahead of schedule. Also in attendance at the […]

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Moscow proposes setting up mission under OPCW auspices to investigate Idlib events

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MOSCOW. April 13 (Interfax) – Russia has submitted an initiative during a special session of the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague on Thursday to set up a mission under OPCW auspices to investigate the chemical incident in Syria’s Idlib governorate, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference. […]

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RBTH: Moscow accused of obstructing Syrian chemical weapons dossier

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexey Timofeychev, RBTH – September 14, 2015) Russia has proposed extending the mandate of the UN mission on chemical weapons in Syria to Iraq, where it claims ISIS militants may be behind production. However, some media see this as Moscow diverting attention from the actions of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and delaying a […]

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NEWSWATCH London Times: Ukraine rebels ‘building dirty bomb’ with Russian scientists

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The Times reports on Ukrainian intelligence findings about Russia-bombed rebels working with Russian scientists to develop conventional bombs laced with radioactive material to maximize their impact. Rebels in Ukraine are working to develop a radioactive dirty bomb with the help of Russian nuclear scientists, according to a Ukrainian security service dossier obtained by The Times.   The report draws on hacked emails […]

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RIA Novosti: East Ukraine separatist spokesman denies reported plans to create “dirty bomb”

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(RIA Novosti – August 1, 2015) Documents provided by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), which have been mentioned by the foreign mass media and which allegedly contain information about development of a “dirty nuclear bomb” by members of the militia, are Kiev’s “yet another lie” and attempt to discredit the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), RIA Novosti (part of […]

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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 cooperative step even as Russian […]

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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 Weapons (OPCW) said in a […]

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Interfax: Agreement on Iran challenges grounds to set up missile shield in Europe – Pushkov

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

MOSCOW. Dec 12 (Interfax) – The agreements of the Sextet and Tehran on the Iranian nuclear program call into question if there is any sense of the missile shield in Europe being created by NATO, head of the Russian State Duma committee on foreign affairs Alexei Pushkov said. “[Russian President Vladimir] Putin has put the question correctly: the issue of […]

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RIA Novosti: Putin Signs Decree to Implement Sanctions Against North Korea

North Korea Map and Flag

MOSCOW, December 2 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to implement UN Security Council sanctions against North Korea, the government’s legal information website said Monday. All North Korean ships must now consent to an inspection before being allowed to enter a Russian port. Russian state and commercial organizations are also forbidden from helping North Korea […]

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RIA Novosti: Iran Deal Nullifies Needs for Europe Missile Shield – Russian FM

Sergei Lavrov file photo

ROME, November 25 (RIA Novosti) ­ Implementation of a deal on Iran’s nuclear program reached in Geneva this weekend will make the US missile defense system in Europe unnecessary, Russia’s foreign minister said Monday. “If the agreement on Iran is implemented, the reason named as a necessity to establish a missile defense system in Europe will drop away,” Sergei Lavrov […]

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Interfax: Iran to take practical steps towards comprehensive solution of its nuclear problem

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

MOSCOW. Nov 25 (Interfax) – A comprehensive solution of the Iranian nuclear problem will be a mutual phased process to result in the comprehensive lift of the UN Security Council’s sanctions, as well as multilateral and national sanctions related to the Iranian nuclear program, says a joint action plan approved by the Sextet and Iran in Geneva. “There would be […]

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RIA Novosti: US Plan for Iran Nuclear Program Blocked After Hasty Changes ­- Russia

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

CAIRO, November 14 (RIA Novosti) ­ Iran tentatively agreed to a US proposal for limiting its nuclear program, but backed out of the deal after last-minute changes in Geneva, Russia’s foreign minister said Thursday. “The version with the amendments was distributed literally at the last moment, when we were about to depart from Geneva,” Sergei Lavrov said, referring to high-level […]

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RIA Novosti: Russia Says Iran Not to Blame for Geneva Talks Failure

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

MOSCOW, November 12 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia has said Iran was not to blame for the failed outcome of nuclear talks in Geneva last week, hinting at cracks in what had previously appeared to be a relatively united international front on the issue. A source in the Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that the account of the talks given by […]

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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 of a history of “years […]

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Interfax: Pushkov criticizes West for not reacting to info on use of chemical weapons against Kurds

Alexei Pushkov file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 30 (Interfax) – Alexei Pushkov, the head of the State Duma committee on international affairs, said he was outraged by the fact that western governments have not reacted to reports on the use of chemical weapons by rebels in Syria against Syrian Kurds. “According to information received from Syrian Kurds, the rebels used chemical weapons against them in […]

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Early breakthroughs unlikely in talks with Iran

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

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Andrei Ilyashenko, special to RBTH – October 21, 2013) The only outcome of the Geneva talks between Iran and the ‘group of six’ was an agreement to hold a new round of talks in November. A group of six mediators and the Iranian delegation recently concluded the latest round of Geneva talks on […]

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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 from a bipolar system of […]

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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 has ever been to eradicating […]

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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 questions at the Investment Forum […]

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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 poison attack and criticized Western […]

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RIA Novosti: Russian Experts Split On Iranian President’s Statements In New York

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(RIA Novosti – September 25, 2013) Several Russian experts interviewed by state news agency RIA Novosti have said that they believe that the statements made by Iranian President Hasan Ruhani in New York that his country is ready to start effective talks on the nuclear programme, as well as his recognition of the Holocaust as a historical fact show that […]

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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 gave an interview to The […]

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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 the conflict. The New York […]

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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 Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said […]

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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 record ­ on the nation’s […]

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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 program on Saturday on Russia’s […]

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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 to all of the arguments […]

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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 over the terms of a […]

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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. What foreign countries are saying […]

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RIA Novosti: Russian Expert Decodes Information On Shells Found In Syria By UN Inspectors

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(RIA Novosti – Valday, Novgorod Region, September 17, 2013) The parts of Soviet-made munitions found by UN inspectors near Damascus belong to projectiles used in multiple-launch missile systems that the Syrian army took out of service long ago and have probably been improvised to carry chemicals, the director of the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, Ruslan Pukhov, has […]

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RIA Novosti: U.S., Russia Spar over Truth, Consequences in Syria

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

(RIA Novosti – Carl Schreck – WASHINGTON, September 17, 2013) ­ The United States and Russia remained at loggerheads Tuesday over the potential use of force against Syria should Damascus fail to abide by a US-Russian plan to secure chemical weapons stockpiles controlled by the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Washington is pushing for a UN Security Council resolution […]

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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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Interfax: Lavrov: U.S. contacted Assad government about safety of chemical stockpiles

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 16, 2013) Before the current international diplomatic crisis over the reported chemical arms attacks in a Damascus suburb on August 21, the United States had contacted the Syrian government to find out how safe its chemical stockpiles were, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “We were working with the Syrians directly to understand the how […]

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