Moldova’s Upcoming Election: What’s at Stake

Moldova Map and Flag

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – William H. Hill – February 14, 2019) William H. Hill is a Global Fellow at the Kennan Institute. He served two terms between 1999 and 2006 as head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova. The opinions expressed here are his own. [Article also appeared at wilsoncenter.org/blog-post/moldovas-upcoming-election-whats-stake] On February 24, Moldovan voters go to the polls […]

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The World’s Most Geopolitically Charged Pipeline

Gas Flame file photo

(Oilprice.com – Tim Daiss – January 19, 2019) Russia’s proposed pipeline to bring more gas from Russian fields into Europe via an undersea pipeline to Germany seems to be unable to shake both geopolitical maneuvering as well as headline-grabbing quotes from both sides of the divide. On Thursday, Wolfgang Ischinger, chairman of the Munich Security Conference, and a seasoned diplomat […]

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As Russia’s Food Prices Soar, Bakers Are Feeling the Squeeze; The costs of key ingredients like sugar and eggs have risen sharply in recent months.

File Photo of Wheat Field in Kenya, adapted from image at usda.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Gershkovich – Jan. 22, 2019) [themoscowtimes.com/articles/as-russias-food-prices-soar-bakers-are-feeling-the-squeeze-64225] Vladimir Anshakov hadn’t planned on becoming a baker. But when the law school graduate was between jobs several years ago, he was spending more time at home with his teething toddler who had a penchant for gnawing on bread crusts. After the new father checked the ingredients, his […]

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Gangster Geopolitics: The Kremlin’s Use of Criminals as Assets Abroad

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

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Mark Galeotti – January 17, 2018 – russiamatters.org/analysis/gangster-geopolitics-kremlins-use-criminals-assets-abroad) Mark Galeotti is a senior associate fellow of RUSI and a senior non-resident fellow at the Institute of International Relations Prague, as well as a 2018-19 Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute. His most recent book is “The Vory: Russia’s Super Mafia” (Yale, 2018) [Amazon: […]

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Under Moscow Pressure, Could Belarus’s Balancing Act Come Crashing Down?

Alyaksandr Lukeshenko file photo

(Article ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Robert Coalson – Jan. 20, 2019 – article also appeared at https://www.rferl.org/a/analysis-under-moscow-pressure-could-belarus-s-balancing-act-come-crashing-down-/29720188.html) Speculation that the merger of Russia and Belarus is just over the horizon has become so strident in recent weeks that top officials in both countries have made efforts to refute it. “I call these suggestions very […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Strange Persistent Troubling Russian Hang-Up of Donald Trump; Trump’s agenda in Europe is Putin’s agenda in Europe. Is that really a coincidence?” – New York Times/ Roger Cohen

New York Times Masthead from 1913 adapted from image at loc.gov

“… The central thrust of Russian foreign policy under President Vladimir Putin is the dismantlement of NATO….”  

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “State Duma refuses to resume cooperation with PACE, increasing chances that Russia could leave the Council of Europe ” – Meduza

Russian State Duma Building file photo

“Federal lawmakers in Russia say they are opposed to sending a delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) …. a plenary session of the State Duma … endorsed an announcement refusing to resume cooperation with PACE until Russia’s voting rights are restored …. According to the Duma[] … more than half the judges now working in […]

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NEWSLINK: “Ukraine Wants to Be a Part of the West; But it’s strategy is yielding mixed results” – The National Interest/ Nikolas K. Gvosdev

Petro Poroshenko file photo, with additional men in background, adapted from image at state.gov

“Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko has staked his country’s future and his own chances at re-election to a second term on three gambles. He hopes that these gambles will permanently rupture Ukraine’s connections to Russia and ensure that Ukraine becomes a full member of the Western community of nations. So far, however, the scorecard is showing mixed results. …”

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NEWSLINK: “The Daily 202: From Brexit to NATO and the shutdown, Putin is winning so much he might get tired of winning” – Washington Post/ James Hohmann

Historic Washington Post Masthead, adapted from image at nlrb.gov

“James Hohmann is a national political correspondent for The Washington Post. He is the author of The Daily 202, The Post’s flagship political newsletter.”  

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Managing Russia’s dissolution” – The Hill/ Janusz Bugajski

Russia Regions Map

“Russia’s ongoing attacks on Ukraine and … persistent subversion of Western states demonstrates that Washington and Brussels have failed to restrain Moscow’s imperial ambitions. Engagement, criticism and limited sanctions have … reinforced Kremlin perceptions that the West is weak and predictable. To curtail Moscow’s neo-imperialism a new strategy is needed … [to] nourish[] Russia’s decline and manages the international consequences […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Europe is fast-becoming a natural gas battleground for Russia and the U.S.” – CNBC/ Holly Ellyatt

Gas Flame file photo

“With 28 countries and a combined population of around 512 million people, the European Union is something of a prized market – and political battleground – for the world’s largest energy exporters …. Russia has long been the dominant source and supplier of natural gas to Europe’s mass market but the U.S. is looking to challenge Russia … [with] U.S. […]

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‘No Place for Russia’: How Much Are Old U.S. Ambitions in Europe to Blame for Russia-West Tensions Today?

Globe Highlighting NATO Members

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Joshua Shifrinson – January 3, 2019) Joshua Shifrinson is an assistant professor of international relations at Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies. [Article also appeared at: russiamatters.org/analysis/no-place-russia-how-much-are-old-us-ambitions-europe-blame-russia-west-tensions-today]   BOOK REVIEW “No Place for Russia: European Security Institutions Since 1989” By William H. Hill Columbia University Press, August 2018 [Amazon: https://amzn.to/2AwEbkW] Why have relations […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Is there a glimmer of hope for the INF Treaty?” – Brookings/ Steven Pifer

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

“… Russian officials said they would like to discuss INF Treaty compliance concerns. … Washington should test whether those suggestions represent just more Kremlin posturing or a serious effort to save the treaty. … NATO foreign ministers stated that … the 9M729 constituted a material breach of the INF Treaty. Secretary of State Pompeo … said that, if Russia did […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “How to Hit Russia Where It Hurts; A Long-Term Strategy to Ramp Up Economic Pressure” – Foreign Affairs Magazine/ Peter Harrell

“… [S]anctions have done little to change Moscow’s ways. … Any economic pressure … has to starve the country’s military-industrial complex. The United States and Europe know this: they adopted export controls against Russian defense industries … and … Congress passed a law sanctioning foreign companies and governments … [for] ‘significant transactions’ with the Russian defense sector. These sanctions threaten […]

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NEWSLINK: “How Russia’s military intelligence agency became the covert muscle in Putin’s duels with the West” – Washington Post/ Anton Troianovski, Ellen Nakashima

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

“Anton Troianovski is The Washington Post’s Moscow bureau chief. Ellen Nakashima is a national security reporter for The Washington Post.”  

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How Well Are Russia Sanctions Working?

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

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Nick Butler – December 21, 2018) Nick Butler is an energy commentator for the Financial Times and a visiting professor and chair of the Kings Policy Institute at Kings College London. He spent 29 years with BP, including five years as group vice president for policy and strategy development. [russiamatters.org/analysis/how-well-are-russia-sanctions-working] Tracking sanctions against Russia has […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Think tank: NATO must prepare to counter a rapid Russia invasion in Europe” – Military Times/ Stephen Losey

NATO Meeting file photo

“Russia is positioned to quickly defeat forward-deployed U.S. and NATO forces and grab land before reinforcements could arrive, according to a new paper from the Atlantic Council …. In the Dec. 13 paper, ‘Permanent Deterrence: Enhancements to the U.S. Military Presence in North Central Europe,’ former NATO Supreme Allied Commander and retired Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove and former Deputy […]

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Isolation and Reconquista: Russia’s Toolkit as a Constrained Great Power

Russian Soldiers Marching

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Marlene Laruelle – December 12, 2018) Marlene Laruelle is a research professor, associate director of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, director of the Central Asia Program and co-director of PONARS Eurasia at The George Washington University. [russiamatters.org/analysis/isolation-and-reconquista-russias-toolkit-constrained-great-power] In 2007, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s famous Munich speech took stock of what Russia considered the failure of the […]

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Russia Outmaneuvers U.S. LNG

Gas Flame file photo

(Oilprice.com – Nick Cunningham – November 28, 2018) For years, boosters of U.S. LNG have trumpeted the fact that gas exports from the Gulf of Mexico could break Russia’s grip on the European energy market. That has yet to be the case, and in fact, Russia has managed to respond with various strategies to maintain its market share on the […]

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Russia and the West Soon Will Be Moving Leftward, Pastukhov Says

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, November 28, 2018) Many commentators now talk about the ways in which Russia and the West are moving to the right, with the former seeking to recover the Soviet past and the latter the unreconstructed capitalism of the past, but that “rightist wave” in both cases will soon be overwhelmed by a […]

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RUSSIALINK: “What Drives the Russian State; To understand what makes Putin and his allies act the way they do, you need to look beyond the myths” – New York Times/ Alexander Baunov/ Carnegie Moscow

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“Since … Putin came to power … analysis of Russia … has largely focused on two interpretations …. The first argues that Russia is a mafia state in which the main aim of the ruling elite is to steal money at home to conceal and spend abroad. The second states that Mr. Putin is a hostage of his own popularity […]

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RUSSIALIST: “Russia Says It Is Planning for New U.S. Nuclear Missiles in Europe” – Moscow Times

Sergei Ryabkov file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 26, 2018) Russia said on Monday it was planning for a U.S. deployment of new nuclear missiles in Europe following Washington’s planned withdrawal from a landmark Cold war-era arms control treaty despite the United States denying it has such plans. Russia is keen to dissuade U.S. President Donald Trump from carrying out a threat […]

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Russia Takes Major Leap In European Gas War

Gas Flame file photo

(Oilprice.com – Vanand Meliksetian – Nov. 17, 2018) [Text with links and graphics oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Russia-Takes-Major-Leap-In-European-Gas-War.html] On November 19th, President Putin will stand shoulder to shoulder with President Erdogan during a ceremony to celebrate the completion of the first string of Turk Stream. The subsea gas pipeline will transfer 15.75 bcm directly from mainland Russia to Turkey. The capacity will double after […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “A Dissident Wins a Bittersweet Victory Over Putin; Europe’s rights court condemned the Kremlin’s persecution of Alexei Navalny, but the ruling could push Russia further away from the West.” – Bloomberg/Leonid Bershidsky

European Court of Human Rights Building file photo

“… Russian dissident Alexei Navalny has long had a catch-and-release relationship with … Putin and his regime. … [T]he European Court for Human Rights ruled that arrests in 2012 and 2014 violated Navalny’s rights. … likely to bring Russia a step closer to breaking off its remaining ties with European institutions.  The Putin regime has been playing an unpredictable game […]

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NEWSLINK: “3 Days Stranded in Siberia? Flight Delays Don’t Come Much Worse Than This” – New York Times/Sophia Kishkovsky

File Photo of Airplane Approaching Runway About to Land

“Pretty much all seasoned travelers know the frustration of flight delays — the time wasted puttering in an airport, waiting in a hotel room or, perhaps worst of all, stuck on the tarmac in an idled plane. But how about three days stranded in Siberia? That was the nightmare experienced by the passengers and crew of Air France Flight 116 […]

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On Second Try, Navalny Leaves Russia For European Court Ruling

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org with credit to Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Nov. 14, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/on-second-try-navalny-leaves-russia-for-european-court-ruling/29600022.html) Opposition politician Aleksei Navalny has managed to leave Russia to attend a ruling in his case at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), a day after he was barred from boarding a flight out. Navalny, one of President Vladimir Putin’s most […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Top Russian envoy warns U.S. on missile deployment after treaty exit; Stationing new weapons in Europe could spark ‘dramatic events’, says Vladimir Chizhov” – Financial Times/ Michael Peel

EU Map

“…. Trump’s decision last month to pull out of the [INF Treaty] [reportedly came] because Russia has allegedly long breached it – an accusation Moscow denies. U.S. officials have been visiting European capitals to discuss next steps … rul[ing] out the deployment of new nuclear weapons on the continent and [saying] there were no plans to add any conventional missiles […]

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NATO’s Trident Juncture Exercise as a Deterrence Signal to Russia

Globe Highlighting NATO Members

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Dmitry Gorenburg – November 1, 2018 – russiamatters.org/analysis/natos-trident-juncture-exercise-deterrence-signal-russia) Dmitry Gorenburg is a senior research scientist in the strategic studies division of CNA, a nonprofit research and analysis organization based in Virginia. He is also an associate of Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and the editor of Problems of Post-Communism. This week, NATO […]

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Let Them East Cheese: Russian Plant Thrives Amid Sanctions

Russia Map

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Dmitry Lyubimov, Tony Wesolowsky – Oct. 22, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/let-them-east-cheese-russian-plant-thrives-amid-sanctions-/29557433.html) Sergei Chernych proudly points to the gleaming Western-made stainless-steel machinery at his cheese factory in Mari El, a small republic in Russia’s Volga region. Production at the plant in Sernur, some 90 kilometers east of the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “NATO Dusts Off a Cold War Skill: Moving Troops; Alliance is holding its biggest military exercise in decades, testing its ability to transport soldiers and equipment by road, rail and water” – Wall Street Journal/ Daniel Michaels

U.S. Army Tanks in Transport Arriving in Germany, adapted from army.mil

“… NATO’s largest exercise since the Cold War. … [involves] 50,000 troops …. [m]oving forces from 30 countries to Norway for … Trident Juncture …. [T]en thousand vehicles, 250 aircraft and 65 ships were dispatched …. * * * NATO and the [EU] … [have] agreed to deepen cooperation … including [with] mobility. The EU … spends billions … annually […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Dmitry Medvedev’s interview with Euronews TV channel” – GovernmentRu

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

(Government.ru – October 18, 2018 – government.ru/en/news/34370/) The Russian Prime Minister answers questions of TV host Tesa Arcilla ahead of the 12th ASEM Summit, which is to take place on 18-19 October in Brussels. Tesa Arcilla: Joining us on the programme is Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Thank you very much, Mister Medvedev, for joining us on the programme. Earlier […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Hungarian PM reaches agreement on gas deliveries from Russia to 2020” – bne Intellinews

Gas Flame file photo

“Hungary has reached an agreement on gas deliveries from Russia for both 2019 and 2020, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said at a joint press conference with … Putin … [Orban] has built strong ties with Putin over the years, defying his EU partners. The Russian president has become his main ally since he announced his plans to build an illiberal […]

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Russia Looks To Boost Gas Sales In Tighter European Markets

Gas Flame file photo

(Oilprice.com – Tsvetana Paraskova – September 8, 2018) Western Europe will need more flexibility in natural gas supplies in the coming winter season. The European market has been tight amid higher demand in the summer’s heat wave, while natural gas stockpiles are lower than usual after one of the coldest winters in the past decade. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is […]

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U.S., EU Warn Ukraine Ruling Endangers Press Freedom, Corruption Fight

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – September 5, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/u-s-eu-warn-ukraine-sedletska-ruling-endangers-press-freedom-corruption-fight/29473976.html) The United States, the European Union, and international media watchdogs have expressed concern over a Ukrainian court ruling that gives the authorities access to the cellphone data of an RFE/RL investigative reporter spanning a period of 17 months. The court decision could […]

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Russia is in a Stalemate Today But Can’t Stay There for Long, Shevtsova Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 31, 2018) Russia is in a stalemate today because the Kremlin “cannot accept the sanction-backed demands of the West without losing face,” but it also cannot act as if it is indifferent to the sanctions because they are undermining Russia’s ability to remain a great power, Liliya Shevtsova says. As a […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia, the victim? Opposite NATO’s eastern flank, it’s an expansionist West causing anxiety” – Defense News/Matthew Bodner

NATO Meeting file photo

“… NATO has long been Russian President Vladimir Putin’s favorite foreign boogeyman and, as far as political footballs go, this one has been easy and fruitful to kick around at home. … NATO troops and hardware are being forward deployed to former Soviet satellites in eastern Europe; in June, the alliance unveiled a new initiative – dubbed the ‘Four 30s’ […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Busting Nord Stream 2 myths” – bne Intellinews/Ben Aris

Gas Flame file photo

“The proposed expansion of the capacity of the Nord Stream gas pipeline in Europe’s north, running from Russia’s Yamal gas fields to the German coast, has split Europe …. detractors claim it will make Europe more dependent on Russian gas and give the Kremlin a bigger club … to bully the rest of Europe. … supporters say it will diversify […]

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NEWSLINK: “Putin’s wedding trip seals marriage of convenience with Merkel; Meeting in Berlin could signal a switch in strategy for Germany when it comes to the US dollar and energy security” – Asia Times/Pepe Escobar

Map of Germany

“… Berlin is now engaged in a wobbly ‘bend-not-break’ strategy. …”

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “More U.S. Marines to train in Norway, closer to Russia” – Reuters

Map of Norway and Region, with Norway Highlighted, adapted from image at cdc.gov

“The United States will more than double the number of Marines stationed in Norway [from 330 to 700] … the Norwegian defence ministry said …. [That and] and moving some of them closer to the border with Russia … triggered a sharp reaction from Moscow, which called the plans ‘clearly unfriendly.’ … Oslo, increasingly concerned about Russia since the [2014] […]

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William Hill: “New Book: No Place for Russia: European Security Institutions Since 1989”

Europe Map

Subject: New Book: No Place for Russia: European Security Institutions Since 1989 Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2018 From: William Hill <williamhhill@gmail.com> I believe the following will be of interest to many of your readers, and would be grateful if you could include it in JRL. As of today (August 14, 2018) my new book — William H. Hill, No Place […]

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Nigel Gould-Davies: “BOFIT Policy Brief: Assessing Western Sanctions”

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

Subject: BOFIT Policy Brief: Assessing Western sanctions Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2018 From: Nigel Gould-Davies <nigelgd.office@gmail.com In case of interest to JRL, my policy brief for the Bank of Finland’s Institute for Economies in Transition (BOFIT) on “Economic effects and political impacts: Assessing Western sanctions on Russia”, just published: helda.helsinki.fi/bof/bitstream/handle/123456789/15832/bpb0818.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y Abstract: This brief assesses the effectiveness of Western sanctions on […]

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Growing Russian Sympathy for West a Bigger Problem for Kremlin than Regime’s Declining Ratings, Shevtsova Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 4, 2018) According to a new Levada Center poll, 68 percent of Russians do not want to live in “‘a besieged fortress’ and fight with the West but instead want to a rapprochement with the West, a change in attitudes with more far-reaching consequences than the declining popular ratings of Vladimir […]

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JRL RUSSIAWATCH: “Russian pollster reports sharp rise in positive views of U.S.” – LevadaRu

United States Map, adapted from image at epa.gov

“The number of Russians liking the U.S. has doubled over the past two months, a poll by the independent public research organisation Levada Centre suggests. Forty-two per cent of those polled in the firm’s July survey said they had a ‘positive’ attitude towards the U.S., as opposed to 20 per cent of those asked about the same issue in May.  […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Almost 80% of Belarusians don’t have negative attitude towards EU – poll” – Interfax

Belarus Map

MINSK. July 30 (Interfax) – Belarusian citizens have a positive or neutral attitude in general towards the European Union, according to a poll conducted by the project EU Neighbors East. Thus, 34% of polled Belarusian citizens described their attitude toward the EU as “positive”, 43% “neutral” and 18% “negative.” Respondents’ positive associations with the EU are human rights (67%), freedom […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Large Russian Companies Are Turning Inward; The mobile operator Megafon’s plan to delist in London is the latest sign that the West is becoming inhospitable” – Leonid Bershidsky/Bloomberg

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

“The planned delisting of Megafon PJSC, Russia’s second-biggest mobile operator, from the London Stock Exchange is no ordinary event. The company is one of the most liquid Russian stocks trading overseas, and its exit is further evidence that the country’s businesses are turning inward as exposure to the West becomes increasingly problematic. In 2011, almost 70 Russian companies’ depositary receipts […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Provision on criminal liability for complying with Western sanctions on Russian territory may be removed from bill – Volodin” – Interfax

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. July 10 (Interfax) – Russian MPs may remove the provision criminalizing compliance with Western anti-Russian sanctions in the country from a draft bill that is currently under consideration in the lower house of the Russian parliament, State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin said. “Everyone, including the business community, experts and deputies, have reached consensus on the second part of the […]

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NEWSLINK: “‘They Will Die in Tallinn’: Estonia Girds for War With Russia; The head of the tiny NATO member’s special forces details his country’s preparations for a conflict many here see as inevitable” – Politico/Molly K. McKew

Map of Baltics and Environs, Including Kaliningrad

“… The Kremlin invaded Georgia to prevent its accession to NATO. Russia used different means to accomplish the same goal with Ukraine, and then attempted to assassinate the prime minister of Montenegro in a last-ditch effort to forestall the same — all of which expose the Kremlin’s deep paranoia about its former vassals defending themselves from Russian belligerence. The Baltics, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Trump Says He Can’t Say if Putin Is Friend or Foe” – Reuters

Europe Map

“… Trump [embarks upon] a tour of Europe … [featuring] a NATO meeting and a visit to Britain. … Trump repeated his criticism of NATO allies for not spending enough on … defense and pointed to [British] political tensions … over … Brexit …. ‘So I have NATO, I have the UK which is in somewhat turmoil, and I have […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH VIDEO: “National Security Adviser John Bolton on ‘Face the Nation,’ July 1, 2018” – CBS

File Photo of John Bolton Raising Hand at United Nations, with United States Nameplate on Desktop in Front, adapted from image at state.gov

“… There are possibilities for … a larger negotiation on … get[ting] Iranian forces out  [of Syria] …. * * * [T]he Russians are always saying to us they want to cooperate on international terrorism …. * * * I had meetings … with … Putin and his foreign minister … defense minister and … diplomatic adviser … the [U.S.] […]

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