Category Archives: Europe, EU

Ukraine cancels gas supplies from Russia in pricing row

Gas Flame file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – July 2, 2015) Ukraine suspended Russian natural gas purchases on July 1, citing its inability to secure from Gazprom a heavily discounted price for the third quarter of the year. Henceforth, the country’s state-owned monopoly Naftogaz will rely on supplies from the European Union, and claims that volumes bought from EU […]

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Interfax: Russia to react “immediately” if NATO increases strength in Europe – source

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Interfax – Moscow, June 26, 2015) By “slightly pushing” Russia by increasing the alliance’s military presence in Europe, the USA and NATO are waging a “game of nerves” for now, however should any practical steps be taken towards an escalation near Russia’s western border, Moscow will respond without delay, a source in the military and diplomatic circles has told Interfax-AVN. […]

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VIDEO & TRANSCRIPT: Conversation: The Standoff Between Russia and the West Over Ukraine

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

(Stratfor.com – June 23, 2015) Conversation: The Standoff Between Russia and the West Over Ukraine is republished with permission of Stratfor; article also appeared at stratfor.com/video/conversation-standoff-between-russia-and-west-over-ukraine. Transcript follows below video. Video Transcript Lauren Goodrich: Hello, my name is Lauren Goodrich, and I’m the senior Eurasia analyst here at Stratfor. I’m joined by Sim Tack, our military analyst, and today we’re going to […]

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal/Edward Lucas: Buttressing the Front Line Against Putin. The U.S. must compel Nordic and Baltic states to put aside old prejudices and link arms against the Russian threat.

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  Russia is waging a new cold war in the Baltic region, breaching international law and the conventions that govern civilized behavior among nations. The Kremlin provokes and intimidates its neighbors with aggressive espionage, corruption of political elites, propaganda onslaughts, cyberattacks, economic sanctions, coercive energy policies, surprise military exercises, and violations of airspace, territorial waters and even national borders, as […]

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NEWSLINK Foreign Policy/John Hudson: The Undiplomatic Diplomat.

File Photo of Victoria Nuland Testifying

Russia hawks on Capitol Hill love Victoria Nuland, the State Department’s point person for Ukraine. Many Europeans can’t stand her. http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/06/18/the-undiplomatic-diplomat/

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U.S. Readying Plan to Put Tanks on Putin’s Doorstep

NATO Meeting File Photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – David Lerman, Marta Waldoch – June 14, 2015) The U.S. may announce agreements later this month to station tanks and fighting vehicles in eastern European and Baltic countries, a U.S. defense official said. The Pentagon is trying to finalize plans to station equipment for as many as 5,000 soldiers in about a half-dozen countries as the […]

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Interfax: Russia urges U.S. not to destroy INF Treaty

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(Interfax – June 11, 2015) The deployment of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles near Russian borders by the U.S. would totally destroy the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “We have taken note of statements by Pentagon representatives that the U.S. is studying options for military responses to Russian ‘violations’, up to the potential deployment of […]

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Poll: Russians Dislike West About as Much as Westerners Dislike Russia

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – June 11, 2015) A staggering majority of Russians view the West negatively, and the feeling is mutual, a poll conducted by the U.S.-based Pew Research Center revealed Wednesday. According to the poll, 81% of Russians have unfavorable opinions of the United States, and 80% feel similarly about NATO. The European Union fared […]

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Putin Is No James Bond Villain

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – June 9, 2015) Despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars on foreign-language propaganda, all that President Vladimir Putin has achieved outside Russia is the status of a Bond movie villain. He may enjoy it, especially since there’s no 007 in sight to tackle him, but his variety of pop stardom is growing into […]

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Putin: Russia has no relations with G7 but ready to cooperate with its members bilaterally

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

(Interfax – June 10, 2015) Russia currently does not maintain any relationship with the G7, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “We have no relations with the G7, what relations could there be?” Putin told journalists following negotiations with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on June 10. At the same time, “if our partners want it, we will be developing active […]

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Ukraine defending Europe, world order, says Yatsenyuk

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Interfax – June 9, 2015) Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has called for unity of the European Union and the United States needed “to defeat the aggressor.” He made the statement at a forum of the American Jewish Committee during a working visit to Washington DC, the Ukrainian government press service has reported. “We are positive that we can regain […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Remarks by President Obama in Press Conference after G7 Summit (excerpts)

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

(The White House – Office of the Press Secretary – Elmau Briefing Center, Krün, Germany, June 8, 2015) PRESIDENT OBAMA: With respect to security, the G7 remains strongly united in support for Ukraine. We’ll continue to provide economic support and technical assistance that Ukraine needs as it moves ahead on critical reforms to transform its economy and strengthen its democracy. […]

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RIA Novosti: Russia sets out what it wants from USA, NATO, EU in new foreign policy document

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(RIA Novosti – June 8, 2015) Russia reserves the right to respond to any unfriendly steps towards it taken by the USA, says the document containing a review of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s performance in 2014 and medium-term objectives, as reported by RIA Novosti (part of the state-owned International News Agency Rossiya Segodnya) on 8 June. “In constructing our engagement […]

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NEWSWATCH Washington Post: At G-7 meeting, Obama’s primary task is confronting his Putin problem

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

[“At G-7 meeting, Obama’s primary task is confronting his Putin problem” – Washington Post –  Steven Mufson – June 6, 2015] The Washington Post covers U.S. policies towards Russia and Ukraine amidst the latest meeting of the G-7: The G-7 meeting is a symbolic moment. After the Cold War, the annual gathering of the leaders of the world’s major industrial nations […]

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Interfax: Russians like Belarus and China, have aversion to U.S., EU and Ukraine – poll

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(Interfax – June 8, 2015) Most Russians speak ill of the United States, the European Union and Ukraine and see Belarus, China and Kazakhstan as friends, the Levada Center has told Interfax. Seventy-three percent of 1,700 respondents polled in 134 populated localities on May 22-25 expressed negative feelings for the U.S., 15 percent said the opposite, and 12 percent were […]

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NEWSWATCH Wall Street Journal: Defense Chief: Subversion, ‘Big Lie’ Are in Russia’s Arsenal. Ash Carter favors more military exercises, better intelligence sharing

Ashton Carter File Photo

[Wall Street Journal – Defense Chief: Subversion, ‘Big Lie’ Are in Russia’s Arsenal. Ash Carter favors more military exercises, better intelligence sharing – GORDON LUBOLD – June 6, 2015] The Wall Street Journal covers remarks by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter after a European trip to discuss Russia and the crisis in Ukraine. Mr. Carter made clear at the end of an […]

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Putin: ‘We Have Never Viewed Europe as a Mistress’

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – June 8, 2015) President Vladimir Putin insisted that the West should not view Russia as a threat in an interview published Saturday in Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera ahead of an official visit to Italy that kicks off this week. “I think that only an insane person – and only in a […]

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To Thomas Graham: We Should Understand Russian History Differently

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

(PONARS Eurasia – ponarseurasia.org – Ivan Kurilla, Professor of History Volgograd State University – June 5, 2015) In a recent Financial Times op-ed (“Europe’s Problem is with Russia, not Putin”) Thomas Graham, a managing director at Kissinger Associates and former senior director for Russia on the US National Security Council, makes far-reaching conclusions about contemporary Russia and international security by drawing on the position Russia […]

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NEWSLINK Chatham House: A ‘New Cold War’? Abusing History, Misunderstanding Russia

Berlin Wall, Fencing, Barbed Wire, Women

The war in Ukraine suggests a new era of competition between the West and Russia. It has (again) revealed both fundamental differences in how European security is understood, and increasing friction in values. Together, these problems suggest an emergent ‘clash of Europes’ that pits the West’s relatively liberal vision for the region against a more conservative ‘Russian Europe’

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NEWSLINK New York Times: Disenchanted With Europe, Moldovans Shift Their Focus to Russia

Moldova Map and Flag

Daniela Morari, a Foreign Ministry official who has been traveling her country trying to nudge Moldovans toward the European Union, has heard it all. People are worried that “if you join the E.U., everyone becomes gay” and that Brussels bureaucrats “won’t let you keep animals around your houses,” an alarming prospect in a largely rural country.

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The Riga summit of disappointment

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – May 21, 2015) Several plucky countries of Emerging Europe have put their necks on the block by defying Russian bullying to join its Customs Union, turning instead to the EU and its promise of a better life. But most of these countries are likely to be disappointed, or could […]

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Russian Gas: There Is No Alternative For Europe

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(Oilprice.com – Colin Chilcoat – May 17, 2015) The sanctions are now in their second year; the ruble is still not quite itself; and national champions Gazprom and Rosneft are both bracing for what can generously be called a down year. Still, while Russia’s political relationship with the west continues to be redefined, the broader element of codependence remains relatively […]

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NEWSLINK Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: Reform as Resilience: An Agenda for the Eastern Partnership.

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The EU needs to remold its support for fundamental political reform in Eastern Partnership partner states—and use this as a firmer base from which to assuage tensions with Russia. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: Thomas de Waal and Richard Youngs, Reform as Resilience: An Agenda for the Eastern Partnership.

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Russia Was Right: Shale in Europe Has Proved a Dud

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ladka Mortkowitz Bauerova – May 11, 2015) When Cuadrilla Resources Ltd. opened an office in Poland in 2009, it had a reason to be optimistic: the shale boom was transforming the U.S. into the world’s largest producer of natural gas. To the companies rushing to imitate that success in Europe, Poland looked like the next Texas. […]

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EU Says No Visa Liberalization For Ukraine And Georgia

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(RFE/RL – rferl.org – May 8, 2015) The EU Commission has said neither Georgia nor Ukraine would obtain visa-free travel to the EU’s Schengen zone at the Riga Eastern Partnership Summit later this month. Speaking in Brussels on May 8 after the EU Commission published its annual visa report on both countries, the spokeswoman for home affairs, Natasha Bertaud, said […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times: In Talks With Merkel, Putin Calls for Improving Relations With Europe

Map of Germany

President Vladimir V. Putin used a visit on Sunday by the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, to call for a return to normal relations with Europe, brushing aside the widespread boycott by Western leaders of the huge Victory Day parade on Red Square a day earlier.

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NEWSWATCH Reuters: EU’s top diplomat says destabilized Russia in nobody’s interest

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Reuters covers the views of Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the EU Commission. A destabilized and isolated Russia is in nobody’s interests, and sanctions are only being kept in place because a truce agreement in the conflict in Ukraine is not being fully implemented, the European Union’s foreign policy […]

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Interfax: Russia ready to cooperate with West in tackling terror, regional conflicts – Sergei Ivanov

File Photo of Sergei Ivanov, adapted from defense.gov image

(Interfax – May 2, 2015) Russia will still cooperate with the United States and Europe in fighting terrorism, resolving regional conflicts and countering other modern challenges, if partners are keen on that, says Sergei Ivanov, the chief of the Russian presidential administration. “New threats and challenges emerged, for example, terrorism, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, regional conflicts. Russia […]

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EU-Ukraine free trade talks with Russia likely to go nowhere

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – TRADE BLOG: Iana Dreyer in Brussels – April 27, 2015) The likelihood of trilateral talks involving Ukraine, the EU and Russia over Ukraine’s implementation of the deep and comprehensive free trade area (DCFTA) embedded in its Association Agreement with the EU – the deal that triggered the Ukraine crisis – is low. The continuing […]

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Poroshenko calls on EU leaders to give Ukraine prospect of EU membership

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KYIV. April 27 (Interfax) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has called on the European Union to give Ukraine the prospect of EU membership. “I am calling on the EU to admit that Ukraine, like any other European state that respects and is ready to defend common values, can become an EU member in the future, supporting ambitions for European integration […]

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Europe’s historic lack of economic engagement with Russia

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – COMMENT: Ousmène Mandeng in London – April 27, 2015) The alienation felt between the EU and Russia has seemingly deepened to a post-Soviet Union low. This may in large part be due to the fact that Europe has never fully engaged with Russia economically in the first place. At the third “East Forum Berlin” held on April […]

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Russia Says Ukraine Must Be ‘Neutral’ as It Accuses U.S., NATO

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer, Daryna Krasnolutska, Volodymyr Verbyany – April 22, 2015) Russia said it wants a “neutral” and unified Ukraine as it accused the North Atlantic Treaty Organization of seeking to turn its neighbor into a hostile state. The U.S. wields enormous influence over Ukraine, while Russia wants the people of its “near neighbor” to have a […]

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NEWSLINK Stratfor: Russia Changes Its Tone

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

Over the weekend, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin appeared to soften his line against the West, particularly the United States. Having previously stated that the United States has no allies, only vassals, Putin this time said: “We have some disagreements on several issues on the international agenda. But at the same time there is something that unites us, forces us to […]

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Is Gazprom’s changing export strategy a threat to Europe?

Gas Flame file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – James Henderson – April 17, 2015) James Henderson is Senior Research Fellow, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies The visit of Chinese Premier Xi Jinping to Moscow in May to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II could also mark the next stage in Russia’s “pivot to Asia” if, as some […]

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NEWSLINK Reuters: War and poverty bring doubt to heartland of Ukraine’s pro-Europe revolt

File Photo of Street in Lviv

When Ukrainians toppled a pro-Russian president last year, nowhere was the euphoria greater than in Lviv, a short drive from the EU border, where people have dreamt for generations of escaping Moscow’s orbit to join the West. More than a year of war and economic collapse later, nowhere else has the disillusionment been felt more harshly.

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Swedish Admiral Admits ‘Russian Submarine’ Was Actually Civilian Boat

Map of Sweden and Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Spinella – April 14, 2015) A photo that a retired Swedish naval officer said showed a Russian submarine in Swedish waters last autumn was actually of a much smaller civilian boat, a Swedish admiral told his country’s media Monday. “Analysis revealed that the photograph taken in Stockholm’s inner archipelago was of a smaller boat,” […]

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NEWSLINK Forbes: Here’s Where Russia Shipped Oil Last Year As Ukraine, Europe Diversified.

Oil Wells File Photo

Russian oil companies are diversifying slowly away from their dependence on the European Union, just as the E.U. does the same with its long-time supplier of oil and natural gas. As a result, Russian exports to Germany — its most important market — fell between 2014 and 2013. And Ukraine shipments have fallen by nearly half.   Forbes.com: Kenneth Rapoza, […]

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Will Putin Rescue Greece’s Tsipras?

Ancient Temple Ruins in Greece with Tourists

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – April 7, 2015) As Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras prepares for talks with President Vladimir Putin during a visit to Moscow beginning on Wednesday, experts, officials and European leaders have been left guessing whether the two men might hammer out an economic deal. The meeting was announced less than a month ago […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Lausanne agreement: Russia and Iran to maintain ties, but EU is real winner

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – April 6, 2015) Talks between Iran and the P5+1 in Switzerland on Tehran’s nuclear program ended on April 2 with a joint accord aimed at paving the way for a comprehensive agreement and the eventual lifting of sanctions on Iran. While Moscow sees the compromise as a triumph for international diplomacy, experts believe […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times: Greece Should Be Wary of Mr. Putin

Ancient Temple Ruins in Greece with Tourists

The Greek government is facing a series of daunting challenges. It has to come up with money to pay off maturing debts, revive its devastated economy and renegotiate its loan agreements with other countries in the eurozone. Given those difficulties, it might be tempting — though misguided — for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to seek financial or other support from […]

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: As Tensions With West Rise, Russia Increasingly Rattles Nuclear Saber. Bellicose rhetoric has soared since start of Ukraine conflict to rival Cold War levels

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

Amid the wave of bellicose rhetoric that has swelled in Moscow since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, officials as high up as President Vladimir Putin have been making open nuclear threats, a public saber-rattling with weapons of mass destruction largely unseen even in the days of the Cold War. Remarks about Russia’s nuclear strength play well to Mr. […]

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VIDEO NEWSWATCH Legatum Insitute: The Menace of Unreality: Combating Russian Disinformation in the 21st Century.

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The Legatum Institute, on Oct. 14, 2014, hosted a panel discussion on “The Menace of Unreality: Combatting Russian Disinformation in the 21st Century.”  The event featured Anne Applebaum, Director of the Legatum Institute’s Transitions Forum, Geoffrey Pyatt, US Ambassador to Ukraine, Oleksander Scherba, Ambassador at Large at the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Michael Weiss, Editor-in-Chief of The Interpreter, Peter Pomerantsev, journalist […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times: Russia’s Ideology: There Is No Truth

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

IMAGINE if you grew up lying. Not a little bit, for convenience, but during every public moment of your life: at school, at work, at social events. You had to lie to survive, because the punishment for telling the truth was the loss of your academic or professional career, or even prison. For Russians who came of age before 1991, […]

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NEWSLINK Epoch Times: Russia’s Weapon of Choice: Information Warfare

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

With its annexation of Crimea, aggression in the eastern Ukraine, and military and economic threats to NATO nations, the Kremlin has resumed a new kind of Cold War. Regardless of what Vladimir Putin may say, his motives are not benign. The West has reacted with surprise, confusion, paralysis, and mostly inaction.   Epoch Times: Russia’s Weapon of Choice: Information Warfare. […]

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Not all EU-Russia trade disputes are about politics

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Iana Dreyer in Brussels – April 2, 2015) It looks like part of the trade war, but it isn’t. The World Trade Organization is about to set up its fourth dispute settlement panel in two years between Brussels and Moscow. One could mistake this as a sign of the growing trade tensions amid the […]

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NEWSWATCH AP: American farmer among the winners in sanctions-hit Russia

Eurasia Map

[“American farmer among the winners in sanctions-hit Russia” – AP – James Ellingsworth – Apr. 1, 2015] AP examines the impact of Ukraine-related Western sanctions on Russia, such as increased prices for some farmers, instability in international projects, and evolving energy relations between Russia and China. The impact of sanctions, and a Russian embargo, on agriculture is apparently mixed. Russia’s ‘counter-sanctions’ ban on food imports […]

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NEWSWATCH Washington Times: Russia’s grab for its neighbors; ‘Europe whole and free’ should be more than a slogan

Europe Map

[“Russia’s grab for its neighbors: ‘Europe whole and free’ should be more than a slogan’” – Washington Times – Paula Dobriansky, Blaise Misztal – March 29, 2015] Writing in the Washington Times, Paula Dobriansky and Blaise Misztal address concerns about Russia’s impact on peace, security and economic stability in Europe. They also assess the prospects for political consensus in the United States to […]

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NEWSWATCH STRATFOR: The West Hems in Russia Little by Little

Map of U.S. Military Activities in Europe

[“The West Hems in Russia Little by Little” – Stratfor.com – March 30, 2015] Stratfor considers bolstered U.S. military activities in Europe, including in the vicinity of Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin must be feeling very claustrophobic these days. … All along Russia’s frontier with Europe, the U.S. military is bustling with activity. Bit by bit, the United States is expanding various military exercises […]

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NEWSLINK ReadRussia: How Not to Influence People. Russia’s “tough” posturing just makes it look ridiculous

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear missiles” isn’t the most intuitive headline in the world. Indeed it sounds like something from a parody magazine or from a clumsy remake of Dr. Strangelove. If Denmark is famous for anything (a contentious proposition, but indulge me) it’s precisely because it is inoffensive and non-threatening. It’s a small, rich, tolerant country sandwiched between Germany […]

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