Archive for Foreign Policy, Security, Visas

Russia To Face Same Old Questions at Davos In Chillier Atmosphere

File Photo of "World Economic Forum" Display at Davos from Past Session

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – January 21, 2015) As the World Economic Forum kicks off in the Swiss alpine town of Davos on Wednesday, Moscow’s delegates will be working hard to convince participants that Russia is still a sound investment despite tensions over Ukraine and a faltering economy. Speaking at a curtain-raising

Analyst Provides Insider View of Russian Government Think Tank

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 12, Issue 11 – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Valery Dzutsev – January 20, 2015) The revelations of Alexander Sytnik, who recently left his position as a senior fellow at the Russian Institute for Strategic Research, a government-funded think tank, provides a rare glimpse into the inner mechanisms of policymaking in Russia. In

Legislation proposes regulation of ‘undesirable’ foreign organizations

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yekaterina Sinelschikova, RBTH – January 16, 2015) A bill that has passed its first reading the Russian State Duma would give the government the right to fine or ban foreign organizations it deems a security threat. Russia is trying to tighten its control over foreign organizations operating in

Provincialism Keeping Russia from Becoming Great, Inozemtsev Says

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 18, 2014) Russia’s latest turn to authoritarianism and isolationism was possible because of the provincialism of its leaders and people, a sense of being on the margins of the real world and one that prevents them from achieving greatness because they are less interested in that

Business New Europe: It’s time for a new pan-European Security treaty

Europe Map

(Business New Europe PERSPECTIVE – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – January 13, 2015) We are in the middle of the worst political crisis since the end of the Cold War and there is a very real, albeit still remote, possibility of war in Europe. Without attempting a detailed analysis of how we got

What You Need to Know About Joining the Russian Army

File Photo of Russian Military Conscripts Boarding Train with Gear

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – January 13, 2015) Tried to join the French Foreign Legion and didn’t make the cut? Don’t fret – the Russian military has created its own force of foreign citizens to fight Moscow’s wars. The Russian Defense Ministry last month announced that foreigners could enlist in the Russian

Securing peace instead of rewarding expansion: An appeal, by over 100 German-speaking experts on Eastern Europe, for a reality-based and not illusions-guided Russia policy

Map of Germany

(opendemocracy.net – Andreas Umland – January 9, 2015) Andreas Umland is a DAAD Associate Professor of European Studies at the Political Science Department of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy [“Some of the most influential German correspondents on Russia and Ukraine sympathise with the appeal, but, for specifically professional reasons, did not add their signatures.”] On December 5,

Gorbachev’s Call for ‘Perestroika’ of International Relations His Latest ‘Cynical Scam,’ Ikhlov Says

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

(Window On Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 11, 2105) Mikhail Gorbachev’s current call for the “perestroika” of the international system is just as much a “cynical political scam” as was his original one, something that led many to conclude he wanted something more than just a more effective form of “authoritarian modernization,” according

Educating Russians abroad

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(opendemocracy.net – Polina Nikolskaya – January 7, 2015) Polina Nikolskaya is a correspondent at Kommersant Vlast. She has previously worked at Gazeta.ru and Lenta.ru. In 2014, the Russian government launched the ‘Global Education’ programme of postgraduate education abroad. But the reaction in Russia has been obstructive and hostile. In October 2014, Russia withdrew from the

Almost half of Russians feel international isolation – poll

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(Interfax – December 8, 2014) Russians differ on whether Russia is currently in international isolation: 47 percent of the respondents surveyed by the Levada Center said they believe Russia is now in international isolation and 45 percent believe it is not. The poll, which surveys 1,600 respondents, was conducted in 134 populated areas of Russia

Moscow Times: Putin Promises Controlled Freedom in Face of Western Containment

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – December 5, 2014) President Vladimir Putin told the nation on Thursday that Russia’s ongoing clash with the West – which he compared to Hitler – was inevitable and will only make the country stronger by mobilizing its economy and society around common goals and traditional moral values.

Interfax: Russia not seeking self-isolation, not looking for enemies – Putin

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

MOSCOW. Dec 4 (Interfax) – Russia is not going to follow the way of isolationism, xenophobia, and a search for enemies, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “We ourselves will never follow the way of self-isolation, xenophobia, suspiciousness, and the search for enemies. These all are manifestations of weakness, but we are strong and confident. Our

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Vox Pop: Does Russia have friends or enemies? (video)

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Vladimir Stakheev, Pavel Gazdyuk, RBTH – November 28, 2014) According to a survey that polled 1,600 people from 45 regions of Russia, 78% of respondents think that Russia has enemies. RBTH’s correspondent went out on the streets of Moscow to ask people who these enemies are and if

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Beijing and Brisbane meetings see Russia boost economic ties with BRICS

File Photo of Flags of BRICS Nations and BRICS Logo from Past Summit

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Nikolay Surkov, Gevorg Mirzayan, RBTH – November 24, 2014) The recent APEC and G20 summits yielded important dialogue between Moscow and the West on the Ukrainian crisis and a further strengthening of ties between Russia and its BRICS partners, though relations with West remain strained, as global media

Russia to fingerprint foreigners seeking visas starting Dec. 10, 2014

File Photo of Airplane Approaching Runway About to Land

(Interfax – November 25, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree on the collection of biometric data for personal identification of foreign citizens and stateless persons. The decree posted on the official legal information portal says foreigners and stateless persons applying for Russian entry visas or transit visas in their travels across Russian

Kremlinphobia, russophobia and other states of paranoia; The Russian government likes to regularly accuse the West of being ‘russophobic.’ They’re right, but not for the reasons they think.

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(opendemocracy.net – Natalia Antonova – November 21, 2014) Natalia Antonova was born in Kyiv and grew up in North Carolina. She works as a journalist and playwright. ‘Russophobia’ has become a charge as common as fascism in the information war between Russia, Ukraine and the West. The accusation brings to mind the tale of the

Putin, Now Marginalized Internationally, May Become Even More Dangerous, Oreshkin Says

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Valdai Club 2013 Meeting, Adapted from Screenshot of Valdai Club Video at youtube.com

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 18, 2014) The G-20 meeting in Brisbane demonstrated that “the marginalization of Putin is a fait accompli,” that he has failed to split the West, and that its leaders have no intention of acting as Neville Chamberlain did in the late 1930s, according to Dmitry Oreshkin.

Russians say people have right to self-determination but breakup of states undesirable – poll

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

MOSCOW. Nov 18 (Interfax) – Russians have mixed feelings about the wish of some territories to separate from their mother states: 42% support this trend, 30% have a negative opinion and 28% are undecided, the Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) said. Muscovites and St. Petersburg residents exhibit the highest degree of understanding towards the

Time for change – G20

G20 Australia 2014

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne/IntelliNews – November 17, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin met with the leaders of the western world at the weekend at the G20 summit, the first face-to-face meeting of all the world’s leaders since the Russian annexation of Crimea in March. “At the closing of the evening program of

Putin’s Early Departure From G20 Summit a ‘Mistake’

G20 Australia 2014

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – November 17, 2014) President Vladimir Putin made an early departure Sunday from the two-day G20 Summit in Australia, after fielding an abundance of criticism from Western leaders over Russia’s allegedly aggressive role in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, a move some observers say will inevitably be interpreted

Russia to Rethink Study Abroad Program as East-West Relations Sour

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – November 13, 2014) The government is revising a program that allows graduates to study abroad at the state’s expense and could limit it to nations and universities that are deemed friendly to Russia, the education minister said, amid worsening relations with the West. “We are now carefully

Cable TV Channel CNN Says It Will End Russian Broadcasts in 2015

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 11, 2014) Cable news channel CNN will end its broadcasts in Russia starting on Jan.1, after the country passed a law restricting foreign ownership of media outlets. Time Warner, which owns CNN, said it had notified its Russian cable distributors VimpelCom and Akado that it would stop broadcasting in

Putin’s Valdai Speech Echoes Not Churchill’s at Fulton but Hitler’s at Berchtesgaden, Illarionov Says

File Photo of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler Riding in Convertible

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 9, 2014) Some Moscow commentators have compared Vladimir Putin’s speech to the Valdai Club meeting in to Winston Churchill’s 1946 “Iron Curtain” speech at Fulton, Missouri, but the Kremlin leader’s remarks in fact are far closer to those delivered by Adolf Hitler to Neville Chamberlain at

EVENT: The Menace of Unreality: How the Kremlin Weaponizes Information, Culture, and Money – Nov. 13 in Washington, D.C.

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

Subject: EVENT / “The Menace of Unreality: How the Kremlin Weaponizes Information, Culture, and Money” Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2014 From: Institute of Modern Russia <info@imrussia.org> Upcoming Event IMR Report on Kremlin Information War To Be Launched in Washington, D.C. On November 13, editor-in-chief of The Interpreter, Michael Weiss, and journalist Peter Pomerantsev will present

Putin’s new foreign policy rulebook

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

(opendemocracy.net – Anna Arutunyan – November 3, 2014) Anna Arutunyan is an independent journalist and author of ‘The Putin Mystique.’ She lives in Moscow As the Ukraine crisis drags on and as the transformative effects of Crimea’s annexation become increasingly apparent, every time Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, opens his mouth, the bewildered world looks to

Vladimir Putin’s Valdai Show

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Olga Khvostunova- October 28, 2014) On the last day of the annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club, Vladimir Putin delivered a speech in which he accused the United States of attempting to establish a global dictatorship. Olga Khvostunova, editor-in-chief of imrussia.org, speculates that the Russian president

Stalin Invented Hybrid War, Not Vladimir Putin, Archival Record Shows

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 4, 2014) One of the most frequently invoked explanations for the inability of leaders to cope with a challenge is that it is something fundamentally new that they could not have been expected to recognize, understand, and know precisely how to respond. That has been the

Russian Media Behemoth Set To Launch Wave Of Foreign Bureaus

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW – October 29, 2014) Rossiya Segodnya, Russia’s state-run media conglomerate, is reportedly preparing to open local bureaus in 29 world capitals, a move expanding the Kremlin’s global media presence amid what senior Russian officials call an “information war” with the West. The new bureaus are set to

Putin’s Nevsky-Stolypin tandem

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Desk

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Chris Weafer – October 24, 2014) Chris Weafer is Senior Partner at Macro-Advisory, which offers bespoke Russia-CIS consulting. Many of the headlines about Russia in recent months have quite rightly focused on the geopolitical risks and the sanctions impact on the economy. To that has recently been added the

Moscow Times: Russia Beats U.S. and Japan as Best Place to Live for Expats, Survey Shows

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 24, 2014) Russia has ranked 17th on HSBC Bank’s annual list of the of the world’s best countries for expats, beating other destinations like Japan, France and the United Kingdom. Expats in 34 countries were asked in the HSBC Expat poll published Wednesday to judge their experiences on living

List of ‘foreign agents’ grows thanks to Justice Ministry

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Galiya Ibragimova, RBTH – October 21, 2014) Since Russia’s Justice Ministry received the right to declare organizations “foreign agents” without their consent, the number of NGOs on the list has grown substantially In the two years since the passage of Russia’s controversial law on NGOs in July 2012,

Preparing for War Against the US on All Fronts – A Net Assessment of Russia’s Defense and Foreign Policy Since the Start of 2014

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated Before Russian and U.S. Flags

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 11, Issue 183 – Pavel Felgenhauer – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – October 16, 2014) In a series of recently published interviews, President Vladimir Putin (kremlin.ru, October 15), Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (Interfax, October 15) and national security council secretary Nikolai Patrushev (Rossiyskaya Gazeta, October 15) have outlined Moscow’s strategic vision

RIA Novosti: Putin Limits Foreign Capital’s Participation in Russian Media: Government

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW, October 15 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law reducing the possible share of foreign stockholders in the Russian media to 20 percent, says the corresponding document published on the Russian government’s official legal information web portal Wednesday. “Unless otherwise stipulated by an international treaty … a Russian legal entity

Russia Can’t Be Blackmailed Over Ukraine, Putin Says

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – October 15, 2014) It’s futile for the U.S. and its allies to “blackmail” Russia over the Ukraine crisis, President Vladimir Putin said in a newspaper interview. Russia’s partners should remember the risks involved in disputes between nuclear powers, Putin said. He accused Barack Obama of adopting a “hostile” approach in naming

RIA Novosti: New Retaliatory Steps to Western Sanctions Not on Russia’s Agenda: Industry Minister

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

MOSCOW, October 14 (RIA Novosti) – Russia is not going to introduce new measures in response to Western economic sanctions, Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov told reporters on Tuesday. “We are not interested in responding [to Western sanctions] with some unreasonable measures. It’s our [Western] colleagues who should be thinking about when

Russians account decline in ruble exchange rate to international developments – poll

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Interfax – October 12, 2014) Over half of Russians (61 percent) admit that fluctuations in the exchange rate of the ruble have a certain impact on their lives while 13 percent don’t notice any impact, a Public Opinion fund poll indicates. In the opinion of 62 percent of respondents a stronger ruble is better for

Most Russians Believe Foreigners View Country Favorably, Poll Shows

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 9, 2014) A poll published Wednesday revealed that a majority of Russians believe their country is perceived as “interesting” abroad, while few believe foreigners think Russia is “authoritarian.” The poll’s results, which showed that most Russians believe the country is viewed favorably abroad, may be a surprise to some

RIA Novosti: Lavrov on Western Sanctions: Lifting Them Is Up to Those Who Imposed Them

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

MOSCOW, October 8 (RIA Novosti) – Speaking about the possible removal of sanctions against Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday that the matter was for Western states to decide. “Sanctions is the business of our western colleagues, the business of the countries that decided to use this illegal instrument for some reason, possibly

Moscow Compensating for Economic Weakness by ‘Harsh’ Foreign Policy Moves, Lukyanov Says

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, October 8, 2014) The Russian Federation is seeking a revision in the international system but lacks the economic strength to be a new pillar, according to Fedor Lyukanov. And as a result, Moscow will seek to make up for that shortcoming by sudden and dramatic foreign policy

RIA Novosti: Russia to Develop School Exchange Programs With Europe, Asia: Education Ministry

Eurasia Map

MOSCOW, October 3 (RIA Novosti) – Russia is set to develop exchange programs for schoolchildren with countries in Europe and Asia, Deputy Minister of Education Veniamin Kaganov said on Friday. “We have sufficient [student] exchange with many countries. Agreements on cooperation in the educational field are signed with over 70 countries across the world. Quite

RIA Novosti: Putin’s spokesman rules out return of Iron Curtain

Berlin Wall, Fencing, Barbed Wire, Women

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, October 1, 2014) It is absurd to raise the issue of a possible closure of the Russian borders, the Russian president’s press secretary Dmitriy Peskov has said, commenting on a survey by the Levada Centre about the possibility of a return of the Iron Curtain. “The absurdity of this survey does

Russia is actively preparing for war

File Photo of Russian Tanks in Military Parade

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – COMMENT: Ben Aris in Moscow – September 30, 2014) Russia is actively preparing for a war that nobody wants and that will probably never happen. But its increasingly obvious commitment to real preparations for a potential military conflict with the West have been convincing enough to create trump cards

Curbs on Foreign Ownership Will Gut Russia’s Media

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – September 28, 2014) An era in Russian media ended Friday as parliament passed a law limiting foreign ownership in domestic media assets at 20 percent, hitting some of the world’s largest media companies and turning back the clock on an industry that has thrived on foreign brands

Hiding dual citizenship now a criminal offense in Russia

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Anastasia Vityazeva, special to RBTH – August 12, 2014) New legislation requires Russians with passports of two or more countries to inform the migration service on their own initiative, with those who intentionally conceal dual citizenship being criminally liable. A government representative claims that Russians who are a

RIA Novosti: Putin plays down threat of third world war at security meeting – Russian pundits

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(RIA Novosti – July 23, 2014) Having stated at a meeting of the Russian Security Council that there are no direct threats to the sovereignty of the country, Russian President Vladimir Putin has cooled the intensity of the debate about the possibility of a third world war, and also demonstrated his personal judo dexterity in relations with

Russia Beyond the Headlines: MH17 disaster leaves Moscow’s international relations on slippery slope

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Marina Starodubtseva, Nikolai Litovkin, RBTH – July 22, 2014) The Boeing 777 tragedy, which claimed the lives of 298 people, has seriously changed the course of the political game surrounding Ukraine. We asked the leading Russian experts to assess how the political situation changed after the events of

Russian Expats Wrestle With Dual-Citizenship Dilemma

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(RFE/RL – Carl Schreck – June 23, 2014) A new Russian law criminalizing the failure to declare foreign passports has raised fears of a fresh Kremlin crackdown on opponents at home, but Russian expatriates technically excluded from the statute are now scrambling to determine whether they must comply as well. As it turns out, they

Russia Further from Superpower Status than When Putin Came to Power

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 22, 2014) With the occupation of Crimea and with the encouragement of the Kremlin, many Russians believe they are on their way to becoming a super power once again, but the most thoughtful among them recognize that Russia lacks two if not three of the elements

The galloping militarisation of Eurasia

Eurasia Map

(opendemocracy.net – Neil Melvin – June 16, 2014) Neil Melvin is director of the Armed Conflict and Conflict Management Programme at SIPRI In recent months, attention has overwhelmingly been focused on Moscow’s actions in Ukraine. But there is a wider and more disturbing process of militarisation underway throughout the Eurasian region. Russia’s annexation of the

Russia-led security bloc turns away from NATO towards China, chief slams West

Eurasia Map

(Interfax – Moscow, June 16, 2014) A decision has been taken at the CSTO [Collective Security Treaty Organization] to suspend attempts to establish dialogue with NATO, and the course has been mapped towards developing cooperation with the OSCE. “Given the situation, the council of foreign ministers (of the CSTO member states) deemed it advisable to

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