Archive for Foreign Policy, Security, Visas

New Law Requires Knowledge of Russian For Residency

Migrant Workers file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 22, 2014) President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a bill that requires foreigners to prove their ability to speak Russian while also giving his seal of approval to a separate bill that will make it easier to grant citizenship to Russian-speakers in former Soviet states. The new immigration

Putin Pledges To Protect All Ethnic Russians Anywhere. So, Where Are They?

Vladimir Putin file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Robert Coalson – April 10, 2014) In recent weeks, the Russian government has articulated what might be called the Putin Doctrine, a blanket assertion that Moscow has the right and the obligation to protect Russians anywhere in the world. Speaking on Russian television last month, Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, said that “Russia

RIA Novosti: Opinion: G7 in Decline, Confrontation With Russia Will Lead to Economic Problems

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

MOSCOW, April 11 (RIA Novosti), Luidmila Chernova – Russia’s exclusion from the G8 is a knee-jerk reaction provoked by short-sighted interests, which will ultimately lead to economic problems, according to Andrew McKillop, a former chief policy analyst at the European Commission Directorate General for Energy. “It’s a purely political stance, provoked by only political short-term

Russia Beyond the Headlines: New Assertiveness Signals a Fresh Foreign Policy Era for Russia

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Gevorg Mirzayan, special to RBTH  - March 26, 2014) President Vladimir Putin’s address to both houses of Russia’s parliament last week signaled that Russia has had enough of what it perceives as Western double standards. The speech, alongside events in Crimea, herald the birth of a tougher approach

Putin Draws His Own ‘Red Lines’ across Post-Soviet Space

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Seated at Desk

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, March 27, 2014) The Western powers have long talked about “red lines” in Syria and elsewhere, actions or events that they say have suggested underscore their concern and indicate where they will act. Now, Russian President Vladimir Putin has done the same, and his “red lines” underscore

TRANSCRIPT: 2007 Putin Speech and the Following Discussion at the Munich Conference on Security Policy

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

(Kremlin.ru – March 10, 2007) Munich VLADIMIR PUTIN: Thank you very much dear Madam Federal Chancellor, Mr Teltschik, ladies and gentlemen! I am truly grateful to be invited to such a representative conference that has assembled politicians, military officials, entrepreneurs and experts from more than 40 nations. This conference’s structure allows me to avoid excessive

From Estonia to Azerbaijan: American Strategy After Ukraine

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

(Stratfor.com – Geopolitical Weekly – George Friedman – Tuesday, March 25, 2014 – 03:08) As I discussed last week, the fundamental problem that Ukraine poses for Russia, beyond a long-term geographical threat, is a crisis in internal legitimacy. Russian President Vladimir Putin has spent his time in power rebuilding the authority of the Russian state within

Contacts between G8 countries continue at expert level – Peskov

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

MOSCOW. March 25 (Interfax) – G8 contacts between countries that were held as part of preparations for the G8 summit in Sochi continue today at the expert level but in other formats, the Russian president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov told Interfax. “Some meetings have been cancelled. Other meetings have been held in a broader format

BNE: No one can kick Russia out of G8

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

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – March 25, 2014) “I would never want to be member of a club that wanted me as a member,” Marco Grouch famously said. Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov came out with pretty much the same defence after Russia was suspended from participating in the G8 meetings and international leaders

Foreigners View Russia as ‘Unpredictable,’ Overseas Cooperation Head Says

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 13, 2014) Foreigners perceive Russia as “unpredictable and aggressive” and it will take Moscow years to improve on this image, the head of a state agency for overseas cooperation has said. The head of Rossotrudnichestvo, Konstantin Kosachyov, whose agency was established in part to improve Russia’s image abroad, offered

NEWSLINK: Russia and the G8: Increased Prominence in International Affairs

File Photo of G8 Heads of State Outdoors in 2013

["Russia and the G8: Increased Prominence in International Affairs" - Valdai Discussion Club - Andrew Monaghan - February 18, 2014 - valdaiclub.com/russia_and_the_world/66904.html] Andrew Monaghan, Senior Research Fellow at Chatham House, assesses Russia’s role and position on the world stage, as they follow up the Sochi Olympics by hosting the G8 summit in several months: Some

Large investors, alumni of Russian universities to enjoy easier naturalization – newspaper

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

MOSCOW. Feb 12 (Interfax) – The Federal Migration Service and the Economic Development Ministry have drawn up a law, which facilitates naturalization of foreign citizens, Kommersant wrote on Wednesday. The simpler naturalization procedure will be primarily granted to businessmen who invest at least ten million rubles in Russia and foreign alumni of Russian colleges and

Davos Discussions Disprove Russia’s Resurgence

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

(Pavel K. Baev – Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 11, Issue 16 – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – January 27, 2014) So much self-congratulating has been emanating from the Kremlin following the spectacular triumphs of Russian foreign policy since September 2013, that the court of President Vladimir Putin prefers to ignore the fact that the annual

Russia to start fingerprinting foreign visitors in July

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(RIA Novosti – January 23, 2014) Russia is planning to introduce mandatory fingerprinting for all foreigners applying for visas to the country. Under the terms of a draft presidential decree posted online Thursday, the Foreign Ministry will launch a pilot project in July to test the necessary equipment and procedures. The project envisions fingerprinting of

Russia’s Missed Opportunities for an Even Larger Empire Lamented

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 13, 2014) Most Russians are profoundly aware of how much of their country’s empire fell away first after the 1917 revolution and then in 1991, but relatively few are aware of Russia’s numerous attempts, all of them ultimately unsuccessful, to establish Russian colonies further afield. How

U.S. Cautions Sochi Travelers Amid Threats

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – January 13, 2014) The U.S. State Department has issued a travel alert for Americans traveling to Sochi for the Winter Olympics and Paralympics as security threats continue to emerge in southern Russia, which is set to host the Games next month. Over the weekend, police defused two

CIA Cuts Off Public Access to Its Translated News Reports

File Photo of CIA Seal on Floor

(Secrecy News – blogs.fas.org/secrecy – Steven Aftergood – January 8, 2014) Beginning in 1974, the U.S. intelligence community provided the public with a broad selection of foreign news reports, updated daily.  These were collected and translated by the Central Intelligence Agency’s Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), which was reconstituted in 2004 as the Open Source

U.S. Private Security Firm On Standby in Case of Emergency During Olympics

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 9, 2014) A U.S. crisis-response firm will have five aircraft on standby during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi in the event that an emergency requires an evacuation. The private Global Rescue firm, which had announced in November that it would assist the U.S. ski and snowboard teams during

Russia at home and abroad: past successes, future challenges

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(opendemocracy.net – Margot Light – January 5, 2014) Margot Light is Professor Emeritus of International Relations at the Department of International Relations of the London School of Economics and Political Science. 2013 produced several foreign policy successes for President Putin, increasing Russia’s prominence on the international stage. At home, the Volgograd suicide attacks brought the

G8 Presidency to Be Marked by Transparency and Efficiency, Putin Says

File Photo of G8 Heads of State Outdoors in 2013

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 3, 3014) Russia’s presidency of the Group of Eight this year will focus on transparency and efficiency in the fight against terrorism and elimination of protectionist barriers in trade, President Vladimir Putin said. In an address published on the Kremlin’s website as Russia assumed the presidency on New Year’s

TRANSCRIPT: Address by President Vladimir Putin on Russia assuming the G8 Presidency

File Photo of G8 Heads of State Outdoors in 2013

(Kremlin.ru – January 1, 2014) PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Dear Friends, This year, on June 4-5, 2014, Russia is hosting the 40th G8 Summit in Sochi. Russia plans to present our partners with an ample agenda for frank and substantive discussion so as to ­ most importantly ­ arrive at concrete decisions. We see

Preparations for Russia’s G8 presidency will give priority to search for solutions to key intl issues

File Photo of G8 Heads of State Outdoors in 2013

MOSCOW. Dec 31 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has given the country’s government and Foreign Ministry until May 1, 2014 to complete negotiations on a Eurasian Economic Union Treaty with Belarus and Kazakhstan and draft a bill to ratify this document. The list of instructions that come as a follow-up to the president’s annual

2013 brings revival of classic diplomacy

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Fyodor Lukyanov – December 30, 2013) Fyodor Lukyanov is chairman of presidium of the Russian Council for Foreign and Defense Policy. The dawn of a unipolar world means that countries will have to settle arguments through talks again. The year 2013 may well go down in the history

RIA Novosti: Foreign Policy -­ Breaking Away From National Interests

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(RIA Novosti – Fyodor Lukyanov – December 26, 2013) Fyodor Lukyanov is Editor-in-Chief of the Russia in Global Affairs journal, authoritative source of expertise on Russian foreign policy and global developments. Russia will step into 2014 with stunning foreign policy achievements. It is impossible to deny the increase in its international influence over the past

NATO refuses to cooperate with CSTO in fighting Afghan drugs for ideological reasons – Lavrov

Afghanistan Map of Ethnicities

(Interfax – December 18, 2013) Moscow stands for NATO-CSTO cooperation in Afghanistan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during the Government Hour at the Federation Council on Wednesday. “We think it would be useful to finally start practical cooperation between the CSTO and NATO,” he said. The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Shanghai

Russia Beyond the Headlines: “2013: Russia’s year of diplomacy”

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

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Andrei Ilyashenko, special to RBTH – December 16, 2013) Russian diplomacy in 2013 won several important victories and met a few disappointments. With the end of the Cold War far behind us, Russia’s foreign policy concerns in 2013 were largely focused on a “humanitarian” war against Syria and

RIA Novosti: Russian Language Losing Popularity Abroad – Official

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

MOSCOW, December 14 (RIA Novosti) ­ The number of Russian speakers worldwide has declined by about 120 million people in the past 20 years, a senior Russian government official said Friday. Measures to boost the popularity of Russian have been insufficient to reverse this decline, according to Benjamin Kaganov, deputy minister of education and science.

Interfax: Lawmaker praises Russia’s “conservative” foreign policy

Mikhail Margelov file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 12 (Interfax) – A senior Russian lawmaker has praised what, according to President Vladimir Putin, is the “conservative” nature of Russia’s foreign policy. “Not to correct or deny but to continue history is the slogan of modern conservatism, a rational ideology that is appropriate for addressing tasks posed by circumstances,” Mikhail Margelov, head

Putin’s Imperial Integration Plans are ‘Insanity,’ Inozemtsev Says

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, December 12, 2013) Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plans to re-integrate the former Soviet space not only will fail because integration presupposes “a unity of culture, economics and culture rather than seeking to seize the most territory” but will undermine the possibilities for Russia’s own development, according to

Putin: Russia seeks to be a world leader but does not aspire to super-power status

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

MOSCOW. Dec 12 (Interfax) – Russia will be a leader but will not lecture other states on how they should live, President Vladimir Putin said. “We will aspire to be a leader by protecting international law and insisting upon respect for national sovereignty, independence and uniqueness of peoples,” Putin said in his address presented to

Russia’s G20 presidency marked by several “firsts”

File Photo of Russia-Hosted G20 Banners Outdoors Before Yellow and White Facade of Historic-Looking Building

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Gleb Fedorov, RBTH – December 2, 2013) Under Russia’s leadership, the G20 achieved major agenda changes. The presidency passed to Australia on Dec. 1. Changing the G20 agenda from an anti-crisis to a strategic development one was a major achievement during the club’s Russian presidency, according to several

RIA Novosti: Russia’s Successes, A Likely Trap?

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

(RIA Novosti – Fyodor Lukyanov – December 2, 2013) Fyodor Lukyanov is Editor-in-Chief of the Russia in Global Affairs journal ­ the most authoritative source of expertise on Russian foreign policy and global developments. One can only marvel at how quickly things change. Just a short while ago, Russia seemed to be retreating on all

Foreign investors to be subject to increased scrutiny

Empty Boardroom

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Elena Drobinina, special to RBTH – November 28, 2013) Proposed rules would require foreign investors in Russian companies considered “strategic” to disclose their shareholders, but experts say the legislation is unlikely to affect investment levels. Russia’s Federal Anti-monopoly Service (FAS) has proposed new legislation that will require foreign

Interfax: Role of Putin in global affairs can go unnoticed only by “politically” short-sighted person – Peskov

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

SOCHI. Nov 28 (Interfax) – The role of Russian President Vladimir Putin in global politics can go unnoticed solely by a “politically short-sighted” person, Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said when commenting on rumors that Putin was in the rating of most influential people of 2013 of the Time magazine. “The year’s events were indeed

Interfax: Almost 80% of Russians say their country has enemies – poll

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

MOSCOW. Nov 26 (Interfax) – Some 78% of Russians believe their country has enemies. The number grew 15%, from 63% last year, Levada Center said presenting a poll held in 130 towns and cities in 45 regions. Only 13% claimed that Russia had no enemies and 9% could not answer the question. Not everyone is

RIA Novosti: Russia Publishes Draft Law Restricting Foreign Land Ownership – Paper

Siberian Natural Scenery, with River, Trees, Hills

MOSCOW, November 20 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia has published a draft law that will bar foreigners from owning or renting land in the country without official permission, a Russian newspaper reported Wednesday. The publication of the document follows reported consultation between government ministries, security services and migration agencies. Experts have warned the move could affect

Shoigu Says NATO and Terrorism Russia’s Top Challenges

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimws.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – November 11, 2013) Terrorism and NATO’s expansion at Russia’s borders are the country’s two main security threats, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Saturday, hinting at a renewal of the armed forces’ strategic and doctrinal direction after years of failed reforms. During an interview broadcasted on Rossia 1,

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Putin tops Forbes power ranking thanks to a lack of strong rivals

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

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yevgeny Shestakov, International Affairs Editor at Rossiyskaya Gazeta, special to RBTH – November 7, 2013) There are a number of reasons why the U.S. edition of Forbes magazine nominated Russian President Vladimir Putin as the most powerful person in 2013. It is difficult to gauge the accuracy of

A Fresh Wind of Optimism; A New Mindset for Russia in the Changing World

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Russia in Global Affairs – eng.globalaffairs.ru – Andrey Bezrukov – October 26, 2013) Andrey Bezrukov is an expert in strategic planning and an associate professor at Moscow University of International Relations (MGIMO). Resume: While the American elites take time to debate and prioritize their national interests, there is no similar dialogue going on within Russian

Interfax: Russia is guarantor of multipolar world, family values – World Russian People’s Assembly

Patriarch Kirill file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 3 (Interfax) – The World Russian People’s Assembly sees Russia as the main guarantor of the multipolar world. “It is Russia that plays the role of key guarantor of the multipolar world, restraining the ambitions of those who claim the role of global domination,” it said in the final document of its congress

Moscow Times: Russians See Greenpeace Protest as a Foreign Plot

Polar Map of Major Rail Lines in Russia, Canada and United States, With Hypothetical Additional Route Drawn In Connecting Them Across Bering Strait

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – October 29, 2013) State pollster VTsIOM released survey results Monday regarding last month’s Greenpeace protest in the Arctic that indicate more than a third of Russians believe the protest was a foreign plot and more than two-thirds disagree with the group’s message of needing to protect the

New defense minister continues dialogue with NATO

NATO Meeting file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Viktor Litovkin, special to RBTH – October 29, 2013) At a NATO-Russia Council meeting in Brussels, the Russian Minister of Defence Sergei Shoigu offered the international community assistance in destroying Syrian chemical weapons and expressed his hope to resume Russia-NATO dialogue on ABMs in Europe. Last week, Brussels

Interfax: Medvedev urges maximum use of WTO protection mechanisms

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

(Interfax – October 29, 2013) Russia should fully use the dispute settlement opportunities provided by the World Trade Organization (WTO), Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said. “It is important to correctly use the opportunities provided by WTO membership, to use the allowed mechanisms and procedures to furthest possible extent, including the WTO dispute settlement body,” he

Putin Has Last Crack at Yanukovych’s EU Dream

File Photo of Ukrainians with Ukrainian Flag in Public Square Near Tower with Golden Dome

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – October 25, 2013) Turkey is interested in joining the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, and India also wants closer ties with the organization, President Vladimir Putin said at the EurAsian Economic Community summit in Minsk on Thursday. But some political analysts saw the summit in

Post-Soviet States Increasingly Vary in Their Relations with Russia, Poll Finds

Eurasia Map

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, October 24, 2013) Some post-Soviet states have “left the post-Soviet space” for good, others are interested in closer ties with Russia, and still others are uncertain about where they are headed, a situation that is further complicated by differences between national leaders and their populations on this

Interfax: European political forces tend to become radical – Dolgov

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

YEREVAN. Oct 23 (Interfax) – Russia is calling on the world community to work together on resolving issues in the sphere of human rights protection, Russian Foreign Ministry envoy on human rights, democracy, and supremacy of law Konstantin Dolgov said. “At the conference on the prevention of discrimination, xenophobia, and intolerance in Europe held in

Imposing political models on other states leads to escalation of int’l instability – Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 23 (Interfax) – Namely the United States urged at some point to prevent organizations under its control from actions, which could undermine the security of another country or which are aimed at changing political regimes, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Washington. Everyone who is currently attempting to interfere in the domestic affairs

Russia Softens Charge in Greenpeace Case

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Vladimir Goryachev and Christopher Brennan – October 24, 2013) The Investigative Committee said it had dropped the piracy charges against 30 people who were on board Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise ship, replacing them with accusations of hooliganism. If convicted of the new charges, the 28 activists and two journalists who were

Russia not interested in tensions between West, Islamic world – Putin

Russian Mosque File Photo

(Interfax – Ufa, October 22, 2013) The voice of Russian Muslim figures should be heard better both on the international arena and in the international Islamic community, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “Tensions between the West and the Islamic world are increasing today. And someone is trying to gamble on this theme by adding firewood

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in a changing world

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yulia Ponomareva, RBTH – October 17, 2013) As Lavrov’s achievements in the negotiations regarding the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria put him in the spotlight, RBTH takes a look at the man beyond his political persona. The agreement on the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons, which was

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