Archive for Foreign Policy, Security, Visas

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

As Putin Pursues Imperial Goals, Fewer Russians Regret End of USSR

Map of Former Soviet Union

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 11, 2014) Even as Vladimir Putin pursues what many see as an effort to restore an empire centered on Moscow, polls show that ever fewer Russians regret the end of the Soviet Union – something the Kremlin leader has said was “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of

Russia’s International Reputation Hits 9-Year Low, Poll Shows

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 5, 2014) Russia’s global reputation has deteriorated markedly in the past year, according to the results of a poll published Wednesday. Across 23 countries, 45 percent of respondents viewed Russia in a negative light, according to a survey commissioned by the BBC World Service and conducted by consulting firm

Interfax: Snowden must apply for extension if he decides to stay in Russia – head of Federal Migration Service council

Edward Snowden file photo

MOSCOW. June 2 (Interfax) – Former CIA analyst Edward Snowden will have to ask for extension of his temporary asylum if he decides to stay in Russia, Vladimir Volokh, the head of the Public Council of the Federal Migration Service, told Interfax on Monday. “He has to request an extension of his temporary stay. No

Russia Targets ‘Traitorous’ Dual Citizenship Holders

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexey Eremenko – May 30, 2014) Russia is about to criminalize failure to declare dual citizenship in what lawmakers say is a bid to crack down on the “fifth column” – and the fifth column is duly scared. Exposing holders of multiple passports may be the first step to banning

Putin Seeks to Destabilize Former Soviet Space Not Occupy It and to Repress Russia Not Modernize It

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, May 21, 2014) If Vladimir Putin had wanted to occupy part or all of Ukraine, he would have installed a different group of leaders in Donetsk and Luhansk, Yegeniya Albats says, a comment that provides an important clue to the Kremlin leader’s more general strategy with regard

Unraveling the Kremlin’s Strategic Paradigm

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 11, Issue 89 – Robert McDermott – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – May 13, 2014) Since the eruption of the Ukraine crisis, Russian and Western commentators have tried to define those elements of Russian actions and policymaking that constitute “new” factors in Moscow’s relations with the West and its neighbors. On

Yandex reacts to Putin comments about foreign influence as share price falls

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Vsevolod Pulya, RBTH – April 28, 2014) The Russian search engine was actually registered in the Netherlands and received its first investments from foreign investors. Nevertheless, it believes that this is “common practice for any internet startup.” Russian search engine Yandex has responded to comments by Russian President

RIA Novosti: Most Russians Feel Safe From Military Threats – Survey

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

MOSCOW, April 29 (RIA Novosti) – About 86 percent of Russians believe that the Russian armed forces can protect them from military threats, a state-run pollster said Tuesday. “The Russian army will protect our country if a military threat emerges – that’s the opinion of 86 percent of Russians. The number of respondents who gave

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

Stirring up world conflict

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

Subject: Stirring up world conflict Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2014 From: Dmitry Mikheyev <dmitrymikheyev@gmail.com> I am again inviting this intellectual community to explore what from my point of view is a cardinal question of our time. Do democratic countries have legal and moral rights to instigate and perpetrate a Coup D’état against a legitimate government?

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

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