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Archive for Foreign Policy, Security, Visas

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

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

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