NEWSWATCH: “Obama Signs Law That Could Reopen Cultural Exchange with #Russia; Russia’s major museums have not lent artworks to the US since 2011.” – Artnet News/Alyssa Buffenstein

Hermitage Museum

A new law signed … grants foreign states immunity from US jurisdiction in cases related to the temporary exhibition of loaned artworks …. Despite current tensions between Obama and … Putin – and opposition to the bill from groups like the Holocaust Art Restitution Project – the Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity Clarification Act could mean the renewing of cultural […]

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NEWSLINK Russian and Eurasian Politics/Gordon Hahn: “Russia, America, and Interference in Domestic Politics: Comparative Context”

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“It is important to note that any interference by either side is a violation of the Helsinki Final Act, which forbids signatory-states from interfering in the domestic politics of other signatory-states. Both Russia and the U.S. are signatory-states. This article needs further elaboration to define what constitutes ‘interference in domestic politics’ and to determine remedies and punishments for such interference. […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin interviewed by the German ARD TV channel

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Government.ru – August 29, 2008) “We are not going to play by some special rules of our own. We want everyone to follow the same rules that are also referred to as international law.” Thomas Roth: Mr Prime Minister, After the escalation of tensions in Georgia, the Western public and politicians, as well as the press and other people, believe […]

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NEWSWATCH Reuters: “Russia Grants Ukraine’s Request to Delay Eurobond Case Defense”

International Monetary Fund Logo Over Ukraine Flag

Russia has agreed to allow Ukraine extra time to file its defence with a British court … Russia filed a lawsuit … demanding repayment of the $3 billion Eurobond …. Ukraine insists Russia must accept restructuring terms agreed with other foreign creditors. … Ukraine had until March 19 to file its defence although it was granted an extension until April […]

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NEWSWATCH: Washington Post editorial: “Russia’s latest show trial”

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

The Obama administration keeps betting that Vladi­mir Putin is genuinely interested in a diplomatic settlement in Ukraine. The case of Nadiya Savchenko offers powerful evidence to the contrary. … Savchenko, 34, is a Ukrainian army officer who served with the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq and later volunteered for a battalion that fought Russia’s invasion of her country’s eastern provinces in […]

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Russian Investigative Committee gives ICC data on S. Ossetia conflict crimes

Georgia Map

(Interfax – January 28, 2016) The Russian Investigative Committee has provided the International Criminal Court (ICC) with the files of a criminal case opened into the crimes committed during the 2008 armed conflict in South Ossetia, Investigative Committee director Alexander Bastrykin has said. “The Investigative Committee of Russia conducted a thorough investigation into the crimes committed by the Georgian military,” […]

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[NATO Expansion and International Law] Re: 2016-#7-Johnson’s Russia List/Mercouris re NATO

NATO Meeting file photo

Subject: Re: 2016-#7-Johnson’s Russia List/Mercouris re NATO Date: Wed, 13 Jan 2016 From: Timothy Stubbs <timothy.stubbs@dentons.com> As regards Mr. Mercouris’s article of today: In any legal system, agreements intended to be treated as binding and enforceable must meet certain customary formal and substantive requirements for the parties thereto to have a reasonable expectation that such agreements will be treated as […]

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Interfax: Russia to defend its interests in non-confrontational manner, based on intl law – Putin

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

MOSCOW. Jan 11 (Interfax) – Russia is ready to defend its interests in a non-confrontational manner, based on international law, which must be understood uniformly by all, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. “You asked me if I was a friend or not. The relations between states are a little different from those between individuals. I am no friend, bride […]

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Russian incursion into Turkish airspace “embarrassing mistake” – Kremlin

Syria Map

(Interfax – Moscow, October 7, 2015) The Kremlin considers the violation of Turkish airspace by Russian aircraft an embarrassing complication and confirms readiness to hold consultations between the military. “I would like to recall yesterday’s statement of the Russian Defence Ministry where the readiness to immediately begin consultations with the military, including the Turkish military, was voiced to clear up […]

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NEWSLINK Washington Post: Russia’s summer of intrigue: Political trials take center stage.

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[International Law and Crimea Annexation] Re: 2015-#72-Johnson’s Russia List/#45. Rossiyskaya Gazeta: Senior Russian judge claims legal justification for Crimea annexation.

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

[DJ: This individual is active in business in Kyiv and Moscow and requests anonymity] Subject: Re: 2015-#72-Johnson’s Russia List/#45. Rossiyskaya Gazeta: Senior Russian judge claims legal justification for Crimea annexation. (Valeriy Zorkin) Date: Mon, 13 Apr 2015 From: Anonymous 1. I am a putinista, albeit not a passionate/blind one. 2. I am a doctor and a professor of international law. […]

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German doctors confirm that Savchenko is fine – Russian Federal Penitentiary Service

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Interfax – February 16, 2015) The Russian Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) has assisted German doctors with an objective medical evaluation of Ukrainian servicewoman Nadezhda Savchenko, which has confirmed that her health condition is fine. “Assistance was provided yesterday with an approved medical evaluation of accused Nadezhda Savchenko by doctors from Germany,” the FSIN press service said in a report obtained […]

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Russia Would See U.S. Moves to Arm Ukraine as Declaration of War

Maidan Square file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – February 10, 2015) U.S. provision of military aid to Ukraine would be seen by Moscow as a declaration of war and spark a global escalation of Ukraine’s separatist conflict, Russian defense analysts said. With Russia-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine seizing new territory from the Ukrainian army, voices in Washington are demanding that […]

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Russia Sanctions Update series

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

Paul Backer, an American attorney based in Moscow, recently has offered the following original contributions to the JRL on the subject of sanctions and the response by business and legal counsel. Backer, pbacker@skalalaw.com, is with Skalaw Law, online at skalalaw.com. Part I: Russia sanctions: implementing client sanctions policies – Sept. 26, 2014 Part II: Russian companies’ failures to adopt effective sanctions policies […]

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Sanctions Update Part 3, Practical Steps.

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

Subject: Sanctions Update Part 3, Practical Steps. Date: 15 Oct 2014 From: Paul Backer <pauljbacker@gmail.com> Part 3. Practical aspects of sanctions impact optimization for Russian companies. Violating sanctions or hoping for a world without sanctions is not a sanctions policy. Effective sanctions policies optimize transacting and protect assets. They work at the nexus of regulatory, corporate, international, finance, litigation, procurement […]

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Russia sanctions, implementing client sanctions policies

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2014 From: Paul Backer <contact@skalalaw.com> Subject: Russia sanctions, implementing client sanctions policies Part 1. Russia sanctions, implementing client sanctions policies. Skala Law client update. Sanctions’ impact will worsen through 2015. Failing to understand sanctions’ purpose and enforcement materially and avoidably damages listed and unlisted entities. Lack of a sanctions policy renders entities noncompetitive in tenders and […]

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Crimea Proving to Be a War Fought With International Law

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Moscow Times – cc – Ingrid Burke – April 7, 2014) International law is the weapon of choice in the Crimea conflict, with adversaries using sections of the United Nations Charter like artillery to bolster their own defenses and target their opponents’ weaknesses. But who will end up on the right side of history? The fact that the international community has […]

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The Hague Declaration

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

(The White House – Office of the Press Secretary – For Immediate Release – March 24, 2014) 1. We, the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission met in The Hague to reaffirm our support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and […]

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Interfax: Greenpeace has noble goals but wrong methods – Putin

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

MOSCOW. Nov 21 (Interfax) – The actions of the Greenpeace environmentalists who tried to climb an oil platform in the Arctic posed a threat to the lives of the people who are working there, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “When they climb the platform and create an emergency situation, there could be not just one mistake of an operator but […]

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Putin Adviser Sees Political Will to End Greenpeace Dispute

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer – November 19, 2013) Russia is showing “political will” to end a two-month-long dispute over the prosecution of Greenpeace activists after they began to be set free on bail, President Vladimir Putin’s human rights adviser said. “It’s a good sign,” Mikhail Fedotov said in a phone interview today from Moscow. “I hope the same […]

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Interfax: Russia did not violate intl law by banning homosexuality propaganda among minors – children’s ombudsman

Kremlin and St. Basil's

MOSCOW. Nov 14 (Interfax) – Russia did not violate international law by imposing a ban on propaganda of homosexual relations among minors, Russian presidential children’s rights envoy Pavel Astakhov says. “Propaganda of homosexuality among children violates commonly accepted principles and norms of international law,” the envoy’s press service quoted him as saying at the international parliamentary forum on ‘Constitution. Democracy. […]

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Interfax: Kremlin rights council asks Investigative Committee head to change pre-trial restrictions of Greenpeace activists

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

MOSCOW. Nov 12 (Interfax) – The Russian president’s Human Rights Council has asked Investigative Committee Chairman Alexander Bastrykin to consider the possible release of the Arctic Sunrise crewmembers who were detained for staging a protest off Gazprom’s Prirazlomnaya oil rig in the Pechora Sea from custody. “The Russian president’s Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights is […]

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Greenpeace Rebuffs Talk of Arctic Protest Conspiracy

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – November 1, 2013) In early October, Rosneft head Igor Sechin made a brief, enigmatic comment suggesting that there was more than meets the eye behind a Greenpeace protest Sept. 18 against a Gazprom oil rig in the Arctic, an action that resulted in the arrest of 30 people and a black eye […]

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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 environment from oil drilling. Armed […]

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Pressure Growing on Putin to Free Greenpeace Activists

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – October 18, 2013) International pressure on Russia over the arrest of Greenpeace activists mounted Thursday as 11 Nobel Peace Prize winners urged President Vladimir Putin to drop the piracy charges against them. The 11 laureates made such an appeal in a letter sent to the Russian president, Greenpeace said. The letter, which […]

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Kremlin Adviser Likens Greenpeace Piracy Charge to Gang Rape

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Arkhipov & Henry Meyer – October 11, 2013) President Vladimir Putin’s human rights adviser urged prosecutors to drop piracy charges against Greenpeace activists for an Arctic protest, saying it’s as stupid as accusing them of raping the oil platform they scaled. “These charges are laughable because there isn’t the slightest justification for accusing the crew […]

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Human rights council will ask prosecutor general to drop piracy charge against Arctic Sunrise crew – Fedotov

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

(Interfax – MOSCOW, October 10, 2013) The piracy charges, based on which the crew of the Greenpeace icebreaker Arctic Sunrise was arrested, are ungrounded and should be reconsidered, Mikhail Fedotov, the head of the presidential human rights council, said. “I hope this decision will be reconsidered. In any case, we will turn to the prosecutor general. He has potential for […]

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Moscow Times: Majority of Russians Think Greenpeace Arrests Appropriate

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 3, 2013) The majority of Russians approve of the piracy charges against 28 Greenpeace activists who were detained in late September after trying to climb an Gazprom-owned oil drilling rig in the Arctic to protest its environmental impact. A survey from state pollster VTsIOM published Wednesday showed that 60 percent of the respondents believe […]

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NEW BOOK: Strategic Cooperation: Overcoming the Barriers of Global Anarchy

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2013 Subject: New book: Strategic Cooperation:  Overcoming the Barriers of Global Anarchy From: Michael Slobodchikoff <mslobodchikoff@troy.edu> Michael O. Slobodchikoff Lecturer of Political Science Troy University Troy, AL TITLE: Strategic Cooperation:  Overcoming the Barriers of Global Anarchy AUTHOR: Michael O. Slobodchikoff PUBLISHER: Lexington Books (2013) ABSTRACT: Power inequalities and mistrust have characterized many interstate relationships. Yet most […]

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Moscow Security Conference Declares Death of CFE Treaty

File Photo of Russian Tanks in Military Parade

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 10, Issue 105 – Roger McDermott – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – June 4, 2013) The Moscow European Security Conference on May 23­-24 offered an opportunity for a wide range of defense officials and experts from member countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to exchange views on the future of Euro-Atlantic security with their Russian […]

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Interfax: Top Russian judge says U.S. drone operators ‘legitimate’ targets in war on terror

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

(Interfax – St. Petersburg, May 30, 2013) UAV operators are a legitimate enemy target in wartime, Russian Constitutional Court Chairman Valeriy Zorkin believes. “A drone operator should have no illusions about his own security and impunity while controlling a UAV from a suburb of the US capital via satellite. He is a legitimate enemy target according to the legal views […]

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Libya catastrophe sets precedent for new type of intervention by force – Russian Constitutional Court Head

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

(Interfax – ST. PETERSBURG, May 17, 2013) The state catastrophe in Libya shows that lawful methods of resolving the issue have been substituted for use of force and this creates chaos in most parts of Africa, Russian Constitutional Court Chairman Valery Zorkin said. “Researchers and experts acknowledge a very dangerous destruction of the international legal system, more and more frequent […]

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Russia Hopes for International Arms Trade Treaty Revision

Russian Helicopter file photo

MOSCOW. March 11 (Interfax) – Moscow hopes for the revision of the international arms trade treaty approved at last year’s conference in New York. “Hopefully, correct conclusions will be drawn from the negative experience of the July conference and the opinions of all participants in the process will be taken into consideration. We also think that the draft used as […]

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