Archive for Mideast, North Africa, Syria, Egypt, Libya

RIA Novosti: Ukrainian Teens Tweet Nazi Propaganda, Boast of Burning Russians

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[Graphics and tweets here en.ria.ru/society/20141012/193990648/ Ukrainian-Teens-Tweet-Nazi-Propaganda-Boast-of-Burning-Russians.html] MOSCOW, October 12 (RIA Novosti), Ekaterina Blinova – Since the Euromaidan turmoil and events triggered by the Ukrainian coup of February 2014, Ukrainian youth has been used as the main propaganda force of the Ukrainian nationalist movement. Ukrainian right-wing nationalists attract young people by romanticized the image of OUN-UPA

Russia Calls for Joint Effort With U.S. to Fight Islamic State

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 29, 2014) Russia’s deputy foreign minister on Monday called for a joint effort between Moscow and Washington in fighting the radical group Islamic State, but appeared to play down fears of a high number of Russians in the group. “The Americans say terrorism represents a direct threat to their

Russia warns of new wave of collapse of states in Middle East

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(Interfax – Moscow, June 21, 2014) Terrorism, which is the most dangerous threat in the Middle Eastern region, could lead to a new wave of collapse of states, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced following his visit to Saudi Arabia. According to Lavrov, during his meetings with the leadership of the kingdom, the conflicts in

Deal with Iran could create new balance of power in the Middle East

Map of Iran with Stylized Radar Sweep and Radiation Symbol Background Image

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Andrei Ilyashenko, special to RBTH  – November 26, 2013) What made this the right time to reach an agreement? The answer may be as much about U.S. politics as anything. At a meeting in Geneva, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (known as

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

Putin Builds North Korea Rail to Circumvent Suez Canal

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ekaterina Shatalova and Nicholas Brautlecht – October 15, 2013) Vladimir Putin is inching closer to his goal of turning Russia into a major transit route for trade between eastern Asia and Europe by prying open North Korea, a nuclear-capable dictatorship isolated for half a century. Russia last month completed the first

Saudi Arabia ‘a root’ of Syrian crisis – Russian expert

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(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 24, 2013) Russian Public Chamber member Sergei Markov said the world community must forge a mechanism for dealing with situations similar to the one in Syria. “One should make use of the energy of this crisis and work out a model of dealing with such conflicts,” Markov told the Open Rostrum

Interfax: Arab peoples may not be able to adapt European democracy model – Kremlin [Sergei Ivanov]

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(Interfax – STOCKHOLM, September 23, 2013) Sergei Ivanov, the head of the Russian presidential administration, believes the Arab peoples may not be able to adapt the European model of democracy quickly. “Yes, we support the Arab people’s ambitions for changes, for a better, calmer life. However, we understand very well that they will not be

TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club [partial transcript]

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

(Kremlin.ru – Novgorod Region, September 19, 2013) Vladimir Putin took part in the final plenary meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club. The theme of the club’s anniversary session is Russia’s Diversity for the Modern World. PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, friends, ladies and gentlemen, I hope that the place for your discussions,

Moscow’s New Role: Global Problem Solver?

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(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Charles Recknagel – September 13, 2013) The world is used to seeing Washington and its western allies take the lead in trying to solve world crises. But suddenly, Moscow has seized the initiative. On September 13, Russian President Vladimir Putin capped a week of energetic diplomacy by winning China’s support for

Kremlin spokesman: Putin did not want to offend anyone by op-ed in New York Times

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Interfax – BISHKEK, September 13, 2013) The Russian presidential spokesman is perplexed by comments from White House officials about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s op-ed in The New York Times. “We heard a statement by a White House press secretary this morning by Moscow time. I would like to note in this regard that, when Putin

Landmark U.S.-Russia Deal on Syria a ‘Diplomatic Victory’

File Photo of John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov at Separte Podiums, Kerry with a Visible Earpiece; Adapted from Photo at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – September 16, 2013) Russian officials have praised their diplomatic victory in “knocking the military trump card out of U.S. hands” in Geneva on Saturday by securing a landmark deal to prevent U.S. military action in Syria. The U.S.-Russia deal was the result of nearly three days of

SCO Against Syria Strike, Iran Sanctions

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – September 16, 2013) While the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) largely focused their attention on Syria and Iran at a summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, joint infrastructure projects and the energy sector were also in the spotlight. The leaders of the SCO, which includes Russia, China,

Official: Geneva accords make possible U.S. strike against Syria even more odious

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(Interfax – September 16, 2013) Possible U.S. military intervention in the Syrian conflict will look even more odious in the context of the agreement to subject Syrian chemical weapons to international monitoring, State Duma International Affairs Committee Chairman Alexei Pushkov wrote on Twitter. “Kerry is reassuring Netanyahu: the U.S. keeps its finger on the trigger!

Putin Relishes Role as Syria Peacemaker

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – September 13, 2013) Vladimir Putin, peacemaker. Such a title would have seemed almost unimaginable even a few weeks ago for a man who rose to power in part by waging a bloody war in Chechnya, where he vowed to “rub [the rebels] out in the outhouse.” But

Obama Falls Right Into Putin’s Trap

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Michael Bohm, Opinion Page Editor – September 13, 2013) President Vladimir Putin loves to set traps for U.S. President Barack Obama. The only thing Putin loves even more is when Obama falls smack into one. Trap No. 1. Putin set his latest trap Monday with a seemingly attractive proposal to

Russians show certain support for military intervention in Syria – polls

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(Interfax – September 11, 2013) The overwhelming majority of Russians (84 per cent) know or heard about the military conflict in Syria that has been continuing for over two years, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 11 September quoting a poll conducted by the Public Opinion Foundation among 1,500 people in 43 constituent parts

RIA Novosti: ‘Boots’ Essential for Security in Russia’s Syria Gambit – Experts

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

(RIA Novosti – Carl Schreck – WASHINGTON, September 11, 2013) The White House has vowed that no American boots will be on the ground in Syria, but a Russian proposal to seize and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons would almost certainly require an international security force, experts said Wednesday. “Boots on the ground will be necessary.

Interfax: Russian Duma statement warns against Syria ‘aggression’, attacks USA

Russian Duma Building

(Interfax – Moscow, September 11, 2013) The State Duma on Wednesday (11 September) called on the international community not to allow aggression against Syria, where the conflict, in the opinion of deputies, can only be resolved as part of the Geneva conference. “In an effort to use all available means to avert a catastrophe, the

The Syrian Alternative/ “A Plea for Caution From Russia” [Putin New York Times Op-Ed]

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

(kremlin.ru – September 12, 2013, also posted by the New York Times on September 11, 2013, as “A Plea for Caution From Russia” at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/12/opinion/putin-plea-for-caution-from-russia-on-syria.html) The article by Vladimir Putin published in The New York Times. Recent events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It

Russia’s Syria Plan Gains Momentum

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – September 11, 2013) Britain, France and the U.S. are set to table a resolution on Syria’s chemical weapons in the UN Security Council on Tuesday evening as a Russian plan to avert a U.S.-led military strike against Syria has garnered overwhelming global support. The announcement came after

Putin Seizes on Syria to Cement Russia Middle East Sway

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer – September 11, 2013) Vladimir Putin is seizing the chance to keep Russia’s foothold in the Middle East. President Barack Obama yesterday postponed a decision on military action in Syria after Putin proposed to put Syria’s chemical weapons under international control, shifting the global debate. It allows Putin to

Russia passes proof of chemical weapons use by Syrian militants to UN Security Council – Duma deputy

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(Interfax – September 11, 2013) Syrian insurgents possess chemical weapons, and Russia has given proof that they have used these weapons on Syrian territory to the UN Security Council, Russian State Duma international affairs committee head Alexei Pushkov said at a Duma plenary session on Wednesday. The Duma plans to issue a statement on the

Interfax: Pushkov hopes Obama won’t reject Russian initiative on Syria

Alexei Pushkov file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 10, 2013) The Russian proposal to put Syrian chemical weapons under international control is advantageous for the U.S. administration and Russia hopes the U.S. president will confirm his support of this initiative, State Duma International Affairs Committee Chairman Alexei Pushkov told reporters on Tuesday. “Let us hope that President Obama will

Russia Promises to Unveil ‘Workable’ Syria Plan Soon

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(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, September 10, 2013) ­ Russia will soon put forward a “workable” plan for placing Syrian chemical weapons under international control, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday, following up on a day-old Russian proposal that has shifted the international debate on military intervention in war-torn Syria. “The Russian side is currently busy

Syrian position affects Russia’s image abroad

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Marina Obrazkova, RBTH – September 9, 2013) According to a survey, the worst attitudes toward Russia are expressed, ironically, by people in countries where Russian tourists traditionally go: Israel, Turkey, Jordan and Egypt. Experts explain this by the nuance that participants in the survey primarily evaluated not the

RIA Novosti: Syria Chemical Weapons Attack ‘Not Ordered’ by Assad – Report

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(RIA Novosti – BERLIN, September 8, 2013) ­ German intelligence sources suggest that last month’s alleged chemical weapons attack in Damascus was not ordered by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Bild am Sonntag has reported. Forces loyal to President Assad had been asking him for four months to use chemical weapons against the rebels, but they

RIA Novosti: With Geneva-2 Stalled, Russia Mulls Syria Talks in Moscow – Lavrov

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, September 9, 2013) Russia is considering holding peace talks on the Syrian conflict in Moscow, as plans for a US-Russia-backed Geneva-2 conference remain stalled, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday after a meeting with his Syrian counterpart. Lavrov said the main obstacle to the Geneva-2 summit ­ intended to bring

TRANSCRIPT: Vladimir Putin’s news conference following the G20 Summit

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

(Kremlin.ru – St Petersburg, September 6, 2013) Vladimir Putin summed up the results of the G20 Summit and answered journalists’ questions. PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Ladies and gentlemen, friends! To start with, I’d like to say that in the five years of its existence the G20 has really become an effective mechanism for elaborating

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Obama finds himself trapped on Syrian issue

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Nikolay Surkov, RBTH – September 5, 2013) Russian pundits believe that the U.S. is hesitating to strike Damascus alone, but it is not willing to give up, either. Moscow does not believe the U.S. intelligence information that claims government forces in Syria used chemical weapons, and it does

Interfax: Russian-US differences on Syria not cold war – pundit

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

(Interfax – Moscow, September 5, 2013) Russia does not set itself the objective of establishing influence in the Middle East and there is no reason either to speak of a “cold war” with the USA, chairman of the Council for Foreign and Defense Policy (SVOP) Fedor Lukyanov believes. “The positions (of the Russian Federation and

Senior Russian MP says U.S. strike on Syria would spread nuclear weapons

Alexei Pushkov file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, September 5, 2013) A US military strike on Syria may prompt a whole range of countries to acquire nuclear weapons for the sake of their own security, Aleksey Pushkov, head of the Russian State Duma International Affairs Committee, has said. “They (the Americans) think that a strike will show the determination of

Syria and BRICS Mark Start of G20 Summit

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Irina Filatova – September 6, 2013) A military strike in Syria would have a destructive effect on the global economy, sending oil prices up, China warned in a gesture of support to President Vladimir Putin, the host of the Group of 20 summit that began in St. Petersburg on Thursday.

Syria raised, but leaders mostly stick to economy at G20

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

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Nathan Gray – September 6, 2013) While Syria lurked in the background of the G20 leaders’ summit, which opened on Thursday, official discussions had their focus firmly on economic issues. The conflict in Syria, however, did occasionally come to the foreground. President Vladimir Putin himself raised the topic at the

Putin Doesn’t Rule Out Support for Syria Strike

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Irina Filatova – September 5, 2013) As the leaders of the world’s major economies are flocking to St. Petersburg for the G20 summit, scheduled to begin Thursday, President Vladimir Putin has reaffirmed his position on the possible U.S.-led military strike in Syria but took a more flexible stance, saying that

RIA Novosti: Russian Pundits See Putin’s Statement On Syria As Manoeuvring Before G20

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

(RIA Novosti – September 4, 2013) Russian experts believe that President Vladimir Putin’s statement that Moscow is ready to act decisively if the use of chemical weapons in Syria is proved beyond doubt is a diplomatic manoeuvre ahead of the G20 summit in St Petersburg, Russian RIA Novosti reported on 4 September. “This is a

RIA Novosti: U.S. Wary in Courting Russian Support for Syria Strike – Experts

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(RIA Novosti – Carl Schreck – WASHINGTON, September 4, 2013) ­ U.S. officials are likely cautious about disclosing to Russia comprehensive intelligence about an apparent chemical weapons attack in Syria and see little chance of convincing Moscow to accept outside military intervention in the civil war there regardless of the facts on the ground, US

Interfax: Moscow discloses expert findings related to use of chemical weapons in Syria

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 4, 2013) Moscow hopes that the conclusions of Russian experts concerning the use of chemical weapons in Syria will prompt a more thorough examination of the developments in that country without blaming the government without clear evidence. “We are drawing attention to the massive flow of various reports meant to place

Assad Allies Iran, Russia Consider Syria Options

Map of Iran with Stylized Radar Sweep and Radiation Symbol Background Image

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Robert Coalson and Golnaz Esfandiari – August 30, 2013) A U.S.-led military intervention in Syria would put Washington on a collision course with two unwavering allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad — Iran and Russia. Just how Tehran and Moscow might react is a key part of the calculus that U.S.

Russian envoy sees EU ‘nuancing’ its position on Syria

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(Interfax – Brussels, August 30 2013) Everything that the European Union has said so far in connection with the situation in Syria has been fairly tidily formulated and focused on the need for a political resolution of the Syrian crisis, believes Vladimir Chizhov, Russia’s permanent representative at the European Union. He told Interfax in Brussels

Poll shows 40% Russians opposed to international military operation in Syria

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(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 28, 2013) The majority of Russian citizens do not support either side of the Syrian conflict but more people believe in the victory of the Syrian authorities rather than the opposition, Levada Center sociologists told Interfax on the basis of the poll they conducted. The majority of respondents (61%) have heard

Lavrov disagrees with Kerry on blaming Syrian govt for chemical attacks – Russian Foreign Ministry

File Photo of John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov at Separte Podiums, Kerry with a Visible Earpiece; Adapted from Photo at state.gov

(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 28, 2013) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry discussed the latest tensions surrounding Syria in a telephone conversation late on Tuesday. “John Kerry set out his judgments based, as was stated, on information from trustworthy sources, according to which the government of the Syrian Arab

Western military intervention in Syria highly likely – Russian experts

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(Interfax – August 27, 2013) The likelihood of Western military intervention in Syria is very high, Sergey Karaganov, honorary chairman of the presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy (SVOP) think-tank, has said. “Unfortunately, the concentration of troops in the region is such that a war may start. The USA may strike within

Interfax: No ‘easy victory’ for USA, NATO in case of attack on Syria – Russian source

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(Interfax – Zhukovskiy, Moscow Region, August 27, 2013) In case of a military operation in Syria, Western countries will not be able to secure an easy victory since Syrian troops are armed with Russian Buk-M2E air defence systems and other air defence means, a military-diplomatic source told Interfax AVN news agency on Tuesday (27 August).

Interfax: U.S. interference in Syria fraught with geopolitical catastrophe – military expert

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(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 26, 2013) The possible military interference of the United States and its allies in Syria will have catastrophic consequences for the situation at Middle East, military expert, member of the Russian Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee Igor Morozov said. “The military interference of the U.S. and its allies in Syria will

Of Russian Tourists, Egyptian Violence, and Fate

Map of Egypt and Environs`

(RIA Novosti – Natalia Antonova, Acting Editor-in-Chief, The Moscow News – August 19, 2013) The news of violence coming out of Egypt is horrifying, and it must be said, unfortunately, that we haven’t seen the end of the horror. So why are Russians continuing to flock to the country for vacation this month? The short

RIA Novosti: Russian Pundits Warn Of Disintegration Of Egypt, Civil War

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(Moscow, August 19, 2013) Egypt is facing the threat of a civil war breaking out and only the Egyptian Army could prevent this from happening, experts think. The disintegration of the country is also likely, experts interviewed by RIA Novosti suggested. (Passage omitted: events of past week) Commenting on the current situation, a doctor of

From Russia, lessons for Egypt

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(opendemocracy.net – Sam Greene – July 23, 2013) Samuel A. Greene is Senior Lecturer in Russian Politics and Director of the King’s Russia Institute at King’s College London. Can manipulating the democratic process ever play out in the interest of progressive politics? Samuel A. Greene suggests not: we’ve been in this situation before, in post-Soviet

Confusion and Irritation Reign in Global Politics

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(RIA Novosti – Fyodor Lukyanov, Editor-in-Chief of the Russia in Global Affairs journal, authoritative source of expertise on Russian foreign policy and global developments – July 11, 2013) The events in Egypt have come to represent a colorful culmination of yet another fall-summer season in world politics, the keynotes of which are: on the one

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Morsi’s ouster won’t solve Egypt’s problems

Map of Egypt and Environs`

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Grigory Kosach, special to RBTH – July 7, 2013 – Grigory Kosach is a professor at the Russian State University for the Humanities) Russia must play an active role in helping to restore stability in the country. The question of whether Mohamed Morsi’s overthrow will become a blessing

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