Category Archives: NATO

NATO will never invade Russia – McFaul

NATO Meeting file photo

(Interfax – June 28, 2015) Former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul has said NATO is not planning to invade Russia and there is no need for the Russian leadership to deploy S-400 air defense systems on its Western borders. “NATO will never invade Russia,” he twitted on Sunday. The former ambassador said the Russian leadership is groundlessly concerned about […]

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Interfax: Russia to react “immediately” if NATO increases strength in Europe – source

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Interfax – Moscow, June 26, 2015) By “slightly pushing” Russia by increasing the alliance’s military presence in Europe, the USA and NATO are waging a “game of nerves” for now, however should any practical steps be taken towards an escalation near Russia’s western border, Moscow will respond without delay, a source in the military and diplomatic circles has told Interfax-AVN. […]

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VIDEO & TRANSCRIPT: Conversation: The Standoff Between Russia and the West Over Ukraine

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

(Stratfor.com – June 23, 2015) Conversation: The Standoff Between Russia and the West Over Ukraine is republished with permission of Stratfor; article also appeared at stratfor.com/video/conversation-standoff-between-russia-and-west-over-ukraine. Transcript follows below video. Video Transcript Lauren Goodrich: Hello, my name is Lauren Goodrich, and I’m the senior Eurasia analyst here at Stratfor. I’m joined by Sim Tack, our military analyst, and today we’re going to […]

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NEWSWATCH New York Times: NATO Returns Its Attention to an Old Foe, Russia

NATO Meeting file photo

The New York Times covers NATO exercises and policies towards Russia. After years of facing threats far beyond its borders, NATO is now reinvigorating plans to confront a much larger and more aggressive threat from its past: Moscow. This seismic shift has been apparent in military training exercises in this former Soviet republic [Latvia], which is now a NATO member […]

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RUSSIA AND AMERICA: A FALSE START TOWARD A NEW DÉTENTE (response to Leslie Gelb)

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

Subject: RUSSIA AND AMERICA: A FALSE START TOWARD A NEW DÉTENTE (response to Leslie Gelb) Date: Mon, 22 Jun 2015 16:55:45 +0000 (UTC) From: Kirk Bennett <kirkbennett7@yahoo.com> RUSSIA AND AMERICA: A FALSE START TOWARD A NEW DÉTENTE By Kirk Bennett Kirk Bennett is a former Foreign Service Officer who served in both Moscow and Kyiv. The opinions in this article […]

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NEWSLINK Reuters: After midnight in the library, Putin sets out his world view

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

It was two minutes before midnight when Russian President Vladimir Putin finally entered the meeting room in the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library, more than three hours late, to be interviewed by a dozen exhausted journalists. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/20/us-russia-putin-idUSKBN0P00JG20150620

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal/Edward Lucas: Buttressing the Front Line Against Putin. The U.S. must compel Nordic and Baltic states to put aside old prejudices and link arms against the Russian threat.

Europe Map

  Russia is waging a new cold war in the Baltic region, breaching international law and the conventions that govern civilized behavior among nations. The Kremlin provokes and intimidates its neighbors with aggressive espionage, corruption of political elites, propaganda onslaughts, cyberattacks, economic sanctions, coercive energy policies, surprise military exercises, and violations of airspace, territorial waters and even national borders, as […]

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NEWSWATCH: NATO and Russia Are Playing a Risky Game

NATO Meeting file photo

Writing in The Moscow Times, NYU professor Mark Galeotti comments on recent military exercises by NATO and Russia. Both Russia and the West continue to stage all kind of major military exercises and demonstrations, even while both accuse the other of provocation and aggressive intent. Are the drums of war beating? No, they’re not — but we need to understand […]

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NEWSLINK International New York Times/Fiona Hill, Steven Pifer: Putin’s Risky Game of Chicken

TU-95 Bear Bomber File Photo

Russian SU-24 fighter-bombers buzzed a U.S. Navy destroyer in international waters in the Black Sea late in May, just days after the Royal Air Force scrambled to intercept nuclear-capable Bear bombers near British airspace. These dangerous Russian games of chicken are now regular occurrences and come hard upon a Russian threat in March to aim nuclear missiles at Danish warships […]

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U.S. Readying Plan to Put Tanks on Putin’s Doorstep

NATO Meeting File Photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – David Lerman, Marta Waldoch – June 14, 2015) The U.S. may announce agreements later this month to station tanks and fighting vehicles in eastern European and Baltic countries, a U.S. defense official said. The Pentagon is trying to finalize plans to station equipment for as many as 5,000 soldiers in about a half-dozen countries as the […]

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Interfax: Russia urges U.S. not to destroy INF Treaty

foreign-ministry-200

(Interfax – June 11, 2015) The deployment of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles near Russian borders by the U.S. would totally destroy the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “We have taken note of statements by Pentagon representatives that the U.S. is studying options for military responses to Russian ‘violations’, up to the potential deployment of […]

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The uses and abuses of history

Berlin Wall, Fencing, Barbed Wire, Women

(opendemocracy.net – Rodric Braithwaite – June 8, 2015) Rodric Braithwaite is a British diplomat and author. From 1988 to 1992, Braithwaite served as British ambassador in Moscow, and is the author of Across the Moscow River: The World Turned Upside Down, Moscow 1941: A City and Its People at War and Afgantsy. History is nowadays not only written by the […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Remarks by President Obama in Press Conference after G7 Summit (excerpts)

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

(The White House – Office of the Press Secretary – Elmau Briefing Center, Krün, Germany, June 8, 2015) PRESIDENT OBAMA: With respect to security, the G7 remains strongly united in support for Ukraine. We’ll continue to provide economic support and technical assistance that Ukraine needs as it moves ahead on critical reforms to transform its economy and strengthen its democracy. […]

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RIA Novosti: Russia sets out what it wants from USA, NATO, EU in new foreign policy document

foreign-ministry-200

(RIA Novosti – June 8, 2015) Russia reserves the right to respond to any unfriendly steps towards it taken by the USA, says the document containing a review of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s performance in 2014 and medium-term objectives, as reported by RIA Novosti (part of the state-owned International News Agency Rossiya Segodnya) on 8 June. “In constructing our engagement […]

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NEWSWATCH Wall Street Journal: Defense Chief: Subversion, ‘Big Lie’ Are in Russia’s Arsenal. Ash Carter favors more military exercises, better intelligence sharing

Ashton Carter File Photo

[Wall Street Journal – Defense Chief: Subversion, ‘Big Lie’ Are in Russia’s Arsenal. Ash Carter favors more military exercises, better intelligence sharing – GORDON LUBOLD – June 6, 2015] The Wall Street Journal covers remarks by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter after a European trip to discuss Russia and the crisis in Ukraine. Mr. Carter made clear at the end of an […]

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Putin: ‘We Have Never Viewed Europe as a Mistress’

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – June 8, 2015) President Vladimir Putin insisted that the West should not view Russia as a threat in an interview published Saturday in Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera ahead of an official visit to Italy that kicks off this week. “I think that only an insane person – and only in a […]

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NEWSLINK Reuters: Sink or sell? Russia spat leaves France with warships to spare

Mistral Class Ship

Tensions between the West and Russia over Ukraine have blocked a deal in which Moscow was to buy the ships, leaving Paris trying to negotiate a face-saving compromise and work out CAwhat to do with two unwanted warships.

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What Putin Got Wrong

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – May 28, 2015) Since the Ukraine crisis erupted, Vladimir Putin has befuddled his foes with hybrid-war tactics, poisoned discourse with a sophisticated disinformation campaign, and alarmed the West with a series of provocative moves aimed at probing NATO’s defenses. The Russian president has kept his opponents off balance and on the defensive; and […]

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NEWSLINK Chatham House: A ‘New Cold War’? Abusing History, Misunderstanding Russia

Berlin Wall, Fencing, Barbed Wire, Women

The war in Ukraine suggests a new era of competition between the West and Russia. It has (again) revealed both fundamental differences in how European security is understood, and increasing friction in values. Together, these problems suggest an emergent ‘clash of Europes’ that pits the West’s relatively liberal vision for the region against a more conservative ‘Russian Europe’

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NATO transit through Russia still possible – envoy

NATO Meeting File Photo

(Interfax – Brussels, May 20, 2015) After the International Security Assistance Force completes its operation in Afghanistan, for which a simplified procedure of transit of freight was used, the interested countries will still be able to use the transit scheme in accordance with the general procedure, Russia’s permanent representative to NATO Aleksandr Grushko told Interfax. “I would like to note […]

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Kerry Brings Cautious Signs of Russia Detente to NATO Meeting

NATO Logo, NATO, OTAN

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – ANTALYA, Turkey – May 14, 2015) After his whirlwind visit to Sochi on Tuesday for marathon talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has headed across the Black Sea to Turkey, where he wasted no time in briefing his counterparts on the […]

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Interfax: NATO silent on Russian efforts to bolster Euro-Atlantic security – Russian NATO delegation

File Photo of Official at Podium in Front of Large NATO-Russia Council Signage

(Interfax – May 13, 2015) The Russian delegation to NATO has issued an analysis of Euro-Atlantic security, pointing to the causes of the military and political tensions in the regions. “Recently, NATO’s information offices have persistently imposed their simplified black-and-white picture of the history of the difficult relationship between the alliance and Russia on public opinion, ascribing to Russia the […]

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Putin’s Tanks Draw Cheers in Russian City Jammed Between NATO Nations

Kaliningrad Map, adapted and cropped from army.mil image with credit to Jim Kistler, USAWC

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Ragozin – May 11, 2015) Tanks and ballistic missiles lumbered past thousands of spectators gathered in Kaliningrad on Saturday to mark the 70th anniversary of the Allied victory in Europe, an historic triumph for Russia that the Kremlin has used to whip up a new nationalist fervor. “We need to show our enemies, who deem […]

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NEWSLINK Reuters: Russia may be readying for new Ukraine offensive – NATO commander

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

Russia’s military may be taking advantage of a recent lull in fighting in eastern Ukraine to lay the groundwork for a new military offensive, NATO’s top commander told the U.S. Congress on Thursday. U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, the NATO supreme allied commander, said Russian forces had been seeking to “reset and reposition” while protecting battlefield gains, despite a […]

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The Worst Job In The World? Meet NATO’s Envoy To Russia

NATO Meeting file photo

(RFE/RL – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, April 30, 2015) Robert Pszczel said he felt like he was in a Monty Python skit when he made a routine call to Russia’s Defense Ministry back in June 2013. “We cannot talk to you!” came the agitated reply in a hissed whisper, says Pszczel, acting out the scene for comic effect. This was how Pszczel, NATO’s […]

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SENATE HEARING: Russia, Ukraine, and U.S. Policy – Prepared statement by Stephen Sestanovich

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

Senate Committee on Armed Service April 28, 2015 Russia, Ukraine, and U.S. Policy Prepared statement by Stephen Sestanovich George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies Council on Foreign Relations Kathryn and Shelby Collum Davis Professor of International Diplomacy School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University Chairman McCain, Senator Reed, members of the Armed Services Committee: Thank […]

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Russia Says Ukraine Must Be ‘Neutral’ as It Accuses U.S., NATO

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer, Daryna Krasnolutska, Volodymyr Verbyany – April 22, 2015) Russia said it wants a “neutral” and unified Ukraine as it accused the North Atlantic Treaty Organization of seeking to turn its neighbor into a hostile state. The U.S. wields enormous influence over Ukraine, while Russia wants the people of its “near neighbor” to have a […]

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NEWSWATCH: Rep. Ed Royce/Wall Street Journal: Countering Putin’s Information Weapons of War

Ed Royce file photo

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Rep. Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, addresses what he characterizes as a Russian information war, featuring anti-American propaganda and conspiracy theories. Of concern to Royce is that U.S. international broadcasting services that played a stronger role during the Cold War have “withered,” such that Russian propaganda will flourish unless the U.S. services […]

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: As Tensions With West Rise, Russia Increasingly Rattles Nuclear Saber. Bellicose rhetoric has soared since start of Ukraine conflict to rival Cold War levels

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

Amid the wave of bellicose rhetoric that has swelled in Moscow since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, officials as high up as President Vladimir Putin have been making open nuclear threats, a public saber-rattling with weapons of mass destruction largely unseen even in the days of the Cold War. Remarks about Russia’s nuclear strength play well to Mr. […]

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NEWSWATCH Washington Times: Russia’s grab for its neighbors; ‘Europe whole and free’ should be more than a slogan

Europe Map

[“Russia’s grab for its neighbors: ‘Europe whole and free’ should be more than a slogan’” – Washington Times – Paula Dobriansky, Blaise Misztal – March 29, 2015] Writing in the Washington Times, Paula Dobriansky and Blaise Misztal address concerns about Russia’s impact on peace, security and economic stability in Europe. They also assess the prospects for political consensus in the United States to […]

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NEWSWATCH STRATFOR: The West Hems in Russia Little by Little

Map of U.S. Military Activities in Europe

[“The West Hems in Russia Little by Little” – Stratfor.com – March 30, 2015] Stratfor considers bolstered U.S. military activities in Europe, including in the vicinity of Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin must be feeling very claustrophobic these days. … All along Russia’s frontier with Europe, the U.S. military is bustling with activity. Bit by bit, the United States is expanding various military exercises […]

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Putin Urges FSB: Harder, Faster, Stronger

FSB Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – March 27, 2015) Western governments will attempt to discredit and destabilize Russia, but their efforts will be futile, President Vladimir Putin told Russia’s top security officials Thursday. “We have always had and always will have a proper response to all internal and external threats to national security,” Putin told senior officers of the […]

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Putin marks 15 years in power with harangue against West

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – MOSCOW BLOG: Ben Aris in Moscow – March 27, 2015) Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 26 marked 15 years since he was elected as Boris Yeltsin’s successor by summoning the heads of the Federal Security Service (FSB) and warning them sternly that there was a western conspiracy to undermine and contain Russia. Putin struck a dark […]

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NEWSWATCH Georgetown Journal of International Affairs: Inequality: The Ukraine Invasion and Public Opinion

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

[“The Ukraine Invasion and Public Opinion” – Georgetown Journal of International Affairs –  Harley Balzer – March 20, 2015]  Writing in the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Professor Harley Balzer examines various aspects of Russian involvement in the Ukraine conflict, such as Ukrainian and Russian public opinion, foreign policy considerations and the relevance of Russian public opinion to Russian policymaking. […]

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How to end the Ukraine conflict

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

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – March 19, 2015) March will be a tense month as Russia has decided to poke its finger in Nato’s eye again. Russia’s Armed Forces are holding for the first time Arctic military exercises, which kicked off on March 16 and will last through March 21. The exercises are massive. The […]

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Moscow Times: Mission Impossible: Ukraine’s 3-Step Plan to Join NATO and Upset Russia

NATO Meeting file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 14, 2015) Russian officials have said repeatedly following the overthrow of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych last year that the ouster was a prelude to a NATO takeover of Ukraine. These fears likely helped propel Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and support of separatist rebels in Ukraine’s eastern regions – moves which by turning Ukraine into […]

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Experts: Russia’s withdrawal from the CFE Treaty is a signal to the West

Russian Soldiers Marching

Russian experts say the decision to abandon cooperation with NATO on conventional forces must be considered in the broader geopolitical and historical context. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Timofeichev, RBTH – March 13, 2015) Moscow has announced its withdrawal from the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty, as of March 11, stating that the agreement had became […]

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Interfax: Russia ready for new agreement on conventional weapons in Europe

Europe Map

(Interfax – March 11, 2015) Russia is ready for negotiations concerning a new treaty regarding the control of conventional weapons in Europe, Mikhail Ulyanov, director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s department on non-proliferation and arms control issues, said. “We are ready to consider the possibility and hold appropriate negotiations regarding a new agreement that is in line with the new […]

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Interfax: Former NATO Sec Gen opposed to supplying arms to Kiev, favors diplomatic solution

NATO Meeting file photo

(Interfax – March 10, 2015) Former NATO Secretary General and EU foreign policy chief, Javier Solana is sticking to his desire for a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis. The Ukraine conflict is being resolved in a diplomatic manner, Solana told Interfax, adding he did not want to give an impression that he preferred other methods. He said they should […]

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Interfax: Wikileaks prompted Russia to suspend Joint Consultative Group on CFE participation – Russian Foreign Ministry

Europe Map

(Interfax – March 11, 2015) Russia decided to suspend its work in the Joint Consultative Group on the CFE Treaty because it could not use this format to discuss issues relating to conventional weapons control in Europe, Mikhail Ulyanov, director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s department on non-proliferation and arms control issues, said. “When Wikileaks published secret documents, Department of State […]

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The New Face of Appeasement

File Photo of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler Riding in Convertible

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 10, 2015) It is time to give Nevil Chamberlain a rest as the sole poster child for appeasement. Yes, he appeased Hitler in a hopeless quest to avoid war. He even was honest enough to say that was what he was doing. But when Hitler violated Munich and seized all of Czechoslovakia, […]

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Putin Will Likely Attack a NATO Country Next, Portnikov Says

NATO Meeting file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 27, 2015) Because Vladimir Putin seeks both recognition as the leader of a superpower and a new Yalta at which he and Western leaders will partition the world into spheres of influence and because he can only move toward that goal by new acts of aggression, the Kremlin leader is likely […]

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Europe Isn’t Really Worried About Putin

Europe Map

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – February 26, 2015) [Chart here http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-02-26/europe-isn-t-really-worried-about-putin?cmpid=yhoo] For all the alarmist rhetoric about Russian barbarians at the gate, NATO countries are reluctant to put their money where their mouth is. Only the countries closest to Russia’s borders are increasing their military spending this year, while other, bigger ones are making cuts. Regardless of what […]

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Is There a Plausible Strategy for the Ukraine Situation?

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

(John Steinbruner – Perspectives on Peace & Security – perspectives.carnegie.org – Carnegie Corporation of New York – February 2015) John Steinbruner Professor, Public Policy Director, Center for International and Security Studies at University of Maryland CUAF – School of Public Policy One year after Russia’s seizure of Crimea, the situation in Ukraine continues to drift toward active military confrontation between […]

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TRANSCRIPT & AUDIO: Remarks by Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs: “Unity in Challenging Times: Building on Transatlantic Resolve”

Victoria Nuland file photo

State Department transcript [of prepared remarks – click here for PDF of uncorrected transcript including Q&A]  Remarks by Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs: “Unity in Challenging Times: Building on Transatlantic Resolve” Brookings Institution Washington, DC January 27, 2015 As prepared View more details on Brookings.edu Thanks, Fiona, for that introduction and thanks to Brookings for […]

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NEWSWATCH: How to spot a Russian bomber

TU-95 Bear Bomber File Photo

[“How to spot a Russian bomber” – BBC – February 20, 2015] The BBC covers recent incursions by Russian bombers into UK’s area of interest, including information on how to recognize Russian bombers. Two Russian bombers have been escorted from near UK territory – the latest in a series of similar incidents. How easy is it to spot a Russian […]

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Business New Europe: NATO ramps up presence in Eastern Europe

NATO meeting file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – February 6, 2015) Nato has agreed to establish a new rapid reaction force, boost its troops in Poland and Romania, and establish six command and control centres in Central and Southeast Europe as part of the alliance’s response to the Russian aggression in Ukraine. According to Nato’s secretary general Jens Stoltenberg, […]

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Interfax: “Lavrov: Excitement inspired by NATO’s all-out support will hopefully not harm Kiev”

Sergei Lavrov file photo

(Interfax – February 8, 2015) Russia hopes that the feeling of excitement inspired by NATO’s all-out support will not do harm to the Ukrainian leadership, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the press in Munich on Sunday. “Concerning Ukraine in the context of relations with NATO, and the parallels between Ukraine and Georgia, I did not draw such parallels. NATO […]

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NEWSWATCH: Russians present in Ukraine in specialist roles: U.S. envoy

Douglas Lute file photo

[“Russians present in Ukraine in specialist roles: U.S. envoy” – Reuters – February 4, 2015] Reuters reports on clarifications by U.S. ambassador to NATO Douglas Lute that Russian troops in eastern Ukraine are in a command role and are operating sophisticated military equipment, while additional Russia military interventions do not appear imminent. ‘Back in August, we saw a spike in direct Russian intervention […]

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