NEWSLINK: “Russia’s Attacks on Democracy Aren’t Only a Problem for America; And that’s a problem for skeptics of Russian meddling” – The Nation/ Joshua Holland

Europe Map

“… the Kremlin’s attempts to influence other countries’ electoral processes have been a problem across Europe for over a decade, and … our intelligence agencies weren’t alone in sounding the alarm. And that’s a serious problem for those who are dismissive of the evidence of Russian intervention. …  * * * While Russian interference in last year’s election was all about […]

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NEWSLINK: “Demands on Russian Foreign Policy And Its Drivers: Looking Out Five Years; Russia’s foreign policy priorities in the coming years hinge upon solidifying Russia’s great power status outside the post-Soviet space as well as reducing the country’s political isolation” – Carnegie Moscow/ Dmitri Trenin

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“… This is the first article in a series looking ahead at the drivers of Russian foreign policy from 2017 to 2022. …”

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RUSSIALINK: “Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions at the Terra Scientia on Klyazma River National Educational Youth Forum, Vladimir Region, August 11, 2017” – Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Sergei Lavrov file photo

“… We are going through a critical stage in international relations. …”

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RUSSIALINK: “Without reforms, economic sclerosis awaits; What are Putin’s economic policy options if he retains power in 2018?” – Intersection/ Georgy Bovt

Kremlin and River

“… it is increasingly difficult for a country like present-day Russia to survive and ‘wait through’ the present. The longer anyone postpones the political decisions about launching some ‘healing measures’, the larger the scale of economic and technological collapse there will be; the economic model will inevitably become less and less competitive the more policy makers sit on their hands. […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Costs of Ignoring Russia; Current mutual hostility threatens an explosive confrontation” – The National Interest/ Dimitri K. Simes

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“Improving the dangerously unstable U.S.-Russia relationship will be very difficult, but it is important for U.S. national security. Current mutual hostility threatens an explosive confrontation that could destroy American (and Russian) civilization as we know it. Short of that, Russia can do much more than it is today to damage U.S. interests and values without taking extreme risks. Accordingly, the […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia industrial production is rising in all eight federal districts” – bne Intellinews

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Industrial output growth continued in the first half of this year in all of Russia’s eight federal districts (or Okrug in Russian, each district containing Russia 80 regions), according to the Bank of Finland Institute for Economies in Transition (BOFIT). …”

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NEWSLINK: “Russia Wants Innovation, but It’s Arresting Its Innovators” – New York Times/ Andrew Higgins

Skolkovo File Photo

“… The troubles of Mr. Trubitsyn, however, may help explain why such a breakthrough has proved so elusive: The Russian state, which Mr. Putin has made the main vehicle for his plans for the nation’s resurgence, often stifles growth. A bureaucracy empowered by a steady erosion of democratic checks and balances can often smother new ideas. Grand state-directed projects to […]

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NEWSLINK: Sean’s Russia Blog Podcast: “Retrospective on Stalinism [with Sheila Fitzpatrick, Sean Guillory]”

Joseph Stalin file photo

“… Sheila Fitzpatrick is Bernadotte E. Schmitt Distinguished Service Professor Emerita at the University of Chicago and a Honorary Professor at the University of Sydney. She’s the author numerous books and articles on Soviet history including A Spy in the Archives: A Memoir of Cold War Russia; Tear off the Masks! Identity and Imposture in Twentieth-Century Russia; The Russian Revolution; […]

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NEWSLINK: “Three Questions: Russian intellectual history as a practice and project (Historia Nova Interviews)” – Nancy Condee/ NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

“Background: On the fifth anniversary of the Historia Nova Prize, Irina Prokhorova poses three questions to the HN winners on the current state of intellectual history in Russian studies. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Factbox: What Do the New U.S. Sanctions on Russia Target?” – Reuters

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

“… * The law establishes a review process that allows #Congress to block any effort by #Trump to ease or lift sanctions on #Russia. Lawmakers passed the bill to punish Russia over its alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region and its involvement in Syria’s civil war. * Trump, or any U.S. president, […]

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NEWSLINK: “We Need to Stop Using Russia as a Political Football; From Nixon to Trump, there have always been long-term risks in exploiting foreign policy for domestic political gain” – The Nation/ Vadim Nikitin

Leonid Brezhnev and Richard Nixon Sitting and Talking, as Nixon Gestures, with Third Man Standing and Leaning Closely Between Them

“By voting in new sanctions against Russia, Congress torpedoed the White House’s dream of rapprochement with the Kremlin. Yet its real target was not a foreign foe but an unpopular Republican president threatened by impeachment over alleged electoral manipulation. With the commander in chief dogged by perceived softness on Moscow and crippled by plummeting approval ratings, Congress chose foreign policy […]

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NEWSLINK: “Oh, Wait. Maybe It Was Collusion” – New York Times/ John Sipher, Steve Hall

New York Times Masthead from 1913 adapted from image at loc.gov

“… John Sipher, a former chief of station for the C.I.A., worked for over 27 years in Russia, Europe and Asia and now writes for The Cipher Brief and works for CrossLead, a consulting company. Steve Hall is a former C.I.A. chief of Russian operations and a CNN national security analyst. …”  

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NEWSLINK: “We’re on the road to a new Cold War; And the fault lies squarely with Vladimir Putin” – Washington Post Editorial

Historic Washington Post Masthead, adapted from image at nlrb.gov

“… Twenty-five years after the Cold War ended, relations are back in a deep freeze. … Putin chose to seize Crimea from Ukraine, annex it and then instigate an armed insurrection in southeastern Ukraine in 2014, violating all post-World War II norms of national sovereignty. The war in the Donbas region was a tactic by Mr. Putin to inject further instability […]

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NEWSLINK: “Latest Diplomatic Rift Places US, Russia on Edge of ‘Tipping Point'” – Russia Matters/ Paul Saunders

File Photo of U.S. Embassy Moscow, with Russian Foreign Ministry Building in Distance

“The Russian government’s recent announcement of its decision to eject American diplomats and block access to two diplomatic properties may signal an approaching tipping point in the United States-Russia relationship. Trump administration officials and members of Congress should consider very carefully how to proceed. While the Russian Foreign Ministry’s official announcement of Moscow’s latest moves focused primarily on Russia’s complaints […]

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NEWSLINK: “Putin says the U.S. Mission in Russia needs to cut 755 employees. What do all these people do?” – Washington Post/ Andrew Roth

File Photo of U.S. Embassy Moscow, with Russian Foreign Ministry Building in Distance

“When Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Sunday that the U.S. Embassy and consulates in Russia would have to cut 755 diplomatic and technical staff, many people had the same first thought: We have 755 diplomats in Russia for Putin to expel? Doesn’t that seem like a lot? The answer is yes, that does seem like a lot. Because no, we […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia’s Villages, and Their Way of Life, Are ‘Melting Away'” – New York Times/ NEIL MacFARQUHAR

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

“… With Russia’s natural population growth entering an extended period of decline, villages like Baruta are disappearing from across the country’s continental expanse. * * * Russia’s demographic problem dates back at least 100 years, to the upheaval of the 1917 revolution, followed by Stalin’s purges in the 1930s. Both events curbed population growth, foreshadowing the devastating impact of World […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Russians Were Involved. But It Wasn’t About Collusion” – New York Times/ DANIEL HOFFMAN

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

“… Having long considered the United States its main enemy, the Kremlin deploys a full quiver of intelligence weapons against America and its national security agencies, political parties and defense contractors. Its intelligence services, though best known for clandestine operations to recruit spies, also run covert ‘influence operations’ that often use disinformation to try to affect decisions or events in […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russian propaganda has flooded U.S. airwaves. How about some reciprocity?” – Washington Post editorial

Historic Washington Post Masthead, adapted from image at nlrb.gov

  “… The asymmetry is a problem. … Putin’s government, intent on undermining liberal democracies by casting doubt on the very notion of truth, and sowing division and doubt about basic Western institutions, has become increasingly adept at weaponizing information. U.S. intelligence agencies have called attention to Moscow’s fake news campaign, as have U.S. allies in Europe. … The wild […]

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NEWSLINK: “RUSSIANS ARE THE WORLD’S BIGGEST CAT LOVERS” – Dalia Research

File Photo of Young Cat Amidst Tall Grass, adapted from image at cdc.gov

“Our latest survey shows that a majority (59%) of Russians own a cat. This is more than 10 percentage points higher than any other country in our survey of 52 countries. Surprised? Don’t be. In Russia, cats have been placed on a high pedestal since Empress Elizabeth’s reign in the 1700s, where felines prized for their mouse-catching abilities were brought to […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with «NBC», Moscow, July 21, 2017” – Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Sergei Lavrov file photo

“Question: Minister, thank you very much for your time. There is a lot to talk about. There is Syria, there is North Korea, there is China, there is Ukraine, there is ISIS. But inevitably, I’d like to begin by talking to you about Russian-US relations. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Why is Vladimir Putin holding a news conference just for kids?” – Washington Post/ Andrew Roth

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium Gesturing

“… The Kremlin is getting interested in Russia’s youth ahead of next year’s presidential elections, amid a growth in students at opposition rallies and research showing increased interest in politics among young Russians. In a rare, kid-targeted event, the Kremlin is rolling out its most popular talent Friday afternoon: Putin himself, who will use his exhaustive Q&A style for a […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia’s Evolving Grand Eurasia Strategy: Will It Work?” – Carnegie Moscow Center/ Dmitri Trenin

Asia Map

“With a shift in strategy, 2014 was a pivotal year for Russia’s foreign policy. It was then that Moscow began moving away from its traditional focus on Europe and the Atlantic, with secondary attention to the former Soviet borderlands. The Ukraine crisis served as the coup de grâce for the two concepts that had guided Russian foreign policy since the […]

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NEWSLINK: “Cold weather hits Russian economy in May but recovery still on track” – bne Intellinews

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Russia’s statistics agency released a slew of numbers for June and revised the May numbers. The bottom line is while the economy took a hit from the bad weather in May, the recovery is broadly on track and life is starting to look better for the man in the street after two years of grinding pain. Real disposable incomes and […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Russian spies living next door” – CNN/ Thom Patterson

Stylized Artist's Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

“… U.S. authorities secretly surveilled all the spies for years, bugging the Guryevs’ house and even secretly searching it when they weren’t around. The FBI told CNN’s original series “Declassifed” that the Guryevs tried so hard to blend into American society that they didn’t even speak Russian inside their own home. Eventually, the United States cracked a secret code the […]

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NEWSLINK: “Rising prices and falling savings are Russians’ biggest fears” – bne Intellinews

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“Rising prices and falling savings are currently Russians’ biggest fears, according to the state owned pollster, the Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (VTsIOM). … Mounting food prices and declining savings topped the ranking of Russians’ fears in the middle of this year. However, the fears of a military conflict with the west has also been rising steadily, the poll found, reports […]

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NEWSLINK: “The ex-spy who casts a light on the Trump-Russia saga; Moscow’s operation of influence in Washington is a long-term affair” – Financial Times/ Courtney Weaver

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

“… Like a stack of Russian nesting dolls, the number of people attending has increased from five to eight, while new characters have emerged – including Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian-American DC lobbyist with a penchant for opera, fine wine and imported orange bicycles. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Do the US and Russia need clearer rules of engagement? Trump and Putin’s recent attempt at rapprochement already appears to be falling apart. And even as relations seethe, Washington and Moscow lack shared understanding of what is permissible in the diplomacy, cyber, and political spheres.” – Christian Science Monitor/ Fred Weir

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“… Russian cold war veterans say that efforts to maintain positive diplomatic dialogue have always been hostage to daily headlines and adverse geopolitical events. But today, they say, channels of communication appear woefully inadequate and there is no preexisting set of rules to fall back on – straining basic, practical communication between the US and Russia. … The mood in […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Trump campaign’s attempted collusion” – Washington Post editorial

Historic Washington Post Masthead, adapted from image at nlrb.gov

“… Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who has campaigned against Western-imposed sanctions on Russia, met with Mr. Trump’s closest advisers: his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.; his son-in-law, Jared Kushner; and the Trump campaign chairman at the time, Paul Manafort. The meeting was suggested, as The Post reported Monday, by a Russian pop star whose family has business ties both to the […]

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NEWSLINK: “Trump and Putin at Hamburg: Towards Reset 2.0?” – Russian and Eurasian Politics/ Gordon Hahn

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“It is perhaps ironic and at the same time just that the first meeting between US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin occurred in Germany at the G-20 summit in Hamburg. After all it is there that the Cold War began to unwind with the peaceful fall of the Berlin wall. It is also there in a […]

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NEWSLINK: “Why deciding to ‘move forward’ with Putin is a big mistake” – Washington Post/ Michael McFaul

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

“In his readout of the first meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson praised the desire of both presidents to forget about the past — and move on. Regarding Putin’s denial of interfering in our 2016 president elections, Tillerson stated, ‘I think what the two presidents, I think rightly, focused on is how do we […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Culture of Dishonesty” – New York Times editorial

New York Times Masthead from 1913 adapted from image at loc.gov

“… On Sunday, before Donald Trump Jr. acknowledged that there was a Clinton-related aspect to the meeting, Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, was on Fox News suggesting that the Veselnitskaya episode was “a big nothingburger” for the Trump campaign. …”

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NEWSLINK: “When Trump Met Putin: Is Reconciliation in the Air?” – The National Interest/ Doug Bandow

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“The long awaited meeting between America’s and Russia’s presidents finally occurred at the G-20 summit. They got along great, said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, connecting ‘very quickly,’ and talked for more than two hours. Even First Lady Melania Trump couldn’t drag her husband away after the first hour. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Mending the Gap? Why the DNC mistrusts the FBI” – Economic Principals/ David Warsh

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“… The DNC’s reluctance to share its server probably stems from an awareness of lingering antagonisms within the FBI – the natural inference is that there’s presumably something on it that they don’t trust some FBI agents to keep to themselves once seen. Still, the failure to turn over the evidence is just the sort of lever on public opinion […]

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NEWSLINK: “Eurasian eyes turn east; Russia is more and more seeing China’s push West as an opportunity rather than a threat” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris

Asia Map

“… The relationship with the Chinese state began as a trade deal, but it has become progressively more political. It was not for nothing that when Xi Jinping took office in March 2013 his first trip abroad was to Moscow. To escape its blockade by the West, Russia has tried to shape the new emerging economies such as China into […]

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NEWSLINK: “Is Russia’s ‘neutrality’ over Qatar Crisis a sign of its dilemma?” – Al Arabiya English (UAE)/ Orhan Gafarli

Middle East Map

“During the past month, the crisis between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt has attracted global attention. When the Qatari foreign minister visited Moscow on June 11 and held talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, Moscow expressed a positive outlook …. It is interesting that Russia appears to remain neutral, while closely monitoring the situation. It is […]

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NEWSLINK: “Will the cliche of the ‘Russian baddie’ ever leave our screens? With James Norton starring in McMafia, an upcoming BBC drama about a mob family, the country’s criminal image shows no sign of disappearing” – The Guardian (UK)/ Stuart Jeffries

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“… Will McMafia buck or conform to the stereotypes? On the lawn of Munden House, James Norton tells the Guide that he hopes his performance will remind us that Russians are different to what is considered the norm on cinema and TV. He says that one reason he wanted to play Alex, the Anglo-Russian who’s both revolted and seduced by […]

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NEWSLINK: “EDELSTEIN IN MOSCOW” – Jerusalem Post

Russian State Duma Building file photo

“… Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein made history in Moscow yesterday. For one of the former USSR’s most famous refuseniks – Prisoners of Zion – to address Russia’s parliament 30 years after his release from the Siberian gulag is nothing less than another Russian Revolution vis-a-vis world Jewry. …”

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NEWSLINK: “The Remains of the Romanovs; Nearly a century after Czar Nicholas and his family were murdered, their fate still haunts Russia” – New York Times/ Anastasia Edel

Romanov Family Photo

“On July 17, 1918, as the White Army advanced toward Red-held territory around Yekaterinburg in Siberia, 12 armed Bolsheviks ushered a group of 11 exiles into a basement of a merchant’s mansion once known as Ipatiev House, now the House of Special Purpose. The youngest in the party, a sickly 13-year-old named Aleksei, had to be carried by his father, […]

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NEWSLINK: “PUTIN AND TRUMP ESTABLISH BILATERAL CHANNEL TO MOVE FORWARD” – Richard Sakwa/ Valdai

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“The first face-to-face meeting of Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump finally took place on 7 July 2017 at the G20 summit in Hamburg. Not since the days of superpower summits during the Cold War has a meeting been more eagerly anticipated, or so assiduously impeded by its opponents. In the context where normal practices of diplomacy have so far degenerated, […]

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RUSSIALINK: “What Russians Want From Their President; The country’s voters may have just one request for their next president: maintain the status quo” – Moscow Times/ Alexei Levinson/ Levada Center

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“… One such survey that the Levada Center conducted in June asked which types of domestic and foreign policies the Russian people would like the future president to pursue. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Time for the U.S. to modernize its approach to Russia” – The Hill/ James Durso

Artist's Rendition of U.S. Embassy, Moscow, with the Russian Foreign Ministry in the Background

“… No doubt some senior Russian officials and businessmen are unsatisfied with Putin, but they’re not so unsatisfied that they will cooperate with the U.S., EU or NATO in unhorsing him, especially given our chronic inability to keep a secret. Despite all that ‘mafia state” chatter, Russia’s leadership will, if they need to, close ranks and clean house to protect […]

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NEWSLINK: “Meeting Putin was necessary – but hardly ‘an honor'” – Washington Post editorial

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“… It is not an honor to sit down with the leader of a regime that invades peaceable neighbors, covertly interferes in the elections of democratic nations, and orchestrates and tolerates the assassination of domestic political opponents and journalists. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong to meet. As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said after the leaders ended two-plus hours of conversation, it is crucial for […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Trump-Putin Meeting: No More than Baby Steps. Nobody should expect major changes to happen overnight.” – The National Interest/ Nikolas Gvosdev

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin were scheduled to meet for only about thirty minutes, but they remained closeted together for over two hours … on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, the first face-to-face meeting of the two presidents, even longer than the ninety minutes that George W. Bush and Putin had during their initial meeting. After the […]

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NEWSLINK: “This Is How the G-20 Summit Helped Trump and Putin Claim Victories. Don’t anticipate a swift improvement in the largely dysfunctional U.S.-Russia relationship. For Putin, the dysfunction is useful for domestic politics.” – The National Interest: Matthew Rojandsky

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“The much anticipated first face-to-face meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin has taken place on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. The two presidents met for over two hours, with only translators and their respective chief diplomats—Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov—joining them. Despite its length, the meeting’s narrow agenda, which […]

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NEWSLINK: “On eve of Trump-Putin meeting, Russia asks: ‘Can Trump deal?’ The Kremlin sees the G20 meeting as an opportunity to gauge whether Trump ‘is able to deliver on anything he talks about’ – a possibility that Russian analysts increasingly doubt.” – Christian Science Monitor/ Fred Weir

Donald Trump

“When President Trump meets Vladimir Putin for the very first time, on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Germany on Friday, it is going to be one of the most eagerly awaited and anxiously watched handshakes in history. Yet both sides have been carefully tamping down expectations for any kind of breakthrough at the meeting, each with […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s answers to Russian media questions following President Vladimir Putin’s meeting with US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G20 Summit, Hamburg, July 7, 2017”

Sergei Lavrov file photo

“Question: Mr Lavrov, how did this long meeting go? Sergey Lavrov: If the presidents see that they have issues to discuss and to solve something rather than just exchange opinions, I don’t think that time is of paramount importance. Indeed, they had a very long conversation. My feeling was confirmed that President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and President of the […]

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NEWSLINK: “Trump may claim he won the U.S.-Russia meeting, but Putin probably benefits more” – Washington Post/ David Ignatius

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

“The self-proclaimed ‘deal maker’ finally got the beginnings of what could be an important diplomatic agreement in Friday’s Russian-American summit in Hamburg. For a rookie, President Trump appears to have avoided big mishaps that sometimes plague such great-power talks.  The importance of the meeting between presidents Trump and Putin isn’t so much in the details, though the proposed cease-fire in […]

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NEWSLINK: “Even Now, Does Mr. Trump Get It on Hacking?” – New York Times editorial

Stylized Artist's Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

“… it is important that when he held his first presidential face-to-face meeting with Vladimir Putin on Friday, Mr. Trump began by raising the interference issue and then reportedly pressed him more than once on Russian involvement during the course of their two-hour-and-15-minute conversation. …”

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