NEWSLINK: “How Do America and Russia Avoid a War over Syria? The United States needs to think soberly about its next steps-and not stumble into a clash with Russia that it neither foresees nor desires.” – The National Interest/ Nikolas Gvosdev

Syria Map

“That it has taken so long since the Russian intervention in Syria began in earnest, a year and a half ago, for an incident to occur that might directly pit Russian and American forces against each other has been nothing short of miraculous. That luck ran out this week, with the downing of a Syrian government warplane accused of carrying […]

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NEWSLINK: “Putin the Balancer: Containing and Balancing Russia’s Multifarious Forces through Soft Authoritarianism” – Russian and Eurasian Politics/ Gordon M. Hahn

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

“… This suggests that to some extent, not just its policies but the regime itself may be malleable to change depending on the tenor or face (as well as potential threat) it presents to representatives of the ‘sistema’. Remember most observers assume Putin was really the man in charge during Medvedev’s thaw. Liberals, in particular the rather rabid liberal intelligentsia, […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia enjoys third year of natural population growth” – bne Intellinews

File Photo of Screenshot of Vladimir Putin in Twitter Video of Trailer of Oliver Stone TV Film Regarding Russia

“… According to Russian state statisticians, as of January 1, 2017, the population of Russia is almost 144.5mn excluding Crimea, whose annexation in 2014 is largely unrecognised by the international community. … In the 2010 census, ethnic Russians were found to make up 81% of the total population. In total, 160 different ethnic groups live within the Russian Federation’s borders. […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Special Seinfeld? An investigation about nothing could become something worse” – Wall Street Journal/ James Freeman

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“‘After 7 months of investigations & committee hearings about my “collusion with the Russians,” nobody has been able to show any proof. Sad!,’ tweeted … Trump …. his argument is stronger than he suggests, because … Comey’s FBI began looking for evidence of collusion nearly a full year ago. It still hasn’t appeared, which means that Department of Justice Special Counsel […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Taking the Edge off U.S.-Russia Strategic Relations” – Russia Matters/ Steven Pifer

Rex Tillerson file photo, adapted from image at readyagain.gov

“Secretary of State Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov have agreed in principle to resume strategic stability talks. The United States and Russia should begin the talks expeditiously, and the first agenda items they should tackle include measures to reduce the risk of accident or miscalculation, preservation of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, and extension of the 2010 […]

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RUSSIALINK Amazon: “The Putin Interviews Paperback – June 16, 2017 by Oliver Stone (Author), Robert Scheer (Foreword)”

File Photo of Screenshot of Vladimir Putin in Twitter Video of Trailer of Oliver Stone TV Film Regarding Russia

“WITH SUBSTANTIAL MATERIAL NOT INCLUDED IN THE DOCUMENTARY Academy Award winner Oliver Stone was able to secure what journalists, news organizations, and even other world leaders have long coveted: extended, unprecedented access to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Putin Interviews are culled from more than a dozen interviews with Putin over a two-year span–never before has the Russian leader spoken […]

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RUSSIALINK TASS: “Antimissile ‘umbrella’ to be created over Russia’s whole territory”

Dmity Rogozin file photo

“Russia’s defense industry has proposed to the Defense Ministry a rational missile defense option that will allow for opening an anti-missile umbrella over the country’s whole territory, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Wednesday. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Russian entrepreneurs wish you’d stop worrying about Putin and start thinking about them” – Washington Post/ David Filipov

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

“… With European governments grappling over whether and how Russian hackers might be attacking their electoral systems, and Washington torn asunder over the question of possible collusion between the Kremlin and members of President Trump’s campaign and administration, the forum presented journalists with a chance to go face to face with Moscow’s principal players. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Vladimir Putin defends Russian economy as reform debate grows. Bullish predictions abound amid debate among advisers” – Financial Times

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“Russian president Vladimir Putin delivered a robust defence of Russia’s struggling economy … as a fierce debate rages among his advisers over the pace and direction of reforms ahead of next year’s elections. … Putin, who is expected to run for a fourth term, said that after two years of recession Russia was entering a “new phase of growth” and forecast that inflation would dip […]

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NEWSLINK: “Saint’s Relics Are a Miraculous Must-See in Secular Russia” – AP

File Photo of Russian Orthodox Cathedral with Man in Religious Garb in Foreground

“In the three weeks since St. Nicholas came to Moscow, more than 300,000 people have stood in huge lines for up to 10 hours to visit a gilded ark thought to carry his bone fragments. Yet the queues stretching down the Moscow River embankment from Christ the Savior Cathedral are something of their own marvel. …”

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NEWSLINK: “A Noun, a Verb and Vladimir Putin. Why the Democrats are making a big mistake by obsessing over Russia.” – Politico, Matt Latimer

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

“The Democrats’ strategy could be summed up in two words: Donald Trump. …”

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NEWSLINK: “VALDAI PAPER #67: TRUMPERY AND KNAVERY: LOOKING FOR THE VIRTUOUS” – Valdai Discussion Club/ Richard Sakwa

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“Donald J. Trump never served in an elected office before becoming president of the USA in November 2016. However, he brings to the presidential office long experience of working in business, and above all an original view of American domestic and foreign policy. As far as Russia is concerned, one of the few salutary features of his election was his […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Igor Shuvalov: Future of Russia Lies in Consolidation and Progress” – Valdai/ Igor Shuvalov

Igor Shuvalov file photo

“The wealth of Russia is based not only on securing the needs of the domestic market, but primarily on the openness, Igor Shuvalov told journalists at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. …”

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NEWSLINK: “What does Russia think about all this? ‘Washington has gone crazy.’ The Kremlin sees vulnerability in a new world order.” – Washington Post/ David Ignatius

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“When Russian officials and analysts here talk about the U.S. investigation of their alleged hacking of the 2016 campaign, two themes predominate: They’re flattered that their country is seen as such a powerful threat, and they’re amazed that the United States is so preoccupied with the scandal. … * * * You might expect that Russians would feel embarrassed by […]

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NEWSLINK: “Ukraine in Conflict” – E-International Relations/ David Marples

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

“Firstly, Ukraine has moved away from the Russian orbit. … Secondly, the quasi-messianic phase of the conflict, the quest for the so-called Russkiy Mir (Russian World), initiated in Moscow has failed. … Thirdly, Ukraine’s response to Euromaidan has been ambivalent and at times questionable. * * * In turn, some Ukrainians refuse to accept any Western critiques of their country. […]

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NEWSLINK: “How the Trump administration’s secret efforts to ease Russia sanctions fell short” – Yahoo News/ Michael Isikoff

State Department Building and U.S. Flag

“In the early weeks of the Trump administration, former Obama administration officials and State Department staffers fought an intense, behind-the-scenes battle to head off efforts by incoming officials to normalize relations with Russia, according to multiple sources familiar with the events. …”

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NEWSLINK: “U.S. Companies To Talk Business With Putin In St. Petersburg” – Forbes/ Nabi Abdullaev

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“After several years of low attendance, during which the Obama administration actively discouraged US businesses from participating in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russia’s largest international business gala, this year sees the return of American companies in sufficient numbers to run a separate U.S.-Russia roundtable for the first time in the forum’s history. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Terrorism and the Perils of ‘Russiagate.’ As Trump and Putin strive for an essential US-Russia alliance against international terrorism, American media frenzy, fueled by anonymous leaks, continues to thwart it.” – The Nation/ Stephen Cohen

File Photo of Donald Trump Waving Before Large Crowd with Trump Signs, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“Cohen begins by reiterating his argument that international terrorism—a modern-day phenomenon that controls territory, has aspects of statehood, commands sizable fighting forces, has agents in many countries outside the Middle East, and is in search of radioactive materials that would make their bombings incalculably more lethal—is the No. 1 threat to the world today, including the United States, Europe, and […]

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NEWSLINK: “‘Do you know what memes are?’ Billionaire Alisher Usmanov’s lawsuit against opposition leader Alexey Navalny goes to trial” – Meduza

Alisher Usmanov file photo

“On Tuesday, May 30, a Moscow court convened to consider the merits of a defamation lawsuit brought by billionaire businessman Alisher Usmanov against opposition politician Alexey Navalny and his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK). Usmanov is demanding that Navalny retract multiple accusations he made in a recent investigation into corruption allegedly involving Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, as well as allegations Navalny has […]

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NEWSLINK: “New book announcement from Brookings: The New Autocracy. Information, Politics, and Policy in Putin’s Russia. Edited by Daniel Treisman. Corruption, fake news, and the ‘informational autocracy’ sustaining Putin in power.” – Brookings Institution

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

“After fading into the background for many years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia suddenly has emerged as a new threat — at least in the minds of many Westerners. … Under … Putin … Russia is neither a somewhat reduced version of the Soviet Union nor a classic police state. Corruption is prevalent at all levels of government and […]

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NEWSLINK: “Best To Assume Russia Sanctions Last Forever” – Forbes/ Kenneth Rapoza

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

“… the G-20 meeting this June … will be the first time [Trump and Putin] meet, and that could give us the official, presidential word on sanctions. …”

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “Foreign Ministry statement in connection with anniversaries in Russia-NATO relations”

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

“These days we will mark 20 years of the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security, which Russia and NATO signed in Paris on May 27, 1997, and 15 years of the declaration titled Russia-NATO Relations: A New Quality, which was adopted at the Russia-NATO summit meeting in Rome on May 28, 2002. We have to point out that […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russian Social Media Seen as Threat to Ukraine and to Cybersecurity. Kiev has shut down Russian Facebook-like platforms VKontakte and Odnoklassniki” – Wall Street Journal

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

“Ukraine has taken a drastic step in a continuing cyberwar with Russia, its powerful, nuclear-armed neighbor: shutting down Russia’s homegrown versions of Facebook. The Ukrainian government earlier this month blocked Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki, Russian-language social media platforms that are hugely popular across the former Soviet Union, saying they were serving as vehicles for pro-Russian propaganda. …”

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NEWSLINK: “The Trump-Russia Story Starts Making Sense. The Kremlin seems to have bet big on the willingness of U.S. intelligence agencies to leak.” – Wall Street Journal/ Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.

File Photo of CIA Seal on Floor

“The Trump-Russia business is finally coming into clearer, more rational focus. Former Obama CIA chief John Brennan, in testimony this week, offered no evidence of Trump campaign cooperation with Russian intelligence. Instead he spoke of CIA fears that Russia would try to recruit/blackmail/trick Trump colleagues into being witting or unwitting agents of influence.”

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NEWSLINK: “Fighting the Politicized, Evidence-Free ‘Collusion with Russia’ Narrative . The ‘Russian collusion’ scandal is manufactured – but like all good subterfuge, it is premised on a kernel of truth.” – National Review/ Andrew McCarthy

U.S. Capitol at Twilight With Washington Monument, National Mall, Washington, D.C., Environs and Sunset in Background

“… Democrats are not fighting for advantage. They are fighting to annihilate their opposition — not just the Trump administration but the Republican Congress. It is not enough to say they are not fighting fair. Everyone knows that. Look at John Brennan: as a national-security official throughout the Obama years, his principal job was to appease Islamist regimes and organizations. […]

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NEWSLINK: “2017 Global 2000: These Are The Largest Companies In Russia” – Forbes

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

“… Aside from boasting hefty ownership stakes from the Russian government, Gazprom and Sberbank are also the number-one and -two companies in country. Gazprom, which holds the world’s largest natural gas reserves ranked #40 on the overall Global 2000, up from #53 in 2016. The jump in ranking came in part because of the company’s profit, which surged from $4.9 […]

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NEWSLINK: “Why The Russia Investigation Matters And Why You Should Care” – National Public Radio/ Domenico Montanaro

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

“… a question asked at Tuesday’s House Intelligence Committee hearing about the Russia investigation with former Obama CIA Director John Brennan caught our attention: ‘Please tell my constituents, my neighbors, why they should care — and not just in Washington, D.C., but in Washington state and Texas and Connecticut and points in between — and why should they care, and […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s economy is recovering well” – CNN

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“[Russia] is recovering nicely from a recession and should see economic growth of 1.4% this year, according to [the IMF] … Russia is heavily dependent on oil exports and was hit hard when crude prices started to crash in 2014. Economic sanctions imposed by Western governments as punishment for Russia taking control of Ukraine’s Crimea region dealt the economy another blow. […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Best Western Correspondent in Moscow; A latter-day John Reed who has lived to tell the story” – Economic Principals/ David Warsh

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

“Fred Weir, of The Christian Science Monitor, has long seemed to me the most dependable and best-informed North American correspondent in Moscow. His reporting stood out on the agglomeration site Johnson’s Russia List, even before David Johnson offered a collection of fifty of Weir’s dispatches, 1999-2016, as a subscription premium. Last week provided a striking example. The occasion was a […]

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NEWSLINK: “Afghanistan: No Way Forward” – Valdai Club/ Anatol Lieven

Afghanistan Map of Ethnicities

‘As the Afghan state becomes increasingly fragile as a result of internal divisions and the resurgence of the Taliban, its future prospects remain bleak. US-Russian cooperation on the issue remains unlikely ….”

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NEWSLINK: “These Two Former Intelligence Chiefs Differ Sharply on Russia and Trump. America needs more Robert Gates and less James Clapper.” – The National Interest/ Paul Saunders

Stylized Russian and U.S. Flags with Number 200, 1807-2007

“… Former secretary of defense and CIA director Robert Gates took a very different approach … Gates — whom no one could accuse of sympathy for Moscow — put Russia’s election interference into historical context, expressed considerable skepticism that Russian officials could have blackmailed Flynn, and, while describing Comey’s firing as ‘not terribly well done,’ was subtly critical of the former […]

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NEWSLINK: “Dimwitted and dangerous” – Paul Robinson/ Irrussianality

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“… in seeking to destroy Trump in this way, his opponents are threatening the internal order of their own country. Perhaps one other explanation for the obsession with Russia is that the ‘Never Trumpists’ aren’t seeking electoral advantage so much as some form of ‘soft coup’ or palace revolution. The hope isn’t to harm Trump’s electoral prospects in 2020, but to […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Fall of Dmitry Medvedev” – Russian and Eurasian Politics/ Gordon Hahn

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

“Opposition leader Alexei Navalnyi’s recent corruption allegations against Russian Prime Minister and former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev poses a grave threat to Medvedev’s political survival in that position. The timing of the allegations is crucial, coming as the presidential campaign approaches as does Putin’s impending decision whether or not to retain Medvedev in the PM’s post. Putin is not left […]

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RUSSIALINK: “A CHINESE SILK NOOSE” – Valdai Club/ Georgy Toloraya

Asia Map

“… In response to the Chinese initiative, Russia advanced an even more ambitious project of a Greater Eurasian Partnership … incorporate[ing] the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and even the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). … However, Russia lacks the resources and integration ties with the numerous countries of the Euro-Pacific space for implementing this ambitious […]

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Today’s Washington Post headlines and links to Russia

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

Here’s how the Russians might have snuck a recording device into the Oval Office https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/05/11/heres-how-the-russians-might-have-snuck-a-recording-device-into-the-oval-office/?utm_term=.fa1eacd431ad Don’t forget those smiling images of Trump and the Russians The Russians are comfortable with the president’s greed, his dishonesty and his cynicism about the rights of others. Anne Applebaum https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/dont-forget-those-smiling-images-of-trump-and-the-russians/2017/05/11/ea26a204-3651-11e7-b4ee-434b6d506b37_story.html?utm_term=.3976431f4593 Trump is at war with the nation he is supposed to lead He seems […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia Gambles in Afghanistan – Again Moscow’s overtures with the Taliban risk destabilizing the region and antagonizing military superpowers” – Moscow Times/ Artemy Kalinovsky

Afghanistan Map of Ethnicities

“… In recent weeks, senior U.S. military officials have accused the Russian government of providing support to the Taliban, the militant group still waging a bloody insurgency against the government in Afghanistan. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Dirty Jobs: Being a Governor in Russia is Proving Tough” – BearMarketBrief/ Fabrice Deprez

Russia Regions Map

“It’s a rough time to be a regional governor in Russia. Since last year, arrests and resignations of local leaders have piled up and accelerated in the last few weeks, with five governors gone since February. Described by some as a way for the Kremlin to prepare the presidential elections, whether by pumping ‘new blood’ into Russia’s political system or […]

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NEWSLINK: “FBI’s Comey: Russia is ‘greatest threat of any nation on Earth’ to U.S. democratic process” – CNBC/ Jacob Pramuk

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“#FBI Director James #Comey told senators Wednesday that #Russia remains involved in American politics, saying he thinks the country poses the ‘greatest threat’ to the U.S. political process of any in the world. During a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham – a foreign policy hawk – asked Comey ‘what kind of threat’ Russia presents ‘to the […]

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NEWSLINK: “ExxonMobil Just Challenged Trump to Get Serious With Russia Policy” – Fortune/ Richard Nephew, Colin Rowat

Portion of U.S. Treasury Department Building Facade, North Side, with Sculpture of Alexander Hamilton

“Earlier this month, news leaked that ExxonMobil was pushing the Treasury Department to grant it a sanctions waiver, which would allow the company to resume its joint venture Black Sea drilling operations with Russian oil giant Rosneft. The Treasury Department has since denied the waiver application, as waivers are granted for humanitarian and policy reasons, not for business reasons—which was […]

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NEWSLINK: “Stanford professor analyzes Russian Empire’s history in new book; Stanford history professor Nancy Kollmann discusses the establishment of the Russian Empire and how Russia’s past shapes its present” – Stanford News/ ALEX SHASHKEVICH

Kremlin and River

“The spotlight on United States-Russia relations has intensified over the past year to levels not seen since the Cold War, according to experts.  To understand Russia, it’s important to understand the course of its history.  Stanford history professor Nancy Kollmann provides insight into the rise of the Russian Empire in her recently published book, The Russian Empire 1450-1801. Stanford News […]

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NEWSLINK: “How the Russia Spin Got So Much Torque” – Common Dreams/ Norman Solomon

“… Soon after #Clinton’s defeat, top strategists decided where to place the blame. ‘Within 24 hours of her concession speech,’ the authors report, campaign manager Robby Mook and campaign chair John Podesta ‘assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack […]

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RUSSIALINK RBTH: “Informal economy in Russia grows to record levels. The informal economy is being helped by economic decline, on the one hand, and the growth of technologies and Internet-markets for work and part-time work, on the other.”

Russian Migrant Workers file photo

“In 2016, employment in the informal sector of Russia’s economy set a record level for the last 10 years, reports Rosstat, the Russian Statistics Agency (the information was published (in Russian) by the RBC business daily in mid-April).  Rosstat believes that the informal employment category consists of those people who work in enterprises that are not registered as a legal entity, that […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Kremlin turns its electoral meddling to Western Europe; Russia’s next targets are moderates in France and Germany” – Washington Post editorial

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

“… it should be clear that the new normal of Russian conduct on the international stage includes tampering with elections in Western democracies to boost candidates the Kremlin believes likely to do its bidding and to harass those who won’t …”

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NEWSLINK: “Russia and the “Resource Curse”: When the Kremlin’s Policy is Counterproductive for the Economy” – Carnegie Moscow Center/Forbes.ru/ ANDREY MOVCHAN, PAVEL KOSHKIN)

Oil Well file photo

“How can Russia overcome the “resource curse”? What countries should be an example for Moscow? What consequences can the Russian flawed economic policy lead to? Why could the authorities’ attempts to save their power by any means be dangerous for economic growth? Andrey Movchan, the director of the Economic Policy Pogram at the Carnegie Moscow Center, sheds light on these […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia and the “Resource Curse”: When the Kremlin’s Policy is Counterproductive for the Economy” – Carnegie Moscow Center/ Forbes.ru/ ANDREY MOVCHAN, PAVEL KOSHKIN)

Oil Well file photo

“How can Russia overcome the ‘resource curse’? What countries should be an example for Moscow? What consequences can the Russian flawed economic policy lead to? Why could the authorities’ attempts to save their power by any means be dangerous for economic growth? Andrey Movchan, the director of the Economic Policy Pogram at the Carnegie Moscow Center, sheds light on these […]

» Read more

RUSSIALINK Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov’s interview with Kommersant newspaper, published 19 April 2017”

Sergei Ryabkov file photo

“Question: Do you know when and where President of Russia Vladimir Putin will meet with US President Donald Trump? Sergey Ryabkov: We have reaffirmed our readiness for such a meeting several times. We understand that contacts at the highest level are crucial for adjusting the agenda, areas of focus and the direction we are moving in. We confirmed our willingness […]

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NEWSLINK: “Unequal Russia: is anger stirring in the global capital of inequality?” – The Guardian (UK)  

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“With the richest 10% owning 87% of all the country’s wealth, Russia is rated the most unequal of the world’s major economies. Amid falling oil prices and a wave of protests, Shaun Walker asks how Russians really feel about life’s inequalities. …”

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RUSSIALINK RBTH: “Why does ExxonMobil need Russia’s Arctic region? Even though the price of extracting oil in the Arctic is very expensive, ExxonMobil still wants to strengthen its position in the Russian market.”

Arctic Map

“The U.S. Government will not give the green light to oil major ExxonMobil Corporation and other American companies that seek to drill in areas covered by U.S. sanctions against Russia, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on April 21. …”

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