Archive for Russia & the West

Kremlin’s Anti-Western Mythology Dangerously Self-Destructive, Milov Says

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, March 25, 2014) The Kremlin’s anti-Western mythology is now so widespread that many in Moscow and some in the West accept it as a given and fail to understand how it reflects a specific political program and how dangerous and self-destructive it is for those who are

EU, U.S. want to cancel February 21 accord in Ukraine – Lavrov

Maidan Square file photo

TUNIS. March 4 (Interfax) – Russia thinks that the European Union and the United States want to cancel agreements reached between Ukraine’s authorities and opposition on February 21. “They are trying to annul the February 21 agreement on settling the crisis in Ukraine that was signed by Ukraine’s president and opposition,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei

Putin suggests Western states criticizing Russia assess legitimacy of their own moves

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

NOVO-OGARYOVO. March 4 (Interfax) – Far from all moves of Western countries are legitimate, Russian President Vladimir Putin responded to the Western criticism of Russia. “We are often accused of taking illegitimate actions. And when I ask if they think [their actions] are totally legitimate, they say yes. They have to be reminded about the

Interfax: Western media coverage of Ukraine “perverted” – Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov file photo

BAGHDAD. Feb 20 (Interfax) – Moscow is concerned by how the West has been trying to impact on the situation in Ukraine, and also notes that the situation in this country is being misrepresented, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “We are most deeply concerned by what is going on in Ukraine, and in particular

Sochi Notebook: Russian vs. Western Styles of Talking

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – SOCHI – February 17, 2014) Russians tend to become reticent when approached by reporters at the Winter Olympics. In contrast, North Americans and many Europeans show no qualms at all. They go up to reporters on their own initiative and are not wary about giving their last

Russian web millionaires go West

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – February 11, 2014) International expansion is the new watchword for the Russian venture market’s movers and shakers. As the latest ranking of the country’s internet millionaires indicates, the winners are those who invest abroad. The magazine Sekret Firmy (meaning “company secret” in Russian) has conducted a study together

Shared Fame and Shame at the Sochi Olympics

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – John Freedman, Moscow Times theater editor – February 10, 2014) I once wrote most of what I planned to be a book about Russia. I got as far as sending chapters out to publishers. One of the few editors who was kind enough to reject me personally explained why my

Sochi Winter Olympics kick off as the Games of Hate

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

(Business New Europe – Moscow blog – bne.eu – Ben Aris – February 7, 2014) The Sochi Winter Olympics kick off today February 7, but they have already turned from being a trial of human endeavour into a celebration of the hatemongering that pervades the coverage of Russia. Radio Liberty has published a useful page

In Praise of the Transactional – the Case Against a Strategic Russian-Western Partnership

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated Before Russian and U.S. Flags

Date: Tue, 7 Jan 2014 From: Kirk Bennett <kirkbennett7@yahoo.com> Subject: In Praise of the Transactional ­ — the Case Against a Strategic Russian-Western Partnership In Praise of the Transactional ­ — the Case Against a Strategic Russian-Western Partnership By Kirk Bennett, U.S. Department of State, retired. The opinions expressed are his own and do not

Interfax: Western model of society is becoming increasingly marginal – Russian Orthodox Church

Archpriest Vsevolad Chaplin file photo

Moscow, January 7, Interfax – The Western model of society cannot cope with modern challenges, head of the Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin has said. “To my mind, Western civilization still cannot realize that its model of social order is shared by the minority of people in the world and

Interfax: Patriarch Kirill finds commercialization of Christmas in West dangerous

Patriarch Kirill file photo

Moscow, January 7, Interfax – Ousting the true sense of Christmas from public space, including its substitution with other names, can have dangerous consequences, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has said. “This is a political action, a purposeful act to oust Christian values, including Christian holidays from the lives of people. This is

West has been Against the Slavs for a Millenium, IMEMO Expert Says

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 6, 2013) Despite all the ups and downs in the relationship between the West and the Slavic world, changes that alternatively spark new hopes or new fears, the underlying reality, according to a senior researcher at the Russian Academy of Sciences, is that “the anti-Slavic character

Interfax: Russia is not telling West to live according to its patterns; it has many allies in advocating traditional values – Pushkov

Alexei Pushkov file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 23 (Interfax) – Chairman of the State Duma International Affairs’ Committee Alexei Pushkov believes that Russia has many allies in West European countries in advocating traditional values. “Russia is not suggesting that Western societies live according to our patterns but advocates the right of all countries and societies to live the way they

Interfax: Ukraine opposition leaders urge support from West for pro-EU movement

Monument in Ukraine

KYIV. Dec 6 (Interfax) – Ukrainian opposition leaders – Vitali Klitschko of the UDAR party, Arseny Yatsenyuk of Batkivshchyna (Fatherland), and Oleh Tyahnybok of Svoboda (Freedom) – have met with the U.S. assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, Victoria Nuland. “We call upon the leaders of the European Union and the United

Interfax: Russian NGOs that won government grants won’t abandon foreign financing

Kremlin and St. Basil's

MOSCOW. Dec 5 (Interfax) – The Russian civil rights organizations that have won in a tender for government grants are not going to abandon foreign financing. “These are our projects. We are pursuing them regardless of financing sources. We are not carrying out projects ordered by Russian or foreign funds,” Memorial historical and civil rights

Petersburg, the city with a split personality

St. Petersburg

(opendemocracy.net – Daniil Kotsyubinsky – November 25, 2013) Daniil Kotsyubinsky is a Russian historian and journalist based in St. Petersburg Today’s Russia is like a huge ice floe ­ broken off from contemporary life and drifting further and further from Europe into a dank and gloomy past. St Petersburg, or ‘Peter’, epitomises this duality most

Interfax: Greenpeace has noble goals but wrong methods – Putin

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

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

Interfax: Astakhov Criticizes Western Juvenile Justice, Nontraditional Families

Pavel Astakhov file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 19 (Interfax) – The Western form of juvenile justice will not work in Russia, Russian children’s rights commissioner Pavel Astakhov said. “My principled stance is that the Western style, a virtually bankrupt form of juvenile justice is not viable,” Astakhov told reporters on Tuesday. “It is not viable in Russia because the equality

Pravda.ru: “Can Russia collapse and fall under Western control?”

Russian Duma Building

(Pravda.ru – Anton Kulikov – November 12, 2013) The Russian State Duma deputies proposed an introduction of the “Separatist Propaganda” article in the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation and establishing a prison sentence of three to six years for said propaganda. So far this is only a draft bill, and its future is unclear.

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

The West Just Doesn’t Get Putin

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Dmitri Trenin, Director, Carnegie Moscow Center – September 13, 2013) U.S. reactions to President Vladimir Putin’s op-ed article in the New York Times this week, from outrage to ridicule, show just how badly much of the Western policy elite are misinterpreting Russia. This is largely the product of dashed and unrealistic

10th Annual Valdai Club Meeting Opens

Valdai Club Gathering at Long Tables in Large Hall

(RIA Novosti – September 16, 2013) Today, beginning at 9:15 a.m. Moscow time (5:15 a.m. GMT), RIA Novosti is broadcasting live from the opening of the 10th annual meeting of the Valdai Club, a discussion forum where high-level Russian officials have been meeting with foreign political scientists since 2004. A recording of the event will

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Is Russia’s ‘gay propaganda’ law alienating it from the West?

Duma Session file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yaroslava Kiryukhina, RBTH – September 10, 2013) In response to Russia’s recently adopted “anti-gay law,” people in cities all over the world are boycotting Russian vodka and talking of severing sister-city ties. Despite this criticism, which comes mainly from Western audiences, Russian lawmakers insist that the new legislation

How much does the rest of the world hate Russia?

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris – September 11, 2013) How much does the rest of the world hate Russia? Answer: a lot. This excerpt below is part of an internal memo by a major US bank, which will remain nameless, to clients on the results of the Moscow mayoral elections at the

Russians expect country to gradually assume more Western features – poll

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 21, 2013) Most Russians tend to expect that Russia will develop according to the Western, not Asian pattern, sociologists from Levada Center have told Interfax. According to a poll conducted in July in 130 towns and cities in 45 territories of Russia, over a quarter (27%) of the interviewed assume that

Moscow Dismisses Western Criticism of Gay Propaganda Law

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, August 7, 2013) ­ A senior Russian Foreign Ministry official on Wednesday deflected Western criticism of the so-called anti-gay law, saying the recently adopted legislation did not violate the rights of sexual minorities in the country but was aimed at protecting minors. “As to the criticism of our law banning homosexual

Western Activists Urge Vodka Boycotts, Visa Bans To Protest Russia’s Antigay Laws

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW – July 29, 2013) Western lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activists are ratcheting up the pressure on Russia over laws outlawing “gay propaganda.” Among the tactics: an online campaign to “dump Russian vodka” calls for a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, while another

From Russia, lessons for Egypt

Map of Egypt and Environs`

(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

JRL NEWSBLOG: Putin’s Decay

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

[Putin's Decay - Gordon Hahn - Moscow Times - July 12, 2013 - http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/putins-decay/483044.html - Gordon Hahn, senior associate of the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, is author of "Russia's Revolution From Above" and "Russia's Islamic Threat] In his Moscow Times Op-Ed, “Putin’s Decay,” Gordon Hahn of

Moscow slams West’s ‘double standards’-based Syria policy

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

(Interfax – MOSCOW, July 8, 2013) Moscow has again slammed the West for a policy on the Syrian conflict based on “double standards.” “We deplore the position of our Western partners in the UN Security Council – in debating the Syria issue, they continue to observe double standards. Moreover, this is far from the first

Putin orders govt. to consider restoration of contemporary Western art museum

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – MOSCOW, April 30, 2013) Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the government to consider by June 15 the expediency of restoring a contemporary Western art museum in Moscow. “To consider the expediency of restoring a new (contemporary) Western art museum in Moscow,” say Putin’s instructions given after the Direct Line with Russians. The

Dependence on Western Medicine Worries Government

HIV Infection Microscopic Photo of Cells

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Winning – March 21, 2013) Health officials are complaining that Russia is becoming increasingly dependent on the West for medical supplies and top-flight treatment, as a growing number of Russians choose overseas clinics over state medical care. Health  Minister Veronika Skvortsova told regional health authorities on Wednesday that instead

NEWSLINK: Sergei Magnitsky: The enemy within: A saga that has been a parable of the self-mutilating way Russia is governed

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

[Sergei Magnitsky:  The enemy within: A saga that has been a parable of the self-mutilating way Russia is governed - The Economist - Editorial - March 9, 2013 - http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21573119-saga-has-been-parable-self-mutilating-way-russia-governed-enemy-within] The Economist issues an editorial on the Magnitsky saga and its aftermath, and what it shows about brutal, deadly elitism in Russia: Martyred human rights

From ‘Upper Volta with Missiles’ to ‘Nigeria with Snow’

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 28, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/02/window-on-eurasia-from-upper-volta-with.html) Twenty-five years ago, German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt characterized the Soviet Union as being an “Upper Volta with missiles.” Now, Russian analysts, in response to findings of a Swiss firm, have suggested that a better analogy might be between the Russian Federation and

Russia Spells Out Foreign Policy Priorities, Says Western Dominance Declining

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, 18 February 2013) The West’s capabilities to dominate global politics continue to dwindle, the Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation, whose text was posted on the website of the Foreign Ministry today, reads. [http://www.mid.ru/bdomp/ns-osndoc.nsf/e2f289bea62097f9c325787a0034c255/c32577ca0017434944257b160051bf7f] “The capabilities of the historically established West to dominate the global economy and politics continue to

Would democratic change in Russia transform its foreign policy?

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(www.opendemocracy.net – Ivan Krastev – February 7, 2013) Ivan Krastev is chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies, Sofia, and permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna (IWM). The incompatibility of an anachronistic and arbitrary regime with the modern world is leading many to consider that democratic change is possible ­ likely

Russia Hires Goldman as Corporate Broker to Boost Image

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Jason Corcoran – February 4, 2013) Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (G) has been hired by the Russian government to burnish the nation’s image overseas and attract more institutional investors. The bank has signed a three-year agreement with the Economy Ministry and the Russian Direct Investment Fund to advise on issues such

Putin’s Anti-Western Statements are Not About Russian Domestic Politics Alone, Makarkin Says

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

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 1, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/02/window-on-eurasia-putins-anti-western.html) Vladimir Putin’s support for “the conservative wave in contemporary Russia” is not just part of his broader effort to set the country’s “silent majority” against the opposition, Aleksey Makarkin says. It is also a reflection of the Russian president’s disappointment in the

Russians warming to West, keener on EU than US – poll

EU Map

(Interfax – January 31, 2013) The Russians like the European Union more than the USA and believe that in its foreign policy Moscow should gravitate towards Western Europe and the CIS countries, Russian Interfax news agency reported, quoting an opinion poll carried out by the Levada Centre in January. In the poll, 64 per cent

Sympathies of Russians for West increased in a year – poll

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

MOSCOW. Jan 31 (Interfax) – Presently, Russians think better of the European Union than of the United States and believe it would be best for Russia to follow foreign policy objectives in Western Europe and CIS, a poll indicates. During a poll in January, 64% of the respondents said they held a positive attitude to

Clinton Urges Russia to be More ‘Integrated’

File Photo of Hillary Rodham Clinton with Nazarbayev

WASHINGTON, January 30 (RIA Novosti) The United States and Europe should work to persuade Russia’s leadership to let their country become more “integrated” with the West despite challenges in relations with Moscow, outgoing US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in an interview published Tuesday. “It’s going to have to be a mutual effort, Europe

Will Russia pivot East or West?

Eurasia Map

(opendemocracy.net – Jonas Parello-Plesner – January 24, 2013) Jonas is Senior Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. He served as Denmark’s Senior Advisor on China and North East Asia from 2005-2009.   Russia-watchers have long been interested in her place on the international arena. Now, with China at the centre of the

NEWSLINK: A revolution in space but calmer streets at home; Pundits predict a loss of momentum for the protest movement at home and see little scope for improvement in relations with the West

New Year's Eve in Red Square with Crowd and Fireworks

(A revolution in space but calmer streets at home; Pundits predict a loss of momentum for the protest movement at home and see little scope for improvement in relations with the West – Russia Beyond the Headlines – Artem Zagorodnov – January 4, 2013 – click here for google cache version of article) Russia Beyond

Russian-Language Textbooks Stir Controversy

Russian Duma Building

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Patrick Reevell – December 26, 2012) A policeman says in Russian: “I work a lot, sometimes even too much. … Winter or summer, rain or shine, I go from a bank to a store, from a store to a restaurant, from a restaurant to a market, looking for where to

Russia and the West need to rediscover each other in 2013

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

(Dmitri Trenin – www.opendemocracy.net – Dmitri Trenin, Director of the Carnegie Moscow Center; Counselor of the Commission on Euro-Atlantic Security – December 24, 2012) A year is a very long time in politics. Over the past year Russia’s relations with the West have deteriorated, not helped by events in Syria and the Magnitsky Act. A

Anti-western rhetoric stopped international financial center in Russia – Kudrin

Alexei Kudrin file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 18 (Interfax) – Anti-western rhetoric has stopped the establishment of an International Financial Center (IFC) in Russia, former finance minister and now chairman of the Civil Initiatives Committee, Alexei Kudrin, said. Instead of dialogue between the authorities and the public, legislation is being passed that is hitting protestors. One myth is the assertion

Russian human rights activists boycott Law on Foreign Agents

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – November 19, 2012) Leading Russian NGOs intend to ignore the legislative amendments which require the registration as “agents of foreign influence” of non-governmental organizations with Western backing. The law will enter into force on Nov. 20, Tuesday. “I do not know a single human rights organization, which has appealed for being registered as

New English-Language Radio Station To Hit Airwaves in Moscow

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

MOSCOW, November 2 (RIA Novosti) ­ Moscow city officials plan to target tourists and English-speaking residents in a whole new way: with a new English-language radio station. Moscow FM, which will be hosted on the 105.2 frequency, is expected to hit the airwaves on November 12, the Kommersant daily newspaper reported Friday. Igor Shestakov, chief

MOSCOW BLOG: 1812 revisited


(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – October 31, 2012) Exactly 200 years ago this month, Napoleon rode out of Moscow with what was left of the Grande Armée, having failed to crush the Russian army, only to be famously defeated himself by the Russian winter. Given the love of round

Economy Is Focal Point for Putin’s Foreign Expert Club

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Irina Filatova – October 26, 2012) OVO-OGARYOVO ­ President Vladimir Putin acknowledged Thursday that he had to make a difficult choice when he approved the purchase of TNK-BP by state behemoth Rosneft, as the decision contradicts the government’s policy to reduce its presence in the economy. But he made it

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