Category Archives: Russia & the West

NEWSLINK Christian Science Monitor: Spurred by Western criticism, Russians experience something new: patriotism

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

In the past, Russia was an empire, then a communist colossus, then a ‘defeated’ power expected to adopt Western ways. But current tensions with the West are fostering what may be the birth of a distinct Russian nationalism.

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: Waging Peace. Churchill requested plans for a British-American attack on Russia code-named “Operation Unthinkable.”

Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin and Crowd of Military Officers

The leaders of the Allied powers met three times during World War II, at Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam. The last conference stretched over 17 days in July and August 1945, longer than the first two put together. Harry Truman had replaced Franklin Roosevelt, and Winston Chur  

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NEWSLINK New York Times: Museum Director at Hermitage Hopes for Thaw in Relations With West

File Photo of Hermitage Art Museum

These days, Mr. Piotrovsky, 70, has a dual mandate: Maintaining the Hermitage’s centuries-old ties with the wider world amid the chill, and making the case to the international art world that Russia is still a respectable partner. The loan of the Elgin marbles helped on both counts. He is also hoping to help resolve an impasse that has blocked all […]

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: Signs Putin Doesn’t Think He’s Lost the Sanctions Game; any reactions?

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

Secretary of State John Kerry‘s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday has revived one of Washington’s top guessing games: Is Mr. Putin impressed by Western sanctions? A well-informed Russian friend of mine told me Monday that Mr. Putin will not rethink his Ukraine strategy until he is convinced that Europe and the U.S. are able to make their […]

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NEWSWATCH New York Times: A Parade Hailing Russia’s WWII Dead and Marching Further From the West

File Photo of Parade in Red Square from 2005

The New York Times covers Russia’s celebration of Victory Day amidst current international tensions. … Putin has recast what he calls the country’s most important holiday to celebrate the might of the Russian state, the days are over when … Western leaders joined Mr. Putin on the bleachers …. The nationalistic fervor surrounding the parade and the tensions over Ukraine mean that the […]

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Order of Battle

File Photo of Parade in Red Square from 2005

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – MOSCOW BLOG: Ben Aris in Moscow – April 30 2015) Russia will commemorate the end of World War II on May 9 with its traditional military parade through Red Square. But this year the parade will be more closely watched than normal, as it will also be a chance for Russian President Vladimir Putin […]

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Interfax: Russia ready to cooperate with West in tackling terror, regional conflicts – Sergei Ivanov

File Photo of Sergei Ivanov, adapted from defense.gov image

(Interfax – May 2, 2015) Russia will still cooperate with the United States and Europe in fighting terrorism, resolving regional conflicts and countering other modern challenges, if partners are keen on that, says Sergei Ivanov, the chief of the Russian presidential administration. “New threats and challenges emerged, for example, terrorism, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, regional conflicts. Russia […]

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Russia’s Media Offensive Seen by the West as Real Threat

satellite-dish-big-disa-mil

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – April 30, 2015) Western governments and institutions are scrambling to devise a commensurate response to Russia’s state-run media offensive, analysts told The Moscow Times on Wednesday amid a wave of reports of Western governments seeking to beef up their own media capabilities. When the Russian authorities moved to establish in 2005 the international […]

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Putin confesses he expected radical upturn in relations with West after fall of the Communist regime

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

(Interfax – April 26, 2015) There was no point in counting on radical changes in the West’s attitude to Russia after the fall of the Communist regime, as each country has its own geopolitical interests not linked to ideology, President Vladimir Putin said in a documentary, titled “President,” released by the Russia 1 television channel. “All of us had illusions. […]

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NEWSLINK Stratfor: Russia Changes Its Tone

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

Over the weekend, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin appeared to soften his line against the West, particularly the United States. Having previously stated that the United States has no allies, only vassals, Putin this time said: “We have some disagreements on several issues on the international agenda. But at the same time there is something that unites us, forces us to […]

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Western Rejection Rains on Russia’s Victory Day Parade

File Photo of Parade in Red Square from 2005

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – April 21, 2015) The Kremlin’s iconic watchtower has been renovated especially for the occasion, new military hardware will be unveiled on Red Square and the clouds will no doubt be seeded to prevent any chance of rain on the parade – but a host of world leaders have rejected invitations to Russia’s […]

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Despite Confrontation, Russia Still Looks to West for Approval

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – April 15, 2015) Despite the ongoing confrontation with the West over Ukraine, Russian leaders still see it as the ultimate source of prestige and approval, analysts told The Moscow Times on Tuesday after readers of U.S. magazine Time named President Vladimir Putin the most influential person in the world. Putin’s victory came […]

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NEWSWATCH Carnegie Moscow: From Greater Europe to Greater Asia? The Sino-Russian Entente

Eurasia Map

Carnegie Moscow’s Dmitri Trenin considers shifting relations between Russia and China amidst tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine.  He argues that, regardless of how close Russia gets with China, a rupture between Russia and the West could mean Russia is more energetic at seeking stronger connections beyond the West generally, especially in Asia. The rupture between Russia and […]

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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 BBC: Brand Putin: Russia’s president still in fashion 15 years on

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

[“Brand Putin: Russia’s president still in fashion 15 years on” – BBC News – Sarah Rainsford – Moscow, March 27, 2015] The BBC examines Russia President Vladimir Putin’s personal notoriety and power as political symbol. Fifteen years ago, Vladimir Putin was elected promising to make Russia strong again: a country its citizens could be proud of and that the world would respect. * […]

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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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Paul Grenier: “A Conservative Russia? This Means War! (The Tragedy of American Ideology)”

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

Subject: A Conservative Russia? This Means War! (The Tragedy of American Ideology) Date: Mon, 23 Mar 2015 From: Paul Grenier <psgrenier@gmail.com> A Conservative Russia? This Means War! (The Tragedy of American Ideology) By Paul R. Grenier Paul Grenier is an essayist and translator who writes regularly on political-philosophical issues. After advanced study in Russian affairs, international relations and geography at […]

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Rethinking Eurasia’s future

Eurasia Map

While an economic and political union between Russia and Europe is unlikely, it could serve the interests of both sides in an increasingly hostile world. (opendemocracy.net – Nicholas Ross Smith and Zbigniew Dumienski – March 17, 2015) Nicholas Ross Smith is a researcher at the University of Auckland, New Zealand in the field of international relations. He has published extensively […]

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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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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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Antony Penaud: Are we like the frog? The responsibility of Western media

Satellite Dishes

Subject: Are we like the frog? The responsibility of Western media Date: Fri, 6 Mar 2015 11:32:16 +0000 From: Antony Penaud <antonypenaud@yahoo.fr> Antony Penaud received his DPhil from the University of Oxford in 2000. He is French and lives in London. His essays on the Ukrainian crisis can be found on https://www.scribd.com/AntonyKharms. Are we like the frog? The responsibility of Western […]

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NEWSLINK Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs: The United States, Russia, and Ukraine: Report from Moscow; Interview with Dmitri Trenin

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

We spoke a few months ago, Dmitri. At that time you said something that was very striking, and that is that we would look back on the period of 1992 to 2014, barely more than 20 years, as the inter-Cold War period. I would assume that not much has happened in the intervening weeks and months to change that analysis. […]

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Russia’s dependence on oil prices may threaten national security – official

Nikolay Patrushev file photo

(Interfax – February 25, 2015) Moscow, 25 February: Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev thinks that the aim of the Western sanctions is to put pressure on the development of Russia’s mineral resource base, while Russia’s dependence on oil and gas prices may pose a threat to its national security. “The aim of the sanctions is to put pressure on the […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Putin: ‘Foreign legion’ operating in Ukraine; Russian experts react to Putin’s comments, which NATO calls “nonsense.”

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Timofeichev, RBTH – January 27, 2015) During at visit to the National Mineral Resources University in St. Petersburg on Monday, Jan. 26, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the army fighting against pro-Russian rebels in southeastern Ukraine is “essentially no longer an army, it is a foreign legion – in this case […]

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RIA Novosti: Russian diplomat calls for renewed cooperation with West against ISIS

Map of Area Spanning Portions of Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, highlighting military engagements against ISIL

(RIA Novosti – January 13, 2015) The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) poses just as much of a threat to Russia as it does to the West, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s department of new threats and challenges, Ilya Rogachev, was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti (part of the state-owned International News Agency Rossiya Segodnya) on 13 January. “ISIL […]

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Poll shows Russians becoming more hostile towards the West

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Interfax – Moscow, January 13, 2015) Almost half of Russians (47 per cent) believe that Russia’s long-term foreign policy should focus on strengthening relations with China, the Levada [public opinion research] centre has told Interfax. According to a poll carried out among 1,600 people in 134 population centres of the Russian Federation on 19-22 December, the second place went to […]

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In Implicit Criticism Of West, Russia’s FM Calls For ‘More Serious’ Fight Against IS

Map of Middle East and North Africa with Inset Map of Holy Land

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Joanna Paraszczuk – January 13, 2015) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called for a “more serious” fight against the Islamic State (IS) group, amid reports that the militant group is present in Afghanistan and is expanding elsewhere. “‘Islamic State’ is a structure that calls for a great deal more attention and a more serious reaction. […]

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NEWSWATCH: Decoding Vladimir Putin’s Plan: Many say Russia’s leader is trying to strengthen his country’s position in the world

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

[“Decoding Vladimir Putin’s Plan: Many say Russia’s leader is trying to strengthen his country’s position in the world” – US News and World Report – Joshua Kucera – January 5, 2015] US News and World Report considers what one could infer about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s true intentions and policies, in the light of Russia’s posture towards Ukraine and the West. […]

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Interfax: Russian foreign minister: we are not interested in alienation or confrontation between Russia, West

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

(Interfax – December 29, 2014) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has given an interview with Interfax, in which he summed up the results of this foreign policy year and spoke about the priorities of Russian diplomacy in 2015 Question: Year 2014 was marked by a difficult conflict between Russia and the West over the crisis in Ukraine, and many people […]

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Russia’s Media Machine Looks West

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Glenn Kates – December 29, 2014) It’s May 2 in Odesa and a doctor is trying desperately to rescue pro-Russian protesters — more than 40 of whom will die — trapped in the Ukrainian city’s labor-union building. “As a doctor I rushed to give help to the one who could be rescued, but I was stopped […]

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Russia’s Increasing Alienation from West ‘Only Partially’ Result of Putin’s Actions, Bunin and Makarkin Say

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

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, December 19, 2014) Many in Moscow and the West believe that Vladimir Putin bears complete responsibility for the breakdown in relations between Russia, on the one hand, and Europe and the United States, on the other, and thus they believe that if he changes course or is replaced, a more positive partnership […]

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Moscow Times: Putin Promises Controlled Freedom in Face of Western Containment

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – December 5, 2014) President Vladimir Putin told the nation on Thursday that Russia’s ongoing clash with the West – which he compared to Hitler – was inevitable and will only make the country stronger by mobilizing its economy and society around common goals and traditional moral values. In his annual address at […]

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Moscow Times: Theory Blaming West for Collapse of Soviet Union Gaining in Popularity, Poll Shows

Berlin Wall, Fencing, Barbed Wire, Women

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 3, 2014) More Russians blame the collapse of the Soviet Union on a “conspiracy” of hostile Western forces than seven years ago, in a sign the wave of anti-Western state media coverage unleashed during the Ukraine crisis is influencing Russians’ view of the past. A report published Monday by independent pollster Levada Center showed […]

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NEWSLINK: Russia puts losses from sanctions, cheaper oil at up to $140 billion/year

Anton Siluanov file photo

[“Russia puts losses from sanctions, cheaper oil at up to $140 billion/year” – Reuters – Nov. 24, 2014] Reuters reports on Russia’s claims about the extent to which Western sanctions and lower oil prices are impacting the Russian economy. The assertions were made by Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov at a Monday press conference. Lower oil prices and Western financial sanctions […]

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Kremlinphobia, russophobia and other states of paranoia; The Russian government likes to regularly accuse the West of being ‘russophobic.’ They’re right, but not for the reasons they think.

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(opendemocracy.net – Natalia Antonova – November 21, 2014) Natalia Antonova was born in Kyiv and grew up in North Carolina. She works as a journalist and playwright. ‘Russophobia’ has become a charge as common as fascism in the information war between Russia, Ukraine and the West. The accusation brings to mind the tale of the boy who cried wolf. The […]

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VIDEO: Is Putin intentionally provoking the West?

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

PBS News Hour interviews Russia scholar Kimberly Marten about Russia’s unfolding relations with the West. [click here for transcript] Said Marten: I think part of what’s going on is that Putin is trying to take attention off of the problems that the Russian economy is facing.  The sanctions are working much better than … predicted … they’re having real impact on the Russian oil industry … one […]

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Time for change – G20

G20 Australia 2014

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne/IntelliNews – November 17, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin met with the leaders of the western world at the weekend at the G20 summit, the first face-to-face meeting of all the world’s leaders since the Russian annexation of Crimea in March. “At the closing of the evening program of the G20 summit [in Brisbane] […]

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Putin’s Early Departure From G20 Summit a ‘Mistake’

G20 Australia 2014

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – November 17, 2014) President Vladimir Putin made an early departure Sunday from the two-day G20 Summit in Australia, after fielding an abundance of criticism from Western leaders over Russia’s allegedly aggressive role in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, a move some observers say will inevitably be interpreted as a symbol of defeat. […]

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Russia to Rethink Study Abroad Program as East-West Relations Sour

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – November 13, 2014) The government is revising a program that allows graduates to study abroad at the state’s expense and could limit it to nations and universities that are deemed friendly to Russia, the education minister said, amid worsening relations with the West. “We are now carefully reviewing the list of universities […]

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Russians are not bothered by Western sanctions

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(opendemocracy.net – Vasil Jaiani – October 27, 2014) Vasil Jaiani is a senior management analyst for the government of the District of Columbia. Sanctions have had a limited effect on the Russian population whose support towards the government’s Ukrainian policy does not seem to be eroding. [Charts here opendemocracy.net/od-russia/vasil-jaiani/russians-are-not-bothered-by-western-sanctions] Russia’s economy is not in meltdown, but it has been suffering […]

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NEWSLINK: Russia in grim go-it-alone mood as sanctions bite

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

[“Russia in grim go-it-alone mood as sanctions bite” – BBC – Bridget Kendall – BBC – Sochi, October 27, 2014] BBC News covers Russia’s Valdai Club meeting at Sochi and the impact of Ukraine-related Western sanctions on Russia. Russia’s efforts to reduce … reliance on trade with the West overshadowed a high-profile meeting between … Putin and foreign correspondents …. * * * A series of […]

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Playing its own game: Belarus as a peacemaker between Russia and the West

Belarus Map

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexander Iskandaryan, special to RBTH – October 20, 2014) Alexander Iskandaryan is a political scientist and director of the Caucasus Institute in Yerevan, Armenia. The leadership in Minsk seems to be taking advantage of the crisis in Ukraine to improve its image Relations between the West and Belarus have taken a curious and […]

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Russian Rhetoric Doesn’t Point to Reconciliation With West

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – October 21, 2014) The prospect of assuaging the rift in U.S.-Russia relations appeared dimmer Monday after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov predicted that the dire state of bilateral ties would persist for a long time. Lavrov’s bleak forecast follows last week’s multilateral talks about the situation in Ukraine on the sidelines of […]

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RIA Novosti: New Retaliatory Steps to Western Sanctions Not on Russia’s Agenda: Industry Minister

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

MOSCOW, October 14 (RIA Novosti) – Russia is not going to introduce new measures in response to Western economic sanctions, Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov told reporters on Tuesday. “We are not interested in responding [to Western sanctions] with some unreasonable measures. It’s our [Western] colleagues who should be thinking about when they will lift [the sanctions], […]

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Interfax: Russia will protect itself from Western sanctions by long-term measures, says Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov file photo

(Interfax – October 14, 2014) Russia will use long-term measures to protect itself from Western sanctions, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said. “We will certainly adopt all the measures needed to protect ourselves from unlawful restrictions. You are aware of the resources that are being allocated for these purposes. Beyond any doubt, it will be a long-term program,” he […]

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RIA Novosti: Lavrov: Moscow Opposes Following ‘Primitive Scenario’ of Confrontation With West

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MOSCOW, October 13 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow opposes confrontation with the West as a joint international effort is required to counter threats to global stability, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday. “Despite the hostile behavior of the Western partners, we still oppose sliding into the primitive scenario of a direct confrontation between Russia and the West. Russia is ready […]

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New Confrontation between Russia and the West Will Last a Long Time, Karaganov Warns

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated with Flags Behind

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, September 4, 2014) On the same day that President Barack Obama used the most “forceful language against Russia” of any US leader since Ronald Reagan and made “the ultimate commitment” to defend NATO allies in Eastern Europe, Sergey Karaganov said that the confrontation between Russia and the West will go on for […]

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Interfax: Proposal to ban Western airlines from using trans-Siberian routes is “on the table” – Medvedev

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

MOSCOW. Aug 7 (Interfax) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said that Russia is considering a potential ban on European and U.S. air carriers using trans-Siberian routes as a possible retaliatory step against Western sanctions targeting Russia’s low-cost airline Dobrolet. “The government of the Russian Federation is considering a number of retaliatory steps. But it does not mean that […]

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Russians’ Regard for the West Has Plummeted, Poll Shows

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – August 7, 2014) Anti-Western sentiments in Russia have hit a fever pitch amid the ongoing conflict in neighboring Ukraine, a survey conducted by independent pollster the Levada Center revealed Wednesday. A mere 18 percent of respondents harbor favorable attitudes toward the U.S., a significant decrease from January’s 43 percent. The number of […]

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