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Archive for Russia & the West

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

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

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

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

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

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

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,

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 …. *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Convinced of His Own Exceptionalism, Putin is Both ‘a Pragmatist and a Fool,’ Milshtein Says

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, July 22, 2014) In a commentary entitled “Forewarned and Armed,” Ilya Milshtein argues that tragically “there are no particular reasons to hope that Putin will change his approach” in Ukraine. Instead, the Moscow analyst says, he will proceed in ways that reflect his beliefs in his own

Concern in Russia as foreign tourist numbers slump

File Photo of Airplane Approaching Runway About to Land

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Viktor Kuzmin, special to RBTH – July 3, 2014) Tourist operators in Russia have expressed alarm at a substantial drop in the number of foreign visitors coming to the country in 2014. Key figures in the tourist industry speculate that the fall in tourist numbers may be a

Putin lambasts West as violence escalates in Ukraine

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – July 2, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin lambasted the West in a speech to assembled diplomats call on July 1, although he stopped short of making new military threats against Ukraine as Kyiv resumed its antiterrorism operation in the east of the country. The

Russians Suffer from Three Misconceptions about Western Sanctions over Ukraine, Analyst Says

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 27, 2014) Russians must recognize that sanctions are “the new economic and political reality” in which they live and overcome three widespread and government-promoted misconceptions about such sanctions if the country is going to be able to cope with them as well as possible, according to

RIA Novosti: Lavrov Criticizes West for Media Spin, Blackout on Ukraine

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MOSCOW, June 2 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday voiced his surprise at the Western media’s spin of the ongoing bloodshed in southeastern Ukraine and the fact that they either hushed up the real situation or showed “different pictures” instead. “We are very concerned by what is going on there. People

RIA Novosti: Opinion: West Should Think Twice Before Imposing New Sanctions Against Russia

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

MOSCOW, May 23 (RIA Novosti) – The West should not rush to impose further sanctions against Russia as they could have an extremely negative effect on the global financial system, Chair of the Government Department at Harvard University Timothy Colton told RIA Novosti. “The West should think twice, think very carefully about extending the sanctions,

INVISIBLE HAND: West needs to jaw-jaw, not war-war

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Liam Halligan in London – May 19, 2014) Liam Halligan is Editor-at-Large of Business New Europe “That the Cold War ended in our lifetime without a general war and a nuclear exchange is the greatest shared boon, a true miracle of our own times. Nothing beats that – it

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

Stirring up world conflict

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

Subject: Stirring up world conflict Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2014 From: Dmitry Mikheyev <dmitrymikheyev@gmail.com> I am again inviting this intellectual community to explore what from my point of view is a cardinal question of our time. Do democratic countries have legal and moral rights to instigate and perpetrate a Coup D’état against a legitimate government?

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

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