TRANSCRIPT: Remarks by Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland at a Press Availability in Kyiv

Victoria Nuland file photo

Embassy of the United States-Kyiv Remarks by Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland at a Press Availability April 27, 2016 Fairmont Grand Hotel Kyiv, Ukraine ASSISTANT SECRETARY NULAND: Good afternoon, everybody. Apologies for keeping you waiting. It is terrific to be back in Kyiv on this beautiful spring day, and on the eve of the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Lawmakers look to get tough on Russia” – The Hill

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

Russian aggression will be high on lawmakers’ minds when the House Armed Services Committee meets Wednesday to mark up its annual defense policy bill. … the Russians have buzzed a U.S. Navy destroyer, barrel rolled over a U.S. reconnaissance plane and warned the United States to steer clear of its territory. … committee members say there will be plenty in […]

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Same Level of Corruption Recorded in Russian, U.S. Businesses – Survey

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 23, 2016) Thirty-four percent of respondents in Russia and and the United States agree that bribery and corruption are widespread in their country, a survey by multinational financial services company EY reported. The survey results show business professionals in both countries agreed that corruption in business was widespread in their respective nations. EY – […]

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NEWSLINK RBTH/Gazeta.ru: “Why Russia hopes for realism from the next U.S. president. With the election picture gradually becoming clearer in the U.S., political analyst Fyodor Lukyanov asks whether the identity of the next American president really matters in Russia, and explores the crisis of realism in U.S. foreign policy.”

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain » Read more

NEWSLINK Russia Direct: “Inside Russian top investigator’s latest manifesto against extremism. It remains to be seen whether the Kremlin will listen to the ideas of one of the country’s top law enforcement officers to impose even greater censorship and control over Russian society as part of enhanced efforts to win the ‘information war’ with the West”

Alexandr Bastrykin file photo » Read more

Hard Work vs. Magic

Kremlin and River

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Maxim Trudolyubov, Senior Fellow, Kennan Institute. Editor-at-Large, Vedomosti Daily – April 19, 2016) Russian officials still refer to “conditions for doing business” or “quality of governance” when discussing the country’s economic performance. But the lack of gravitas in these conversations is palpable. Russia’s official economic policymakers command an excellent understanding of the country’s economic problems, […]

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Poll Shows Russians Want Trump to Win U.S. Presidential Election

Donald Trump

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 20, 2016) The majority of Russian citizens would like to see Donald Trump become the next president of the United States, according to a poll held by the Britain-based research firm YouGov. 20,000 citizens from G20 countries were surveyed and asked their opinions on the upcoming U.S. elections. Thirty-one percent of Russians gave Trump […]

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Bilateral trade: Russia and U.S. must ‘avoid the point of no return’

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

Commodity turnover between Russia and the U.S. has declined by 50 percent since the introduction of sanctions However, Russia is not losing hope and is offering attractive conditions for small and medium-sized American businesses looking to invest in the country. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ANNA KUCHMA, RBTH – April 20, 2016) [Charts here http://rbth.com/business/2016/04/20/bilateral-trade-russia-and-us-must-avoid-the-point-of-no-return_586555] With the introduction […]

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NEWSWATCH: “‘But I love Russia, and I love Russians’; Former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul speaks to Meduza”

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

First … it is true that the United States … from the very beginning, has had allies that are autocratic regimes. Our first … was France, a monarchy and a dictatorship. … Without the French, we would have lost the war against the British. … then there was the French Revolution, and there was a debate … about whether we […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Perpetual Geopolitics. Putin Returns to the Historical Pattern.” – Foreign Affairs/Stephen Kotkin

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

For half a millennium, Russian foreign policy has been characterized by soaring ambitions that have exceeded the country’s capabilities. Beginning with … Ivan the Terrible … Russia managed to expand at an average rate of 50 square miles per day for hundreds of years, eventually covering one-sixth of the earth’s landmass. * * *  Throughout, the country has been haunted […]

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Polish Minister Says Russia More Dangerous Than Islamic State

Russian Jet Buzzing U.S. Navy Destroyer, adapted from U.S. Navy photo

(RFE/RL – April 15, 2016) Poland’s foreign minister has said that Russia is an “existential threat” to European countries and is more dangerous than the Islamic State (IS) militant group. Speaking at a conference in Bratislava on April 15, Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said “Russia’s activity is a sort of existential threat because this activity can destroy countries.” The migration […]

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U.S.-Russia Baltic Sea incident: Was there a risk of a military clash?

Russian Jet Buzzing U.S. Navy Destroyer, adapted from U.S. Navy photo

The “buzzing” of an American destroyer in the Baltic Sea on April 11 and 12 by Russian Su-24 bombers led to a stormy reaction in the U.S., with Washington stating that the ship had the right to shoot down the Russian warplanes. Would this have led to a full conflict? RBTH answers this and other questions about the incident. (Russia […]

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Ben Aris : JRL#71 response/Brian Whitmore

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

Subject: JRL#71 response/Brian Whitmore Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2016 From: Ben Aris <baris@bne.eu> (Ben Aris, editor-in-chief – bne IntelliNews – bne.eu) I would like to respond to item #9 in JRL #71 of April 15 “What I learned on Russian TV” by Brian Whitmore. I should do a ripose entitled “what I learned from reading this piece”, but I am […]

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Ford Mulls New Russia Investment as Quarterly Sales Jump 93%

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Andrey Lemeshko, Yuliya Fedorinova – April 14, 2016) Ford Motor Co., which spent more than $1.5 billion with a partner in the past five years to build cars and engine factories in Russia, is studying new investments in the country in a bet on economic recovery. The national car market could still become Europe’s biggest, and […]

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Putin doesn’t expect Western sanctions to be lifted soon, says Russia to keep countersanctions in place

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

MOSCOW. April 14 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin does not expect the Western sanctions to be lifted from Russia in the near future. “I don’t think our partners will decide to lift the restrictions and limitations from our country in the near future,” Putin said during a Q&A session on Thursday. “Even though the Minsk Agreements on southeastern Ukraine […]

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Russia’s Inability to Deal with Its Past Imperils Its Future, Inozemtsev Says

Balaklava harbour, the cattle pier, Crimea, Ukraine, 1855; adapted from image at loc.gov; Fenton, Roger, 1819-1869, photographer;

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 7, 2016) Russians love to compare themselves and their country with others and especially with the United States and to ask why others have done better than they have, Vladislav Inozemtsev says; but in general, Russians focus on differences in economic, legal or belief systems rather than on the critical problem […]

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Russia’s Military Budget Ranks Fourth Worldwide – Report

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 5, 2016) Russia no longer ranks among the top three spenders on defense, dropping down to fourth place, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reported Tuesday. The United States remained the leader by far, accounting for 36 percent of all military spending in the world, according to the SIPRI report. In 2015, Washington […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Mikhail Lesin’s Strange Death in U.S. Follows a Fall From Russia’s Elite” – New York Times

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

It took more than four months for the city’s medical examiner to announce the cause of death … not a heart attack … but rather ‘blunt force injuries.’ But the autopsy left the manner of death undetermined. … fuel[ing] speculation … Lesin might have been murdered, presumably by a financial or political rival …. *** police … continue to treat […]

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NEWSLINK Newsweek.com/Ben Nimmo: “PUTIN’S PARANOIA IS DRIVING HIS FOREIGN ADVENTURES”

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

TRANSCRIPT EXCERPT: Remarks by the President at the 2016 Toner Prize Ceremony [excerpt re: Putin]

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

(White House – March 28, 2016) The White House Office of the Press Secretary March 28, 2016 Remarks by the President at the 2016 Toner Prize Ceremony. (excerpt re Putin) THE PRESIDENT: I’ll tell you — I probably maybe shouldn’t do this, but what the heck, I’m in my last year. (Laughter.) I had an in-depth conversation with President Putin […]

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Trump’s New Russia Adviser Has Deep Ties to Kremlin’s Gazprom

Donald Trump

Carter Page brings a “real-world” resume-and says his close relations with Russian business are a strength. (Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Zachary Mider – March 30, 2016) A globe-trotting American investment banker who’s built a career on deals with Russia and its state-run gas company, Carter Page says his business has suffered directly from the U.S. economic sanctions imposed after Russia’s […]

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Russian Karjakin to Compete in Chess World Championship Title Match

Chess Pieces File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – March 30, 2016) Grandmaster Sergei Karjakin will become the first Russian since 2008 to compete in a title match of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) championship, after he defeated Fabiano Caruana of the United States in Moscow on Monday, according to an announcement on the FIDE website. Karjakin, playing the white pieces, […]

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Nuclear cooperation still key for Russia, despite boycott of U.S. summit

Radioactivity Symbol

Despite refusing to attend the final Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C., Moscow remains committed to nuclear nonproliferation and securing radioactive waste. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – VLADIMIR MIKHEEV, SPECIAL TO RBTH – March 30, 2016) Russia will not be in attendance at the fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit, taking place March 31-April 1 in Washington, D.C. […]

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Budweiser Is Having a Ball in Russia

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Khrennikov – March 30, 2016) Budweiser is enjoying an unlikely source of growth in Russia’s declining beer market, even as the all-American brand continues to struggle at home. In a country where brewing output has fallen more than 30 percent since 2008, the self-proclaimed King of Beers is growing sales at a double-digit pace, according […]

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Russian minister and U.S. ambassador discuss privatization, sanctions

John Tefft file photo

(Interfax – March 28, 2016) The Russian privatization and sanctions against Russia were discussed during the meeting between Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev and UEc.S. Ambassador to Russia John Tefft in Moscow on March 28, along with other aspects of the Russia-U.S. trade and economic cooperation. “We have discussed a broad spectrum of the Russian-American economic ties, including both […]

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Russian, U.S. Chess Grandmasters Face-Off In World Champions Tournament

Chess Pieces File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 29, 2016) Eight of the world’s top chess grandmasters have converged on Moscow to compete for the right to challenge reigning World Chess Federation (FIDE) champion Magnus Carlsen for the championship title, the FIDE website reported. Going into the final round on Monday, Sergei Karjakin of Russia and Fabiano Caruana of the United States […]

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U.S. Embassy: No way of exchanging Savchenko for Bout and Yaroshenko

File Photo of Viktor Bout Behind Bars

(Interfax – March 29, 2016) Washington is not considering the possibility of exchanging Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko, who has been sentenced in Russia to 22 years in prison, for Russian citizens Konstantin Yaroshenko and Viktor Bout, currently serving prison terms in the United States for drug trafficking and arms dealing respectively, the U.S. Embassy in Russia has said. “No, we […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry

File Photo of John Kerry Shaking Hands with Vladimir Putin as Ambassador Looks On

Vladimir Putin received in the Kremlin US Secretary of State John Kerry. Mr Kerry arrived for a meeting with the Russian President after his talks with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Secretary of State, colleagues, I would like to heartily welcome all of you here. We are always glad to host you as your […]

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Moscow Accuses Itself

Sergei Lavrov file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – The Daily Vertical: Brian Whitmore – March 24, 2016) Well, it was predictable, but Sergei Lavrov has not let us down. He’s proven yet again the axiom that if you want to know what Russia is doing, pay close attention to what it accuses the West of doing. The Russian foreign minister yesterday urged Europe to […]

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It Isn’t Time to Normalize With Russia Yet

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Marc Champion – March 22, 2016) Marc Champion writes editorials on international affairs. He was previously Istanbul bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal. He was also an editor at the Financial Times, the editor-in-chief of the Moscow Times and a correspondent for the Independent in Washington, the Balkans and Moscow. He is based in London. […]

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NEWSWATCH Reuters: “Risk of nuclear war in Europe growing, warns Russian ex-minister [Igor Ivanov]”

Iskander Missile with Launch file photo

The East-West standoff over the Ukraine crisis has brought the threat of nuclear war in Europe closer than at any time since the 1980s…. said Igor Ivanov, Russia’s foreign minister from 1998 to 2004 and now head of a Moscow-based think-tank founded by the Russian government. … Russia and the United States have cut their nuclear arsenals [but] the pace […]

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Interfax: Russia submits proposals to U.S. on monitoring truce in Syria

Syria Map

(Interfax – March 21, 2016) The Russian Defense Ministry submitted proposals on the provision and monitoring of the cessation of hostilities in Syria to the United States on Feb. 25 through military diplomatic channels, Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi, head of the Main Operative Department of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff, has said. “This document specifies a mechanism of consultations […]

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NEWSLINK: “SYRIA: U.S.-RUSSIAN TEPID WAR. Syria appears unlikely to serve as a vehicle to improve the wider U.S.-Russia relationship in any sustainable way. A U.S.-Russian Tepid War can still lead to plenty of collateral damage.” – Valdai/Paul Saunders

File Photo of John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov at Podiums » Read more

NEWSWATCH: “Don’t Fear the Russians” – New York Times/Anatol Lieven

Aerial Photo of Pentagon and Environs

Writing in the New York Times, Anatol Lieven argues for greater U.S.-Russian engagement on Ukraine and Syria. If you believe many of the commentators and policy makers in Washington … Putin … is an expansionist on the march. … he annexed Crimea and fueled a destabilizing conflict in eastern Ukraine. … intervened in the Syrian civil war and rescued his […]

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NEWSWATCH: “What is the best way to describe Vladimir Putin’s Russia?” – Reuters/John Lloyd

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

In January of this year, a British judge, Robert Owen, said … Putin … was ‘probably’ a murderer. * * * Litvinenko’s widow, Marina … called on Prime Minister David Cameron to expel all Russian spies … and for a range of … sanctions … on several figures close to the murder … includ[ing Putin] himself. * * * In […]

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TRANSCRIPT: “Ukrainian Reforms Two Years After the Maidan Revolution and the Russian Invasion” – Senate Testimony by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

(U.S. Department of State – March 15, 2016) Testimony of Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Statement Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Washington, DC As prepared Thank you Chairman Corker, Ranking Member Cardin, members of this committee for the opportunity to join you today and for the personal investment so many of you have made […]

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Top U.S. Official: Ukraine Reforms Endangered By Oligarchs Fighting Back

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – WASHINGTON, March 15, 2016) A top U.S. administration official has taken pointed aim at the wealthiest Ukrainian tycoons, known as oligarchs, accusing them of undermining the country’s anticorruption reform efforts. Victoria Nuland, assistant secretary of state for European аnd Eurasian Affairs, warned on March 15 that, if efforts to liberalize the economy and fight endemic graft […]

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Russia ups investment in U.S. Treasuries $4.8 billion in January

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

MOSCOW. March 16 (Interfax) – Russia increased investment in US Treasuries for the third successive month in January, this time by approximately $4.8 billion, according to data from the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve. Russian investment in UST grew $6.1 billion last year as a whole. Russia, which held $96.9 billion in UST at the end […]

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