NEWSWATCH: “Russia Updates Plan to Counter Cyberattacks and Foreign Influence” – New York Times

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

The Kremlin published a new plan … against what it described as stepped-up cyberattacks and ‘information-psychological’ methods by foreign intelligence agencies …. updat[ing] a similar information security doctrine put in place by … Putin in 2000. … American officials have mulled retaliating against Russia for … hacking before the presidential election …. The 16-page document sketches out … threats … […]

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Putin echoes Trump on foreign policy as Russia softens rhetoric

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

The highlights of the new approach to foreign policy in Vladimir Putin’s annual state-of-the-nation address to the Federal Assembly (Russia’s parliament) on Dec. 1 suggest that the mood in Moscow is ripe for another try for a “reset” with the West – but on certain conditions. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Vladimir Mikheev, special to RBTH- December 6, […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Continue the Unfinished Business of Integrating Russia into the Global Economy. Renewed economic interaction would increase the West’s influence, not lessen it” – The National Interest/Carnegie Corporation/J. Andrew Spindler

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“… Trump has an unusual opportunity … to improve the tone of U.S.-Russian relations, currently at one of their lowest ebbs …. The positive possibilities in the short run are substantial …. the potential for a U.S.-Russian collaboration in the Middle East, particularly with regard to defeating ISIS and developing a peace plan for Syria. … there are many other […]

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NEWSWATCH: “U.S. reshaping budget to account for Russian military threat” – Reuters

Aerial Photo of Pentagon and Environs

Russia’s increasing military activities around the world have unsettled top U.S. military officials … reshaping … budget plans to better address what they now consider to be the most pressing threat …. ‘Russia is the No. 1 threat to the United States. … because of the nuclear aspect, an existential threat …’ Air Force Secretary Deborah James told Reuters …. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Panetta: Putin Wants To Restore the Soviet Union; The former secretary of defense has made similar remarks before, but this time he was more direct” – U.S. News

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

#Russian President Vladimir #Putin’s main interest is restoration of the Soviet Union, former Secretary of Defense Leon #Panetta said …. ‘Let’s not kid anybody,’ said Panetta, who also served as CIA director and White House chief of staff. ‘Putin’s main interest is to try to restore the old Soviet Union. … that’s what drives him.’ Panetta added of the current […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Vladimir Putin gives a Soviet-style state of the union, and some #Russian eyes glazed over” – Washington Post/David Filipov/Andrew Roth

Kremlin and River

… Putin called for better ties with the United States in his annual address … while brushing away … concerns about Kremlin interference in other countries. But the moment that went ­viral … was … Medvedev, eyes turned down, appearing to doze off. Whether the premier was napping or … checking his notes …. In a businesslike tone that recalled a Soviet […]

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NEWSLINK The New Yorker: “THE PROPAGANDA ABOUT RUSSIAN PROPAGANDA”

Satellite Dishes

“In late October, I received an e-mail from ‘The PropOrNot Team,’ which described itself as a ‘newly-formed independent team of computer scientists, statisticians, national security professionals, journalists and political activists, dedicated to identifying propaganda— particularly Russian propaganda targeting a U.S. audience.’ PropOrNot said that it had identified two hundred Web sites that ‘qualify as Russian propaganda outlets.’ The sites’ reach […]

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RUSSIALINK Russia Direct: “Does Putin really intend to restore the Soviet Union? RD Interview: Professor Richard Sakwa from the University of Kent talks about Russia’s foreign policy and explains why Russia is creating alternative regional institutions such as the Eurasian Economic Union.”

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

“Despite the deteriorating state of relations between Russia and the West, experts and politicians continue to search for ways out of the crisis. Many blame Russia and President Vladimir Putin for the desire to restore the Soviet Union and pursue an authoritarian path of development. However, as other experts argue, such perceptions stem from a misunderstanding of Russia’s interests, goals […]

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NEWSLINK The National Interest/Carnegie Corporation/Timothy Colton: “Advice to President #Trump on U.S.-#Russia Policy. America shouldn’t let its firmness toward Russia turn into rigidity.”

Donald Trump

“… The grievances on both sides have built up over a decade and a half. It makes sense on our part to begin an in-depth review of the relationship, of what went wrong with it and of the options for improving it over the next half-decade. That review should enlist independent specialists in the academic and think-tank worlds as well […]

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NEWSLINK Irrussianality/Paul Robinson: “DON’T MENTION THE WAR”

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

“… Putin approved a new ‘Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation’. Documents like this are aspirational; they reflect what a government would like to do, not what it is able to do. They are also for public consumption; their purpose is to send certain signals to the policy community, both inside and outside of government. Nevertheless, they are up […]

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RUSSIALINK RT/Russia Today: “With Trump on the way, Putin plays ‘wait and see’ on Russia-US relations”

Artist's Rendition of U.S. Embassy, Moscow, with the Russian Foreign Ministry in the Background

“Many thought it might take decades to get here, but the mood has changed in the blink of an eye. After years of tension, when bellicose rhetoric frequently spewed from both sides, it appears increasingly likely relations between Russia and the West might soon be normalized.”

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Russia Weaponized Social Media in U.S. Election, FireEye Says

File Image of Laptop Computer, Tables and Mobile Device, adapted from image at energy.gov

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Chris Strohm – December 1, 2016) Russia’s government didn’t just hack and leak documents from U.S. political groups during the presidential campaign: It used social media as a weapon to influence perceptions about the election, according to cybersecurity company FireEye Inc. Material stolen by Russia’s intelligence services was feverishly promoted by online personas and numerous fake […]

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How Russian Propaganda Really Works in the West

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – November 28, 2016) Until recently, the phenomenon of Russian government propaganda was only interesting to a small group of Russia experts, news junkies and counter-propaganda fundraisers. It was mainly seen as a tool for keeping Russians supportive of Vladimir Putin. No longer. Thanks to post-U.S. election blame games, and the upcoming election season […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Turchynov hopes Trump’s administration approves lethal weapon provision to Ukraine” – Interfax-Ukraine

“National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov said he hopes that the new U.S. administration will make a decision on granting lethal weapons to Ukraine. ‘I do think that Ukraine has a chance to get lethal weapons. … The position of the Republican Party towards Ukraine is sufficiently clear and consistent. All their votes in the Congress and […]

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RUSSIALINK RT/Russia Today: “Russians warm towards West & favor rapprochement, poll shows”

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

“The latest poll has shown that the proportion of Russians who favor warmer and closer relations with Western nations is growing fast and has almost reached the historical maximum registered in 2000. …”

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D.C. EVENT: “Enchanted Evening of Vocal and Piano Duets” – Russian Chamber Art Society Concert in Washington, December 8

Tchaikovsky Sheet Music

Subject: Russian Chamber Art Society concert in Washington December 8 Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2016 21:14:38 -0500 From: Mary Kruger <mary.kruger.network@gmail.com> Concert: “Enchanted Evening of Vocal and Piano Duets” Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. Presented by the Russian Chamber Art Society at La Maison Francaise Embassy of France 4101 Reservoir Road, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20007 Street parking available […]

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Russians Want West to Make Up with Them and Don’t See Why Ukraine Should Be an Obstacle, New Poll Suggests

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, November 29, 2016) In presenting the latest Levada Center poll on Russian attitudes toward the West, the center’s Aleksey Grazhdankin says that a majority of Russians think that the initiative for improving East-West ties should come from the West and “do not understand why the actions of their country in Ukraine” have […]

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NEWSLINK DailyBeast: “Sorry, Hillary Clinton Fans. There’s ‘Zero Evidence’ of Election Hacking.”

Multilingual Polling Place Sign from U.S. Election Polling Place

“Democrats cried hallelujah when computer scientists reportedly pressed Hillary Clinton ask for recounts. But even those experts say an election hack is beyond unlikely.”

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NEWSLINK The Nation Magazine/Stephen F. Cohen: “The Friends and Foes of Détente With Russia; The mere adumbration of Trump-Putin cooperation has sent American Russo-phobic cold warriors into a frenzy of preemptive opposition

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“Nation Contributing Editor Stephen F. Cohen and John Batchelor continue their weekly discussions of the new US–Russian Cold War. … Last week’s discussion revisited episodes of US–Soviet détente in the 20th century, from Eisenhower and Nixon to Reagan, and the lessons to be learned from them. One was a pro-détente president’s need for determination, leadership skills, advisers, and domestic allies […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Warning Russia on Hacking Isn’t Enough” – New York Times Editorial

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

… A stronger White House response would begin with … Obama revealing more information about how the hacking was done and by whom. He could also … disclose Russian computer codes, embarrass wealthy Kremlin officials by exposing their overseas bank accounts and even disable Russian networks. … impose sanctions on Russians … responsible for the hacking or on military leaders […]

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Big Western Companies Are Pumping Cash Into Russia

File Photo of Ikea Store with Russian Language Facade and Shopping Carts

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Khrennikov – November 22, 2016) [Charts here bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-23/bouncing-back-putin-s-shrunken-economy-lures-foreign-investors] Even before the U.S. presidential election raised hopes of warmer ties with the Kremlin, some big Western companies were betting Russia’s economy will soon come out of the deep freeze. Big retailers like Sweden’s Ikea Group and France’s Leroy Merlin SA have begun pumping billions of dollars […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times: “Donald Trump’s New York Times Interview: Full Transcript”

Donald Trump

“… What do you see as America’s role in the world? Do you believe that the role … TRUMP: That’s such a big question. FRIEDMAN: The role that we played for 50 years as kind of the global balancer, paying more for things because they were in our ultimate interest, one hears from you, I sense, is really shrinking that […]

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RUSSIALINK TASS: “Mutually beneficial ties with U.S. are more important than ‘reset’ – Peskov”

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

“… The Kremlin, just as U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, does not like the term “reset” with regard to relations between Moscow and Washington. However, the Russian presidential administration hopes that good mutually advantageous relations with the U.S. will be restored. “As for a ‘reset’ in relations, perhaps, we can agree with the president-elect. This word has indeed discredited itself, as […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times: “U.S. Officials Defend Integrity of Vote, Despite Hacking Fears”

Multilingual Polling Place Sign from U.S. Election Polling Place

“The Obama administration said … that despite Russian attempts to undermine the presidential election, it has concluded that the results ‘accurately reflect the will of the American people.’”

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NEWSLINK AFP: “Obama wants Ukraine deal ‘before term is up'”

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

“US President Barack Obama said he told Vladimir Putin … that he wants to reach a settlement that solves the Ukraine crisis before he leaves office in January. ….”

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NEWSLINK Financial Times/Neil Buckley: “Putin’s delight at Trump win may soon wither. Russia support for US president-elect’s foreign policy is likely to become strained.”

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“… Donald Trump’s victory has prompted near-jubilation in Russia. Even before the president-elect spoke to Vladimir Putin last week and pledged to rebuild ties, the Kremlin spokesman suggested the two men’s foreign policy views were ‘phenomenally close.’ Ordinary Russians, who spent much of last month being warned by state media that Washington was about to trigger a third world war […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Alaska has lessons for Trump in working with Russia” – Alaska Dispatch News/David Ramseur

… Trump … has a unique opportunity … to reset the worst relations between the U.S. and Russia since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. For a blueprint, Trump would be wise to look to Alaska. Beginning in the mid-1980s, citizen-diplomats from Alaska and the Russian Far East overcame tensions to melt the ‘Ice Curtain,’ which had prevented human contact across […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Replies to media questions following APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting

Map of Asia-Pacific Highlighting APEC Member States

(Kremlin.ru – November 21, 2016) Vladimir Putin answered media questions following the working sessions of the economic leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon. Or good evening. Or good night already in Moscow. Let us get straight to your questions, without any introductory remarks. Please. Question: There was fear on the meeting’s sidelines […]

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RUSSIALINK RBTH/Gazeta.ru: “Pitfalls as well as profit: Why Trump rule will also be a risk for Russia.”

Donald Trump

Russia has gleefully welcomed Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election, without having an inkling of his plans for the future. Political analyst Fyodor Lukyanov explains what surprises the new U.S. president may have in store for Moscow.

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s answers to media questions on the sidelines of the APEC Ministerial Meeting, Lima, November 17, 2016” [re: Russia-US relations]

Sergei Lavrov file photo

“… During a recent telephone conversation, President of Russia Vladimir Putin and US President-elect Donald Trump discussed and agreed on the absolutely unsatisfactory state of bilateral relations. This is what we should proceed from. President Obama may want this to continue, but I am confident that this does not meet the interests of the American people and will not facilitate […]

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RUSSIALINK RBTH/Gazeta.ru: “Kremlin turns to Jewish diaspora in bid to build ties with Donald Trump”

Donald Trump

“Seeking contacts with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, the Russian leadership has turned to its connections in Jewish business circles, Gazeta.ru has learned. Despite accusations of xenophobia, Trump maintains good relations with the Jewish community and intends to involve his son-in-law Jared Kushner in his administration.”

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NEWSWATCH: “Why Russians are so captivated by Trump. Negative feelings toward the US are higher than at any time since scientific polling began in #Russia in the mid-1980s. But many see the prospect for a turnaround.” – Christian Science Monitor/Fred Weir

Donald Trump

“… Russians have always been fascinated with the United States … the only country in the world that they will compare themselves with. Their attitudes … have swung over the decades between uncritical love and bitter hatred. … negative feelings are higher than at any time since scientific polling began in Russia in the mid-1980s, but … hopes aroused by […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine turns to Tampa group for help setting up new commando HQ” – Tampa Bay Times

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

Commando forces in … Ukraine were decimated … against pro-Russian insurgents and … “little green men” — masked Russian commandos in unmarked army uniforms. … when it came time to rebuild and adjust … Ukrainian officials turned … to the non-profit Global SOF Foundation, a Tampa-based special operations advocacy group. … credited with helping put Ukraine on the right footing […]

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Putinism a Greater Threat to the West than Soviet Communism Was

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, November 18, 2016) Putinism, as ideology and practice, is now a greater threat to the West than Soviet communism ever was, a reality few in Western countries now recognize precisely because the Kremlin leader is making use, in the best tradition of the judo master he is, values and methods that are […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Watch Out for Putin, Senators Warn Trump; On Capitol Hill, lawmakers express concern over president-elect’s foreign-policy ambiguity” – Wall Street Journal

File Photo of U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

Two senior Senate Republicans are warning Donald Trump against cozying up to Moscow as lawmakers from both political parties voice alarm about potential consequences of the president-elect’s foreign-policy moves. Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, warned Tuesday against rapprochement with Moscow after what appeared to be an amicable Monday phone call between Mr. Trump and Russian […]

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NEWSLINK Harper’s Magazine/Andrew Cockburn: “The New Red Scare; Reviving the art of threat inflation”

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“… There would seem to be one major difference between the fine art of threat inflation as practiced during the Cold War and the current approach. In the old days, taxpayers at least got quite a lot for their money, albeit at inflated prices: the 900 ships, the 15,000 planes, and so forth. Things are different today. The so-called global […]

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READOUT OF PRESIDENT-ELECT DONALD J. TRUMP’S PHONE CALL WITH RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN

Donald Trump

(greatagain.gov) NOVEMBER 14, 2016 * MAKING NEWS For Immediate Release Monday, November 14, 2016 Media Contact: Media@ptt.gov (New York, NY) – President-elect Donald J. Trump today spoke with President Vladimir Putin, who called to offer his congratulations on winning a historic election. During the call, the two leaders discussed a range of issues including the threats and challenges facing the […]

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KREMLIN NEWS RELEASE: [Putin] Telephone conversation with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump

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

(Kremlin.ru – November 14, 2016) As agreed in advance by both sides, Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with US President-elect Donald Trump. The Russian President once again congratulated the US President-elect on his victory in the presidential election, wished him success in implementing his election programme and said he was ready to develop a dialogue of partnership with the […]

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Trump May Take a Far Tougher Line against Russia than Obama has But It Will Be Different, Arbatov Says

Donald Trump

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, November 14, 2016) Academician Aleksey Arbatov, one of Moscow’s leading foreign policy thinkers, says that despite the expectations of many in the Russian capital, Donald Trump may adopt a far tougher line against the Kremlin than his predecessor and one that will look very different as well. In an interview with Kazan’s […]

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Russia’s Strategic Calculus: Threat Perceptions and Military Doctrine

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(PONARS Policy Memo – PONARS Eurasia – ponarseurasia.org – Dmitry Gorenburg – November 11, 2016) Dmitry Gorenburg is Senior Research Scientist at CNA Corporation and Associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. Russian foreign policy is driven by the political elites’ search for a new basis for national self-esteem after the collapse of the […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times/Ruslan Pukhov: “Russia Isn’t Actually That Happy About Trump’s Victory”

Donald Trump

Ruslan Pukhov is a defense analyst and the director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, a think tank based in Moscow. “…. Unlike much of the American and international news media, Russian analysts and commentators have never underestimated Mr. Trump. ….”  

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Putin Weaponizes Democracy

Europe Map

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – November 14, 2016) [RFE/RL budget: $108.414 million (FY2016)] Don’t look now but Russia just picked up two more allies in Europe. Don’t look now, but pro-Moscow candidates just won the presidencies of Moldova and Bulgaria. Don’t look now, but Vladimir Putin appears to be on a roll. The Kremlin leader is no democrat. […]

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NEWSLINK Business New Europe: “Russian Markets Hit Record High On Trump Optimism”

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Russia’s ruble denominated Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange (MICEX) index set a new all time high of 2061.68 on November 10 on the bounce back that followed the election of Donald Trump as US president. Trump is seen as good news for Russia that is fuelling hopes of a de-escalation in tensions between the countries. The previous MICEX high was set […]

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NEWSLINK RT/Russia Today: “If Trump moves to heal ties with Russia, establishment will oppose him fiercely – Stephen Cohen”

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

“An outcome that no mainstream media outlet predicted, a victory that the elites decried – the people have voted to make Donald Trump the next US president. Millions of Americans are tired of being ignored and want radical change. But can Trump deliver on his promises? Regarded as an outsider in his own party – will he be able to […]

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