Category Archives: United States, U.S.-Russian Relations

U.S. State Department bans government bodies from cooperating with Russia on climate issues

Globe Graphic Simulating Climate Shifts

(Interfax – February 25, 2015) The U.S. State Department has banned the cooperation of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with Russian counterparts in climate studies, head of Roshydromet environmental monitoring authority Alexander Frolov has announced. “There are difficulties in relations with our partners, primarily the United States. The State Department officially banned climate-related cooperation to state bodies, such […]

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U.S. Poll Finds More Americans Support Arming Ukraine Government

File Photo of U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 24, 2015) U.S. public support for arming Ukraine has grown from 30 percent to 41 percent over the past 10 months, though the majority of Americans still oppose sending lethal military aid to Kiev, a poll has shown. Fifty-three percent of Americans oppose supplying the Ukrainian government with weapons to battle pro-Russian separatists in […]

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TRANSCRIPT & AUDIO: Remarks by Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs: “Unity in Challenging Times: Building on Transatlantic Resolve”

Victoria Nuland file photo

State Department transcript [of prepared remarks – click here for PDF of uncorrected transcript including Q&A]  Remarks by Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs: “Unity in Challenging Times: Building on Transatlantic Resolve” Brookings Institution Washington, DC January 27, 2015 As prepared View more details on Brookings.edu Thanks, Fiona, for that introduction and thanks to Brookings for […]

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Russia Dumps $22 Billion in U.S. Bonds to Slow Economy’s Slide

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – February 20, 2015) Moscow sold a total of $45 billion of U.S. treasury bonds in 2014 as relations with Western governments reached a post-Soviet nadir over the Ukraine crisis. Russia jettisoned $22 billion worth of U.S. treasury bonds in December as the Kremlin scrambled for cash to battle a plunging ruble and […]

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CNN Applies for Russian Broadcast License Month After Quitting Country

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 18, 2015) U.S. cable news channel CNN has applied for a broadcast license from Russia’s state media watchdog, just one month after leaving the country following the introduction of a restrictive media advertising law. State media regulator Roskomnadzor received the application Tuesday and now has 30 days to consider it, news agency Interfax reported […]

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Moscow Times: Putin Says Russian Intelligence Shows U.S. Is Already Arming Ukraine

Column in Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Feb. 18, 2015) Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed the U.S. is supplying Kiev with lethal weapons, telling reporters that the conflict in Ukraine will not be resolved through military escalation. “According to our intelligence, [U.S.] weapons are already being delivered,” Putin was shown on state television Channel One as telling a press conference on […]

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The American credibility trap

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

(opendemocracy.net – James Kovpak – February 16, 2015) James Kovpak is a journalist and amateur historian based in Moscow. He is the founder of the blog, Russia without BS. You can follow him on twitter at @RussiawithoutBS American politicians’ attempts to look ‘credible’ when talking about Russia are hypocritical, self-serving and self-defeating. If they really want Russia to change its […]

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Russia Is Americans’ Enemy Number One, Poll Shows

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – February 17, 2015) In the eyes of Americans, Russia has surpassed North Korea as the main enemy of the United States, a new Gallup poll reveals. Respondents were asked the open-ended question, “What one country anywhere in the world do you consider to be the United States’ greatest enemy today?” Russia led […]

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TRANSCRIPT: State Department Background Briefing on Ukraine

State Department Building and U.S. Flag

US Department of State February 12, 2015 BACKGROUND BRIEFING ON UKRAINE Special Briefing Senior Administration Officials Via Teleconference Washington, DC MODERATOR: All right. Thank you very much, Operator, and thanks to all the participants in the call today. We have a background call on Ukraine with two senior Administration officials. This call will be on background, so no names or […]

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VIDEO: Will the Ukraine-Russia deal stick? – PBS, McFaul, Hill

Ukraine Map and Flag

(PBS Newshour – Gwen Ifill, Michael McFaul, Fiona Hill – February 12, 2015)  Click here for full transcript. GWEN IFILL: Following the Ukraine cease-fire agreement announcement, many are asking today if this deal can actually stick. We explore the chances of success with former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul. He’s now a professor at Stanford University. And Fiona Hill, director […]

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Would a Ukraine Peace Deal in Minsk Save the Russian Economy?

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – February 12, 2015) U.S. President Barack Obama has claimed the Kremlin’s role in the Ukraine crisis brought the Russian economy to its knees. So, if a peace accord is reached in Minsk on Wednesday will it reboot the Russian economy? Hopes are high that a gathering of Russian, French, German and Ukrainian […]

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Moscow Times: Why the Ukraine Crisis Hinges On the U.S. Election

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – February 10, 2015) The outcome of the Ukraine crisis talks in Minsk on Wednesday depends on whether the United States is prepared to exert enough influence on the divergent power elites in Kiev to accept the deal, analysts told The Moscow Times. Whether Washington will opt to pressure the diverse political forces […]

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Moscow Times: Five Cases of the U.S. Arming Foreign Fighters, And What They Led To

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Richard Ensor – February 10, 2015) With violence escalating in eastern Ukraine, the United States is considering sending lethal arms to Kiev to counter separatist forces that Washington claims are backed by Russia. The United States has a record of giving weapons to its allies around the world, but the strategy has not always been […]

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Russia Would See U.S. Moves to Arm Ukraine as Declaration of War

Maidan Square file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – February 10, 2015) U.S. provision of military aid to Ukraine would be seen by Moscow as a declaration of war and spark a global escalation of Ukraine’s separatist conflict, Russian defense analysts said. With Russia-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine seizing new territory from the Ukrainian army, voices in Washington are demanding that […]

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Kerry Tells Lawmakers He’s for Arming Ukraine

John Kerry file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Josh Rogin – February 9, 2015) Secretary of State John Kerry told lawmakers during a private reception in Germany that he personally supports sending lethal aid to the Ukrainian military, even though President Barack Obama has yet to make a decision on whether to say yes to Ukraine’s arms request. Kerry is the latest top U.S. […]

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Anti-American Sentiment Reaches 25-Year High in Russia

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Spinella – February 9, 2015) Russians are more anti-American than they have been at any point in the past 25 years, according to a recent opinion poll. More than 80 percent of Russians view the United States negatively, the exact inverse of how the public felt in 1992, respected independent pollster the Levada Center […]

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Moscow Times: How the U.S. Struggles to Crack the Putin Code

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Pilot in Hang Glider Airborne Next to Flying Cranes

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – February 9, 2015) “Who is Mr. Putin?” The ongoing Ukraine conflict has breathed new life into a question that has long stumped Western policymakers and analysts. Efforts to grasp President Vladimir Putin’s logic have all but reduced Western leaders to soothsaying and studying tea leaves, with hundreds of thousands of U.S. taxpayer […]

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PONARS Perspectives: U.S. Military Assistance to Ukraine

Ukraine Map and Flag

(PONARS Eurasia – ponarseurasia.org – February 5, 2015) PONARS Eurasia is a network of over 100 academics, mainly from North America and post-Soviet Eurasia, who advance new policy approaches to research and security in Russia and Eurasia. Eight former senior military and diplomatic officials have called for the United States to provide $1 billion a year in military assistance to Ukraine over […]

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NEWSWATCH: Pentagon 2008 study claims Putin has Asperger’s syndrome

Vladimir Putin

[“Pentagon 2008 study claims Putin has Asperger’s syndrome” – USA Today – Ray Locker – February 4, 2015] USA Today reports on a U.S. Department of Defense study from 2008, obtained through a Freedom of Information request, theorizing that Russian President Vladimir Putin is autistic, having the neurological condition Asperger’s Syndrome. A study from a Pentagon think tank theorizes … Putin has Asperger’s […]

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NEWSWATCH: On Military Aid to Ukraine, the Administration Zig-Zags

White House

[“On Military Aid to Ukraine, the Administration Zig-Zags” – David J. Kramer – Wall Street Journal – February 4, 2015] David J. Kramer comments on the Obama administration’s shifting public postures regarding its Ukraine policy. … Wednesday, Ash Carter, the administration’s nominee for defense secretary, said that he is ‘very much inclined’ to send arms to Ukraine. One hopes that this is […]

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NEWSWATCH: Obama’s Pentagon nominee suggests support for arming Ukraine

Ashton Carter File Photo

[“Obama’s Pentagon nominee suggests support for arming Ukraine” – Reuters – Phil Stewart, Andrea Shalal- February 4, 2015] Reuters reports on remarks by U.S. Secretary of Defense nominee Ashton Carter regarding U.S. policy towards Ukraine and Russia, such as arms for Ukraine and continued economic pressure on Russia. President Barack Obama’s pick to become defense secretary told Congress on Wednesday he […]

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NEWSWATCH: Ukraine needs America’s help

Ukraine Map and Flag

[“Ukraine needs America’s help” – Washington Post – Steven Pifer, Strobe Talbott – January 29, 2015] Steven Pifer and Strobe Talbott, in a Washington Post op-ed, address the unfolding conflict in Ukraine and U.S. options. The new year has brought more misery …. Separatist fighters, supported by Russian troops, have launched attacks in Donetsk and Luhansk. Diplomatic efforts have made no progress toward […]

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Interfax: Gorbachev says USA draws Russia into “new cold war”

File Photo of Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan at Table Signing Documents

(Interfax – Moscow, January 29, 2015) The USA has already draw Russia into a “cold war”, one cannot rule out that they may “take the risk” of taking further steps towards a real war, former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev has said. “Now one keeps hearing about sanctions against Russia from America and the European Union. Have they really completely lost […]

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Russians Say They Fear Hunger, Unemployment and Nuclear War

Nuclear Mushroom Cloud

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – January 30, 2015) A recent state poll asking Russians about their fears has laid bare a telling change in attitudes: more than double the number of respondents said they feared a nuclear war compared to two years ago. Russia’s deteriorating relations with the West and the economic turmoil that followed sanctions imposed […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Russia to safeguard its own nuclear facilities without American help

Radioactivity Symbol

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Galiya Ibragimova, special to RBTH- January 27, 2015) Russia has decided to safeguard its own nuclear facilities without the help of the United States. However, Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom has said in a statement that Moscow is willing to continue cooperating with Washington on global nuclear security. Moscow has announced that it will […]

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Russian Sanctions Might Be Obama’s Greatest Blunder

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

(oilprice.com – Robert Berke – January 25, 2015) One of the greatest foreign policy blunders of the Obama Administration was the push by the U.S. for economic sanctions against Russia. That led to Russia fleeing into the arms of China for refuge. In response, Russia, Europe’s largest and most populated country, is now intent on moving its vast storehouse of […]

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Interfax: Russia’s Rosatom ready to continue nuclear safety cooperation with US

Radioactivity Symbol

(Interfax – Moscow, January 22, 2015) Russia and the United States will continue cooperation in global nuclear safety in 2015. According to a press release by the state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom, the sides have special responsibility for ensuring the safety and security of nuclear materials, preventing them from falling into the hands of terrorist organizations and ensuring their reliable […]

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In Ukraine, NATO has ceased to be an instrument of US foreign policy

NATO meeting file photo

(opendemocracy.net – Bob Rigg – January 21, 2015) Bob Rigg is former senior editor with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and a former chair of the New Zealand National Consultative Committee on Disarmament. He is a freelance researcher and writer specialising in nuclear issues, the Middle East, Central Asia, and US foreign policy. In the renewed cold […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Lack of U.S. interest in Russia felt in speeches

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

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Lara McCoy Roslof, RBTH – January 21, 2015) Comments by both U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Tefft and U.S. President Barack Obama indicate that the U.S. has little motivation to lift sanctions against On Jan. 20, the same day U.S. President Barack Obama delivered his annual State of the Union address, U.S. Ambassador […]

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State Department Report on U.S.-Russia Relations [excerpt]

State Department Building and U.S. Flag

(United States Department of State – International Security Advisory Board – December 9, 2014) [DJ: Best to read this from the PDF file. Complete text with footnotes and appendices here http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/235118.pdf] MEMORANDUM FOR UNDER SECRETARY GOTTEMOELLER SUBJECT: Final Report of the International Security Advisory Board (ISAB) on U.S.-Russia Relations I am forwarding herewith the ISAB’s report on U.S.-Russia Relations. The […]

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Ambassador John F. Tefft Speech to the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia

John Tefft file photo

(US Embassy Moscow – January 20, 2015) Thank you for that introduction, Alex. I am grateful for this opportunity to speak to members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia. I am sure you already know them and work closely with them, but let me start by introducing my team. First, there is Deputy Chief of Mission Lynne Tracy […]

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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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U.S. Drama ‘House of Cards’ Features Putin Look-Alike in New Trailer

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 13, 2015) [Trailer here http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/u-s-drama-house-of-cards-features-putin-look-alike-in-new-trailer/514243.html] A trailer for season three of U.S. hit series House of Cards has fans in a frenzy over what appear to be heavy hints that the new season’s plot line will feature a character based on Russian President Vladimir Putin. The new series will see actor Kevin Spacey reprise […]

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Russian Film ‘Leviathan’ Takes Golden Globe, Chance for Oscar

Movie Theater file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ali Sar, Kevin O’Flynn – BEVERLEY HILLS, United States, January 13, 2015) Andrei Zvyagintsev’s “Leviathan,” a dark and brooding film that depicts Russia as a corrupt and cruel society, took the Golden Globe for best foreign-language film late Sunday, making it one of the favorites to win the Academy Award in the same category next […]

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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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Russia Unlikely to Abandon ISS for National Space Station – Roscosmos Deputy

International Space Station file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 13, 2015) Despite talk that tensions over Ukraine might lead to a Russian withdrawal from the International Space Station (ISS) in favor of a new national station, a senior space official downplayed the possibility in an interview published Tuesday. “Theoretically it is possible to create a new Russian space station, but neither the current […]

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RIA Novosti: Rostislav Ishchenko, 2015: Year of a Fundamental Turnabout

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(RIA Novosti – January 6, 2015) The world is entering 2015. People hope for better, but are preparing for the worst. It is hard to be optimists when the year is beginning to the salvoes of the incessant civil war in Ukraine, to Kiev’s threats to settle the problem of the Donbass and Crimea militarily before the end of 2015, […]

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Putin Signs New Military Doctrine: Core Elements Unchanged

File Photo of Russian Tanks in Military Parade

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 12, Issue 2 – Roger McDermott – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – January 6, 2015) President Vladimir Putin has introduced a new Military Doctrine in the context of the Ukraine crisis, deteriorating relations with the United States, the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), as well as shifts within the international security environment. […]

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NEWSWATCH: Russia ‘may face chaos’ if extra sanctions imposed: Germany

Map of Germany

[“Russia ‘may face chaos’ if extra sanctions imposed: Germany” – AFP – January 4, 2015] AFP covers a German official’s assessment of the potential impact of additional sanctions on Russia: Tougher sanctions may destabilise the situation further in Russia and plunge the country into chaos, German deputy chancellor Sigmar Gabriel warned … ‘Whoever wants that will provoke a much more dangerous situation […]

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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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Inside Obama’s Secret Outreach to Russia

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Josh Rogin – December 31, 2014) Josh Rogin is a Bloomberg View columnist who writes about national security and foreign affairs. He has previously worked for the Daily Beast, Newsweek, Foreign Policy magazine, the Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly and Asahi Shimbun. President Barack Obama’s administration has been working behind the scenes for months to forge a new […]

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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 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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Russia Beyond the Headlines: A war of words in U.S.-Russia relations

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

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Pavel Koshkin – December 17, 2014) The press has hyped poll numbers showing an increase in anti-Americanism in Russia, but experts argue that the numbers need context. A popular T-shirt sold in central Moscow features a man in a martial arts costume resembling Russian president and known judo enthusiast Vladimir Putin knocking down […]

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STRATFOR: Viewing Russia From the Inside

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Stratfor.com – George Friedman – December 16, 2014) Last week I flew into Moscow, arriving at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 8. It gets dark in Moscow around that time, and the sun doesn’t rise until about 10 a.m. at this time of the year – the so-called Black Days versus White Nights. For anyone used to life closer to the […]

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Growing pessimism over Russia-U.S. relations creates fears of Cold War 2.0

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

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Andrei Ilyashenko, special to RBTH – December 11, 2014) Twenty-five years ago, at a meeting in Malta, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and his American counterpart George Bush, Sr. proclaimed the end of the Cold War. Now, a quarter century later, Russian politicians and experts are raising the alarm that the world might soon […]

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RIA Novosti: Moscow open to dialogue with USA, but won’t give up interests – Russia’s Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov file photo

(RIA Novosti – December 9, 2014) Russia is open to dialogue with Washington, but it will not give up its interests under any circumstances, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said in an interview with RIA Novosti (part of the state-owned International News Agency Rossiya Segodnya). “For our part, we are always open to a constructive and honest dialogue with […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Remarks by the President at the Business Roundtable [excerpt re: Russia]

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

The White House Office of the Press Secretary For Immediate Release December 03, 2014 Remarks by the President at the Business Roundtable [excerpt re Russia] Business Roundtable Headquarters The President: So I think we have to be cautious and clear-eyed about our relationship with China, but there’s no reason why we should not be able to manage that relationship in […]

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Interfax: Russians tend to call relations with U.S. tense – poll

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

MOSCOW. Dec 4 (Interfax) – The attitude of Russians to the United States has tangibly deteriorated in the recent period, the Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) has said. Fifty-three percent had a generally positive attitude to the U.S. in February 2013, while 30% declared their dislike for the country. The trend has now reversed: 22% like the U.S. and […]

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Former Russian CGS says war with NATO possible

File Photo of Russian Tanks in Military Parade

(Interfax – Moscow, December 1, 2014) The “cold war” between Russia and the West never ended, and under certain circumstances it may move into the “hot” phase, former Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Army Gen Yuriy Baluyevskiy believes. “The armed forces of the USA, of NATO in general, are “honed” today towards fighting against Russia, […]

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