Why Russia is steaming back into the Pacific

TU-95 Bear Bomber File Photo

Russia’s power projection in the Pacific is in sync with its growing assertiveness globally, but it doesn’t necessarily threaten the U.S. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – RAKESH KRISHNAN SIMHA, SPECIAL TO RBTH – February 4, 2016) Russia is expanding its military presence in the Pacific in a manner not seen since the Cold War. From California to Guam […]

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Rose Gottemoeller: Washington, Moscow could settle INF problem in 2016

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

(Interfax – February 5, 2016) U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security State Rose Gottemoeller has given an interview to Interfax in which she speaks about U.S.-Russian issues over the INF Treaty and states that the United States is not going to return to the IV stage of its missile shield in Europe and not going […]

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What do the U.S. presidential candidates think about Russia?

United States Map

On Feb. 1 the first important stage of the selection of presidential candidates from the Republican and Democratic parties – the Iowa Caucus – was held in Iowa. The subject of relations with Moscow is a key geopolitical trump for participants in the U.S. election race, with even those who are not too savvy in international politics making their position […]

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Is There A Non-West for Russia to Lead?

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(PONARS Eurasia – ponarseurasia.org – Keith Darden – January 28, 2016 – ponarseurasia.org/memo/non-west-for-russia-to-lead) Keith Darden is Associate Professor in the School of International Service at American University. (PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Recently, Russian policymakers and strategists have articulated a vision of a vibrant non-Western world, one in which the United States and European leaders are increasingly marginal and where Russia […]

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Transcript of Ambassador Tefft’s Interview with Russian Wire Services

John Tefft file photo

(US Embassy Moscow – January 28, 2016) Ambassador John F. Tefft: I thought I’d start and say a couple of words, and then I’d take your questions to focus on what you want to talk about. I was back in Washington for a few weeks to see my children and my grandchildren. Like a good grandfather, I should be going […]

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Russia Sanctions Can Be Lifted If Minsk Implemented – U.S. Ambassador

File Photo of U.S. Embassy Moscow, with Russian Foreign Ministry Building in Distance

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 29, 2016) Sanctions against Moscow can be lifted after it implements the Minsk peace agreement with Ukraine, including restoration of Kiev control over separatist eastern regions, the U.S. Ambassador in Moscow John Tefft said in an interview published on the U.S. Embassy’s website Thursday. Washington has the full backing of its European allies in […]

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Russian Entente Nears as Allies Give Ukraine Sanctions Hint

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – January 26, 2016) After almost two years on the outside, signs are growing that Russia may soon be invited in from the cold. The worsening of crises from Syria to Libya are forcing the international community to reconsider sanctions slapped on President Vladimir Putin’s government over Ukraine as a way of getting a key diplomatic power […]

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Schooling in Moscow: A Mixed Bag

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Vasily Kolotilov – January 25, 2016) “Some of the boys called my son “Obama’s little spy,” says Jynks Burton. “But they’re at that age I suppose, always looking for something to tease other boys about …” Burton’s eight-year-old son, Alex, makes a scowling face. He says he doesn’t want to talk about the incident. The […]

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NEWSLINK The Guardian/Shaun Walker: “Caught between Russia and the US? The curious case of Ukraine’s Dmytro Firtash. Critics say the oligarch now living in exile pushed Putin’s agenda during Maidan revolution while a US arrest warrant appeared politically motivated.”

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Kudrin: Sanctions against Russia could start to ease late 2016-early 2017

Alexei Kudrin file photo

(Interfax – January 22, 2016) Relations between Russia and the West are normalizing and sanctions will be lifted, Alexei Kudrin, a former Russian finance minister, said. “I’m sure the sanctions will start to soften at the end of this year or start of next year. Nobody in Russia wants to keep up confrontation. I think the Minsk accords will be […]

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U.S. Beats Russia in ‘Most Powerful’ Ranking

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 22, 2016) Russia is second only to its former Cold War foe the United States in terms of its power to influence the global agenda but lags behind many other countries in most categories, a new ranking presented at the Davos World Economic Forum said. Moscow scored a 9.4 in the “Power” category, which […]

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Interfax: Revocation of accreditation from Russia’s honorary consuls in U.S. continues Washington’s line towards scaling down of relations with Russia – Russian Foreign Ministry


MOSCOW. Jan 22 (Interfax) – Moscow is outraged by the revocation of accreditation from five of Russia’s honorary consuls in the United States, and sees it as a continuation of Washington’s line towards the scaling down of relations with Moscow, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said. “We are outraged by Washington’s decision to recall accreditation from five of the […]

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Russia Pushing for An Endgame in Ukraine

Vladislav Surkov file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – January 21, 2016) The appearance of one of President Vladimir Putin’s most enigmatic associates, Vladislav Surkov, at a meeting with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland last Friday has sparked speculation that Moscow and Washington are approaching an endgame in Ukraine after two years of conflict. “That is was Surkov, and […]

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Peskov: Surkov, Nuland hold expert dialogue on settlement in Ukraine

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

(Interfax – January 20, 2016) The negotiations held between Russian Presidential Aide Vladislav Surkov and Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the United States Department of State, in Kaliningrad with regard to the settlement in Ukraine were an expert exchange of opinions between Moscow and Washington, which is not a member of the ‘Normandy […]

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U.S., Russia Start Syria Negotiations Amid Threat to Peace Talks

Syria Map

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer – January 20, 2016) The top U.S. and Russian diplomats began talks in Zurich Wednesday to try to bridge divisions over which belligerents in Syria’s five-year civil war should be labeled “terrorist,” an issue that threatens to hold up the start of peace talks. John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov need to strike a deal […]

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Interfax: Mutko anticipating rivalry between Russian and US athletes at Olympic Games

Olympic Rings Lit at Night, adapted from image at state.gov

(Interfax – January 19, 2016) The Summer Olympic Games cannot be imagined without a rivalry between Russian and American track and field athletes, Russia’s Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said. “Track and field athletics is the queen of sport. [Athletes] will compete for 47 medals [at the Olympic Games]. I will also say that I cannot imagine any tournament without a […]

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Netflix’s Desire for World Domination Reaches Russia

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Eva Hartog – January 15, 2016) China, the world’s most populous country, might have slipped through its fingers, but with Russia Netflix in January pocketed the largest country by landmass and the promise of tapping into a booming online market. Netflix’s move into Russia, along with 129 other countries, was heralded by its CEO as […]

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NEWSLINK Russia Direct: “Russia, China and the US need to work together in 2016. At the Gaidar Forum in Moscow, Russian and foreign experts discussed the role of the great powers in shaping the current system of international relations, as well as the potential ability for Russia and the U.S. to find common ground in 2016”

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Seven powerful politicians from around the world that speak Russian

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

Russian is considered one of the most difficult languages to learn yet there are many influential politicians around the world that have taken it up. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – NATALIA MASHINISTOVA, SPECIAL TO RBTH – January 12, 2016) [Videos with Michael McFaul and Condoleezza Rice here: rbth.com/arts/lifestyle/2016/01/12/7-powerful-politicians-from-around-the-world-that-speak-russian_558729] Most Russian-speaking politicians live in former Soviet republics and other […]

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Putin’s Crude and Desperate Propaganda

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

From: John Evans <EvansinAmerica@aol.com> Date: January 5, 2016 To: letters@washpost.com Subject: Putin’s Crude and Desperate Propaganda To the Editor: With all due respect to Paula Dobriansky and David Rivkin, and with prior apologies for engaging in “Whataboutism,” I question the authors’ one-sided excoriation of Russian media and officials (Op-Ed, Jan. 5) for some racist and decidedly off-color remarks and representations, […]

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2015: The Year Putin Bounced Back

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

(RFE/RL – Carl Schreck – December 29, 2015) In December 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama fielded a question about Russia while addressing a group of American business leaders in Washington. President Vladimir Putin’s incursion into Ukraine and “backward-looking” policies, Obama said, are “isolating Russia completely internationally.” If it was Russian expansionism last year that triggered this isolation, it was Putin’s […]

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Putin’s Pivot: Out of Ukraine, Into Syria

Kremlin and River

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – December 24, 2015) “How great is it that our nation is ruled by a man that we can be so proud of?” To be honest, this is a first in my life.” This was the praise given to President Vladimir Putin in the wake of his speech before the United Nations General […]

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What’s behind John Kerry’s festive goodwill to the Kremlin?

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

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s official visit to Moscow this week for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov caught Russian pundits off guard, with Kerry striking a conciliatory tone and insisting that the U.S. was not seeking to isolate Russia. But can any serious change in Washington’s stance be read into Kerry’s comments? (Russia […]

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NEWSLINK Christian Science Monitor: “Kerry in Moscow as pressure grows for US-Russia compromise on Syria. If the United States and Russia can overcome their two main sticking points – on ‘moderate’ rebels and Assad’s role in future talks – Syrian diplomacy can move forward, analysts say”

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

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U.S. Comprehensive Strategy Toward Russia

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

(Heritage Foundation – heritage.org – James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Ted R. Bromund, Ph.D., Dean Cheng, Luke Coffey, Lisa Curtis, Helle C. Dale, Michaela Dodge, David Inserra, Bruce Klingner, Daniel Kochis, Ryan Olson, James Phillips, Ana Quintana, Bryan Riley, Brian Slattery and William T. Wilson, Ph.D. – December 9, 2015) Introduction Since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. has […]

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Interfax: U.S. to never recognize ‘annexation’ of Crimea – Biden

Joe Biden Speaking in Front of U.S. Flags and Ukrainian Flag

KYIV. Dec 8 (Interfax) – U.S. Vice-President Joseph Biden has reaffirmed the unwavering position of his country and said the United States will never recognize Crimea’s accession to Russia. The United States will never recognize attempts to ‘annex’ Crimea, Biden said in Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada on Tuesday. [featured image is file photo]

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Interfax: West unfoundedly accuses Russia of INF breach to deflect similar accusations against itself – Naryshkin

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 10 (Interfax) – The West, including the United States, is breaching the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) and is accusing Russia of doing so in order to deflect accusations against itself, State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin has said. “Political speculations aimed at deflecting lawful accusations and at misleading the global public on the subject of Russia have become […]

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RBTH: Cable wars: Can Russia really cut the jugular?


Both the U.S. and Russia have the means to clip undersea cables but don’t worry, unless there’s a full on war, your internet surfing won’t be interrupted. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – RAKESH KRISHNAN SIMHA, SPECIAL TO RBTH – December 9, 2015) There are more than 285 cables crossing the world’s oceans, with the entire network spanning over […]

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Russia welcomes intent of U.S., coalition to help seal Syria-Turkey border

Syria Map

(Interfax – December 7, 2015) Moscow welcomes the intentions of the United States and other members of the anti-terrorist coalition that it leads to help seal the Syrian-Turkish border with the purpose of stopping oil trafficking and other illegal businesses. “What the Syrian-Turkish border is like has been known for a long time, the same as the Turkish-Iraqi border. It […]

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Russians Want Better Ties With West, But No Change in Policy – Poll

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Eva Hartog – December 3, 2015) Amid a standoff over the crisis in Ukraine and ongoing conflict in Syria, most Russians want their country to mend ties with its nemeses even while maintaining its political course, the independent Levada Center pollster said Wednesday. Seventy-five percent of those questioned in a new poll said Russia should […]

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