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

NEWSLINK The National Interest: Avoiding a New ‘Cuban Missile Crisis’ in Ukraine

Map of Ranges of Soviet Missiles on Cuba

The war in Ukraine has already created the most dangerous confrontation between Washington and Moscow since the Cuban Missile Crisis. If Obama scales up arms supplies to Ukraine in response to Minsk II’s collapse, the United States and Russia will be engaged in a military test of wills—on the latter’s doorstep. In 1962, geography favored Washi

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NEWSLINK Washington Post: The U.S. continues to send the wrong message to Russia

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

It has been a week since Secretary of State John F. Kerry emerged from eight hours of meetings with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin and his foreign minister to say that the two sides had agreed to make a new effort to cooperate in resolving conflicts in Ukraine and Syria and completing a nuclear accord with Iran. The trip represented yet another […]

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Russian relations with US warm (a little) as Washington re-engages

File Photo of John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov at Podiums

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – May 19, 2015) Two high-level delegations to Russia from the US suggest that icy relations between the two sides may have begun to thaw a little. US Secretary of State John Kerry travelled to Sochi to meet his counterpart Sergei Lavrov on May 12 in his first visit to Russia […]

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A Net Assessment of the World

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(Stratfor.com – George Friedman – May 19, 2015 – stratfor.com/weekly/net-assessment-world) A pretentious title requires a modest beginning. The world has increasingly destabilized and it is necessary to try to state, as clearly as possible, what has happened and why. This is not because the world is uniquely disorderly; it is that disorder takes a different form each time, though it […]

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: Waging Peace. Churchill requested plans for a British-American attack on Russia code-named “Operation Unthinkable.”

Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin and Crowd of Military Officers

The leaders of the Allied powers met three times during World War II, at Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam. The last conference stretched over 17 days in July and August 1945, longer than the first two put together. Harry Truman had replaced Franklin Roosevelt, and Winston Chur  

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Nuland is already in Moscow, official meetings slated for Monday

File Photo of Victoria Nuland Testifying

(Interfax – May 17, 2015) U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland arrived in Moscow from Kiev on May 17, press secretary of the U.S. embassy William Stevens told Interfax. “Victoria Nuland is in Moscow already,” he said. She is expected to hold official meetings on Monday, May 18. Nuland is most likely to be […]

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Russia-US Dialogue Elevated, But Ukraine Tensions Remain

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

(Voice of America – Daniel Schearf – May 14, 2015) Political analysts agree the four-hour meeting this week between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian President Vladimir Putin was a step up in contact between the two countries. Despite tensions over Ukraine, the two sides hold regular discussions, including president-to-president phone calls and numerous meetings between their top diplomats. But […]

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NEWSLINK Bostinno: What Now for MIT and Moscow’s ‘Innovation City’? [Skolkovo]

Skolkovo File Photo

In 2011, MIT and Russian institutions including the Skolkovo Foundation launched a multi-year collaboration to facilitate the conception of the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology—dubbed Skoltech— a private graduate research university in a suburb of Moscow that was designed to stimulate the Russian entrepreneurial ecosystem and address a number of pressing global issues.   http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2015/05/16/mits-skolkovo-tech-incubator-skoltech-struggles-in-russia/  

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McCain Nixes Pentagon Plan to Use More Russian Rocket Engines

John McCain at hearing; adapted from defense.gov image

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 15, 2015) The United States will not allow domestic space companies to use more Russian rocket engines despite requests from the Pentagon, news agency Reuters reported, citing a letter written by U.S. Senator and Chairman of the Armed Services Committee John McCain. In a response to a letter from U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter […]

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NEWSLINK The Daily Signal: In New Role, US Army Prepares Ukrainians for Different Type of War

U.S. Military Convoy Headed to Ukraine, On Highway Near Mountains or Cliffs

The sounds of gunfire and explosions are constant on the firing range at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center outside this western Ukrainian town. At one spot, behind an earthen bunker, U.S. Army paratroopers are qualifying Ukrainian National Guard soldiers in Soviet-era shoulder-fired rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs). Further down the line, Ukrainian soldiers shoot at targets using different types of Kalashnikov […]

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: Kerry Is So Very Nice to Putin. Easing sanctions if Russia settles for what it’s already grabbed

File Photo of John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov at Podiums

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned Monday that the Kremlin continues to provide heavy arms and training to its proxy militias in eastern Ukraine—a “blatant violation,” he says, of the Minsk deal Russia signed in February to end the fighting. NATO says Russia is also building forces on both sides of its international border with Ukraine. Civilians in the port of […]

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NEWSLINK Daily Bruin: Former ambassador speaks at Anderson as part of lecture series. (Michael McFaul)

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

A former U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation argued domestic Russian politics are the main cause of renewed tensions between the United States and the Russian Federation at a lecture at the Anderson School of Management Tuesday

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NEWSLINK New York Times: A Tiny Crack in the Russian Ice

File Photo of John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov at Podiums

It is a measure of how low American-Russian relations have sunk that a meeting between President Vladimir Putin and Secretary of State John Kerry that achieves nothing is perceived as good news. But good news it was when they met for four hours in the southern Russian city of Sochi on Tuesday, following talks between Mr. Kerry and the Russian […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Secretary of State John Kerry] Press Availability With Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

File Photo of John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov at Podiums

(US Department of State – Sochi, Russia – May 12, 2015) [Compare with Russian Foreign Ministry version: mid.ru/brp_4.nsf/0/1832A4FE6BF 5B7E643257E440029BBE5] MODERATOR: (In progress) (Via interpreter) ready to start the press conference. Heads of the foreign policy agencies of the U.S. and Russia. FOREIGN MINISTER LAVROV: Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, thanks a lot for your patience and waiting till the end of […]

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More and More Russians See America as a Threat, Poll Reveals

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Gladkova – May 13, 2015) Amid soaring tensions over the Ukraine crisis, Russians have grown increasingly leery of the intentions and capabilities of the United States, according to the results of a survey released by independent pollster the Levada Center on Tuesday. According to the poll, which was conducted in April among 1,600 adults […]

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Kerry Brings Cautious Signs of Russia Detente to NATO Meeting

NATO Logo, NATO, OTAN

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – ANTALYA, Turkey – May 14, 2015) After his whirlwind visit to Sochi on Tuesday for marathon talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has headed across the Black Sea to Turkey, where he wasted no time in briefing his counterparts on the […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times: Kerry Arrives in Russia for Talks With Vladimir Putin on Cooperation

John Kerry file photo

Secretary of State John Kerry held more than four hours of talks on Tuesday with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, in what both sides depicted as a frank and cordial meeting aimed at reaching a common strategy to end the Syria war and defuse the Ukraine crisis.

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NEWSLINK Alaska Dispatch News: Russia and US must maintain Arctic relations in an interconnected world

Arctic Map

Russia is in the news, again. NATO ministers continue to discuss how to upgrade their response capabilities to contain Russia, an increasingly unpredictable neighbor, and Pentagon officials advise Congress that Russia is a primary military threat. All the meanwhile, President Putin ramps up his military modernization effort. Could this finally be the end of strong Russia-U.S. cooperation in the one […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times: Battle Tested, Ukraine Troops Now Get U.S. Basic Training

U.S. Military Convoy Headed to Ukraine, On Highway Near Mountains or Cliffs

The exercise, one of the most fundamental in the military handbook, came off without a hitch. A soldier carrying a length of rope and a grappling hook ran to within 20 feet or so of a coil of concertina wire and stopped.

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No decision made yet on Putin’s meeting with Kerry – Kremlin spokesman

John Kerry file photo

MOSCOW. May 11 (Interfax) – Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has not confirmed reports that President Vladimir Putin is to meet with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Sochi on Tuesday. “We will make an announcement if such a meeting takes place,” Peskov said on Govorit Moskva radio on Monday. The radio station said citing Peskov that no decision has […]

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Building a fragile EM coalition

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – MOSCOW BLOG: Ben Aris in Moscow – May 11, 2015) The May 9 victory parade on Red Square was a show of strength by Russia, which is locked in conflict with Ukraine and the West. But it was also a show of solidarity by some emerging markets that have sided, to a greater or lesser degree and with […]

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NEWSWATCH New York Times: A Parade Hailing Russia’s WWII Dead and Marching Further From the West

File Photo of Parade in Red Square from 2005

The New York Times covers Russia’s celebration of Victory Day amidst current international tensions. … Putin has recast what he calls the country’s most important holiday to celebrate the might of the Russian state, the days are over when … Western leaders joined Mr. Putin on the bleachers …. The nationalistic fervor surrounding the parade and the tensions over Ukraine mean that the […]

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Interfax: Obama expects relations with Russia to improve after source of tension eliminated – U.S. Ambassador

John Tefft file photo

MOSCOW. May 6 (Interfax) – U.S. President Barack Obama expects that relations with Russia will improve after the source of current tensions between the two countries is eliminated, U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Tefft said. “While President Obama is not able to attend this year’s commemoration [of the victory in WWII in Moscow on May 9], I know that he […]

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NEWSLINK Washington Post: After the fall of the Soviet Union, the U.S. tried to help Russians.

Berlin Wall, Fencing, Barbed Wire, Women

Mr. Putin’s remarks reflect a deep-seated paranoia. It would be easy to dismiss this kind of rhetoric as intended for domestic consumption, an attempt to whip up support for his war adventure in Ukraine. In part, it is that. But Mr. Putin’s assertion that the West has been acting out of a desire to sunder Russia’s power and influence is a […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times: Judge Rebuffs U.S. in Rejecting Extradition of Ukraine Billionaire

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

In a defeat for the United States, an Austrian judge refused Thursday to order the extradition of Dmitri V. Firtash, a Ukrainian billionaire and onetime patron of the country’s ousted president, Viktor F. Yanukovych, siding with defense lawyers who said the American request was politically motivated.

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Order of Battle

File Photo of Parade in Red Square from 2005

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – MOSCOW BLOG: Ben Aris in Moscow – April 30 2015) Russia will commemorate the end of World War II on May 9 with its traditional military parade through Red Square. But this year the parade will be more closely watched than normal, as it will also be a chance for Russian President Vladimir Putin […]

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Interfax: Russia ready to cooperate with West in tackling terror, regional conflicts – Sergei Ivanov

File Photo of Sergei Ivanov, adapted from defense.gov image

(Interfax – May 2, 2015) Russia will still cooperate with the United States and Europe in fighting terrorism, resolving regional conflicts and countering other modern challenges, if partners are keen on that, says Sergei Ivanov, the chief of the Russian presidential administration. “New threats and challenges emerged, for example, terrorism, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, regional conflicts. Russia […]

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NEWSLINK AP: US Experts on Russia Fear Escalation Over Ukraine.

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

U.S. experts on Russia see a growing danger the crisis in Ukraine that has already taken thousands of lives could explode, although the latest cease-fire agreement has partially held. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_UNITED_STATES_RUSSIA_ANALYSIS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

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NEWSLINK AP: US now sees Russia directing Ukraine’s rebels

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

The United States now sees the Ukrainian rebels as a Russian force. American officials briefed on intelligence from the region say Russia has significantly deepened its command and control of the militants in eastern Ukraine in recent months, leading the U.S. to quietly introduce a new term: “combined Russian-separatist forces.” The State Department used the expression three times in a […]

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Russia’s Media Offensive Seen by the West as Real Threat

satellite-dish-big-disa-mil

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – April 30, 2015) Western governments and institutions are scrambling to devise a commensurate response to Russia’s state-run media offensive, analysts told The Moscow Times on Wednesday amid a wave of reports of Western governments seeking to beef up their own media capabilities. When the Russian authorities moved to establish in 2005 the international […]

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SENATE HEARING: Russia, Ukraine, and U.S. Policy – Prepared statement by Stephen Sestanovich

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

Senate Committee on Armed Service April 28, 2015 Russia, Ukraine, and U.S. Policy Prepared statement by Stephen Sestanovich George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies Council on Foreign Relations Kathryn and Shelby Collum Davis Professor of International Diplomacy School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University Chairman McCain, Senator Reed, members of the Armed Services Committee: Thank […]

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Putin gives the world his geography lesson: ‘All the former USSR is Russia’

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – April 28, 2015) The 150-minute film “The President” about Vladimir Putin is mostly boring and predictable in that it insists that “without Vladimir Vladimirovich nothing in the country will work,” Kseniya Kirillova notes. But she points out that there are three “lessons” contained in the film that must not be ignored. First, she argues, […]

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NEWSLINK: Putin Accuses U.S. of Supporting Separatists in Russia’s North Caucasus

Caucasus Map of Chechnya and Caucasus Environs

Intercepted calls showed that the United States helped separatists in Russia’s North Caucasus in the 2000s, President Vladimir Putin claimed in a new documentary in which he underscored his suspicions of the West.

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NEWSLINK The National Interest: Countdown to War: The Coming U.S.-Russia Conflict. Putin and Obama think they’ve got this crisis contained. Two prominent experts say they may be wrong.

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

The United States and Russia may be unwittingly stumbling down a path to deeper confrontation and even war, cautioned two prominent American national-security experts at a panel in Washington, D.C. Tuesday. Graham Allison, director of Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and Dimitri K. Simes, president of the Center for the National Interest and publisher of this […]

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Russia Says Ukraine Must Be ‘Neutral’ as It Accuses U.S., NATO

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer, Daryna Krasnolutska, Volodymyr Verbyany – April 22, 2015) Russia said it wants a “neutral” and unified Ukraine as it accused the North Atlantic Treaty Organization of seeking to turn its neighbor into a hostile state. The U.S. wields enormous influence over Ukraine, while Russia wants the people of its “near neighbor” to have a […]

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No U.S. plans to deliver anti-tank systems to Ukraine – U.S. ambassador to Russia

File Photo of Soldier Firing Javelin Shoulder-Mounted Anti-Tank Missile

(Interfax – April 21, 2015) The U.S. does not plan to deliver Javelin shoulder-mounted anti-tank missile systems to Ukraine for the moment and is sending defensive gear alone to that country, U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Tefft said on Ekho Moskvy radio. He said that the U.S. is supplying bullet-proof jackets, glasses and night-vision systems to Ukraine, all of which are […]

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NEWSLINK Stratfor: Russia Changes Its Tone

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

Over the weekend, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin appeared to soften his line against the West, particularly the United States. Having previously stated that the United States has no allies, only vassals, Putin this time said: “We have some disagreements on several issues on the international agenda. But at the same time there is something that unites us, forces us to […]

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The Faltering Russian Economy Makes a Renewed Ukraine Offensive More Likely

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

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 12, Issue 73 – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Pavel K. Baev) “Boring” is perhaps the prevalent impression of President Vladimir Putin’s televised four-hour-long Q & A session that aired last Thursday (April 16), which was meant to demonstrate his good health and relaxed attitude to the great many problems worrying his loyal subjects. The three […]

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U.S. ambassador confirms Obama’s non-attendance of May festivities in Moscow

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

MOSCOW. April 21 (Interfax) – The United States Ambassador to Russia, John Tefft, has confirmed that it will be he who is representing his country at a military parade in Moscow on May 9 on the occasion of the 70th V-Day anniversary. When asked on the Ekho Moskvy radio on Tuesday why U.S. President Barack Obama declined the invitation to […]

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Interfax: Ukrainian-U.S. Fearless Guardian 2015 military exercise begins in Ukraine

ukraine-us-army-convoy-poland-army-mil

LVIV. April 20 (Interfax) – During the Fearless Guardian 2015 international military exercise, Ukraine’s National Guard intends to learn from the United States military the practices they have used in operations worldwide, Ukraine’s Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said. “The U.S. special task force has experience received in operations worldwide, and we want to use this experience. Wars are won by […]

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NEWSWATCH: Rep. Ed Royce/Wall Street Journal: Countering Putin’s Information Weapons of War

Ed Royce file photo

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Rep. Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, addresses what he characterizes as a Russian information war, featuring anti-American propaganda and conspiracy theories. Of concern to Royce is that U.S. international broadcasting services that played a stronger role during the Cold War have “withered,” such that Russian propaganda will flourish unless the U.S. services […]

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CONGRESSIONAL HEARING: ‘Confronting Russia’s Weaponization of Information’ Peter Pomeranzev prepared remarks

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

Peter Pomeranzev Senior Fellow, Legatum Institute House Committee on Foreign Affairs April 15 2014, ‘Confronting Russia’s Weaponization of Information’ During the Russian invasion of Crimea last year, most of the world’s journalists seemed confused. Most of the West’s leaders were taken aback. But when it was over, the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), General Philip M. Breedlove, defined what had happened […]

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Hillary Clinton as U.S. President ‘Wouldn’t Fix’ Russia-U.S. Relationship

clinton-bin-laden-killing-1000

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – April 14, 2015) Should Hillary Clinton – who once compared Russian President Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler – become the next U.S. president, no improvement should be expected in U.S.-Russian relations, political analysts said Monday. Relations between the two countries suffer as the result of a fundamental conflict in which Russia is […]

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The rise and fall of the Russian oligarchy; Newly declassified U.S. documents, released to bne IntelliNews, show how Vladimir Putin’s candidacy was a compromise after a fierce battle between pro-US oligarchs and pro-state conservatives

yeltsin-putin-400

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack – April 14, 2015) Fifteen years after the then unknown Vladimir Putin took over the Russian presidency, analysts still puzzle over how he arrived in the position. Newly declassified documents from President Bill Clinton’s administration, released to bne IntelliNews, show how Putin’s candidacy was a compromise after a fierce battle for power […]

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NEWSWATCH AUDIO National Public Radio: New START Nuke Deal With Russia May Be Aging – But It’s Not Over

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

NPR covers U.S.-Russian nuclear arms control and assessments of New START. ‘ [click here for transcript – click here for article – audio follows below] Five years ago, another big nuclear deal was being signed … known as the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) … its aim … simple: to limit the number of nuclear weapons the United States and Russia have pointed at […]

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Former U.S. Ambassador: Putin Has No Interest in Resolving Ukraine Conflict

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

(Voice of America – voanews.com – April 10, 2015) Former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul tells VOA that Russian President Vladimir Putin has no interest in resolving the conflict in Ukraine because it serves his interest. McFaul said Thursday that Putin likes the open-ended, low grade military confrontation in the former Soviet republic because it works to undermine the government in Kyiv. The […]

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Russia Nervously Eyes the U.S.-Iran Deal

Middle East Map

(stratfor.com – Geopolitical Weekly – Reva Bhalla – April 7, 2015) When a group of weary diplomats announced a framework for an Iranian nuclear accord last week in Lausanne, there was one diplomat in the mix whose feigned enthusiasm was hard to miss. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov left the talks at their most critical point March 30, much to the […]

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