Magnitsky Act ‘Law by New Year’

File Photo of U.S. Capitol Dome

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Roland Oliphant – November 19, 2012) U.S. President Barack Obama could sign the Magnitsky act into law by the end of this year, backers of the bill have said. The landmark legislation was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday. The bill would allow permanent normal trade relations with Russia and at the […]

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Moscow forestalled U.S. Magnitsky Act by its own law on NGO as foreign agents – analyst

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

MOSCOW. Nov 19 (Interfax) – Moscow forestalled the adoption of the so-called Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act in the U.S. by enacting the law on NGOs acting as foreign agents, which is quite painful for Washington, but it should be prepared to see a number of European Union countries considering bills analogous to the one just passed by […]

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NEWSLINK: Russia warns U.S. over human rights bill

File Photo of U.S. Capitol Dome

(Russia warns U.S. over human rights bill – Reuters – Thomas Grove – November 16, 2012 – http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/16/us-usa-russia-idUSBRE8AF0RA20121116) Reuters covers Russian attempts to pressure the u.S. Congress over human rights legislation before it, being addresses in connection with trade legislation: Russia increased pressure on the U.S. Congress on Friday not to pass legislation that would punish Russian officials for human […]

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NEWSLINK: Three cheers for the Magnitsky Act and American values

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Three cheers for the Magnitsky Act and American values- AEIdeas – www.aei.org – Leon Aron – November 15, 2012 – Leon Aron is Resident Scholar and Director of Russian Studies at the American Enterprise Institute – http://www.aei-ideas.org/2012/11/three-cheers-for-the-magnitsky-act-and-american-values/) Leon Aron of the American Enterprise Institute addresses the Magnitsky Act legislation currently before Congress: In the next few days, the House and […]

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NEWSLINK: Top senator eager to clear Russia trade bill

File Photo of U.S. Capitol Dome

(The Hill –  Vicki Needham – November 15, 2012 – http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/1005-trade/268385-top-senator-eager-to-clear-russia-trade-bill) The Hill covers Congressional action on legislation normalizing U.S. trade relations with Russia and imposing sanctions on human rights violators.  One lawmaker wants to expand the human rights sanctions to make them global: A top Senate Democrat said he is determined to jump the final hurdle and clear a […]

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Two opposing lobbies behind proposed US Congress bill – senior Russian MP

File Photo of U.S. Capitol Dome

(Interfax – Moscow, 14 November) Head of the State Duma Committee for International Affairs Aleksey Pushkov is convinced that the US Congressmen’s intention to pass the so-called Magnitskiy list law’ on Friday (16 November) and to abolish the Jackson-Vanik amendment at the same time shows that two different lobbying groups, one political and one economic, are involved. “By now, one […]

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NEWSLINK: Russia threatens tough response if U.S. back rights bill

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Russia threatens tough response if US back rights bill – Reuters – Steve Gutterman – November 15 – http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/15/russia-usa-idUSL5E8MFA6K20121115) Leading up to House consideration of Congressional legislation impacting trade relations with Russia, and sanctions over human rights issues, Reuters covers Russian warnings: Russia warned the United States on Thursday to expect a tough response if Congress passes “unfriendly and provocative” […]

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US Critics Compare Russia’s New Treason Law to Soviet-Era Thinking

Kremlin and St. Basil's

WASHINGTON November 14 (By Suleiman Wali for RIA Novosti) – A controversial new law that expands the definition of treason in Russia is being decried by critics in the United States as the Kremlin’s continuing effort to return the country to a “darker criminal code.” “Over the past six months, a series of laws have been passed in Russia that […]

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Kremlin Silent as Magnitsky Bill Heads to House

File Photo of U.S. Capitol Dome

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova and Anatoly Medetsky – November 15, 2012) The Kremlin remained silent Wednesday after U.S. lawmakers moved to advance a bill to punish Russian officials for human rights violations. A decision Tuesday by the House Rules Committee will bring the bill, which aroused strong opposition in Moscow, up for a vote by the full […]

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Russian presidential aide gives details of Putin-Obama phone talks

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

(Interfax – Novo-Ogarevo, 14 November) The Russian and US presidents, Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama, have agreed to discuss a range of bilateral relations when they meet in person, the Russian presidential aide Yuriy Ushakov has said. “In my view, the essence of their conversation was to agree on a separate meeting between them at which they would thoroughly discuss […]

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US Firms Eye Big Dollars from Normalized Trade With Russia

File Photo of U.S. Capitol Dome

WASHINGTON, November 15 (By Maria Young for RIA Novosti) The Louisiana Caviar Company in the southern US coastal city of New Orleans produces a unique fish delicacy that is wildly popular in Russia. But owner John Burke says his company could profit much more if US lawmakers would approve permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with Russia­a move expected to be […]

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U.S. to Be World’s Biggest Oil Producer, Overtaking Russia, Saudi Arabia By 2020 – IEA

Oil Well file photo

LONDON. Nov 12 (Interfax) – The boom in shale production will turn the United States into the world’s biggest oil producer by 2020, overtaking current leaders Russia and Saudi Arabia, the International Energy Agency said in its latest World Energy Outlook. Only a year ago the IEA was saying that Russia and Saudi Arabia would be the only candidates for […]

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Reset the Reset: Can Russia’s Putin Make Peace With Obama II?

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

(Voice of America – James Brooke – November 12, 2012 – James Brooke is VOA Moscow bureau chief, covering Russia and the former USSR) The reset jet no longer flies to Moscow. In March of 2009, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Hillary Clinton, then a brand new secretary of state, jointly pushed a “reset” button, signaling an end to […]

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Sandy’s Victims to Get Help from Russia

File Photo of Hurricane Sandy Victims and Relief Personnel Near Rubble of Home Destroyed

MOSCOW, November 11 (RIA Novosti) ­ The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry will dispatch two airplanes’ worth of necessities to victims of the hurricane Sandy that ravaged the US East Coast. Two Il-76 cargo jets will depart for New York from Moscow’s Ramenskoye Airport on Monday, carrying more than 50 tons of humanitarian help between them, the ministry said on its […]

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Moscow’s New English-Language Radio Station Starts Broadcasting

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

MOSCOW, November 12 (RIA Novosti) ­ Moscow’s first 24-hour English-language radio station, Moscow FM, started broadcasting on Monday. The radio station is the brainchild of the city government’s Moscow Media holding, hopes to become a must-listen-to resource on events in the capital. “Today we are opening the first English-language radio station in Moscow. I hope that this station will open […]

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Russia will ‘React Sharply’ to U.S. Aegis Ships ­- Deputy PM

Aegis Seaborne Missile Defense Launch file photo

MOSCOW, November 12 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia will “react in the sharpest manner” to any US ships equipped with the Aegis combat system attempting to sail by its shores, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told RIA Novosti in an interview. Rogozin did not elaborate on Russia’s possible reaction, but lambasted the US missile defense system ­ part of which […]

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Duma Lawmaker Slams U.S. Vote as ‘Unfair’

Russian Duma Building

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – November 9, 2012) A prominent State Duma lawmaker who observed the United States presidential election lambasted the vote as “systemically unfair” and riddled with organizational shortcomings. Ilya Kostunov, a deputy for the governing United Russia party, told The Moscow Times on Thursday that large-scale voter disenfranchisement and lax identification procedures rendered […]

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Russians Respect Obama But Feel Less Positive Than Before About U.S. – Poll

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

MOSCOW. Nov 7 (Interfax) – Russian citizens’ positive attitude to the United States has been waning over the past two years with the positive index dropping from 32 to 20 points, VTsIOM pollster told Interfax on Wednesday. Fifty-three percent of respondents are positive about the United States compared to 59% in 2010, while the percentage of people feeling negatively about […]

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U.S.-Russian Reset Likely to Lose Momentum

File Photo of Barack Hussein Obama and Dmitry Medvedev with Flags, Shaking Hands

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – November 8, 2012) U.S. President Barack Obama’s re-election was widely praised in Moscow on Wednesday, although opposition leaders and analysts cautioned that the much-touted “reset” in relations would hardly continue in its present form. Russian-American relations took a roller-coaster ride during Obama’s first term. The White House’s reset policy peaked with […]

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‘Flexibility’ With Russia Might Not Come Easy for Obama in 2nd Term

Missile Defense Control Room file photo

WASHINGTON, November 8 (By Carl Schreck for RIA Novosti) – US President Barack Obama famously told the Kremlin earlier this year that he’d have more “flexibility” dealing with Russia should he win a second term and be freed from the constraints of reelection concerns. With Obama’s victory in Tuesday’s US presidential election, the next four years will show whether the […]

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Russia Expects Missile Shield ‘Flexibility’ from Reelected Obama

File Photo of Missile Defense Launch

MOSCOW, November 8 (Marc Bennetts, RIA Novosti) ­ Russia hopes that US President Barack Obama will demonstrate a greater willingness to compromise on NATO plans for a missile shield in Europe during his second term of office. “We hope that now, after his reelection, President Obama will be more flexible on taking into account the opinions of Russia and other […]

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Russian pundits differ on future relations with USA

File Photo of Stealth Bomber in Flight

(Interfax – November 7, 2012) Russian political analysts differ on the future of Russian-American relations after the re-election of Barack Obama but agree that on the issue of missile defence one should not expect a radical breakthrough and it is likely that the deployment of missile defence elements in Europe will be a bargaining chip for Russia and the USA. […]

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McFaul to Focus on Economic Ties

Ambassador Michael McFaul file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jonathan Earle – November 8, 2012) “I got a little bit of sleep, but I was up pretty early,” U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul said Wednesday afternoon, shortly after his boss, President Barack Obama, declared election victory. Fatigue at first appeared to blunt his characteristic cheerfulness, but as the conversation turned to what Obama’s second term […]

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INTERVIEW: Michael McFaul: U.S. wants to further relations with Russia, but “it takes two to tango”

Ambassador Michael McFaul file photo

(Interfax – November 8, 2012) U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul has given its first interview to correspondents of Interfax Olga Golovanova and Kseniya Baygarova after the U.S. presidential elections’ 2012 on vital bilateral issues in U.S.-Russian relations and regional agenda, such as Iran and Afghanistan. Question: Mr. McFaul, you are an author of ‘reset’. Everybody knows a lot of […]

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Obama And The Russians: Moving On To The ‘Post-Reset’

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

(RFE/RL – Robert Coalson – November 7, 2012) A second term does not necessarily mean a repeat of the first. By most accounts, the Kremlin was hoping U.S. President Barack Obama would win a second term. His rival, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, declared during the campaign that Russia is the United States’ leading “geopolitical enemy.” By comparison, Putin sees […]

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U.S. Can Learn From Russia About Unity

Stylized Russian and U.S. Flags with Number 200, 1807-2007

(Moscow Times editorial – themoscowtimes.com – November 6, 2012) The extended holiday weekend gave us a chance to think about how the U.S. should borrow a page from Russia and introduce a new holiday of its own also called National Unity Day. As Americans go to the polls Tuesday to elect a president, the din from “blue” supporters of incumbent […]

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NEWSLINK: Russia’s view on the US elections: Mitt Romney’s description of Russia as America’s “No. 1 geopolitical foe” arrived during a period of increasing anti-American rhetoric in Russian politics

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

(Russia’s view on the US elections: Mitt Romney’s description of Russia as America’s “No 1 geopolitical foe” arrived during a period of increasing anti-American rhetoric in Russian politics – The Guardian (UK) – Miriam Elder and Howard Amos – November 6, 2012 – http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/05/russia-view-us-elections) The Guardian covers the U.S. presidential from the vantage point of U.S.-Russian relations, noting that Russia […]

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NEWSLINK: Which US presidential candidate is better able to meet the challenges ahead?

Mit Romney file photo

(Which US presidential candidate is better able to meet the challenges ahead? – US-Russia.org – Vlad Sobell, Edward Lozansky, Anatoly Karlin, Irina Bubnova, Vlad Ivanenko, and Dale Herspring – November 6, 2012 – http://us-russia.org/519-which-us-presidential-candidate-is-better-able-to-meet-the-challenges-ahead.html) Arguing that “The US presidential election on 6 November is, arguably, the most important such ballot since the Second World War, given both the deep economic […]

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NEWSLINK: Resetting the Reset: The United States needs to decide whether to treat Russia as a marginal global actor or an asset in America’s global strategy.

Mit Romney file photo

(Resetting the Reset: The United States needs to decide whether to treat Russia as a marginal global actor or an asset in America’s global strategy – Foreign Policy – Dmitri Trenin – November 5, 2012 – Dmitri Trenin is director of the Carnegie Moscow Center – http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/11/05/resetting_the_reset) Writing in Foreign Policy, Dmitry Trenin of the Carnegie Moscow Center holds that […]

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NEWSLINK: Russian observers to be literally knocking on doors of US polling stations

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

Itar-Tass reports how Russian would-be election observers, despite avoiding Texas, still intend to try to visit U.S. polling stations for the U.S. election: Russian observers will be literally “knocking on the doors of the polling stations” at the US presidential elections on Tuesday, State Duma deputy and member of the State Duma committee for security and counteraction to corruption Ilya […]

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U.S. Elections Deepen the Divergence Between Russia’s and Putin’s Interests

Mit Romney file photo

(Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Eurasia Daily Monitor – Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 9, Issue 202 – Pavel K. Baev – November 5, 2012) The choice that the United States will make tomorrow is certain to have a strong impact on US-Russia relations, but President Vladimir Putin cannot figure out what outcome will suit his interests better. Back in 2004, […]

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Russian pundits see ties with USA unaffected by poll outcome

Mit Romney file photo

(Interfax – November 5, 2012) The outcome of the US presidential election will not change Russian-US relations significantly, Russian pundits have said, as reported by the Russian privately-owned news agency Interfax on 5 November. The first vice-president of the Centre for Political Technologies, Aleksey Makarkin, said that Obama’s victory would mean the continuation of the “reset” but problems would still […]

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Russian pundit says Magnitskiy list not to affect Russian-US ties

File Photo of U.S. Capitol Dome

(Interfax – Moscow, 5 November) Russia will not be able to prevent the adoption of the so called Magnitskiy list either in the USA or in Europe, deputy head of the USA and Canada Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences Viktor Kremenyuk said. “The Magnitskiy list will certainly be adopted (in the USA – Interfax) and Europe will also […]

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Jim Beam Didn’t Get Putin Memo as Whiskey Eyes Russians

Shelf of Alcoholic Beverages with Red and White Tape Across It

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Duane D. Stanford – November 5, 2012) Beam Inc. (BEAM) wants more vodka-imbibing Russians to drink Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark whiskey. Apparently Vladimir Putin didn’t get the memo. In a campaign to help his people live longer, Russia’s president is pushing the biggest crackdown on alcohol since the cold war. That could complicate Beam’s efforts […]

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Russian American Vote Could Sway Tight US Presidential Election

Mit Romney file photo

WASHINGTON, November 5 (By Maria Young for RIA Novosti) – If the 2012 US presidential election is close enough in the right states, the winner could be determined in part by a group of voters barely acknowledged on the national political scene: Russian Americans, who number more than three million in the US and overwhelmingly vote Republican. “States where the […]

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Romney Russia prospects

Mit Romney file photo

Subject: Romney Russia prospects From: Ira Straus <irastraus@aol.com> Date: Sat, 3 Nov 2012 Despite a lot of speculation on Romney’s policies toward Russia, basic points have been missed. 1. Every new President has made a reset with Russia since 1989.  Every one of them positive. But every one of them falling short of results sufficient to make the relationship self-sustaining. […]

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U.S.-Russian Adoption Accord Enters Force

Russian Schoolchildren with U.S. Official

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 2, 2012) Russian children adopted by U.S. families will remain Russian citizens so that they can “return to the motherland in case of a conflict situation,” the office of the children’s ombudsman said Thursday as a new U.S.-Russian adoption accord came into effect. “The U.S. is a lingering pain for us, as literally every […]

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Battle for the White House: Final arrangements

Mit Romney file photo

(Valdai Discussion Club – Nikolai Zlobin – November 2, 2012 – Nikolai Zlobin is Senior Fellow and Director of Russian and Asian Programs, World Security Institute, USA) The presidential campaign in the United States has entered the home stretch. In just a few short days, Americans will elect their next president, setting the country’s course for the next four years. […]

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Why the Foreign Ministry Should Keep Quiet

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Michael Bohm – November 2, 2012 – Michael Bohm is opinion page editor of The Moscow Times) Those nostalgic about the Soviet Union got a nice treat on Oct. 22 when the Foreign Ministry released its report on U.S. human rights violations. Reading just a few pages of the report was enough to bring back […]

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New English-Language Radio Station To Hit Airwaves in Moscow

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

MOSCOW, November 2 (RIA Novosti) ­ Moscow city officials plan to target tourists and English-speaking residents in a whole new way: with a new English-language radio station. Moscow FM, which will be hosted on the 105.2 frequency, is expected to hit the airwaves on November 12, the Kommersant daily newspaper reported Friday. Igor Shestakov, chief editor of the Moscow Media […]

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NEWSLINK: The Putin Crackdown: First he went after the punk rockers. Then the activists.

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

(“The Putin Crackdown: First he went after the punk rockers. Then the activists.” – Wall Street Journal Editorial – November 1, 2012 – http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204840504578087152147315198.html) A Wall Street Journal editorial calls for Congresss to pass the Magnitsky Act: Congress should get over its gridlock and pass the Magnitsky Act that bars Russian human-rights offenders from traveling to or banking in the […]

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NEWSLINK: GM Russian Car Venture Is Pleasant Surprise

Niva file photo

(GM Russian Car Venture Is Pleasant Surprise – Wall Street Journal – Lukas I. Alpert – November 1, 2012 – http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203922804578080972277444736.html) The Wall Street Journal reports on General Motors efforts to build cars in Russia, specifically 4-wheel-drive Chevrolet Niva SUV’s for the Russian market.  A joint venture with Russian carmaker OAO AvtoVaz, the enterprise struggled at first, during GM’s reorganization […]

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NEWSLINK: Putin’s Russia: back in the USSR; The president’s crackdown will do nothing to tackle the source of his problems: a corrupt and unreformable system of government

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Putin’s Russia: back in the USSR; The president’s crackdown will do nothing to tackle the source of his problems: a corrupt and unreformable system of government – The Guardian (UK) Editorial – October 29, 2012 – http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/28/vladimir-putin-russia-crackdown-protest) The Guardian (UK) in an editorial accuses Russian President Vladimir Putin of orchestrating repression unseen since the Soviet Union, despite his supposed public […]

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Russian report on human rights in U.S. indicates that American democracy is not perfect

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

(Interfax – October 29, 2012) The first report of the Russian Foreign Ministry on the observation of human rights in the United States aims to show that the U.S. also has certain problems with democracy, Ministry Ombudsman for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law Konstantin Dolgov said in an interview published by Kommersant on Monday. “Actually, the U.S. and […]

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New Coordination Council Weighs Rally and Magnitsky

Moscow Protest file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com –  October 29, 2012) Members of the opposition’s newly elected Coordination Council agreed at their first meeting over the weekend to stage their next rally in December and press the U.S. to expand its Magnitsky list of banned Russian officials. The opposition group, which met at a restaurant in central Moscow on Saturday, is tasked with […]

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Is Russia’s Putin a Secret Fan of Mitt Romney?

Mit Romney file photo

(Voice of America – James Brooke – October 24, 2012 – James Brooke is VOA Moscow bureau chief, covering Russia and the former USSR) The conventional wisdom is that the Kremlin would like to see Barack Obama back in the White House next year. Just last month, President Putin told RT, the state-owned TV channel, that Obama was “a genuine […]

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Analysis: Political Winter Descends on Russia

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

(Voice of America – James Brooke – October 23, 2012 – James Brooke is VOA Moscow bureau chief, covering Russia and the former USSR.) As gray winter skies descend on Moscow, Russians are adjusting to a political winter. Since taking office nearly six months ago, President Vladimir Putin has methodically reduced civic space in Russia by advocating new laws on […]

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Foreign Ministry Slams U.S. on Human Rights

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Bratersky – October 23, 2012) A senior Foreign Ministry official harshly criticized United States authorities Monday for alleged human rights abuses while presenting a report on human rights in foreign countries. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov condemned what the report described as the often harsh conditions in American prisons, the use of the death […]

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Russia’s Lavrov Says Relations With USA Improving, Missile Defence Main Obstacle

Missile Defense Control Room file photo

(RIA Novosti –  Moscow, 22 October) Relations with the USA have acquired very positive dynamics over the recent years, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced on Monday (22 October). In an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper he noted that “a multi-aspect vector of development has emerged – this is the presidential commission which comprises 21 groups”. Lavrov added that one […]

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After 20 Years of US Aid, Russia Goes Solo on Controlling Loose Nukes

File Photo of Nuclear Mushroom Cloud

(Voice of America – James Brooke – James Brooke is VOA Moscow bureau chief, covering Russia and the former USSR – October 18, 2012) The day that Russia’s government decided last week to end its participation in the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program, a huge, mushroom-shaped cloud rose high in the air over Orenburg. In this case, the dust was […]

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