U.S. to have to reckon with ‘Putin factor’ till 2018 – analyst

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

MOSCOW. Jan 9 (Interfax) – The fact that Foreign Policy magazine has declared Russian President Vladimir Putin last year’s most influential figure in global politics, business and public affairs means “the so-called ‘Putin factor’ will play a significant role in the foreign policy of the United States for the next five years,” a Russian political scientist said. “Foreign Policy is […]

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U.S. can help Russian children through culture, education, and medical programs – Astakhov

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

(Interfax – January 9, 2013) The U.S. can help Russian children through cultural, educational, and medical assistance programs, Russian presidential children’s rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov said. “With the termination of the adoptions agreement, we have to expand cooperation in the sphere of education, cultural exchange, education programs, and programs that make it possible to take in children for treatment,” Astakhov […]

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A New Realism for the 21st Century: U.S.-China Relations and Russia’s Choice

China Map

(Russia in Global Affairs – Igor Zevelev – 27 December 2012 – http://eng.globalaffairs.ru/number/A-New-Realism-for-the-21st-Century-15817) Igor Zevelev is Doctor of Political Science. Resume: Maintaining a balance between the Euro-Atlantic vector and the Asian-Pacific vector of Russian foreign policy should not be a game of U-turns one way or the other, but should rather be characterized by flexibility and readiness to adapt to […]

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NEWSLINK: Radio Liberty Forced to Make Hard Choices in Russia

File Photo Adapted from State Department Image of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Poster

(Radio Liberty Forced to Make Hard Choices in Russia – Wall Street Journal – Letter to the Editor – Steven Korn – January 7, 2012 – click here for full letter) In a Wall Street Journal letter to the editor, Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty president Steven Korn discusses changes in how RFE/RL tries to reach listeners in Russia, including […]

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NEWSLINK: Russian politics: Herod’s law: Russian civil society is outraged by a law that bans Russian orphans from being adopted by American families

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

(Russian politics: Herod’s law: Russian civil society is outraged by a law that bans Russian orphans from being adopted by American families – The Economist – January 5, 2013 – click here for full article) The Economist reports the Russian goverment’s move to ban U.S. adoptions of Russian orphans, adopted in response to U.S. legislation that provides for sanctions against […]

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NEWSLINK: A revolution in space but calmer streets at home; Pundits predict a loss of momentum for the protest movement at home and see little scope for improvement in relations with the West

New Year's Eve in Red Square with Crowd and Fireworks

(A revolution in space but calmer streets at home; Pundits predict a loss of momentum for the protest movement at home and see little scope for improvement in relations with the West – Russia Beyond the Headlines – Artem Zagorodnov – January 4, 2013 – click here for google cache version of article) Russia Beyond the Headlines takes a look […]

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Lithuanian Speaker Gedvilas Rebuts Clinton on Russia, Radio Says

File Photo of Hillary Rodham Clinton with Nazarbayev

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Bryan Bradley – January 4, 2013) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s opposition to Russia’s growing economic might in Europe wasn’t practical, Vydas Gedvilas, the head of Lithuania’s new parliament, said in an interview with Russian radio. The international influence of Russian businesses is an economic reality that European countries must separate from politics and deal […]

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US Senate Appeals to Russia to Reconsider Adoption Law

File Photo of U.S. Capitol Dome

WASHINGTON, January 3 (By Maria Young for RIA Novosti) The US Senate has unanimously approved a resolution condemning a new Russian law banning US citizens from adopting Russian children and calling on President Vladimir Putin and the Russian leadership to reconsider the measure on humanitarian grounds. In its resolution, approved in a vote late Tuesday, the Senate affirmed that all […]

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New year’s greetings from US Ambassador Michael McFaul and his wife

Ambassador Michael McFaul file photo

New year’s greetings from US Ambassador Michael McFaul and his wife http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnZD_xtCfD4 [please note: a smaller frame is being provided, to accommodate users on mobile devices; click here for larger version over on youtube itself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnZD_xtCfD4]

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Pundits Believes US Adoption Ban Will Damage Russia’s Reputation Abroad

Russian Orphanage file photo

(RIA Novosti – December 28, 2012) Russian experts believe that the law, signed by President Vladimir Putin on 28 December, which bans the adoption of Russian children by US nationals, is unlikely to cause widespread protests in the country but will damage Russia’s reputation in the world. The so-called Dima Yakovlev law will come into force on 1 January 2013. […]

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Russian law office vows unrelenting war on Russian adoptees’ abuse in U.S.

Russian Orphanage file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 29 (Interfax) – Russia’s top criminal investigation agency has promised to be unrelenting in seeking action against American couples that have abused children adopted from Russia. “The Investigative Committee is determined to take all possible measures within its powers to protect Russian children from criminal encroachments, regardless of where such crimes have been committed, and to take exhaustive […]

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US Adoptive Families Heartbroken Over Adoption Ban

Russian Orphanage file photo

WASHINGTON, December 27 (By Maria Young for RIA Novosti) – Somewhere in Texas, there’s a pink room full of toys and books, waiting for a little girl who may never come home. “We’re pretty heartbroken, honestly,” said Donna Thomas in an interview with RIA Novosti on Thursday. She and her husband Robert are in the process of adopting a five-year-old […]

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Amendments might be made later to anti-Magnitsky Act law – Russian Justice Ministry

Vladimir Putin file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 28 (Interfax) – In the future, amendments could be made to the law on measures against people responsible for human rights abuses against Russian citizens, which Russian President Vladimir Putin signed on Friday, Russian Justice Minister Alexander Konovalov said. “The practice will show in the future whether some adjustments should be made, and if yes, we will do […]

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Russian Ban on U.S. Adoptions Reflects Strained Relations

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Nicole Gaouette & Flavia Krause-Jackson – December 28, 2012) Russia’s move to prohibit Americans from adopting Russian orphans is the latest threat to the Obama administration’s flagging attempt to “reset” relations between the two Cold War rivals. President Vladimir Putin today signed a bill to ban U.S. adoptions of Russian children that the country’s parliament approved […]

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Children’s Rights Watchdog Defends U.S. Adoption Ban

Russian Orphanage file photo

MOSCOW, December 27 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russian Children’s Rights Ombudsman Pavel Astakhov has sent a report to President Vladimir Putin offering justifications for a bill that would ban US adoptions of Russian children. “The right of a state to outlaw foreign adoptions is supported by the majority of international acts in this area,” Astakhov wrote in his Twitter account. “The […]

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Moscow hopes to get rid of thorns in Russia-U.S. relations despite the Magnitsky Act

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Interfax – December 26, 2012) Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov hopes that the damage done by the Magnitsky Act to Russian-U.S. relations will not be irreparable. “Hopefully, we will turn this page, the damage done to our relations will not be irreparable, and we will be able to make further progress. Although, certainly, this burden will weigh us down,” […]

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U.S. Senators created a Catch 22 for Obama, hit reset issue – Lavrov

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

MOSCOW. Dec 24 (Interfax) – The adoption of the Magnitsky Act in the United States was inevitable, Senators set a trap for U.S. President Barack Obama, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov believes. “I don’t think this (the adoption of the Magnitsky Act) was the first thing Obama did when he was re-elected. This was inevitable,” he said in an interview […]

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Russia to start preparations for severing adoption deal with U.S. in near future – diplomat

Russian Orphanage file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 26 (Interfax) – Russia will start preparations for launching procedures to invalidate the Russian-U.S. agreement on cooperation in adoption in the near future, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Interfax on Wednesday. “We will proceed from realities. We understand the motives that both the State Duma deputies and Federation Council members were guided by in adopting this […]

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Russia and the West need to rediscover each other in 2013

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

(Dmitri Trenin – www.opendemocracy.net – Dmitri Trenin, Director of the Carnegie Moscow Center; Counselor of the Commission on Euro-Atlantic Security – December 24, 2012) A year is a very long time in politics. Over the past year Russia’s relations with the West have deteriorated, not helped by events in Syria and the Magnitsky Act. A new beginning and a desire […]

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The heartbreak kids: Foreign adoptions have always raised hackles in Russia ­ but they also offer hope

Russian Orphanage file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Kristen Blyth – December 24, 2012) “‘Don’t leave…’ Those were the last words I heard my mother say to me before strangers in white came to take me,” Caroline Baker (not her real name) remembered. “A man picked me up as I screamed for my mother. I grabbed the frame of the front door to […]

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NEWSLINK: Vladimir Putin gives big news conference in tough debate with journalists

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking with Flag Behind Him and Microphones in Front

[Vladimir Putin gives big news conference in tough debate with journalists – ITAR-TASS – RUSSIAN PRESS REVIEW – December 21, 2012 – http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c142/606821.html] Itar-Tass covers Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent marathon press conference. Putin reportedly claimed he had not read a recent Duma bill banning U.S. adoptions of Russian orphans, and allowed that the Duma was responding emotionally to the […]

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NEWSLINK: Russian lawmakers back adoption ban in row with U.S.

Russian Orphanage file photo

[Russian lawmakers back adoption ban in row with U.S. – Reuters – Alissa de Carbonnel – December 21, 2012 – http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/21/russia-adoptions-idUSL5E8NL4FK20121221] Reuters covers the Duma’s support for a ban on U.S. citizens adopting Russian children, as well as a ban on U.S. nonprofits funding Russian democratization nonprofits, in retaliation for Congressional efforts to hold Russian human rights abusers accountable: Russia’s […]

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US Funding of Russian NGOs Faces Uncertain Future

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

WASHINGTON, December 20 (By Carl Schreck for RIA Novosti) – US groups financing politically active nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Russia are facing a potentially jarring shake-up of these programs amid Moscow’s escalating clampdown on such funding. The question now is: What are they going to do about it? At least two US taxpayer-funded organizations viewed with suspicion by the Russian […]

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Putin Hints He Can’t Ban U.S. Adoptions

Russian Orphanage file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – December 21, 2012) President Vladimir Putin on Thursday signaled that a proposed ban on U.S. adoptions could not come into force for at least a year because of Russia’s obligations under a new agreement. Putin, who was asked about his stance on the ban by several journalists at his annual news conference, […]

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Russian Students Astonished by U.S. Holiday Cheer

FLEX Student Exchange Program Logo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jonathan Earle – December 21, 2012) Many travelers have pined for home during the holiday season. It’s the lucky exception who, finding himself in company of new friends, realizes that he’s found a home away from home. Kirov native Ivan Chesnokov, 17, was celebrating Thanksgiving Day in Gladewater, Texas, chowing down on turkey and chatting […]

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Putin Likens Libya Now to Syria in Event of Invasion

Syria Map

MOSCOW, December 20 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated his opposition to military intervention in Syria on Thursday, emotionally citing the volatile situation in Libya as a sign of what would likely happen as a result. Libya “is disintegrating,” Putin said at a major press conference in Moscow, pointing to the fractious groups that have been struggling for […]

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Peskov blames Clinton for lack of understanding of processes in FSU

File Photo of Hillary Rodham Clinton with Nazarbayev

MOSCOW. Dec 19 (Interfax) – Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov thinks that the phrase of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about re-Sovietizing CIS countries is an indication of her incompetence about the processes taking place in the region. “To associate the natural processes that are maturing throughout the former Soviet Union with Sovietization is not to understand practically […]

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Putin Pictured in Hell on The Economist Cover

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Moscow Times – December 20, 2012 – http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/putin-pictured-in-hell-on-the-economist-cover/473430.html) The cartoon’s accompanying article, which is presented as a travel guide, says the quickest way to hell is by constantly committing major sins without giving in to feelings of remorse. President Vladimir Putin was pictured in hell on the cover of The Economist‘s last issue for 2012, floating along in a fiery […]

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Deputies Threaten Harsh Measures Against U.S.-Linked NGOs

Russian Duma Building

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – December 19, 2012) As the State Duma considers a bill countering the U.S. Magnitsky Act, a group of lawmakers is threatening to add a provision that would massively increase pressure on nongovernmental organizations they believe to be meddling in domestic politics. The deputies support amendments that would enable authorities to close […]

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Adoption Ban Faces Wave of Criticism

Russian Orphanage file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jonathan Earle – December 19, 2012) A growing chorus of senior government officials and ordinary citizens have publicly denounced a ban on U.S. adoptions proposed by pro-Kremlin State Duma deputies. The criticism, including from two Cabinet ministers and the president’s human rights ombudsman, seemed to jeopardize the measure, which has been widely condemned by human […]

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Ban on US Adoptions Advances in Duma

Duma Session file photo

MOSCOW, December 19 (RIA Novosti) ­ A controversial amendment that would ban US citizens from adopting Russian children passed in a second reading in the State Duma on Wednesday. The draft law retaliates for enactment of the Magnitsky Act in the US, which imposes visa bans and asset freezes on Russian officials deemed guilty of human rights abuses. The amendment […]

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Retaliatory Ban of U.S. Adoptions Proposed

Russian Duma Building

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jonathan Earle and Howard Amos – Dec. 18, 2012) State Duma deputies stepped up Russia’s retaliatory response to the so-called Magnitsky Act on Monday by introducing a measure that would ban U.S. citizens from adopting Russian orphans. The move was roundly condemned by children’s rights advocates, who warned that a blanket ban on U.S. adoptions […]

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Magnitsky Act is not targeted against Russia – Ambassador McFaul

Ambassador Michael McFaul file photo

MOSCOW/WASHINGTON. Dec 17 (Interfax) – The Magnitsky Act endorsed by the Congress and signed by U.S. President Barack Obama is not targeted against Russia, U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul posted in his blog. He said the act did not stipulate any extraterritorial measures. The act concerns the U.S. sovereignty and ability to bar persons involved in violations of human […]

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U.S. school shooting buries idea of free selling of weapons in Russia – Pushkov

Makarov Handgun file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 18 (Interfax) – The shooting incident at a primary school in Connecticut, the U.S., which claimed the lives of 20 children and seven adults, will make it impossible to freely sell weapons in Russia, State Duma International Affairs Committee Chairman Alexei Pushkov tweeted on Tuesday. “The consequences of freely selling weapons in the U.S. and the beginning campaign […]

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RIA Novosti: Children’s Rights Activists Rally at US Embassy in Moscow

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

MOSCOW, December 17 (RIA Novosti) ­ A rally in support of children’s rights took place Monday outside the US Embassy in Moscow, combining expressions of sympathy for victims of the Conneticut school shooting with calls to protect Russian children adopted by US citizens. Russian media have given extensive coverage to the shooting rampage in Newtown, Connecticut, in which 20 children […]

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NEWSLINK: Details of U.S. bill on Russia trade, human rights

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

[Factbox: Details of U.S. bill on Russia trade, human rights – Reuters – Dec. 13, 2012 – http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/12/13/uk-usa-russia-trade-idUKBRE8BC18120121213] Reuters sets out bullet points recent U.S. legislation consider trade and Russian human rights, developed in response to Russia’s August 22, 2012, accession to the WTO. Regarding trade, the legislation repeals the Jackson-Vanik amendment and looks to ensure investment-related rule of law, […]

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NEWSLINK: U.S.-Russia ties take a hit: As the Jackson-Vanik amendment is finally repealed, the controversial Magnitsky act provokes similar legislation from Russia and may hamper U.S.-Russia relations.

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

[U.S.-Russia ties take a hit: As the Jackson-Vanik amendment is finally repealed, the controversial Magnitsky act provokes similar legislation from Russia and may hamper U.S.-Russia relations. – Russia Beyond the Headlines – Alexander Gasyuk – Alexander Gasyuk is Rossiyskaya Gazeta’s Washington D.C. Bureau chief  – Dec. 14, 2012 – http://rbth.ru/articles/2012/12/14/once_again_us-russia_ties_take_a_hit_21107.html] Russia Behind the Headlnies covers U.S. Congressional passage of the […]

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NGO Says Russia Ordered It Out Over USAID Funding

USAID Logo with Caption USAID From the American People

WASHINGTON, December 13 (By Carl Schreck for RIA Novosti) – A Washington-based political advocacy group, the International Republican Institute (IRI), said on Thursday it was ordered to leave Russia because it is funded by a US government agency. Russian officials told IRI that it must halt its work in Russia because it is financed by the US Agency for International […]

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Foreign policy provisions of Putin’s address create new understanding of Russian international role – Pushkov

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

MOSCOW. Dec 12 (Interfax) – State Duma International Affairs Committee Chairman Alexei Pushkov has stressed the importance of foreign policy provisions in the state-of-the-nation address presented by President Vladimir Putin to parliament on Friday. “This (foreign policy) part of the presidential message contained a number of significant provisions, primarily the emphasis on the sovereignty of Russia and its policy. The […]

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Putin Calls for ‘Adequate’ Response to Magnitsky Act

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

MOSCOW, December 13 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russian President Vladimir Putin blasted a US bill targeting alleged Russian human rights violators as an “unfriendly act,” but said Russia’s response should be “adequate and not excessive.” “We certainly have to have an appropriate response. The State Duma has taken the initiative, which in my opinion is absolutely correct. But we need to […]

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Moving Beyond the Reset

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

(Kennan Institute – http://www.wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute/ –  William Pomeranz – Acting director of the Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars – December 2012) The reset policy was originally conceived by President Barack Obama’s administration as a means of reinvigorating the U.S.-Russian relationship and placing it on more solid and pragmatic ground. President Vladimir Putin’s first few months in office, however, […]

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Russian President Denies Trying To Resurrect USSR

Vladimir Putin file photo

(RIA Novosti – Dec. 10, 2012) President Vladimir Putin has rejected suggestions that Russia’s drive for closer ties with other former Soviet republics is an attempt to rebuild the Soviet Union. Speaking on 10 December at a meeting in Moscow with his “authorized representatives”, who acted as his election agents during this year’s presidential election campaign, Putin dismissed such claims […]

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Russians blame USA for stirring up Middle East conflict – poll

(Interfax – Dec. 10) The majority of Russians are aware of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (86 per cent), but, just as 10 years ago, they do not tend to support any particular side and accuse the USA of stirring up the conflict in the region, sociologists have found out. Twenty-five per cent of Russians sympathize with both peoples, 31 per cent […]

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Russia may retaliate against Magnitsky Act with Dima Yakovlev Law

Duma Session file photo

(Interfax – Dec. 11, 2012) The United Russia faction at the State Duma has proposed to name the bill retaliating against the Magnitsky Act after 18-months-old Dima Yakovlev who died after his adoptive American father left him in a locked car in a parking lot for nine hours on a hot day. “They named their act after Magnitsky and United […]

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Duma Deputies Strike Back Over Magnitsky Act

Russian Duma Building

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jonathan Earle – Dec. 11, 2012) In a widely expected response to the passage of the U.S. Magnitsky Act, State Duma deputies on Monday introduced a bill that would make Americans suspected of mistreating Russians personae non gratae. The bill bans Americans from traveling or investing in Russia if they are deemed to have “illegally” […]

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Clinton’s presidential ambitions could be behind her concern over “sovietization” of post-Soviet space – source

File Photo of Hillary Rodham Clinton with Nazarbayev

MOSCOW. Dec 10 (Interfax) – Concern expressed by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over the danger of the “sovietization” of Eastern Europe and Central Asia suggests that she probably wants to continue her political career, a high-ranking source in Moscow told Interfax on Monday. “Hillary Clinton’s tough statements about the alleged threat of the ‘sovietization’ of Eastern Europe and […]

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Russia Has More Freedom And Democracy Than USA – Senior Kremlin Official

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(RIA Novosti Moscow, 9 December) First deputy head of the Kremlin administration Vyacheslav Volodin believes that no other country, including the USA, has the kind of democracy that Russia has. “It is not just that we have maximum democracy, it is also a fact that other countries have not had it, and still don’t. You know, if we take the […]

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EU Under Pressure to Draft Magnitsky List

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – Dec. 10, 2012) Buoyed by the U.S. Senate’s endorsement of the Magnitsky Act, Russian opposition leaders and some European lawmakers are calling on the European Union to adopt similar legislation that punishes presumed human rights offenders. Mikhail Kasyanov, Vladimir Ryzhkov and Boris Nemtsov, the chairmen of the “Republican Party of Russia […]

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Magnitsky List won’t have serious effect on Russia-U.S. relations – Primakov

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

MOSCOW. Dec 10 (Interfax) – Former Russian Prime Minister, Academician Yevgeny Primakov thinks that the Magnitsky Act will not have a serious effect on Russia-U.S. relations. “We can make a similar list, but I do not think things will go further and have a serious effect on our relations with the United States,” he said on Friday while answering questions […]

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Magnitsky Bill Likely to Reopen Old Wounds

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jonathan Earle – Dec. 10, 2012) Historical mistrust and relatively weak trade links could amplify the Magnitsky Act’s damage to U.S.-Russian relations, although Washington will likely use caution in applying sanctions to Russians suspected of human rights violations, analysts said. “In the absence of a solid background of trust and partnership, even relatively insignificant episodes […]

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