Russian senators call Magnitsky Act unfriendly

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Interfax – Dec. 7, 2012) The passage of the Magnitsky Act by the U.S. Senate came as no surprise, Alexander Torshin, first deputy speaker of the Federation Council, the upper chamber of Russia’s parliament, told Interfax. “The passage of this act by the Senate was to be expected. Moreover, it is beyond any doubt that this bill will be signed […]

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Moscow has blacklist of unwelcome U.S. citizens – Pushkov

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

MOSCOW. Dec 7 (Interfax) – The Russian Foreign Ministry has drafted a blacklist of U.S. citizens Moscow suspects of violations of human rights, State Duma International Affairs Committee Chairman Alexei Pushkov said in an interview with the Russian News Service radio on Friday. “In fact, the Foreign Ministry has a classified list, same as the U.S. Department of State. It […]

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Magnitsky Act Sparks Russian Fury

File Photo of U.S. Capitol Dome

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Roland Oliphant – Dec. 7, 2012) Russia will impose a visa ban on U.S. citizens accused of human rights abuses in response to the “absurd” trade and human rights bill passed by the U.S. Senate on Thursday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “We will also close entry to Americans who are guilty of human rights […]

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NEWSLINK: US Senate to consider Magnitsky Act

File Photo of U.S. Capitol Dome

[US Senate to consider Magnitsky Act – ITAR-TASS – RUSSIAN PRESS REVIEW – Dec. 5, 2012 – http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c142/589715.html] Itar-Tass covers Senate action on a bill replacing the Jackson-Vanik amendment with the Magnitsky Act. Click here for the full article: http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c142/589715.html

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Shuvalov: Russia’s response to U.S. Magnitsky Act would not affect businessmen

Igor Shuvalov file photo

NEW YORK. Dec 5 (Interfax) – Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said while visiting the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday that he expected the frictions about the so-called Magnitsky Act should not affect contacts between businessmen. “As you know, Russia is preparing measures in response to the Magnitsky list. This is a political aspect of relations between […]

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Do U.S.-Russian Relations Have a Future in Northeast Asia?

Map of Asia

(Thomas Graham – Thomas Graham, a senior fellow at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Yale University, was the senior director for Russia on the U.S. National Security Council staff 2004-2007.- A Russian version of this ran in Ekspert, Nov. 16, 2012 ttp://expert.ru/expert/2012/46/gde-iskat-buduschee/?n=87778) Does U.S.-Russian cooperation have a future?  After the initial warming trend of the first years of the […]

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NEWSLINK: US Senate forbids Pentagon to cooperate with Rosoboronexport

File Photo of U.S. Capitol Dome

[U.S. Senate forbids Pentagon to cooperate with Rosoboronexport – ITAR-TASS – RUSSIAN PRESS REVIEW – Dec. 3, 2012 – http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c142/587557.html] Itar-Tass reports on U.S. Senate approval of sanctions against Russia for supplying weapons to Syria, in the form of a prohibition on the U.S. Department of Defence buying weapons from Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport. Meanwhile, Russia argues that it is […]

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NEWSLINK: Russia Day to be held at New York Stock Exchange

Igor Shuvalov file photo

[Russia Day to be held at New York Stock Exchange – Itar-Tass – Dec. 3, 2012 – Russia Day to be held at New York Stock Exchange – http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c154/587860.html] Itar-Tass covers plans to hold a “Russia Day” conference at the New York Stock Exchange: Russia Day is to be held at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Monday. The […]

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Russia’s Misery Loves U.S. Company

United States Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Michael Bohm – Nov. 30, 2012 – Michael Bohm is opinion page editor of The Moscow Times) For many Russian conservatives who still mourn the collapse of the Soviet Union, the “secession” movement in the U.S. has offered some misguided comfort, if not schadenfreude. After the Nov. 6 U.S. presidential election, more than 500,000 Republicans, […]

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NEWSLINK: Senate fight coming over Russian human rights bill

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

(Senate fight coming over Russian human rights bill – Foreign Policy – Josh Rogin – Nov. 28, 2012 – click here for full article) ForeignPolicy.com covers the U.S. Senate’s handling of the Magnitsky Act and related trade regulation, and the question of whether to broaden its scope to human rights violators world-wide: The Senate is set to do battle over […]

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NEWSLINK: The Magnitsky Bill

File Photo of U.S. Capitol Dome

(The Magnitsky Bill: The Sources of America’s Obsession with Russia – US-Russia.org – featuring Vlad Sobell, Ron Paul, Edward Lozansky, Willism Dunkerley, Alexander Rahr, Alexandre Strokanov, Nicolai Petro,  Mark Nuckols, Patrick Armstrong, and Sergei Roy – Nov. 28, 2012 – click here for full article) US-Russia.org features remarks in Congress by Cong. Ron Paul, as well as commentary by Vlad […]

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Medvedev vows both symmetrical and asymmetrical response to Magnitsky Act

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

MOSCOW. Nov 29 (Interfax) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev thinks that the support of the Magnitsky Act by European countries is pointless and vows that Russia will respond to such a decision by the U.S. Congress. “If we speak about this act, it will invoke both symmetrical and asymmetrical reactions on our behalf. We passed all of these in […]

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Much but not everything was done as part of Russian-U.S. ‘reset’ – Medvedev

Missile Defense Control Room file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 29 (Interfax) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev counts on the fact that relations with the United States will develop under President Barack Obama but stresses that Moscow will not change its position on the European missile defense system. “There are issues on which we differ seriously: this is the European missile defense system. And no matter who […]

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Georgian PM Ivanishvili expects U.S. to help normalize relations with Russia

Tblisi, Georgia, file photo

TBILISI. Nov 28 (Interfax) – U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Eric Rubin discussed relations between Tbilisi and Moscow with Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili at a meeting at the Georgian State Chancellery behind closed doors, the prime ministerial press service reported on Tuesday. Ivanishvili said following the meeting that he hoped for the U.S. […]

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USRF supporting only business, legal, educational projects in Russia – USRF chief

Map of Russia

(Interfax – November 27, 2012) The U.S. Russia Foundation for Economic Advancement and the Rule of Law (USRF), which is a U.S.-registered entity, neither can replace the defunct Russian branch of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) nor has any plans to do so, USRF’s chief executive said on Tuesday. USRF and USAID have completely different missions, Mark Pomar […]

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Time Nominates Pussy Riot for 2012 Person of the Year

File Photo of Pussy Riot Member in Courtroom Cage, Grinning and Gesturing with Clasped Hands

NEW YORK, November 27 (RIA Novosti) – Members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot were nominated by influential magazine Time for the 2012 Person of the Year. The punk band is among 40 candidates, who influenced news this year for better or worse. The list also includes US President Barack Obama, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Syrian leader […]

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Back to the Future: 2012 U.S.-Russia Relations Echo 1832

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

(Voice of America – James Brooke – November 24, 2012 – James Brooke is VOA Moscow bureau chief, covering Russia and the former USSR) The U.S. Ambassador labored to get Congress to ratify a trade treaty that would grant “favored nation” status to Russia. Washington’s leading newspaper harshly criticized Russia for human rights violations. Russia’s secret police were reading all […]

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Russia’s Agenda Creates Unnecessary Friction With U.S.: Interview With Ariel Cohen

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

(RFE/RL – November 25, 2012) Following his reelection, U.S. President Barack Obama now faces the task of revitalizing U.S.-Russian relations. Ties between Washington and Moscow have seemed to stagnate somewhat following the reset of 2009-2010 and the return to the Kremlin of Vladimir Putin. RFE/RL correspondent Robert Coalson spoke recently with Ariel Cohen, a senior research fellow at The Heritage […]

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US-Russia Relations in Holding Pattern

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

(Voice of America – Andre de Nesnera – November 21, 2012) Relations between the United States and Russia are at the moment on the back burner, given the current crisis in the Middle East. VOA looks at the state of relations between Washington and Moscow as President Barack Obama prepares for his second term in office. Obama has made better […]

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Amid Crackdown on NGOs, U.S. Group Moves Staff Out of Russia

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jonathan Earle – November 23, 2012) The National Democratic Institute, or NDI, a U.S. based nonprofit that promotes democratic development, has moved its Russia country director and other senior staff to Lithuania, amid an unpredictable and increasingly hostile climate for NGO workers in Russia. The organization, which is partly funded by the U.S. government, fired […]

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US Magnitsky Bill Collides With New Russian Nationalism

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

(Voice of America – James Brooke – November 21, 2012 – James Brooke is VOA Moscow bureau chief, covering Russia and the former USSR) MOSCOW ­ Next week, the United States Senate is to take up the Magnitsky Act, a bill that would ban visas for, and freeze the bank accounts of, about 60 Russian officials believed to have been […]

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Russian MPs Mull Potential Response To USA’s Magnitskiy Law

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(RIA Novosti – November 20, 2012) Russian MPs have put forward various proposals for how Russia should respond to the USA’s “Magnitskiy list”, such as compiling a similar list of US officials or stepping up cooperation with the USA’s opponents, state news agency RIA Novosti reported on 20 November. The House of Representatives of the US Congress approved the “Magnitskiy […]

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Making of Magnitsky List a Murky Affair

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

WASHINGTON, November 21 (By Carl Schreck for RIA Novosti) – With the Magnitsky Act moving through the US Congress, American lawmakers are making clear their intent to punish Russian officials deemed by Washington to be responsible for human rights abuses. Less clear is who will end up on this blacklist­and how. The Magnitsky bill passed Friday by the US House […]

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Radio Liberty in Exile appears on the Internet

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

MOSCOW. Nov 19 (Interfax) – Journalists sacked from Radio Liberty have launched a news website of their own, Radio Liberty in Exile, at www.svobodanew.com. The website has the news, politics, history and regions sections carrying exclusive materials as well as reprinted news and articles from other media outlets. The video, blogs and opinion sections feature journalists and public figures sharing […]

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U.S. ready to discuss modernization of conventional weapons control in Europe with Russia

EU Map

(Interfax – November 20, 2012) The United States is prepared to cooperate with Russia in modernizing the system of control over conventional weapons in Europe, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller said. “CFE [Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty] remains important,” she said on her Twitter page. “We look forward to working with […]

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Former U.S. State Dep’t Official Pifer Asks, ‘Are The Russians Ready To Reengage?’

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

(RFE/RL – November 19, 2012) Following his reelection, U.S. President Barack Obama now faces the task of revitalizing U.S.-Russian relations. Ties between Washington and Moscow have seemed to stagnate somewhat since the “reset” of 2009-10 and the return to the Kremlin of Vladimir Putin. RFE/RL correspondent Robert Coalson spoke recently with Steven Pifer, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution […]

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Russian human rights activists boycott Law on Foreign Agents

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – November 19, 2012) Leading Russian NGOs intend to ignore the legislative amendments which require the registration as “agents of foreign influence” of non-governmental organizations with Western backing. The law will enter into force on Nov. 20, Tuesday. “I do not know a single human rights organization, which has appealed for being registered as a “foreign agent,” said Lyudmila […]

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IEA Report: US to be World’s Top Oil Producer by 2020

Oil Well file photo

(Dr. Donald N. Jensen – Voice of America – Russian Service Crossfire – November 15, 2012) For decades US Presidents have called for American energy independence but have been unable to do much about it in the face of growing domestic energy consumption, popular fondness for gas guzzling vehicles and environmental restrictions.  Those dreams, however, may finally be fulfilled.  This […]

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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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