JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Shows Its Growing Sway Over Global Energy Markets” – Wall Street Journal

Gas Flame file photo

Moscow’s huge oil and gas reserves have given it more influence over Western and Chinese economies grappling with rising prices […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Western Coronavirus Vaccines May Be Coming to Russia – Kommersant” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Blue-Gloved Hand Holding Syringe and Injecting Arm, adapted from image at nih.gov

The move to relax import rules could potentially allow Russians to have Western coronavirus jabs … as well as Chinese vaccines […]

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Iran Cements Alliance With China, Russia In Clear Message To Washington

Iran Map and Flag

The seismic, multi-generational Iran-China deal is set for full roll-out. Full membership of the economic, military and political, SCO alliance will lead to major strategic investments in Iran’s up-and-downstream sectors […]

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View From The Ground: Russia’s Ulyanovsk Region Highlights Limits Of China-Russia Ties

File Photo of Beijing Temple, adapted from image at lbl.gov

From big gas projects to closer military cooperation and improved bilateral trade that reached a record of more than $110 billion in 2019, the China-Russia relationship has reached new heights [. ..]

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Russian Attitudes Toward West Improve Despite Feelings of Isolation

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Aleksandra Srdanovic – Sept. 21, 2021) Aleksandra Srdanovic is a graduate student at Harvard University and a student associate with Russia Matters. The Levada Center recently polled Russians on their attitudes toward Russia’s general standing in the international community, as well as their attitudes toward strategic competitors and countries within the post-Soviet neighborhood. Polling shows […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Economic Reality Is Dragging Russia Toward Climate Acceptance” – Bloomberg

File Photo of Polar Bear on Snow with Bare Ground in the Background, adapted from image at nasa.gov with photo credit to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Eric Regehr

“Europe’s border tax and China’s carbon-neutral ambitions might just force a fossil fuel giant to face climate facts.” “… Sooner than expected, Putin’s hydrocarbon-dependent regime has found itself watching key markets slip away as China targets net-zero emissions and Europe introduces measures including a levy on heavy industry imports that fail to meet its climate protection standards. Having lauded the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “IMEMO Director Feodor Voitolovsky: A new system of coordinates is a challenge for the modern world order” – Interfax

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(Interfax – May 31, 2021) The Primakov Readings, organized by the Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) of the Russian Academy of Sciences, will take place in Moscow on June 8-9. The topic of the 2021 readings is “Challenges to the Contemporary World Order”. Interfax is an information partner of the Primakov Readings 2021. IMEMO Director Feodor Voitolovsky […]

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Putin’s Aggressiveness Uniting West against Russia and Powering Its Search for Modus Vivendi with China, Shevtsova Says

File Photo of G7 Leaders at Summit, adapted from image at usembassy.gov

Putin’s aggressively anti-Western posture is helping the West to recover its lost self-discipline and unity […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Military Seeks to Outmuscle U.S. in Arctic” – Wall Street Journal

File Photo of Polar Bear on Snow with Bare Ground in the Background, adapted from image at nasa.gov with photo credit to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Eric Regehr

“For Moscow it is the last geopolitical battleground where it holds the advantage over Washington and Beijing” “… [N]ew and refurbished bases [are] meant to service the Kremlin’s ambitions in the resource-rich Arctic. … combined to form a new military district … under … the Northern Fleet, Russia’s foremost Arctic naval force[] … [with fleet] headquarters … on the Kola […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “China’s top diplomat heads to Russia as ties reach ‘best level in history’” – Financial Times

File Photo of Beijing Temple, adapted from image at lbl.gov

“Beijing and Moscow sense an opportunity in the face of fading U.S. influence and Covid fallout.” “China’s leading diplomat [Yang Jiechi, head of China’s central committee for foreign affairs,] will travel to Russia … for security talks, the latest sign of deepening [Sino-Russian] ties …. Xi Jinping and … Putin … [recently had a] video-link launch of a nuclear energy […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Arctic rivalry heats up among the great powers” – Financial Times

File Photo of Polar Bear on Snow with Bare Ground in the Background, adapted from image at nasa.gov with photo credit to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Eric Regehr

“Friction in other parts of the globe as well as climate change are fueling tensions in the high north.” “… [N]ew or updated [arctic] strategies … have appeared … from Canada, China, the EU, France, Germany, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden and the UK[,] [as well as] the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Department of Defense, Department for Homeland Security, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Myths and misconceptions in the debate on Russia: How they affect Western policy, and what can be done” – Chatham House

Globe Highlighting NATO Members

“This report deconstructs 16 of the most prevalent myths and misconceptions … shap[ing] … Western thinking on Russia. … explain[ing] their detrimental impact on … policy …. Western positions need critical re-examination to ensure more rational and effective responses to Russian actions. … [C]ontrary to wishful thinking … there is little prospect of Russia becoming a more constructive and cooperative […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S., Russia and Brussels at war over energy” – Le Monde Diplomatique

Gas Flame file photo

“The battle over natural gas: Worsening relations between Europe and Russia are reflected in tensions over energy, in which US demands, Russian and German interests, the EU’s neoliberal doctrine and the climate emergency all play a part.” “… The Russia-Ukraine conflict … the Nord Stream 2 pipeline  … and tensions … over offshore reserves near Cyprus, have put natural gas […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Biden invites Putin, Xi to his first major climate talks” – bne Intellinews

File Photo of Smokestackm Emssions and Sky adapted from image at nasa.gov with credit to EPA

“… Biden … has invited … Putin … and Xi Jinping … to … virtual climate talks. … [scheduled for] 22-23 April. … Some 40 invitations [were sent] to … leaders of … major countries, as well as [some at-risk, low-lying] countries …. If Putin or Xi attend, Biden will have to walk a fine line diplomatically, given claims of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian-Chinese pact to explore the moon is another sign the U.S. must change its approach to Moscow” – CNBC/ Frederick Kempe

File Photo of Surface of Moon with Earth in Distance, adapted from NASA image

“… Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, signed an agreement with the Chinese National Space Administration[] to create an International Scientific Lunar Station ‘with open access to all interested nations and international partners[,]’ … the most dramatic sign yet that Moscow sees its space future with China and not the United States, further underscoring … growing strategic alignment with Beijing. … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “CIA Nominee Burns Promises Spying Focus on China, Seeing ‘Adversarial, Predatory’ Regime” – Wall Street Journal/ Warren P. Strobel

File Photo of Beijing Temple, adapted from image at lbl.gov

“Veteran diplomat pledges to deliver bad news to policy makers, after senators note tumult of Trump years.” “[The nominee] pick[ed] to … lead the Central Intelligence Agency told lawmakers he would intensify the spy agency’s focus on China, calling ‘an adversarial, predatory Chinese leadership’ the U.S.’s ‘biggest geopolitical test.’ … William J. Burns said …. ‘For CIA, that will mean […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Political appointees, career analysts clashed over assessments of Russian, Chinese interference in 2020 election” – Washington Post/ Ellen Nakashima

Multilingual Polling Place Sign from U.S. Election Polling Place

“… [P]olitical appointees clashed with career intelligence analysts over the extent to which Russia and China interfered or sought to interfere in the 2020 election, … each side accusing the other of politicization, according to a report by … Barry A. Zulauf, … [ODNI] ‘analytic ombudsman’ …, describ[ing] an intelligence community afflicted by a ‘widespread perception in the workforce about […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. officials suspect Russia in mystery ‘attacks’ on diplomats in Cuba, China” – CNBC/ Josh Lederman, Courtney Kube, Abigail Williams, Ken Dilanian

Artist's Rendition of Head and Brain, adapted from .gov image at lbl.gov

“Intelligence agencies investigating mysterious ‘attacks’ … [leading] to brain injuries in U.S. personnel in Cuba and China consider Russia … the main suspect, three U.S. officials and two others briefed on the investigation [said] …. backed up by evidence from communications intercepts, known in the spy world as signals intelligence, amassed during a lengthy and ongoing investigation involving the FBI, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “FBI in possession of Hunter Biden’s purported laptop, sources say” – Fox/ Jake Gibson, Brooke Singman

File Photo of Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin in front of U.S. Flag and Russian Flag, adapted from image from RIA Novosti

“The FBI and Justice Department concur with DNI Ratcliffe that the laptop is not part of a Russian disinformation campaign.” “The FBI … possess[es] … [Hunter Biden’s purported] laptop … contain[ing] emails revealing … foreign business dealings, including … in Ukraine and China [according to senior administration officials] …. emails … first obtained by the New York Post … reveal[ing] […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin: Russia-China military alliance can’t be ruled out” – AP

File Photo of Beijing Temple, adapted from image at lbl.gov

“… Putin said … there is no need for a Russia-China military alliance now, but noted it could be forged in the future. … signal[ing] deepening ties between Moscow and Beijing amid growing tensions … with the United States. … [Putin] also made a strong call for extending … [the New START Treaty]. … The U.S. recently … proposed a […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Is a Bad Omen” – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace/ Paul Stronski

Map of Azerbaijan and Environs, adapted from image at cia.gov

“With the United States shrugging off its erstwhile role as the world’s policeman, can anyone stop the fierce fighting now raging between Armenia and Azerbaijan?” “… The long-running Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, … dat[ing] to the waning days of the Soviet Union, is not going to trigger a global war[] [n]or … affect … [great power] vital interests […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Why Russia’s alliance with China is improbable, but not impossible” – Fondation pour la recherche stratégique/ Simon Saradzhyan

File Photo of Beijing Temple, adapted from image at lbl.gov

“Abstract: [A]re Russia and China already in a de facto military alliance (against the U.S.), or may they soon enter one? … [This article] reviews … academic literature on alignments … and alliances … infers criteria … [and] sets out to … [assess that] relationship …. Introduction[:]  The [Russia-China] relationship … is getting stronger …. Xi Jinping[] and … Putin[] […]

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On Russia’s Far Eastern Frontier, Vast Stretches Of Free Land, But Little Interest

Siberian River, Forest, Mountain

… The Russian state has made 220 million hectares of land available under its program, double the total amount allotted under the Homestead Act. But only around 80,000 Russians have taken advantage. […]

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Evolving Global Order Makes a P5 Summit Ineffective

File Photo of UN Building with Flags

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Paul Saunders – Sept. 17, 2020) Paul Saunders is a senior fellow in U.S. foreign policy at the Center for the National Interest. With military tension among great powers increasing in east Asia, central Europe and the Middle East, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and others have proposed a summit of the U.N. Security Council’s five […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia and China in Talks About Building a Joint Moon Research Base” – CNS/ Dimitri Simes

File Photo of Surface of Moon with Earth in Distance, adapted from NASA image

“Looking to strengthen … space cooperation with China amid heightened geopolitical tensions with the United States, Russia is in talks with Beijing about the possibility of building a joint lunar research base. Dmitry Rogozin … head of … Roscosmos, held talks recently with … China National Space Administration[] director Zhang Kejian. He … [stated in an state television interview] that […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Intelligence Agencies Push Disinformation on Pandemic” – New York Times/ Julian E. Barnes, David E. Sanger

File Image of Laptop Computer, Tables and Mobile Device, adapted from image at energy.gov

“Declassified U.S. intelligence accuses Moscow of pushing propaganda through alternative websites as Russia refines techniques used in 2016.” “… Russian military intelligence, … the G.R.U., has used … ties with … Russian government information center[] InfoRos[] and other websites to push out English-language disinformation and propaganda about the pandemic, such as amplifying false Chinese arguments that the virus was created […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. urged to exploit cracks in Russia-China relationship; Ties between Beijing and Moscow are not as strong as Xi and Putin portray” – Financial Times/ Kathrin Hille, Katrina Manson, Henry Foy, Christian Shepherd

File Photo of Beijing Temple, adapted from image at lbl.gov

“… Steve Biegun, deputy U.S. secretary of state, told the Financial Times … he was confident the U.S. could be more agile and find ‘the seam’ in the relationship between Russia and China. … [a] seam … held together solely by a ‘mutual determination to challenge the United States.’ … The two are far from an alliance in the western […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “There Is No Arctic Axis; Russia and China’s partnership in the north is primarily driven by business, not politics.” – Foreign Policy/ Elizabeth Buchanan

Arctic Map

“… [C]ommercial realpolitik is at the heart of [Russia and China’s Arctic] engagement. … [even as it] navigates existing fault lines, such as Beijing’s failure to acknowledge Russia’s annexation of Crimea and Moscow’s nonalignment in the … India-China conflict. … [R]egional cooperation is due to … shared interest[s] in maintaining domestic stability. Long-term economic development ventures and the viability of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “China and Russia: Economic Unequals” – CSIS/ Jonathan E. Hillman

Asia Map

“…. Xi and Putin’s signature economic visions even appear complementary at first glance. Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has unleashed Chinese companies to build roads, railways, fiber-optic cables, and other hard infrastructure …. Putin’s Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) harmonizes customs processes to create a single market among Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. … Xi and Putin have repeatedly […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Realism in the Arctic” – The National Interest/ Kenneth Yalowitz, Ross A. Virginia

Arctic Map

“The United States and Russia have disagreements on many issues, including the organization of the international system. No ‘reset’ in relations is in sight but there is a need to put a floor in the relationship and work on possible areas for cooperation. The Arctic can be one.” “… The Arctic is [Russia’s] highest priority strategic national interest …. Arctic […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia able to ensure its security if New START Treaty isn’t extended – Lavrov” – Interfax

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MOSCOW. July 10 (Interfax – Primakov Readings) – Russia will promote the idea of the inadmissibility of a nuclear war at the P5 summit of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday. “We’re particularly concerned by the fact that the Americans have been refusing for the past two years to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Trump Administration Weighs Extending New START Nuclear Treaty” – Wall Street Journal/ Michael R. Gordon

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“President’s decision about pact with Russia will be influenced by whether China joins arms-control negotiations and progress toward tougher agreement.” “… A day after a round of Russia-U.S. arms control talks in Vienna, [a U.S.] official said … Trump could agree to extend the [New START Treaty], … due to expire in February, if the parties make progress toward a […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia cannot afford another 15 years at war with the west” – Financial Times/ Philip Stephens

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

“Vladimir Putin should brush off the cold war cobwebs in pursuit of a hard-headed look at national interests.” “… Putin is proposing … the option of another 15 years in office. He could … continu[e] to shake his fist at the west. Alternatively, he could brush away the cobwebs of the cold war and begin to recognise the challenge to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Weary Russia Tries to Avoid Entanglement in U.S.-China Spat” – Wall Street Journal/ Yaroslav Trofimov, Thomas Grove

File Photo of Beijing Temple, adapted from image at lbl.gov

“As its dependence on Beijing grows, virus-hit Russia seeks to walk its own line.” “… With [Covid-19] … escalating the conflict between Washington and Beijing, Moscow faces a tough challenge: how to preserve its Chinese economic lifeline without getting dragged into the … looming clash. … In a way, it is a reversal of the dynamic that powered China-Russia relations […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Negotiator Doubts China Will Join 3-Way Arms Accord Sought by Trump” – Wall Street Journal/ Michael R. Gordon

File Photo of Beijing Temple, adapted from image at lbl.gov

“Kremlin won’t press Beijing to join talks despite U.S. plea, says diplomat” “Moscow won’t pressure China to join … coming arms-control talks with U.S. and Russian negotiators, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said …. [T]he New START treaty … cutting] long-range U.S. and Russian nuclear arms[] [is] due to expire in February …. Trump … seek[s] a broader agreement […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S., Russia to Start Nuclear Arms Control Talks This Month” – AP

File Photo of Stealth Bomber in Flight

“The U.S. and Russia have agreed to start arms control talks this month as the only remaining treaty between the two largest nuclear powers is poised to expire in less than a year … Russia has offered to extend the New [START] Treaty … expir[ing] in February, but Trump wants to see a three-way nuclear arms treaty that includes China. […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Moscow would benefit from Beijing’s involvement in strategic arms reduction talks – expert” – Interfax

Asia Map

China’s involvement in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty will put Russia in a more advantageous position, and Moscow could share its experience of such talks with Beijing … Sergei Rogov said […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Tanker crosses Russian Arctic route without icebreaker assistance; Commercial shipping on the Northern Sea Route starts earlier than ever before.” – Barents Observer/ Atle Staalesen

Arctic Map

By late May, a carrier had set out on the icy route without icebreaker escort. “… [S]ea ice along the Russian Arctic coast is quickly vanishing as temperatures … have been reaching record highs. With the retreating ice comes tanker traffic. … [T]he ‘Christophe de Margerie’ … on May [19th] kickstarted this year’s shipping season across the eastern part of […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Academician Arbatov advises Russia to keep distance in relations with China” – Interfax

Asia Map

MOSCOW. May 29 (Interfax) – Russia and China have common interests, but they are not strategic allies, Academician Alexei Arbatov, who heads the International Security Center of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said. “We currently have wonderful relations, but Russia needs to keep its distance,” Arbatov said during an online […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The United States Should Not Align With Russia Against China; Authoritarians make bad allies-and Washington already has the stable and democratic friends it needs” – Foreign Policy/ Matthew Kroenig

Asia Map

“… The growing Russian and Chinese strategic relationship is worrying. The two autocratic powers have cooperated on major energy deals, including a blockbuster $55 billion arrangement to pipe Siberian natural gas into China. … and Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping … [having] high-level summits … Xi … declared Putin ‘his best friend and colleague.’ Perhaps most troubling … have […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “What’s preventing a respite from the broken U.S.-Russia relationship?” – Defense News/ Steven Keil

“… In addition to a rare joint statement … Trump and … Putin connected numerous times over the past several weeks according to public reports. These developments stand out … [T]ies between Moscow and Washington have long been frozen in place. [Recent developments are] even more surprising given the Kremlin’s continued actions in places like Syria and Ukraine. The dual […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “China Tightens Russia Border to Stem Surge of Coronavirus Cases; Officials move to contain new outbreak as infected Chinese nationals return from Moscow” – Wall Street Journal/ Thomas Grove

Asia Map

“China raced to contain a new outbreak of coronavirus in communities along its northern border with Russia …. seal[ing] off parts of its border with Russia … establish[ing] a field hospital …. Newly imported infections threaten to trigger a second wave of contagion in China …. The jump in infections also added to the uncertainty about the state of the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Beware of Bad Samaritans; China and Russia are sending medical aid to Italy and other coronavirus-stricken countries, but their motives aren’t so altruistic” – Foreign Policy/ Elisabeth Braw

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

“… ‘Of those Russian supplies, 80 percent were completely useless or of little use to Italy. In other words, the delivery was more like a pretext’ …. for example, equipment for bacteriological disinfection and a field laboratory for chemical-biological sterilization—not the ventilators and personal protective equipment so desperately needed …. The Kremlin’s aid is indeed rather unusual. The medical experts […]

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In New ‘Great Game.’ West Wants to Use Central Asia against Russia and China, Vinnik Says

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 20, 2020) When the USSR disintegrated, Western countries tried to establish conventional relations with the countries of Central Asia, setting up military bases and expanding security arrangements in order to strengthen the independence of these regimes both internally and from Moscow, Dmitry Vinnik says. But that policy has failed, according to […]

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