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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Khabarovsk Protesters Add Concern for Navalny to Demands [For] Furgal’s Return and Putin’s Ouster

Far Eastern Russia and Environs, with Khabarovsk Pinpointed, adapted from image at cdc.gov

… [T]housands … came into the streets of Khabarovsk … to reiterate … demands … their elected governor be restored … and Putin [removed] … [and, now, additionally] to express … solidarity with opposition leader Aleksey Navalny who remains in a coma […]

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Is This The Next Major Market For Russian LNG?

Gas Flame file photo

(oilprice.com – Viktor Katona – Aug. 17, 2020) Russia’s ambitious LNG plans have so far based on two producing assets – the Gazprom-operated Sakhalin LNG and the NOVATEK-operated Yamal LNG. The addition of Yamal LNG into its portfolio has helped to boost its clout (growing from 4% of global LNG trade to 8% currently) yet the actual numbers of assets […]

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Separatism Doesn’t Threaten Russia But Will If Kremlin Fails to Listen to Regions, Yarulin Says

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 30, 2020) The most important lesson of the Khabarovsk protests is that separatism doesn’t threaten Russia now but could if the central government continues to try to make all the decisions, consolidate all the power and wealth, and ignore the aspirations of Russians in the regions, Ildus Yarulin says. The director […]

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Degtyarov First of New Generation of Regional Leaders in Putin System, Ivanov Says

Far Eastern Russia and Environs, with Khabarovsk Pinpointed, adapted from image at cdc.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, Aug. 2 , 2020) Despite the travails of his first days in office, Mikhail Degtyarov, Moscow’s appointee as new head of Khabarovsk Kray, represents the harbinger of a new generation of regional leaders, one very different than their predecessors and likely to have unexpected consequences for both Moscow and the regions, Andrey […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Nearly Half of Russians Support Anti-Kremlin Protests in Far East – Poll” – Moscow Times

Far Eastern Russia and Environs, with Khabarovsk Pinpointed, adapted from image at cdc.gov

Nearly half of Russians say they approve of … anti-Kremlin protests in the Far East … [breaking] out … after the arrest of the Khabarovsk region’s popular governor … and his replacement with a Putin-appointed lawmaker …. People have taken to the streets of Khabarovsk near the Chinese border … 18 days in a row … an unprecedented show of opposition to the Kremlin in the region […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “In Russia’s Far East, a New Face of Resistance to Putin’s Reign” – New York Times/ Anton Troianovski

Far Eastern Russia and Environs, with Khabarovsk Pinpointed, adapted from image at cdc.gov

“As the protests swell in the city of Khabarovsk, 4,000 miles from Moscow, residents who had never before found a public outlet for anger are becoming activists.” “… [P]rotests in Khabarovsk reached well into the tens of thousands … establishing this distant city – some 4,000 miles from Moscow – as the site of the biggest popular challenge to … […]

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RUSSIALINK: “‘Russia, Wake up’: Far East Protesters Seek to Set Example for Entire Country; Some local Khabarovsk activists and experts, however, wonder if the protest movement can be sustained.” – Moscow Times

Far Eastern Russia and Environs, with Khabarovsk Pinpointed, adapted from image at cdc.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Gershkovich – Khabarovsk, July 27, 2020) As they have for nearly three weeks, the first protesters started to gather at Lenin Square in the city of Khabarovsk in Russia’s Far East at 7 pm on a recent weekday evening. They were soon joined by independent Russian journalists and a small army of YouTube bloggers, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Man of steel; ‘Novaya Gazeta’ reports on the backroom business schemes that maybe ruined a Russian governor” – Meduza

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“… [T]here’s a convoluted story of cutthroat competition for a steelworks. … Sergey Furgal, until recently … duly elected governor of Khabarovsk, is now suspected of involvement in four murders committed in 2004 and 2005. While many observers have assumed openly that the allegations are plausible, given the rough and tumble of the Far East’s business world at the time, […]

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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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An Isolated Case? Observers Doubt Far East Unrest Will Spread Across Russia

Far Eastern Russia and Environs, with Khabarovsk Pinpointed, adapted from image at cdc.gov

… [Khabarovsk] residents … have been protesting following the … arrest of … popular governor[] Sergei Furgal. After … Putin named a Moscow-based politician with no ties to the Far Eastern region as Furgal’s temporary replacement, the protests took a sharply anti-Moscow turn […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Khabarovsk Region Tasted Democracy. Now Voters Feel It Was Ripped Away.” – Moscow Times

Far Eastern Russia and Environs, with Khabarovsk Pinpointed, adapted from image at cdc.gov

Protesters told The Moscow Times they will continue rallying until their governor’s murder trial is held in Khabarovsk. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Gershkovich – July 15, 2020) For as long as Valery Nechayev could remember, the ruling United Russia party had been in charge of his home region of Khabarovsk in Russia’s Far East. And, for a while, […]

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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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Protesters in Khabarovsk Now Talking about Independent Far Eastern Republic of the 1920s

Far Eastern Russia and Environs, with Khabarovsk Pinpointed, adapted from image at cdc.gov

… What began as protests against the removal of their governor, Khabarovsk residents have transformed into something more and attracted the attention of others across the Russian Far East …. [B]y talking about a possible restoration of the Far Eastern Republic, they beyond doubt have attracted the attention or and possibly repressive actions by the Russian authorities in the capital […]

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Protesters In Russia’s Far East Demand Release Of Regional Governor Charged With Murders

File Photos of Law Books and Gavel, adapted from image at fjc.gov

Demonstrators have continued to peacefully protest in Russia’s Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk, demanding the release of the region’s governor Sergei Furgal of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) […]

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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: “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: “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: “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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Part Two: COVID-19 Siberia: Life in the Village: March 29- April 4 “Non-work Week #1” in Manjerok, Altai Republic

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

Subject: Part Two Date: Sat, 11 Apr 2020 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> Part Two COVID-19 Siberia: Life in the Village March 29- April 4 “Non-work Week #1” in Manjerok, Altai Republic By Sarah Lindemann-Komarova [Sarah Lindemann-Komarova has been a community development activist in Siberia since 1992. Currently she is focusing on research and writing about civil society in Russia.] With […]

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COVID-19 Siberia Update: Life in the Village

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

Subject: COVID-19 Siberia Update: Life in the Village Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2020 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> COVID-19 Siberia Update: Life in the Village: Part I: Background By Sarah Lindemann-Komarova [Sarah Lindemann-Komarova has been a community development activist in Siberia since 1992. Currently she is focusing on research and writing about civil society in Russia.] With Pictures: medium.com/@ECHOSiberia/covid-19-siberia-update-life-in-the-village-a3a964a5290a [DJ: Great […]

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Russian Population Decline in Spotlight Again

File Photo of Crowd in Russia Including Person Waving Russian Flag with Eagle

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Daniel Shapiro, Natasha Yefimova-Trilling – September 13, 2019) Last week, in a meeting with top advisors, Russian President Vladimir Putin lamented the population decline in the country’s Far East, saying it falls in an “alarming, red zone.” While this sparsely populated region, which shares a border with far more densely populated Chinese provinces, may raise […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s $150 Billion Bet on Arctic Warming; France’s Macron slams the northern shipping route as an ecological disaster in the making, but Asian and European companies are lining up for a share of its (potential) riches.” – Transitions Online/ Ky Krauthamer

Arctic Map

“… [Russian has high hopes for] the [Arctic’s] Northern Sea Route [NSR] … owing to the long-term thinning of the ice pack. … [Use of the route] could shorten the journey from East Asia to Europe by up to two weeks. Norway … is skeptical[,] … has concerns about the environmental dangers of increased shipping in the fragile northern environment, […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Liberal-Democrats to hold 34 of 35 seats in Khabarovsk City Duma – election results” – Interfax

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

KHABAROVSK. Sept 9 (Interfax) – Nearly all seats in the Khabarovsk City Duma will belong to the Liberal-Democratic Party (LDPR) following the elections on Sunday, the city hall said citing the territorial elections commission. “The 7th Khabarovsk City Duma has completely changed its composition. Following the vote count, 34 mandates went to LDPR candidates and one to a member of […]

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Russian Plane Draws Shots from South Korea in First Air Patrol with China: Belfer Experts Weigh In

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – RM Staff- July 25, 2019) South Korean fighter jets fired over 300 warning shots at a Russian Air Force A-50 Mainstay Airborne Early Warning aircraft on July 23 after the Russian plane twice violated South Korea’s airspace above the East Sea, according to South Korean authorities cited by The Aviationist. Earlier that day, Russian and Chinese […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia and China; Partnership is much better for China than it is for Russia; Just how much better might not become clear for a few years yet” – The Economist

Asia Map

“[Compared to Russia,] … China[‘s] economy is six times larger (at purchasing-power parity) … its power is growing … as Russia’s fades. … Russia is evolving into a Chinese tributary. … Russia is still a nuclear-weapons state with a permanent seat on the [UNSC]…. It has modernised its armed forces and, as in Syria, is not afraid to use them. […]

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Are Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin Partners? Interpreting the Russia-China Rapprochement

Map of China and Environs, adapted from image at cdc.gov

(PONARS Eurasia – Hilary Appel – July 19, 2019 – Hilary Appel is the Podlich Family Professor of Government and George R. Roberts Fellow at Claremont McKenna College) (PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) The blossoming of relations between the Russian and Chinese presidents has been prominently on display. Images have been widely distributed of Xi Jinping awarding Vladimir Putin the newly […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “China Promises Further Military Cooperation With Russia; Beijing accuses U.S. of undermining regional stability and sharpens its warnings against Taiwan in new defense report” – Wall Street Journal/ Jeremy Page

Asia Map

“China vowed to step up military cooperation with Russia, a day after the two countries’ first joint air patrol triggered a rare confrontation over the Sea of Japan and stoked U.S. concern about the intensifying partnership …. Releasing a new defense ‘white paper’ … China accused the U.S. of undermining regional stability by strengthening its alliances, and sharpened a warning […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Half of Russians Are Worried About the Environment Where They Live – Survey” – Moscow Times

Russian Landfill; adapted from image at epa.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 5, 2019) Almost half of Russians are concerned about the environment in their regions, according to a study by the Moscow-based NAFI Research Center obtained by the state-run TASS news agency. Environmental issues have taken center stage at protest rallies across Russia over the past year, with citizens drawing attention to concerns including landfills, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Sovcomflot Says Arctic Sailings Will Become Routine; CEO of the state-owned shipping giant says melting polar ice will draw more ship operators to Siberian waters” – Wall Street Journal/Costas Paris

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

“‘The Northern Sea Route shipments are growing …’ [Russian state-owned shipping Sovcomflot] Chief Executive Sergey Frank said … ‘It’s a question of time before all kinds of ships routinely cross it.’ Arctic routes are drawing greater attention as the global climate warms and polar ice recedes, potentially opening new paths between Asia and Europe. The mostly frozen NSR seaway … […]

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Russia Could Take Hold Of China’s Entire Gas Market

Gas Flame file photo

“As the trade war between the U.S. and China intensifies … Beijing has vowed to retaliate. … Not only will the trade war impact U.S.-Chinese LNG deals, but it will impact the overall global LNG market since the U.S. is the fastest growing LNG producer ….”

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia sees major integration capacity in China’s One Belt One Road project – Putin” – Interfax

Map of China and Environs, adapted from image at cdc.gov

SOCHI. May 13 (Interfax) – The relations between Russia and China are developing successfully, while Moscow views China’s One Belt – One Road initiative as fruitful and substantive, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “At the beginning of talks I would like to convey the best wishes to my friend [Chinese President Xi Jinping] for warmness, with which we have been […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH VIDEO: “New Russian Documentary Brings the Horrors of the Gulag to the YouTube Generation; Yuri Dud’s documentary has garnered millions of views in days. From Global Voices.” – Transitions Online/ Alexey Kovalev

File Photo of Kolyma Mountains Satellite Image, adapted from image at noaa.gov

“… former sports reporter … [Yuri Dud] runs his own YouTube interview show …. generat[ing] millions of views … a serious competitor even to state-owned TV. … [T]he subject of Dud’s latest show shocked his … 5 million [subscribers] and the general public: a two-hour documentary about the Kolyma region, in Russia’s far northeast … almost synonymous with Stalin-era repressions. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Where Does the Russia-North Korea Relationship Stand?” – Council on Foreign Relations/ Scott A. Snyder

North Korea Map and Flag, adapted from .gov image

“… Kim desperately needed to replace the narrative of weakness after failing to make a widely expected deal with the United States at the Hanoi summit with a narrative of strength, both domestically and internationally. Last week’s summit with Putin allowed Kim to show stature internationally and discuss alternatives to the U.S.-proposed big deal on denuclearization. But he failed to […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin] News conference following working visit to China” – KremlinRu

Asia Map

(Kremlin.ru – April 27, 2019 – en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/60396) Vladimir Putin spoke to journalists following the Roundtable discussions at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon. There will be no opening remarks. I am ready to answer your questions. Question: Good afternoon. The Belt and Road is a very ambitious project – to the […]

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With North Korea, Russia Knows It Can Only Play Second Fiddle to China and US

North Korea Map and Flag, adapted from .gov image

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Simon Saradzhyan – April 25, 2019 – russiamatters.org/blog/north-korea-russia-knows-it-can-only-play-second-fiddle-china-and-us) This week’s summit between Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un—the first between the Russian and North Korean leaders—has proved to be as underwhelming as expected. While the two spent twice as much time talking face-to-face as had been planned, they neither announced any major agreements nor appeared […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin lauds China infrastructure initiative, warming ties” – AP

Map of China and Environs, adapted from image at cdc.gov

“… Putin praised China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative … underscoring warming ties between the neighboring powers. Putin’s comments … to a forum in Beijing appeared to downplay the potential for tensions between China and Russia. … [and] reflect Beijing and Moscow’s shared resistance to U.S. global influence. The Belt and Road is rapidly expanding China’s economic footprint in Central […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin: One Belt, One Road initiative lays down int’l relations principles that are relevant today” – Interfax

Asia Map

BEIJING. April 26 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping for the invitation to take part in the One Belt, One Road forum, adding he sees that this initiative keeps developing. “It has proven to be immensely timely and successful. It is taking on a global nature and is starting to lay down the principles […]

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Putin, Dozens Of Other Leaders Gather In China For ‘Belt And Road’ Summit

Asia Map

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – April 25, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/dozens-of-world-leaders-arrive-in-china-for-belt-and-road-forum/29902631.html) Leaders from dozens of countries have begun arriving in Beijing to attend the April 25-27 Belt and Road Forum. China’s $1 trillion Belt and Road initiative seeks to create new rail, road, port, and energy infrastructure that links […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin] News conference following Russian-North Korean talks” – KremlinRu

North Korea Map and Flag, adapted from .gov image

(Kremlin.ru – April 25, 2019 – en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/60370) Following his talks with Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Kim Jong-un, Vladimir Putin answered media questions. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, I suggest that we go straight to questions and answers. I will try to answer your questions. Go ahead, please. Question: Mr […]

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Hearing on “An Emerging China-Russia Axis? Implications for the United States in an Era of Strategic Competition” – U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

March 21, 2019 The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission: Hearing on “An Emerging China-Russia Axis? Implications for the United States in an Era of Strategic Competition” [Text with video and links to testimony: uscc.gov/Hearings/emerging-china-russia-axis-implications-united-states-era-strategic-competition] Agenda Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 419 9:30 AM – 9:35 AM: Opening Remarks: Chairman Bartholomew and Commissioner Kamphausen 9:35 AM – 11:05 AM: Panel […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The New Cold War’s Warm Friends; Why Chinese and Russian detente may be here to stay” – Foreign Policy Magazine/ Chris Miller

Asia Map

“… Fifty years later, the situation has reversed. China and Russia have settled … border disputes and … become fast friends. Their main area of agreement: opposition to the United States …. The last era of partnership between China and the Soviet Union lasted scarcely a decade before descending toward war …. [T]oday’s Russia-China entente may prove more durable. … […]

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Russia and China Beyond Realpolitik: The Bond of Respect and Values

Asia Map

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Jeanne L. Wilson – February 4, 2019) Jeanne Wilson teaches at Wheaton College where she is the Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of Russian studies, a professor of political science and coordinator of the school’s international relations major. She is the author of “Strategic Partners: Russian-Chinese Relations in the Post-Soviet Era.”  This op-ed is part of a new debate from […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘These Are Our Friends’; Russians Push to Preserve North Korea Ties; Some Russian business owners and ethnic Koreans are braving U.S. ire to maintain business ties with Pyongyang” – Wall Street Journal/ Anatoly Kurmanaev, Thomas Grove, Ksenia Barakovskaya, Lyubov Barabashova, Ian Talley

North Korea Map and Flag, adapted from .gov image

“… some 13,000 North Korean workers [were] left in Russia by October …. Some Western diplomats view Moscow’s implementation of … sanctions as overly liberal. … allowing [Pyongyang] to continue earning foreign currency and sourcing vital supplies in Russia and undermining U.S. attempts to strong-arm the country into giving up [WMD]. … Russian customs data show North Korea imported about […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “No end to World War II in sight in the Kuril Islands; As Abe and Putin prepare to deal, a dispute that dates back to the final hours of World War II looks unlikely to be resolved” – Asia Times/Giovanni Pigni

Map of Northern Japan, Kurill Islands, Sea of Okhotsk, Portions of Russian Far East

“… Japanese-Russian negotiations over the disputed Southern Kuril islands took place … in Moscow, ahead of … [a] summit between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and … Putin. … the only obstacle preventing the two nations signing an official peace agreement to end World War II. … The Kuril archipelago … [includes] 56 islands stretching from the Russian peninsula of […]

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