NEWSWATCH BBC: Vladimir Putin’s formative German years

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

[“Vladimir Putin’s formative German years” – BBC News – Chris Bowlby – Dresden, March 27, 2015] The BBC covers some of Vladimir Putin’s experiences earlier in life, including his first foreign posting as a KGB officer, in East Germany during the collapse of Soviet Communism in eastern Europe. They also explore speculation about the lasting impact of those experiences upon Putin’s perspective towards […]

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German doctors confirm that Savchenko is fine – Russian Federal Penitentiary Service

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Interfax – February 16, 2015) The Russian Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) has assisted German doctors with an objective medical evaluation of Ukrainian servicewoman Nadezhda Savchenko, which has confirmed that her health condition is fine. “Assistance was provided yesterday with an approved medical evaluation of accused Nadezhda Savchenko by doctors from Germany,” the FSIN press service said in a report obtained […]

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From a Munich in Moscow to a Munich in Minsk — How Europe has Come to Putin’s Aid

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 12, 2015) In the 1930s, Hitler pursued a simple policy: he simply said one thing and did another. Putin has innovated: he not only lies but uses forces to do his bidding for which no one holds him responsible and thus has the chance to be accepted by some in the […]

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EU-Russia meet between Putin, Merkel, Hollande starts; seen going late into night

Europe Map

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – February 6, 2015) It may not be the last chance for peace, but there hasn’t been a better time than this in the last few months. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President François Hollande is sitting down with Russian President Vladimir Putin late on February 6 to hammer out […]

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Interfax: Support for urgent heavy arms withdrawal from Donbas line of contact is crucial decision of Berlin meeting – Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov file photo

BERLIN. Jan 22 (Interfax) – Foreign ministers from Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France, the countries of the “Normandy format”, have supported the need to urgently withdraw heavy weapons from the line of engagement defined by the September 16, 2014 Minsk agreements, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “The most important decision that was adopted today was outlined in a joint […]

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Securing peace instead of rewarding expansion: An appeal, by over 100 German-speaking experts on Eastern Europe, for a reality-based and not illusions-guided Russia policy

Map of Germany

(opendemocracy.net – Andreas Umland – January 9, 2015) Andreas Umland is a DAAD Associate Professor of European Studies at the Political Science Department of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy [“Some of the most influential German correspondents on Russia and Ukraine sympathise with the appeal, but, for specifically professional reasons, did not add their signatures.”] On December 5, 2014, 60 prominent German personalities […]

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NEWSWATCH: Russia ‘may face chaos’ if extra sanctions imposed: Germany

Map of Germany

[“Russia ‘may face chaos’ if extra sanctions imposed: Germany” – AFP – January 4, 2015] AFP covers a German official’s assessment of the potential impact of additional sanctions on Russia: Tougher sanctions may destabilise the situation further in Russia and plunge the country into chaos, German deputy chancellor Sigmar Gabriel warned … ‘Whoever wants that will provoke a much more dangerous situation […]

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Merkel Said to Reject Ukraine NATO Bid as Rousing Tension

NATO meeting file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Patrick Donahue, Arne Delfs, Ilya Arkhipov – November 26, 2014) German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is alarmed by President Petro Poroshenko’s plan to hold a referendum on Ukraine joining NATO, seeing it as a dead end that would only inflame tensions with Russia. Ukrainian membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is not on the table […]

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Interfax: Russians see historic significance of fall of Berlin Wall in Germany’s reunion – poll

Map of Germany

MOSCOW. Nov 10 (Interfax) – An overwhelming majority of Russians (85%) know that the Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago, in November 1989, while 13% learned about the fact from the Public Opinion Foundation during a poll. Thirty-eight percent of the 1,500 respondents polled in 43 regions in November thought that the historic significance of the fall of the Berlin […]

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Poroshenko Seeks Merkel’s Support as Russia Bristles

Maidan Square file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Tony Czuczka, Kateryna Choursina- October 16, 2014) German Chancellor Angela Merkel blamed the Kremlin for continuing to stoke the Ukraine conflict as Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that he won’t be blackmailed over the crisis. “Russia must make the decisive contribution to de-escalation,” Merkel told parliament in Berlin today. “The situation in Ukraine remains extremely difficult […]

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RIA Novosti: German Defense Ministry Opposes NATO’s Request to Increase Military Spending

NATO meeting file photo

MOSCOW, September 8 (RIA Novosti) – Berlin will neither increase its military spending at the request of NATO on account of the crises in Ukraine and Iraq, nor decrease it, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said in an interview with ARD. “Currently, the Bundeswehr is well equipped and is fully prepared for participation in military actions”, Germany’s Spiegel […]

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RIA Novosti: German N-TV Phone Poll Shows 89% Back Putin’s Ukraine Policy

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

MOSCOW, May 13 (RIA Novosti) – A phone opinion poll conducted by the German TV channel N-TV has yielded a surprise finding that 89 percent of its viewers sympathize with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s policy on Ukraine. A poll on Russia’s handling of the Ukraine crisis by the Berlin-based N-TV went spectacularly wrong in the channel’s opinion, when the majority […]

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German Companies Remain Supportive of South Stream Gas Pipe

Gas Flame file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – April 7, 2014) While Russia’s standoff with the West over Ukraine may have caused Italian energy group Eni to distance itself from the huge South Stream gas pipeline project linking Russia to Central Europe, partners from Germany, which is highly dependent on Russian gas, have stayed faithful. On Friday, German engineering conglomerate […]

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Ukraine NATO Membership Is Denied as Germany Seeks Easing

NATO meeting file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Patrick Donahue – April 1, 2014) Germany’s top diplomat said Ukraine won’t join NATO and urged Russia to move troops away from the Ukrainian border, saying it would be a “small signal” that the crisis is easing. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his French and Polish counterparts, Laurent Fabius and Radoslaw Sikorski, said the European Union […]

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The Hague Declaration

File Photo of G7 Leaders and other Officials Around Round Table at the Hague, with Flags

(The White House – Office of the Press Secretary – For Immediate Release – March 24, 2014) 1. We, the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission met in The Hague to reaffirm our support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and […]

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Statement of G-7 Leaders on Ukraine

File Photo of G8 Heads of State Outdoors in 2013

(The White House – Office of the Press Secretary – For Immediate Release – March 12, 2014) We, the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, call on the Russian Federation to cease all efforts to change the status of Crimea […]

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Ukraine’s Klitschko Gives Up German Residency

Ukraine Map and Flag

MOSCOW, February 16 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine’s boxer-turned-opposition politician Vitali Klitschko said Sunday he has given up his residency in Germany to prove his right to run for the president next year. The leader of the Udar political party, Klitschko, 42, has spent several years living and paying tax in Germany rather than Ukraine. Last year, the world heavyweight champion […]

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NEWSLINK: Russia accuses EU of seeking Ukraine “sphere of influence”

EU Map

[“Russia accuses EU of seeking Ukraine ‘sphere of influence’” – Reuters – Gabriela Baczynska, Alexandra Hudson – February 14, 2014 – http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/14/us-ukraine-russia-eu-idUSBREA1D0PT20140214] Reuters covers tensions between Russia and the EU over Ukraine, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov bemoaning the prospect of an EU sphere of influence on Russia’s borders: Russia accused the European Union on Friday of seeking to […]

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Merkel to Host Ukraine Opposition as New Rally Planned

Angela Merkel file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Daryna Krasnolutska – February 14, 2014) German Chancellor Angela Merkel will host Ukrainian opposition leaders next week as protesters try to raise pressure on the government to step down and Russia accuses the U.S. and European Union of meddling in its backyard. Merkel will meet opposition leaders Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Vitali Klitschko, a former world heavyweight […]

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New Dimensions of U.S. Foreign Policy Toward Russia

Maidan Square file photo

(Stratfor.com – George Friedman – February 11, 2014) The struggle for some of the most strategic territory in the world took an interesting twist this week. Last week we discussed what appeared to be a significant shift in German national strategy in which Berlin seemed to declare a new doctrine of increased assertiveness in the world — a shift that […]

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Interfax: German president recalls war, Leningrad siege with shame, sorrow

St. Petersburg Landmark

MOSCOW. Jan 27 (Interfax) – German President Joachim Gauck has expressed his sorrow in recalling the atrocities of the war Germany was waging against the Soviet Union and extended sympathy to the survivors of the siege of Leningrad in a letter sent to the Russian president on the occasion of the 70th anniversary since the breaking of the siege of […]

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Topless FEMEN activist climbs altar in Cologne cathedral during Christmas Mass

EU Map

KYIV. Dec 25 (Interfax) – An activist of the feminist movement FEMEN has disrupted a Christmas mass in Kolner Dom, the main cathedral of Cologne, Germany. “The activist climbed the altar of the cathedral in the presence of thousands of people to protest the Vatican propaganda for the criminalization of abortion. The words ‘I AM GOD!’ were painted on the […]

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Interfax: Russians certain of Germans’ friendliness – poll

Angela Merkel file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 14 (Interfax) – Russians give “three and a half” out of five to the relations between Moscow and Berlin and think that the development of Russian-German economic cooperation could contribute to enhancing those ties, sociologists said. The majority of Russian citizens (92%) have never been to Germany but many (57%) would like to go, the All-Russian Public Opinion […]

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Kremlin Denies Snowden Is Breaking Terms of Russian Asylum

Edward Snowden file photo

MOSCOW, November 2 (RIA Novosti) ­ Fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden will not be permitted to break the conditions of his asylum status in Russia by harming the US, a Russian newspaper quoted President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman as saying Saturday. The Kommersant daily quoted a source in the US White House as saying that Snowden’s activities in Moscow were […]

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World Bank: Russian Energy Strength is Economic Weakness

Oil Well file photo

(OilPrice.com – Daniel J. Graeber – September 26, 2013 – article also appeared at http://oilprice.com/Finance/the-Economy/World-Bank-Russian-Energy-Strength-is-Economic-Weakness.html; a version of the article also appeared in The Christian Science Monitor as “Is Russia’s economy running out of gas?” at http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Energy-Voices/2013/0926/Is-Russia-s-economy-running-out-of-gas) The head of the World Bank in Russia said Wednesday he was alarmed by the slowdown in the Russian economy.  The bank said the […]

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TRANSCRIPT (continued): [Putin at] meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club (transcript concluded)

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Valdai Club 2013 Meeting, Adapted from Screenshot of Valdai Club Video at youtube.com

(Kremlin.ru – Novgorod Region, September 19, 2013) [Complete transcript here http://eng.kremlin.ru/transcripts/6007] VLADIMIR PUTIN: And one more question for our American friend and colleague. What will the United States do about the budget deficit, the debt that has reached an incredible size? It is the largest debt in the United States’ post-war history. How will the situation unfold moving forward? This […]

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Merkel’s Re-Election Called Good for Russia

Angela Merkel file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – September 24, 2013) The victory of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party in the country’s general elections Sunday is expected to secure the stability of Russian-German relations for the next four years, despite German’s recent criticism of human rights in Russia. Taking 41.5 percent of the vote, Merkel’s conservative bloc  consisting of […]

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Germans Hail Snowden as NSA Evokes Stasi Seizing Lives of Others

Stylized Artist's Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Cornelius Rahn & Leon Mangasarian – July 10, 2013) Willi Kuhlmann remembers the day the Berlin Wall was erected on Aug. 13, 1961, and how the system of spying on East German citizens by secret police known as the Stasi intensified. His experience as a border guard along the Wall that divided Germany’s capital city for […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Interview to the German ARD

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Kremlin.ru – April 5, 2013) Ahead of the working visit to Germany, Vladimir Putin gave an interview to the German ARD. The interview was recorded on April 2, 2013 in Novo-Ogaryovo. * * * JÖRG SCHÖNENBORN (retranslated): Good evening, Mr President, Germany and Russia enjoy special relationship and, economically speaking, they are a good match. However, there exist certain difficulties […]

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The Cyprus Financial Meltdown Disrupts Close Relations with Berlin and Europe

Cyprus Map

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 10, Issue 58 – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Pavel Felgenhauer – March 28, 2013) The European Union is Russia’s number one trading partner, and for many years Moscow was seeking to establish a privileged political and economic relationship with select Western European “friends” like France and Germany. Moscow’s most important foreign policy objective since the […]

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Putin and Merkel Trade Barbs in Kremlin Talks

Angela Merkel file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – November 19, 2012) President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel traded barbs over Pussy Riot, human rights and democracy during Kremlin talks Friday that marked a turn in Berlin’s policy toward Moscow. Merkel, who had been under pressure not to be soft on Putin, seemingly enjoyed confronting her host about […]

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NEWSLINK: Will the Cold Snap in Russian-German Relations Last?

Angela Merkel file photo

(Will the Cold Snap in Russian-German Relations Last? – RIA Novosti – Fyodor Lukyanov – November 15, 2012 – Fyodor Lukyanov is Editor-in-Chief of the Russia in Global Affairs journal ­ http://en.ria.ru/columnists/20121115/177487605.html) Writing for RIA Novosti, Russia in Global Affairs commentator Fyodor Lukyanov considers the state of relations between Russia and Germany: Russian-German relations have hit a cold snap ahead […]

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Merkel Faces Balancing Act in Kremlin

Angela Merkel file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – November 15, 2012) Angela Merkel faces a seemingly impossible task in Moscow on Friday. During the course of a visit scheduled for just eight hours, the German chancellor is expected to mend serious rifts in mutual ties while at the same time telling President Vladimir Putin that the crackdown on the […]

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