Russia Nervously Eyes the U.S.-Iran Deal

Middle East Map

(stratfor.com – Geopolitical Weekly – Reva Bhalla – April 7, 2015) When a group of weary diplomats announced a framework for an Iranian nuclear accord last week in Lausanne, there was one diplomat in the mix whose feigned enthusiasm was hard to miss. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov left the talks at their most critical point March 30, much to the […]

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Russia Shouldn’t Put All Its Middle East Eggs in Iran’s Basket, Warn Experts

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – April 3, 2015) As Russia’s role in the Middle East was thrown into the spotlight this week by Wednesday’s attack on the Russian Consulate in Yemen and by the ongoing Iran nuclear talks, analysts said siding with Iran completely would significantly limit Moscow’s options in future conflicts. Iran may be the current […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Middle Eastern oil players lose out to Russia in Asia

Oil Wells File Photo

As Russian oil supplies increase, Gulf states are forced to drop prices to remain competitive (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Anna Kuchma, RBTH – March 12, 2015) Russia boosted oil supplies to China, Japan and South Korea by 10 million tons in 2014, increasing the proportion of oil exports to Asia from 7.2 percent to 8.7 percent. The […]

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Interfax: Terrorism in Europe rooted in Middle East policy – diplomat

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

MOSCOW. Feb 18 (Interfax) – The ongoing surge of terrorism in Europe is rooted in the European policy in the Middle East and North Africa, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department on New Threats and Challenges Ilya Rogachev said. “This is a consequence of the policy, including that of the Europeans, in the Middle East and North Africa,” he […]

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Russia Calls for Joint Effort With U.S. to Fight Islamic State

Map of Iraq

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 29, 2014) Russia’s deputy foreign minister on Monday called for a joint effort between Moscow and Washington in fighting the radical group Islamic State, but appeared to play down fears of a high number of Russians in the group. “The Americans say terrorism represents a direct threat to their national security. I think the […]

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Russia warns of new wave of collapse of states in Middle East

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(Interfax – Moscow, June 21, 2014) Terrorism, which is the most dangerous threat in the Middle Eastern region, could lead to a new wave of collapse of states, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced following his visit to Saudi Arabia. According to Lavrov, during his meetings with the leadership of the kingdom, the conflicts in Syria, Libya and Iraq, as […]

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Interfax: Russia adherent to joint work with U.S. in settling Syrian crisis – deputy FM

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

MOSCOW. March 27 (Interfax) – Russia is ready to continue working together with the United States on the settlement of the Syrian crisis, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bodanov said. “We are prepared to carry on the coordinated work with our American partners on the basis of the earlier agreements. The entire Geneva negotiating process was launched on the basis […]

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Russian diplomatic activity prevents foreign invasion of Syria – poll

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MOSCOW. Oct 24 (Interfax) – Russian citizens are aware of the Russian-U.S. agreements concerning Syria, which are supported by UN resolutions, and think the deal has helped prevent a military operation against Syria, sociologists from the Russian Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) said. Some 68% of the respondents showed an interest in Syrian events, among them, 15% constantly monitor the developments […]

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Russia not interested in tensions between West, Islamic world – Putin

Russian Mosque File Photo

(Interfax – Ufa, October 22, 2013) The voice of Russian Muslim figures should be heard better both on the international arena and in the international Islamic community, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “Tensions between the West and the Islamic world are increasing today. And someone is trying to gamble on this theme by adding firewood to this fire. We are […]

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Putin Builds North Korea Rail to Circumvent Suez Canal

North Korea Map and Flag

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ekaterina Shatalova and Nicholas Brautlecht – October 15, 2013) Vladimir Putin is inching closer to his goal of turning Russia into a major transit route for trade between eastern Asia and Europe by prying open North Korea, a nuclear-capable dictatorship isolated for half a century. Russia last month completed the first land link that North Korea’s […]

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Saudi Arabia ‘a root’ of Syrian crisis – Russian expert

Saudia Arabia Map and Flag

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 24, 2013) Russian Public Chamber member Sergei Markov said the world community must forge a mechanism for dealing with situations similar to the one in Syria. “One should make use of the energy of this crisis and work out a model of dealing with such conflicts,” Markov told the Open Rostrum roundtable in the State Duma. […]

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Interfax: Arab peoples may not be able to adapt European democracy model – Kremlin [Sergei Ivanov]

Sergei Ivanov file photo

(Interfax – STOCKHOLM, September 23, 2013) Sergei Ivanov, the head of the Russian presidential administration, believes the Arab peoples may not be able to adapt the European model of democracy quickly. “Yes, we support the Arab people’s ambitions for changes, for a better, calmer life. However, we understand very well that they will not be able to adapt the European […]

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Interfax: Cyrillic marking on rocket splinter doesn’t implicate Syria government – Kremlin official [Sergei Ivanov]

Syria Map

(Interfax – VLADIVOSTOK, Russia. September 21, 2013) The Kremlin’s chief of staff, in comments on a recent find in Syria, has dismissed suspicions that a Cyrillic inscription on a splinter of a rocket that apparently carried a chemical charge was evidence that the Syrian government was the perpetrator of last month’s chemical attacks near Damascus. “A marking in Cyrillic has […]

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Kremlin spokesman: Putin did not want to offend anyone by op-ed in New York Times

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Interfax – BISHKEK, September 13, 2013) The Russian presidential spokesman is perplexed by comments from White House officials about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s op-ed in The New York Times. “We heard a statement by a White House press secretary this morning by Moscow time. I would like to note in this regard that, when Putin was writing this article and […]

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SCO Against Syria Strike, Iran Sanctions

Eurasia Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – September 16, 2013) While the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) largely focused their attention on Syria and Iran at a summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, joint infrastructure projects and the energy sector were also in the spotlight. The leaders of the SCO, which includes Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, […]

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Putin Relishes Role as Syria Peacemaker

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – September 13, 2013) Vladimir Putin, peacemaker. Such a title would have seemed almost unimaginable even a few weeks ago for a man who rose to power in part by waging a bloody war in Chechnya, where he vowed to “rub [the rebels] out in the outhouse.” But with his foreign minister pushing […]

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Obama Falls Right Into Putin’s Trap

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Michael Bohm, Opinion Page Editor – September 13, 2013) President Vladimir Putin loves to set traps for U.S. President Barack Obama. The only thing Putin loves even more is when Obama falls smack into one. Trap No. 1. Putin set his latest trap Monday with a seemingly attractive proposal to have international monitors identify and […]

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RIA Novosti: ‘Boots’ Essential for Security in Russia’s Syria Gambit – Experts

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

(RIA Novosti – Carl Schreck – WASHINGTON, September 11, 2013) The White House has vowed that no American boots will be on the ground in Syria, but a Russian proposal to seize and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons would almost certainly require an international security force, experts said Wednesday. “Boots on the ground will be necessary. The question is: ‘Where will […]

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Interfax: Russian Duma statement warns against Syria ‘aggression’, attacks USA

Russian Duma Building

(Interfax – Moscow, September 11, 2013) The State Duma on Wednesday (11 September) called on the international community not to allow aggression against Syria, where the conflict, in the opinion of deputies, can only be resolved as part of the Geneva conference. “In an effort to use all available means to avert a catastrophe, the State Duma appeals to the […]

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The Syrian Alternative/ “A Plea for Caution From Russia” [Putin New York Times Op-Ed]

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

(kremlin.ru – September 12, 2013, also posted by the New York Times on September 11, 2013, as “A Plea for Caution From Russia” at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/12/opinion/putin-plea-for-caution-from-russia-on-syria.html) The article by Vladimir Putin published in The New York Times. Recent events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so […]

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Putin Seizes on Syria to Cement Russia Middle East Sway

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer – September 11, 2013) Vladimir Putin is seizing the chance to keep Russia’s foothold in the Middle East. President Barack Obama yesterday postponed a decision on military action in Syria after Putin proposed to put Syria’s chemical weapons under international control, shifting the global debate. It allows Putin to keep a role in molding […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Vladimir Putin’s news conference following the G20 Summit

File Photo of Russia-Hosted G20 Banners Outdoors Before Yellow and White Facade of Historic-Looking Building

(Kremlin.ru – St Petersburg, September 6, 2013) Vladimir Putin summed up the results of the G20 Summit and answered journalists’ questions. PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Ladies and gentlemen, friends! To start with, I’d like to say that in the five years of its existence the G20 has really become an effective mechanism for elaborating and coordinating common approaches to […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Obama finds himself trapped on Syrian issue

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Nikolay Surkov, RBTH – September 5, 2013) Russian pundits believe that the U.S. is hesitating to strike Damascus alone, but it is not willing to give up, either. Moscow does not believe the U.S. intelligence information that claims government forces in Syria used chemical weapons, and it does not intend to reconsider its […]

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Interfax: Russian-US differences on Syria not cold war – pundit

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

(Interfax – Moscow, September 5, 2013) Russia does not set itself the objective of establishing influence in the Middle East and there is no reason either to speak of a “cold war” with the USA, chairman of the Council for Foreign and Defense Policy (SVOP) Fedor Lukyanov believes. “The positions (of the Russian Federation and the USA) are indeed diametrically […]

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Western military intervention in Syria highly likely – Russian experts

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(Interfax – August 27, 2013) The likelihood of Western military intervention in Syria is very high, Sergey Karaganov, honorary chairman of the presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy (SVOP) think-tank, has said. “Unfortunately, the concentration of troops in the region is such that a war may start. The USA may strike within the next two months, even […]

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Interfax: No ‘easy victory’ for USA, NATO in case of attack on Syria – Russian source

Syria Map

(Interfax – Zhukovskiy, Moscow Region, August 27, 2013) In case of a military operation in Syria, Western countries will not be able to secure an easy victory since Syrian troops are armed with Russian Buk-M2E air defence systems and other air defence means, a military-diplomatic source told Interfax AVN news agency on Tuesday (27 August). “If the US army, together […]

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Interfax: U.S. interference in Syria fraught with geopolitical catastrophe – military expert

Syria Map

(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 26, 2013) The possible military interference of the United States and its allies in Syria will have catastrophic consequences for the situation at Middle East, military expert, member of the Russian Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee Igor Morozov said. “The military interference of the U.S. and its allies in Syria will lead to a geopolitical explosion […]

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Confusion and Irritation Reign in Global Politics

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(RIA Novosti – Fyodor Lukyanov, Editor-in-Chief of the Russia in Global Affairs journal, authoritative source of expertise on Russian foreign policy and global developments – July 11, 2013) The events in Egypt have come to represent a colorful culmination of yet another fall-summer season in world politics, the keynotes of which are: on the one hand, the general inability to […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Morsi’s ouster won’t solve Egypt’s problems

Map of Egypt and Environs`

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Grigory Kosach, special to RBTH – July 7, 2013 – Grigory Kosach is a professor at the Russian State University for the Humanities) Russia must play an active role in helping to restore stability in the country. The question of whether Mohamed Morsi’s overthrow will become a blessing or a curse for Egypt […]

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Russia’s opportunity in Egypt

Map of Egypt and Environs`

From: IRASTRAUS@aol.com (Ira Straus) Date: Thu, 4 Jul 2013 12:42:04 -0400 (EDT) Subject: Russia’s opportunity in Egypt Now is the time for Russia to say it was right all along about Egypt. And to play a role in helping consolidate the latest corrective, which brings back a prospect for a moderate regime in that pivotal country. The U.S. has lost […]

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Russian experts predict prolonged military rule for Egypt

Map of Egypt and Environs`

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Oleg Fomichev, special to RBTH – July 4, 2013) Pundits welcome army interference in the stand-off between Morsi and the opposition. Against the background of the political showdown in Egypt and its President Mohamed Morsi’s resignation, RBTH offers a selection of expert opinions from Russian observers on the future of the largest country […]

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Arab Spring has led to chaos rather than democracy – Russian Duma deputy

Alexei Pushkov file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, July 4, 2013) The ongoing events in Egypt confirm that the so-called Arab Spring has led not to democratic renewal but to chaos, says Russian State Duma international affairs committee head Alexei Pushkov. “The events in Egypt show that there can’t be a quick and gentle transition from an authoritarian regime to political democracy. There can’t be […]

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After Egypt Revolt, Russia Says Justified in Arab Spring Skepticism

Middle East Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – July 5, 2013) As turmoil once again grips Egypt, with the overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi following days of mass protests in Cairo, one high-ranking Russian official has responded smugly: We told you this would happen. “The Arab Spring has only led to chaos in Egypt and a bloody foreign-backed drama […]

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Turkey won’t have ‘Arab spring’ – Senator Shnyakin

Turkey map

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 6, 2013) Valery Shnyakin, military expert and deputy head of the Federation Council committee on international affairs, believes the situation with protests in Turkey will gradually stabilize and will not follow the “Arab spring” scenario. “Turkey is a special country in the Arab world. It’s a secular and democratic state and I think Prime Minister Erdogan […]

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Moscow believes Gulf countries backed by West hindering Syria conference – newspaper

Middle East Map

(Interfax – MOSCOW, May 29, 2013) Moscow believes that some Persian Gulf countries supported by the United States and other Western countries are hampering the convention of a new international conference on Syria, Kommersant reported in its Wednesday issue. “The position and provocations (by Persian Gulf countries) are possibly the main factor complicating the convention of the conference,” Kommersant cited […]

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Top Russian diplomat on problems with USA over Syria conference

Syria Map

(Interfax – Moscow, May 28, 2013) Russia and the USA have not yet succeeded in aligning their positions on a number of important parameters for an international conference on Syria, according to Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov. “There remain issues and aspects of this major international crisis on which the positions of Russia and the USA have not converged,” Ryabkov said […]

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Attempts to westernize Middle East, African states add to tensions – Gen. Sergun

Middle East Map

(Interfax – MOSCOW, May 23, 2013) Attempts to introduce “Western standards” of state structure in the Middle East and North Africa add to regional tensions, head of the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Administration Lt. Gen. Igor Sergun said. “In our opinion, attempts to introduce “Western standards” of state structure in the Middle East and North Africa, which are objectively […]

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Russian Foreign Minister argues that Middle East tensions may be advantageous to many countries

Middle East Map

(Interfax – April 11, 2013) Middle East conflicts are advantageous to those who would like the region to have smaller and less influential countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with the RTVI channel. “This may be advantageous to many. For instance, those who want the region to have less influential countries. Those who want these countries […]

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Chagrin and Ambivalence in Putin’s Foreign Policy

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 10, Issue 45 – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Pavel K. Baev – March 11, 2013) Entering the second year of his third presidency, President Vladimir Putin has shown uncharacteristically scant interest to foreign policy matters perhaps suspecting that Western “partners” are sponsoring Russia’s opposition movement and that neighboring post-Soviet leaders and even Chinese “friends” are […]

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Be Careful: Russia is Back to Stay in the Middle East

Middle East Map

(Oilprice.com – Felix Imonti – February 25, 2013) Russia is back.  President Vladimir Putin wants the world to acknowledge that Russia remains a global power.  He is making his stand in Syria. The Soviet Union acquired the Tardus Naval Port in Syria in 1971 without any real purpose for it.  With their ships welcomed in Algeria, Cuba or Vietnam, Tardus […]

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Russian-Arab relations: Exporting immoral values?

Middle East Map

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – www.rbth.ru – Alaa Omar, special to RBTH – February 8, 2013) In response to Russia’s support of Bashar Assad in Syria, Russia has been condemned in Arab media and press as hostile to Islam, exporting only “immoral values” to the region. Independent journalist and political analyst Alaa Omar takes a look at the other side […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Medvedev] Interview with Bloomberg TV

File Photo of "World Economic Forum" Display at Davos from Past Session

(Government.ru – January 23, 2013) Question (as translated): Good morning! We have Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev here today. Forty-five minutes from now, he will deliver a keynote speech here in Davos, at the World Economic Forum. Mr Prime Minister, thank you for coming. By the way, you are the first leader who agreed to be interviewed without wearing a […]

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Primakov alarmed by inter-Islamic strife in Middle East

Middle East Map

Moscow, January, 15, Interfax – Russia’s ex prime-minister, Mercury Club president and Academy of Science Presidium member Evgeny Primakov said it is wrong to look at the Islamic forces in the Middle East as a single camp. “About two years have passed since the Arab Spring wave of revolutionary protests toppled the authoritarian rulers in the Middle East and North […]

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Another Year with Bashar al-Assad

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

(RIA Novosti – Fyodor Lukyanov – January 10, 2013) Fyodor Lukyanov is Editor-in-Chief of the Russia in Global Affairs journal, an authoritative source of expertise on Russian foreign policy and global developments, online at http://eng.globalaffairs.ru/ The year 2013 began much like 2012 ­ with news of fighting in Syria and predictions that the tide is about to turn in the […]

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NEWSLINK: Russia’s Syria Support said to be a Losing Proposition

Middle East Map

[Russia’s Syria Support Said to be a Losing Proposition – Vedomosti – Vladislav Inozemtsev, doctor of economic sciences, director of the Center for Study of the Post-Industrial Society – December 24, 2012 – no accessible link] Vladislav Inozemtsev writes in Vedomosti on Russia’s Syria policy, also focusing strongly on economic factors such as oil, gas and Syrian debt. At the […]

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Russians blame USA for stirring up Middle East conflict – poll

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

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