Russia Relations Unlikely To Improve, Regardless Of U.S. Election Outcome

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

Despite the differences, analysts say … prospects for warmer ties are faint … that relations – which sunk to post-Cold War lows following Moscow’s interference in Ukraine … and may have declined further since … – could get worse, regardless of who wins […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Film About Gorbachev and Reagan in Pre-Production; From the team that made ‘The Death of Stalin'” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Reel of Film

The historic 1986 Reykjavik summit between Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. President Ronald Reagan will be the backdrop for a new satirical film […]

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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: “U.S. Broadens Sanctions to Thwart Completion of Russian Gas Pipeline” – Wall Street Journal/ Brett Forrest

State Department Building and U.S. Flag

“New measures target companies that would provide services or funding for vessels working on Nord Stream 2” “… [2019] U.S. Sanctions … focused on pipe-laying vessels for Nord Stream 2 and halted the $10.5 billion [natural gas] pipeline[,] … designed to transmit Russian gas to Germany, 100 miles short … beneath the Baltic Sea. … [A] State Department [web announcement] […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Why Russia – and Putin – might be worried about a Biden presidency” – CNBC/ Holly Ellyatt

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

“At the very least, analysts expect that a victory for Biden would increase tensions between Washington and Moscow, and would raise the probability of new sanctions on Russia. The country is already operating under international sanctions on some key sectors and Russian officials close to Putin, for actions including its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, interference in the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Call Putin’s Bluff on Election Interference; The United States Should Take Russia Up on Its Offer to Sign a Pledge” – Foreign Affairs/ Anna Arutunyan

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

“The Kremlin has … pushed proposals for the United States and Russia to work together to protect elections against hacking …. Putin expanded the proposal into a package deal: the two countries would pledge not to interfere in each other’s internal political processes, and they would also restore dialogue, devise a mechanism to prevent cyberattacks, and share information on cybersecurity. […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Peskov denies that Russia could have shipped defective ventilators to U.S.” – Interfax

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

MOSCOW. Oct 21 (Interfax) – Russia could not have shipped defective ventilators to the United States, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. “This couldn’t have happened. These ventilators are broadly used in medical institutions and hospitals in very different cities across Russia. Some ventilators might break down. Any device sometimes breaks down and requires repairs,” Peskov told journalists when commenting on […]

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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: “Four Myths about Russian Grand Strategy” – Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)/ Robert Person

Satellite

“Myth #1: Russia’s grand strategy is driven by ideology …. Myth #2: Russia seeks to reconstruct the Soviet Union or Russian Empire. … Instead of a formal territorial empire … Russia endeavors to establish a privileged and exclusive sphere of influence across former Soviet territory. … [with] a seat at the table in the capital of every post-Soviet country. … […]

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The Quincy Institute seeks a Research Fellow on Europe and Russia

File Photo of U.S. Embassy Moscow, with Russian Foreign Ministry Building in Distance

From: Trita Parsi <trita@quincyinst.org> Date: Tue, Sep 22, 2020 Subject: The Quincy Institute seeks a Research Fellow on Europe and Russia The Quincy Institute, a restraint-based think tank in DC, is seeking a Russia researcher (see posting here: jobs.lever.co/quincyinst/676f756e-d16f-480c-8ebe-1ab39777eb31). As you may know, we are very worried about the threat-inflated image of Russia in Washington and support a more constructive […]

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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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Levada: Russians Continue to View U.S. as Most Hostile, Belarus and China as Friendliest Allies

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – RM Staff – Sept. 17, 2020) The share of Russians with a good or very good attitude toward the U.S. remained steady at 42 percent from January to August 2020, as did the share of Russians who have a bad or very bad attitude toward the U.S. (46 percent), according to the Levada Center’s latest report […]

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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: “Spinning good news on arms control” – The Hill/ Steven Pifer

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“… A speedy conclusion could be possible on extending New START, which would be in the U.S. interest. Putin has said Moscow would extend without conditions. … [C]hief [U.S.] arms control envoy[] Marshall Billingslea[] has called New START ‘deeply flawed.’ … Billingslea backed away from the demand that China [get involved] … [yet] continued to insist … Russia agree to […]

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RUSSIALINK: “The West Is Outraged By Navalny’s Novichok Poisoning. That’s No Guarantee of Tough Sanctions.” – Moscow Times

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

Looming U.S. elections and disparate EU interests could translate into a symbolic response. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jake Cordell – Sept. 4, 2020) Lawmakers across Europe and the U.S. are scrambling to respond to the revelation that Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny was poisoned with Novichok – a lethal Soviet-era military nerve agent – with the possibility of fresh sanctions […]

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The Role of Russian Espionage in Re-Shaping the West

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

… This brings me to the most critical point about the book. Instead of referencing sources for various claims and assertions, the author provides notes … at the end …. Despite the fallacy of the incomplete evidence, Harding’s hypothesis is embraced enthusiastically by many […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Trump Administration Seeks Pre-Election Win on Nuclear Arms Deal with Russia” – Time/ John Walcott

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“… U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea met with [Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov] … in Vienna to discuss extending the … New START agreement … [currently limiting] long-range weapons ….  [with the U.S. seeking to make New START extension] a first step toward limiting … entire nuclear arsenals … backed by rare bipartisan consensus on […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Biegun Says U.S. Sees No Indication of Russian Military Plans in Belarus” – Reuters

Cropped File Photo of Stephen Biegun, adapted from image featured at state.gov

“Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun [was in Lithuania,] signal[ing] a greater U.S. role … trying to settle … strife … erupt[ing] when Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko cracked down on peaceful protesters … reject[ing] his claim of a landslide election victory [claiming it was rigged]. … Asked about possible Russian military intervention … [Biegun] said: ‘Of course that would be […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov: Chances to extend New START Treaty aren’t great, but they haven’t dried up yet” – Interfax

File Photo of Stealth Bomber in Flight

(Interfax – Aug. 18, 2020 – interfax.com/newsroom/exclusive-interviews/69585/) Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has given an interview to Interfax correspondent Ksenia Baygarova, in which he speaks about the results of the second round of strategic stability consultations in Vienna, chances to extend the New START Treaty and comments on calls by the United States not to interfere in the situation […]

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Exposing Putin’s Hidden Riches Won’t Stop Russia’s Election Meddling

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

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Lincoln Pigman – Aug. 19, 2020) Lincoln Pigman is a research fellow at the Foreign Policy Center and an alumnus of King’s College London’s Department of War Studies and Oxford University’s School of Global and Area Studies. Four years have passed since the alarm was first raised about Russia’s meddling in U.S. elections, from its […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin is reckless because we allow him to be” – Washington Post/ David Ignatius

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium with United Russia Logo, Gesturing

“… Putin keeps defying the norms of international behavior. … Intelligence agencies have … evidence … Russian military intelligence officers, from … shadowy Unit 29155 of the GRU, paid … Taliban … whose bombing killed three U.S. Marines in … 2019. … [S]ources … [claim] forensic links between the [Afghan operation] GRU officers … and GRU colleagues who carried out […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Vladimir Putin Is No Mastermind, But He Has Played Russia’s Cards Well; It verges on impossible to forecast what Moscow will do tactically. What it will do strategically, however, is more intelligible and thus more predictable.” – The National Interest/ James Holmes

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“…. The Russian armed forces … have to live within their means. Russia depends heavily on exporting oil and natural gas … [L]ow energy prices constrict … national income and … ability to afford pricey armaments. Prices …  have run off a cliff amid coronavirus lockdowns. … [F]or instance … the Severnoye Design Bureau, a division of the United Shipbuilding […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Unwanted Truths: Inside Trump’s Battles With U.S. Intelligence Agencies” – New York Times Magazine/ Robert Draper

DNI Seal and Smaller Seals of Agencies Related to DNI

“Last year, intelligence officials gathered to write a classified report on Russia’s interest in the 2020 election. An investigation from the magazine uncovered what happened next.” “… the O.D.N.I. at last acknowledged publicly that Russia ‘is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate … Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia “establishment.”‘ … also assert[ing] for the first […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Warns It Will See Any Incoming Missile as Nuclear” – AP

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“Russia will perceive any ballistic missile launched at its territory as a nuclear attack that warrants a nuclear retaliation, the military warned …. in … official military newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star) … [a warning] directed at the United States, which has worked to develop long-range non-nuclear weapons. [I]n June [Russia published its] … nuclear deterrent policy … envisag[ing] … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The U.S. Is Close to Killing Russia’s Nord Stream 2 Pipeline; But it’s a race between slow construction and slower sanctions” – Foreign Policy/ Amy Mackinnon

Gas Flame file photo

“Russia’s controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is close to the finish line – but might be closer to finished as a viable project, after one of the companies involved in laying the pipe on the Baltic seafloor said … it would withdraw …. For years, the United States has tried to kill off Russia’s latest effort to strengthen its […]

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RUSSIALINK: Moscow Times: “U.S. Spams Russians With Texts Offering Rewards for Election Meddling Info”

File Image of Artist's Rendition of Cellphones, adapted from image at nih.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Aug. 7, 2020) Russians are receiving spam text messages offering huge rewards in exchange for information about their country’s efforts to interfere in the United States’ presidential election. News of the SMS messages came after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the $10 million reward in an attempt to prevent foreign interference in the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “NPT dismantlement to increase number of nuclear threshold states – Russian General Staff” – Interfax

File Photo of U.S.-Russian Senior Military Meeting, adapted from image at defense.gov with photo credit to Dominique A. Pineiro

MOSCOW. Aug 7 (Interfax) – The U.S. policy aimed at withdrawing from the agreements limiting nuclear weapons may have negative implications for the entire world, representatives of the Russian General Staff said in an article published by the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper on Friday. “The future of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is a big […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “There Is No Russian Plot Against America; The Kremlin’s Electoral Interference Is All Madness and No Method” – Foreign Affairs/ Anna Arutunyan

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

“… Researchers and investigators have revealed … activities of [Kremlin-connected] Russian actors … during the 2016 election. … [yet with] comparatively little information about the real impact[,] … still less about … precise objectives. … Russian officials say and write a great deal about the United States …. What emerges is not a cunning, systematic scheme to corrode American democracy […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Lawmakers Offer Bill to Boost Aid for Ukraine Military” – Reuters

American Flag and Partial View of U.S. Capitol Dome, adapted from image at aoc.gov

“… [S]enators [from both parties] introduced legislation to back Ukraine with $300 million of annual military financing …. The bill also authorizes up to $4 million to train Ukrainian military officers, requires a [DOD] … and State Department report on the requirements of Ukraine’s armed forces and a plan to supply security assistance and requires the appointment of a special […]

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Pompeo Says U.S. Will ‘Do Everything’ To Stop Nord Stream 2 Project

Gas Flame file photo

… The United States opposes the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would run under the Baltic Sea and double Russia’s direct natural gas exports to Germany while bypassing Ukraine […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “[U.S.] Election Spotlight: Russia [– Trump vs. Biden]” – Council on Foreign Relations

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

“In the wake of Western efforts to develop a cooperative post–Cold War relationship with Russia, the country has reemerged as a top U.S. rival and an object of mistrust and suspicion. … * * * Donald J. Trump (R – Incumbent) Trump has cultivated cordial relations with … Putin and dismissed accusations that his campaign cooperated with Moscow’s interference in […]

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Where U.S. Sees Democracy Promotion, Russia Sees Regime Change

File Photo of U.S. Embassy Moscow, with Russian Foreign Ministry Building in Distance

In the aftermath of the revelation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election … Putin rejected those claims and accused the U.S. of interfering in Russian elections instead […]

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Report: U.S. Officials Say Russia-Backed Websites Spread Coronavirus Disinformation

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

U.S. officials have identified three English-language websites that they say Russia is using to spread disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic to exploit the U.S. struggle to contain the outbreak […]

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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: “Revelation of Steele’s primary source triggers focus on think tank tied to Clinton, Biden” – Just the News/ John Solomon

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“The Obama team’s ties to the Brookings Institution are deep, and so are those of impeachment witness Fiona Hill.” “[Igor Danchenko,]… Christopher Steele’s primary sub-source … was an American resident tied to a liberal think tank close to the Obama administration …. In … [FISA] warrant [applications] targeting Trump adviser Carter Page, the FBI referred to the primary sub-source … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Joe Biden May Want to Forget About the Russia Investigation” – Wall Street Journal/ Gerard Baker

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

The candidate struggles to field softballs from friendly media. … It’s well past time … Biden was asked … what he knew about … serious malfeasance by [Obama administration] officials [in the Russiagate investigation targeting the Trump campaign]. … We know … Biden was kept abreast of … the investigation […]

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EVENT & WEBCAST: “The Putin Profile: A Conversation with Dr. Fiona Hill” – Kennan Institute, Wednesday, July 29

Redacted File Photo of Fiona Hill, adapted form image at seanmaloney.house.gov

… Putin’s presidency has lasted over 20 years. … [H]e further cemented his grip on power with … constitutional amendments[] giving him the ability to extend his presidency to 2036 …. Join us … for a conversation with Dr. Fiona Hill on … Putin, his regime, and how her thinking on Putin has evolved […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S., Russia Hold Talks on Space Security” – Wall Street Journal/ Michael R. Gordon

Space in Low Earth Orbit with Partial Sun

“Two space powers are at odds over goals, with U.S. seeking voluntary norms, Russia aiming for a treaty” “The U.S. and Russia … [are holding] their first space-security talks since 2013 … [addressing] how to guard against the increasing militarization of space. [The] Trump administration … hoped … the [Vienna] meeting … would lead to … voluntary norms … and […]

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YouTube Blocks Accounts Of Pro-Kremlin Analyst, Orthodox TV Channel In Russia

Youtube(TM) Logo, adapted from image at oakridge.doe.gov

YouTube has blocked accounts of the Tsargrad TV channel in Russia and its former chief editor, pro-Kremlin analyst Aleksandr Dugin. … Google, which owns YouTube, said … that the accounts were blocked due to the violation of laws on sanctions and trade regulations […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian-U.S. strategic stability consultations have never been so intensive over past decade – Ulyanov to Interfax” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. July 27 (Interfax) – The ongoing consultations on strategic stability within the framework of the working groups in Vienna are the most intensive dialogue on these issues between Russia and the United States over the past ten years, Russian Permanent Representative to International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov said. “I remember not a single instance over the past ten […]

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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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