JRL NEWSWATCH: “Biden agrees to meet Zelenskiy, but after the Putin summit” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris in Berlin

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“… Biden has invited … Zelenskiy to meet at the White House in July …. Zelenskiy says he learned through the press – not … the State Department – that … Biden … decided to stop trying to block a Russian pipeline that Ukraine sees as a dire national security threat. … [Zelenskiy, in a news interview,] spoke of his […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia-U.S. relations at their lowest since Cold War ended – presidential aide Ushakov” – Interfax

Yuri Ushakov file photo, adapted from image at ommerce.gov

MOSCOW. June 8 (Interfax) – Russia-U.S. relations are at their lowest since the end of the Cold War era, and thus, things need to change to the benefit of both countries and the world at large, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said at the Primakov Readings forum. It would be logical to pay attention to Russia-U.S. relations ahead of the […]

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

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

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

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Cuts Dollar Holdings From $119 Billion Wealth Fund Amid Sanctions” – Bloomberg

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Russia said it will eliminate the dollar from its oil fund [the National Wellbeing Fund] to reduce vulnerability to Western sanctions …. The wealth fund currently holds 35% of its liquid assets in dollars, … about $41.5 billion, with the same amount in euros and the rest spread across yuan, gold, yen and pounds. After the change, the fund’s assets […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian elite hope Biden summit will boost foreign ties” – Financial Times

File Photo of Joe Biden at Podium in Front of U.S. and State Department Flags, adapted from image at usembassy.gov

“Better western relations are high on the wishlist at annual St. Petersburg forum, the country’s answer to Davos.” “… Biden and Putin will meet in Geneva … June 16 … at a summit pitched at ‘normalising’ relations between the west and Moscow. Ties have steadily eroded … the past seven years because of allegations of Russian election meddling, tit-for-tat sanctions […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Biggest Navy Exercise in a Generation Will Include 25,000 Personnel Across 17 Time Zones” – Military.com

File Photo of Portions of U.S. Navy Carrier Groups Lincoln and Stennis in Mediterranean, adapted from defense.gov image relating to defense.gov video

“Tens of thousands of sailors and Marines will participate in the biggest U.S. naval exercise in a generation to test how the services will fight across vast distances as they prepare for possible conflict with China or Russia. Aircraft carriers, submarines, planes, unmanned vessels, and about 25,000 personnel will participate in Large Scale Exercise 2021 … [beginning] late summer. … […]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Arctic-Superpower Jostling Heats Up as Russia Takes on Key Role” – Bloomberg

File Photo of Arctic Fox Running Across Snow, adapted from image at USGS.gov, with photo credit to Mike Lockart and USGS

“Russia’s Sergei Lavrov claimed this week that ‘this is our land and our waters’ as NATO allies boost military activity” “… Russian and U.S. diplomats … [signal] rising tensions between [powers] racing to seize Arctic resources …. Arctic Council [participants] weren’t due to discuss security. But … Russia’s … Sergei Lavrov declared … the Arctic ‘is our land and our […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Google Files First Lawsuit Against Russia’s Internet Censor” – Moscow Times

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

… The company filed a lawsuit April 23 against Roskomnadzor in the Moscow Arbitration Court […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine urges Congress to maintain sanctions on Nord Stream 2” – Financial Times

Gas Flame file photo

“Completion of pipeline would be ‘victory for Russia’ and a ‘personal loss’ for Biden, says Zelensky.” “Ukraine has stepped up … pressure on Washington over the contentious Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, appealing to … Congress to maintain sanctions against the project. The Ukrainian parliament … overwhelmingly backed a resolution calling on U.S. lawmakers to override […]

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

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

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

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The Prospects for U.S.-Russia Climate Engagement Under Moscow’s Chairing of the Arctic Council

File Photo of Arctic Fox Running Across Snow, adapted from image at USGS.gov, with photo credit to Mike Lockart and USGS

… [T]he rotating chairmanship of the Arctic Council … intergovernmental forum … will pass from Iceland to Russia for a two-year term. … [as] the organization grapples with multiple challenges and Russia-West relations have hit another historic low […]

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Did The West Promise Moscow That NATO Would Not Expand? Well, It’s Complicated.

NATO Meeting File Photo

… And so, more than two decades after NATO’s original 16-member Cold War composition was first enlarged to take in three former Warsaw Pact states, and with Putin poised to potentially stay in office into the 2030s, the past is very much present […]

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

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

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

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “We fund Russian democracy protesters, boasts U.S. group” – The Times (UK)

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

“Senior officials at a U.S. government-funded organisation have been tricked into boasting about helping … pro-democracy movements in Russia and … a ‘modest but significant’ contribution to … protests in Belarus …. [S]tatements by … National Endowment for Democracy (NED) [officials,] … funded by … Congress, are expected to be seized upon by officials in Belarus and Russia as proof […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Time for jaw-to-jaw with Moscow” – The Hill/ E. Wayne Merry

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

“… Through mutual expulsions of diplomatic staff and other measures, Russia and America are not just in as bad shape for dialogue as in the worst days of the Cold War … but in even worse shape. … This is madness, and … dangerous. … Diplomacy … is the vital business of managing international disputes so they do not produce […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Bullying Russia yearns to be treated as a great power; Vladimir Putin generates suspense in world affairs like some geopolitical Alfred Hitchcock” – Financial Times

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

“… As Russia’s chief decision maker, Putin’s personal moods obviously matter. However, more important is the logic of the Russian system of power, with its demand for … great power status. According to this logic, Russia cannot be ignored and must be a member of the global concert of powers. It believes macho bullying is the entry ticket …. Despite […]

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

Globe Highlighting NATO Members

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

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

Gas Flame file photo

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

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RUSSIALINK: “Should Russian Banks Be Scared of SWIFT Disconnection?” – Moscow Times

File Image of Artist's Conception of Globe with Curved Connecting Lines of Light Passing Through Space, adapted from image at fincen.gov

Talk of financial Armageddon should Russia be kicked out of the system may be overblown. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jake Cordell – April 22, 2021) Jake covers business & economics for The Moscow Times. Ukraine has joined the chorus of voices calling for Russia to be disconnected from SWIFT — the financial messaging network that underpins the global banking […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia: Foreign Policy and U.S. Relations [Excerpt]” – Congressional Research Service

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

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rise to leadership more than 20 years ago, tensions have increased steadily between Russia and the United States […]

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Punitive Response to SolarWinds Would Be Misplaced, But Cyber Deterrence Still Matters

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Erica D. Borghard – March 31, 2021) Erica D. Borghard is a senior fellow with the New American Engagement Initiative at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. She also serves as a senior director on the U.S. Cyberspace Solarium Commission. This op-ed is part of a new debate from Russia Matters and […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Moscow ready for joint work with Washington on international stability issues, not looking for confrontation – Lavrov” – Interfax

Sergei Lavrov file photo

PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY. April 1 (Interfax) – Russia is not looking for confrontation with the United States, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “We’re not looking for any sort of confrontation. President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has said on multiple occasions, including after the regretful interview given by [U.S. President] Joe Biden to the ABC television channel, that we […]

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

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

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

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U.S. Response to SolarWinds Cyber Penetrations: A Good Defense Is the Best Offense

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

According to U.S. officials, Russia is the likely perpetrator of the SolarWinds cyber compromise of federal agencies, private sector firms, NGOs and academic institutions […]

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Can the Biden Administration Get Russia Policy Right?

File Photo of Joe Biden at Podium in Front of U.S. and State Department Flags, adapted from image at usembassy.gov

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Thomas Graham – March 18, 2021) In its first two months, the Biden administration has made two central planks of its Russia policy crystal clear: It has no interest in a reset, and Russia is not a priority. The sharp break with President Donald Trump’s aspirations was plainly intended as a message to both the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Recalls Its Ambassador to the U.S. for Consultations” – Wall Street Journal

Cropped File Photo of Anatoly Antonov with U.S. Flag, adapted from image at state.gov

“Moscow’s move follows a critical U.S. intelligence report about Russian efforts to interfere in the 2020 presidential election.” “… [Russian Ambassador to the United States] Anatoly Antonov[‘s] … summon[ing] to Moscow came … after a U.S. intelligence report … accus[ing] … Putin of … a wide-ranging influence operation to interfere in the 2020 U.S. election …. Antonov was … previously […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin: U.S. will have to take Russia’s interests into account” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. March 18 (Interfax) – Russia will cooperate with the United States, but on its own terms, and Washington will have to deal with that, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “I know that the U.S., the U.S. leadership is generally inclined to have certain relations with us, but on issues which the U.S. itself is interested in and on its […]

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

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

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

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Army releases Arctic strategy focused on Russia, climate change” – UPI

Arctic Map

“The [U.S.] Army[‘]s … ‘Regaining Arctic Dominance[]’ [strategy] includes plans to establish headquarters with combat brigades specially trained and equipped to increase cold-weather dominance …. [and plans] to improve … quality of life ….  [T]he Navy and Marine Corps released its own Arctic strategy saying the United States needs to be more aggressive [there] due to threats from Russia and […]

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Calls by U.S. for Economic Transition in Russia From Reagan Through Trump

Cash, Calculator, Pen

… Russia’s transition to a market economy is at least partially completed, though estimates point to the state holding between 33 and 46 percent of the economy … concentrated in “strategic” sectors such as energy and banking […]

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

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

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

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JRL NEWSWATCH AUDIO: “Biden Faces Decision On Gas Pipeline From Russia That Could Alienate Germany” – NPR

Gas Flame file photo

“The Biden administration has to decide whether to alienate Germany … continuing … Trump administration[] sanctions on companies building Germany’s gas pipeline from Russia. … Hundreds of feet below the surface of the Baltic Sea is an enormously long pipeline, snaking from northern Russia to Germany. … Nord Stream 2 … [would] roughly double Europe’s energy supply when … finished. […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin: Attempts to meddle in Russia’s sociopolitical affairs from outside have no prospects” – Interfax

Putin at Desk

MOSCOW. Feb 24 (Interfax) – The line that is being pursued by some foreign countries to interfere in Russia’s sociopolitical affairs has no prospects, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “We’ve been exposed to a purposeful information campaign involving categorical and unwarranted accusations on a whole variety of issues. Even some absurd and ridiculous conspiracy theories have been employed in an […]

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U.S. Sanctions Against Russia May Be Recalibrated, But Overhaul Unlikely

File Photo of Joe Biden at Podium in Front of U.S. and State Department Flags, adapted from image at usembassy.gov

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Ingrid Burke – Feb. 19, 2021) Ingrid Burke is a fellow at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. As President Joe Biden settles into the Oval Office, he has filled the upper echelons of his new administration with officials who have vocally supported sanctions against Russia. While it is difficult to predict specific […]

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