JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s New Nuclear Doctrine: Don’t Mess With Us – But Let’s Talk” – World Politics Review/ Richard Weitz

Iskander Missile with Launch file photo

  “… Why did Russia decide to publish its deterrence policy now? In part, it could be to dispel alleged Western misperceptions about when Russia might use nuclear weapons, specifically the Pentagon’s assessment that Moscow would threaten to use nuclear weapons – or actually do so – to intimidate an adversary into yielding in a major crisis. Previously referred to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s Global Ambitions Are Upended by Coronavirus’s Heavy Toll in Russia” – Wall Street Journal/ Yaroslav Trofimov, Thomas Grove

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Russian president’s efforts to showcase the country’s strength abroad backfired amid virus troubles at home […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “A brazen foray into the Barents yields predictable Cold War-type friction” – Responsible Statecraft/ Lyle J. Goldstein

File Photo of U.S. Naval Ships in Joint Exercises with UK in Barents Sea, adapted from defense.gov image with photo credit to U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Anthony Nichols

” … [M]ilitary escalations in the High North need more attention … [not] the [U.S.] media focus … on … Russian trolls, social media influence peddlers, spies, and various ‘useful idiots.’ … [W]hen the New York Times … seemingly … tr[ied] to investigate what might actually be going on under the … waters of the Barents and off the Norwegian […]

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RUSSIALINK: “NATO holds first post-Cold War exercise in Barents Sea – Russian Defense Ministry” – Interfax

NATO Meeting File Photo

NATO has stepped up military activity in the Arctic and has begun practicing intercepting Russian ballistic missiles in this area, head of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operative Directorate Sergei Rudskoi said […]

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Poll: Majority of Young Russians Distrust NATO, Don’t Consider Russia a European Country

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Thomas Schaffner, Angelina Flood – May 5, 2020) A majority of young Russians distrust NATO more than any other organization and disagree that Russia is a European country, according to a recent poll conducted by Russia’s independent Levada Center and Germany’s Friedrich Ebert Foundation. These organizations’ research on the opinions of Russia’s “Generation Z” (aged […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “NATO enlargement: evaluating its consequences in Russia” – International Politics/ Kimberly Marten

NATO Meeting file photo

“… There is no question that Russia – its leaders, expert analysts, and public – reacted negatively to NATO enlargement right from the start. … But …. Russia’s unhappiness is overdetermined, and there is no evidence that if NATO enlargement had been avoided, delayed, or altered (while nothing else changed), that Russia could have been reconciled to the idea of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “NATO Outmaneuvers Russia in Balkans” – Wall Street Journal/ James Marson

NATO Meeting File Photo

Albanian Air Base Gets NATO Upgrade as Alliance Plays to Its Strengths in Balkans. Graveyard of obsolete MiGs to become refueling station for NATO planes projecting power eastward. “[NATO] is spending €50 million ($56 million) to upgrade the six-decade-old base [in Kucova, Albania], further cementing its foothold … The alliance also aims to project power from here into the Mediterranean […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Common interests should prevail in Russian-NATO relations – Putin” – Interfax

Globe Highlighting NATO Members

BOCHAROV RUCHEI, Sochi. Dec 3 (Interfax) – Russia stands ready for cooperation with NATO and expects that common security interests will prevail in its dialogue with the alliance, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “London is hosting a NATO summit marking the 70th anniversary of the alliance’s foundation right now, on December 3-4,” Putin said, opening a regular conference on defense […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian envoy urges U.S., NATO countries to store nukes only in own territories, like Russia does” – Interfax

Montage of Radioactivity Symbol and Russian Map with Russian Flag, adapted from images at .gov sites

BRUSSELS. July 17 (Interfax) – Russia urges the United States and other NATO countries to store their nuclear arsenals only in their national territories. “Russia deploys and stockpiles all its nuclear weapons exclusively on the national territory. We call upon U.S. and NATO to follow this practice,” Russian Permanent Representative to international organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov said on Twitter […]

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VIDEO: Ukraine’s President Promises NATO Referendum As Part Of Path To West

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – BRUSSELS, June 5, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/ukraine-president-promises-nato-referendum-as-part-of-path-to-west/29982943.html) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has promised to hold a referendum on NATO membership — a move strongly opposed by Moscow — as the country embarks on a path of European and Euro-Atlantic integration. Speaking in an interview […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Overextending and Unbalancing Russia; Assessing the Impact of Cost-Imposing Options” – RAND

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

“This brief summarizes a report that comprehensively examines nonviolent, cost-imposing options that the United States and its allies could pursue across economic, political, and military areas to stress – overextend and unbalance – Russia’s economy and armed forces and the regime’s political standing at home and abroad. …”

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Ukraine and NATO: Disconnect Between State Policy and Public Opinion Is Less Dangerous Than Russia

NATO Meeting File Photo

“… Zelenskiy has repeatedly reaffirmed his predecessor’s policy of bringing Ukraine ever closer to Europe and has said that, as a citizen, he supports … accession to NATO. However, unlike … Poroshenko, Zelenskiy insists the question of joining the Western military alliance should be decided by a popular referendum. …”

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Inside the West’s Plans for Arctic War Against Russia” – DailyBeast/ Nico Hines

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

“Moscow is growing belligerent in its quest to pry open the icy route to the Atlantic. The U.S. and Britain are racing to catch up, but is it too late?” “… deep in the Arctic Circle, some of the world’s best-trained commandos … struggl[e] to complete an ambush exercise knee-deep in … snow. Britain’s Royal Marines make painfully slow progress […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia Has Ceased ‘All’ Cooperation With NATO, Foreign Ministry Official Says” – Moscow Times

NATO Meeting file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 15, 2019) Russia has stopped all cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said in an interview with state media on Monday. The Western alliance suspended military and civilian cooperation with Russia in the spring of 2014 in response to Moscow’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula. Several disputes, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Military Drills in Arctic Aim to Counter Russia, but the First Mission Is to Battle the Cold” – New York Times/ Helene Cooper

Arctic Map

“… the melting polar ice cap has opened up the Arctic, disappearing what used to be an impenetrable barrier between North America and Russia. … NATO is rushing to try to catch up. … ‘Russia is increasing its military presence in the Arctic,’ said … a [NATO] spokesman … [NATO is] ‘monitoring Russia’s Arctic buildup carefully.’ In fact, Russia has […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Federation Council says dialogue with NATO military, politicians necessary” – Interfax

Globe Highlighting NATO Members

MOSCOW. April 10 (Interfax) – The Federation Council made a statement on the destructive policy of NATO on Wednesday. “The Federation Council of the Russian Federal Assembly believes that a dialogue between the military and politicians of Russia and NATO could play a positive role in this exacerbated situation. We can only regret that the old formats and communication channels […]

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Not an Enemy: Belarus Seeks Warmer Relations With NATO [Excerpt]

Map of Belarus and Environs, adapted from images at cia.gov

(Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Arseny Sivitsky – Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 16, Issue: 40 – March 21, 2019) [Full text: jamestown.org/program/not-an-enemy-belarus-seeks-warmer-relations-with-nato/] Belarus wants to expand constructive dialogue with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on the basis of trust, equality, transparency and mutual respect. Further development of cooperation with the Alliance is limited by institutional and ideological constraints, which […]

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The World’s Most Geopolitically Charged Pipeline

Gas Flame file photo

(Oilprice.com – Tim Daiss – January 19, 2019) Russia’s proposed pipeline to bring more gas from Russian fields into Europe via an undersea pipeline to Germany seems to be unable to shake both geopolitical maneuvering as well as headline-grabbing quotes from both sides of the divide. On Thursday, Wolfgang Ischinger, chairman of the Munich Security Conference, and a seasoned diplomat […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Strange Persistent Troubling Russian Hang-Up of Donald Trump; Trump’s agenda in Europe is Putin’s agenda in Europe. Is that really a coincidence?” – New York Times/ Roger Cohen

New York Times Masthead from 1913 adapted from image at loc.gov

“… The central thrust of Russian foreign policy under President Vladimir Putin is the dismantlement of NATO….”  

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NEWSLINK: “The Daily 202: From Brexit to NATO and the shutdown, Putin is winning so much he might get tired of winning” – Washington Post/ James Hohmann

Historic Washington Post Masthead, adapted from image at nlrb.gov

“James Hohmann is a national political correspondent for The Washington Post. He is the author of The Daily 202, The Post’s flagship political newsletter.”  

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‘No Place for Russia’: How Much Are Old U.S. Ambitions in Europe to Blame for Russia-West Tensions Today?

Globe Highlighting NATO Members

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Joshua Shifrinson – January 3, 2019) Joshua Shifrinson is an assistant professor of international relations at Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies. [Article also appeared at: russiamatters.org/analysis/no-place-russia-how-much-are-old-us-ambitions-europe-blame-russia-west-tensions-today]   BOOK REVIEW “No Place for Russia: European Security Institutions Since 1989” By William H. Hill Columbia University Press, August 2018 [Amazon: https://amzn.to/2AwEbkW] Why have relations […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Is there a glimmer of hope for the INF Treaty?” – Brookings/ Steven Pifer

File Photo of Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan at Table Signing Documents

“… Russian officials said they would like to discuss INF Treaty compliance concerns. … Washington should test whether those suggestions represent just more Kremlin posturing or a serious effort to save the treaty. … NATO foreign ministers stated that … the 9M729 constituted a material breach of the INF Treaty. Secretary of State Pompeo … said that, if Russia did […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Think tank: NATO must prepare to counter a rapid Russia invasion in Europe” – Military Times/ Stephen Losey

NATO Meeting file photo

“Russia is positioned to quickly defeat forward-deployed U.S. and NATO forces and grab land before reinforcements could arrive, according to a new paper from the Atlantic Council …. In the Dec. 13 paper, ‘Permanent Deterrence: Enhancements to the U.S. Military Presence in North Central Europe,’ former NATO Supreme Allied Commander and retired Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove and former Deputy […]

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Isolation and Reconquista: Russia’s Toolkit as a Constrained Great Power

Russian Soldiers Marching

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Marlene Laruelle – December 12, 2018) Marlene Laruelle is a research professor, associate director of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, director of the Central Asia Program and co-director of PONARS Eurasia at The George Washington University. [russiamatters.org/analysis/isolation-and-reconquista-russias-toolkit-constrained-great-power] In 2007, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s famous Munich speech took stock of what Russia considered the failure of the […]

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Standoff Over INF Treaty Enters New Phase As U.S. Reveals Details Of Russian Missile

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Mike Eckel – Dec. 3, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/standoff-over-inf-treaty-enters-new-phase-as-u-s-reveals-details-of-russian-missile/29634906.html) The United States’ top intelligence official has quietly revealed key new details about Russia’s alleged violations of a bedrock Cold War nuclear treaty, an unexpected move that comes as U.S. officials push to build new support from European allies. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Plans to Leave Russian Nuclear Deal, but Is Still Consulting Allies, Official Says; Coats to brief NATO colleagues at Brussels meeting this week on ‘threat’ from Moscow and how to respond” – Wall Street Journal/ Courtney McBride

“The U.S. remains on a path to withdraw from the [INF Treaty] … citing alleged [Russian] violations … but continues to consult with its allies ….  [DNI Dan Coats] …. said he will brief European allies at a [NATO] meeting … [T]he Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty … bars … ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 […]

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With Russia and the U.S., Nuclear Risks Never Go Out of Vogue

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Jon B. Wolfsthal – November 8, 2018 – russiamatters.org/analysis/russia-and-us-nuclear-risks-never-go-out-vogue) Jon B. Wolfsthal is the director of the Nuclear Crisis Group and a former senior director on the National Security Council. This week marks an important nuclear milestone of the Cold War: Thirty-five years ago, the United States almost accidentally provoked the Soviet Union into starting […]

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NATO’s Trident Juncture Exercise as a Deterrence Signal to Russia

Globe Highlighting NATO Members

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Dmitry Gorenburg – November 1, 2018 – russiamatters.org/analysis/natos-trident-juncture-exercise-deterrence-signal-russia) Dmitry Gorenburg is a senior research scientist in the strategic studies division of CNA, a nonprofit research and analysis organization based in Virginia. He is also an associate of Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and the editor of Problems of Post-Communism. This week, NATO […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “NATO Dusts Off a Cold War Skill: Moving Troops; Alliance is holding its biggest military exercise in decades, testing its ability to transport soldiers and equipment by road, rail and water” – Wall Street Journal/ Daniel Michaels

U.S. Army Tanks in Transport Arriving in Germany, adapted from army.mil

“… NATO’s largest exercise since the Cold War. … [involves] 50,000 troops …. [m]oving forces from 30 countries to Norway for … Trident Juncture …. [T]en thousand vehicles, 250 aircraft and 65 ships were dispatched …. * * * NATO and the [EU] … [have] agreed to deepen cooperation … including [with] mobility. The EU … spends billions … annually […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia, the victim? Opposite NATO’s eastern flank, it’s an expansionist West causing anxiety” – Defense News/Matthew Bodner

NATO Meeting file photo

“… NATO has long been Russian President Vladimir Putin’s favorite foreign boogeyman and, as far as political footballs go, this one has been easy and fruitful to kick around at home. … NATO troops and hardware are being forward deployed to former Soviet satellites in eastern Europe; in June, the alliance unveiled a new initiative – dubbed the ‘Four 30s’ […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “More U.S. Marines to train in Norway, closer to Russia” – Reuters

Map of Norway and Region, with Norway Highlighted, adapted from image at cdc.gov

“The United States will more than double the number of Marines stationed in Norway [from 330 to 700] … the Norwegian defence ministry said …. [That and] and moving some of them closer to the border with Russia … triggered a sharp reaction from Moscow, which called the plans ‘clearly unfriendly.’ … Oslo, increasingly concerned about Russia since the [2014] […]

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William Hill: “New Book: No Place for Russia: European Security Institutions Since 1989”

Europe Map

Subject: New Book: No Place for Russia: European Security Institutions Since 1989 Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2018 From: William Hill <williamhhill@gmail.com> I believe the following will be of interest to many of your readers, and would be grateful if you could include it in JRL. As of today (August 14, 2018) my new book — William H. Hill, No Place […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Trump Can’t Split Russia From China – Yet; As Beijing gets stronger, there may be hope for a Kissingerian maneuver” – Bloomberg/Hal Brands

Asia Map

“… In the long term, China represents the larger threat to U.S. interests, as a result of its vast economic and military potential. Yet in the near term … Putin has proved himself to be the more dangerous and disruptive actor. The Russian leader has launched three major military interventions over the last decade – in Georgia, Ukraine and Syria […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Trump Says He Can’t Say if Putin Is Friend or Foe” – Reuters

Europe Map

“… Trump [embarks upon] a tour of Europe … [featuring] a NATO meeting and a visit to Britain. … Trump repeated his criticism of NATO allies for not spending enough on … defense and pointed to [British] political tensions … over … Brexit …. ‘So I have NATO, I have the UK which is in somewhat turmoil, and I have […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH VIDEO: “National Security Adviser John Bolton on ‘Face the Nation,’ July 1, 2018” – CBS

File Photo of John Bolton Raising Hand at United Nations, with United States Nameplate on Desktop in Front, adapted from image at state.gov

“… There are possibilities for … a larger negotiation on … get[ting] Iranian forces out  [of Syria] …. * * * [T]he Russians are always saying to us they want to cooperate on international terrorism …. * * * I had meetings … with … Putin and his foreign minister … defense minister and … diplomatic adviser … the [U.S.] […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Pushes NATO to Ready More Forces to Deter Russian Threat” – Reuters

NATO Meeting file photo

“The United States is pressing European allies to ready more NATO battalions, ships and planes for combat … to shore up NATO’s deterrence against a potential Russian attack. … seek[ing] broad agreement for the plan … when … defense ministers meet, laying the ground for endorsement by NATO leaders at a [July] summit …. [envisioning] 30 land battalions, 30 air […]

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NEWSWATCH: “NATO General Surprised By Lack Of ‘Visible Russian Interference’ In Armenia Crisis [Excerpt]” – RFE/RL

Armenia Map and Flag

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – PRAGUE, May 4, 2018 – also appeared at https://www.rferl.org/a/nato-general-surprised-by-lack-of-visible-russian-interference-in-armenia-s-crisis/29208187.html) “A NATO general says he’s surprised that Russia is not more openly involved in Armenia’s recent tumultuous events that led to longtime leader Serzh Sarkisian being pushed from power. General Petr Pavel, the chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, told RFE/RL on […]

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NEWSLINK: “Revealed: UK’s push to strengthen anti-Russia alliance; Exclusive: ministers will use series of summits to pursue containment strategy and urge rethink of diplomatic dialogue” – The Guardian (UK)/Patrick Wintour

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

“The UK will use a series of international summits this year to call for a comprehensive strategy to combat Russian disinformation and urge a rethink over traditional diplomatic dialogue with Moscow, following the Kremlin’s aggressive campaign of denials over the use of chemical weapons in the UK and Syria. British diplomats plan to use four major summits this year – […]

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NEWSLINK: “NATO Prepares for War With Russia With Simulated Naval and Cyberattacks” – Newsweek/Cristina Maza

Globe Highlighting NATO Members

“… As tensions ratchet up between Moscow and the West, NATO countries, especially those like Estonia that border Russia, are increasingly preparing for the worst. The Locked Shields live-fire cyber exercise is a key part of that preparation. …”

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NEWSWATCH: “Armenia: Why Has Vladimir Putin Not Intervened So Far and Will He?” – Russia Matters/Simon Saradzhyan

Armenia Map and Flag

“The resignation of Armenia’s Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan after more than a week of mass protests in Russia’s backyard begs the question: Why has Moscow not intervened …? … fist-pumping demonstrators bring to mind ‘color revolutions” in the post-Soviet neighborhood that the Kremlin seems to abhor, like the ones in Georgia and Ukraine. But even genuine color revolutions (which Armenia […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia Trained ‘Special Units’ on Door Handle Poisonings, U.K. Says” – New York Times/Ellen Barry

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

“Russia has been researching the application of chemical agents to door handles as a way to assassinate its enemies, and has been training personnel ‘from special units’ to carry out such attacks, said Mark Sedwill, Britain’s national security adviser … in a letter to the secretary general of NATO. … Sedwill’s letter, the most detailed account of British intelligence on […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian officials accuse West of fomenting new Cold War” – AP

Sergei Shoigu file photo

“Top Russian defense and security officials on Wednesday launched diatribes at the West, accusing it of fomenting a new Cold War in a bid to retain waning influence in global affairs. Moscow used an annual security conference attended by top defense officials from Asia, Africa and Latin America to harshly criticize the U.S. and its allies …. Russia-West relations have […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia and NATO: Talking Their Way Out of Another Cold War” – Bloomberg/James Stavridis

NATO Meeting file photo

“… Tactically, the two generals need to create an effective regime to avoid unintended confrontations between NATO and the Russians. … aircraft and ships have been on collision courses …. there have probably also been close … interactions under the ice in the Arctic. The two leaders should see that their staffs confer on ways to reduce the potential for […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia’s been waging war on the West for years. We just haven’t noticed. It’s way past time for the United States and its allies to get serious about Putin’s aggression.” – Washington Post/Max Boot

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

“… The war arguably began in 2008 when Russia invaded Georgia, a pro-Western country that sent troops to Iraq and Afghanistan and was anxious to join NATO. Rather than punishing Vladimir Putin for his aggression, the Obama administration later responded with a “reset” of relations. …”

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Alexander R. Vershbow: “Re: 2018-#8-Johnson’s Russia List [re Russia and NATO expansion]”

Alexander Vershbow file photo

Subject: Re: 2018-#8-Johnson’s Russia List [re Russia and NATO expansion] Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2018 23:24:42 -0500 From: Alexander R. Vershbow <arvershbow@gmail.com> David: Re: JRL No. 8 item 19: Happy New Year. Steve Cohen and others, in accusing the West of “deceiving” Gorbachev and breaking an alleged “promise” not to enlarge NATO, forget that Gorbachev himself refuted this in an […]

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Interfax: New U.S. nuclear doctrine is next step to build infrastructure enabling global strike on Russia – MP Slutsky

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. Jan 15 (Interfax) – The United States’ new nuclear doctrine is aimed at protecting the infrastructure which is being created in Europe to enable a strike on Russia, the State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Leonid Slutsky said on Facebook. “It’s hardly a revelation that the U.S. is building comprehensive infrastructure to support Prompt Global Strike. Under the pretext […]

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Moscow does not rule out U.S.’s plans to secede from INF Treaty, pledges instant mirrored response

File Photo of Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan at Table Signing Documents

MOSCOW. Dec 19 (Interfax) – Moscow believes that the United States is looking for a pretext to quit the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and is pledging an instant mirrored response, the Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Department, Mikhail Ulyanov, told Interfax in an interview on Tuesday. “The stubborn reluctance [of Washington] to support its […]

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NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Military and NATO May Now Target Russia With Cyber Weapons, Marking Huge Policy Change” – Newsweek/ Tom O’Connor

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“… NATO’s recent decision to integrate cyber warfare into its command  … represents a stark 21st-century warning to foes, especially Russia …. Capitalizing on the multinational coalition’s recognition of cyberspace as a theater of operations at last year’s Warsaw Summit, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced … the creation of Cyber Operations Center as part of an overall effort to update and […]

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NEWSLINK: “NATO is headed for a very messy break-up” – Boston Globe/ Stephen Kinzer

Turkey and Environs Satellite Image

“… Recently Turkey and the United States stopped issuing visas to each other’s citizens. This is more than just another travel ban. It is a geopolitical spectacle unique in modern history: two allied countries blocking normal back-and-forth travel. An old relationship has gone deeply sour. …”

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