Russia

Latvia to build fence along Belarus border

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Officials in Latvia said Wednesday that a 120-kilometre (74-mile) border fence with Belarus will be built as soon as a similar fence along the Baltic state’s border with Russia has been completed in 2018 RIGA – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Speaking on Latvian public radio, Olegs Jemasovs, the border guard chief for the southeast Daugavpils region, said 3.7 million euros ($4.3 million) would be spent on securing the country’s eastern borders in 2018, with the total cost of the Belarus fence ... Read More »

Turkey can’t integrate Russian missiles: NATO

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A leading NATO official has said that Turkey will face “consequences” if it purchases a Russian air-defense system “The principal of sovereignty obviously exists in acquisition of defense equipment, but the same way that nations are sovereign in making their decision, they are also sovereign in facing the consequences of that decision,” said Gen. Petr Pavel, chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, on Oct. 25 during a Washington meeting with a group of reporters hosted by the Defense Writers Group. Hurriyet ... Read More »

Don’t Give up on Moldova

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Moldova is stuck in a geopolitical tug-of-war. The West should make more of an effort to pull it into its orbit Andrew Foxall Moldova—Europe’s poorest country—has struggled with the challenges of post-Soviet transition. The National Interest This transition has become vastly more difficult as a result of the breakdown of Europe’s post-Cold War security order in 2014. It is now caught up in a geopolitical tug-of-war between Russia and the West, and is at risk of becoming Europe’s next security crisis, with potential ... Read More »

Russia: 100 years without a revolution

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In Oscar Wilde’s story, Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime, the main character wanted to blow up one of his relatives. Roman Dobrokhotov Al Jazeera Because he didn’t know anything about bombs, he decided to turn to someone with experience. Who in London could he ask for advice? A Russian nihilist, of course! In the late 19th century, Russians were always thought to be associated with revolutionary struggle and political terrorism. There is nothing surprising about that. Crowds of Russian anarchist intellectuals living ... Read More »

Russia Has Grand Designs For the International Order (Op-ed)

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Moscow’s new grand strategy is still in gestation Russia’s foreign policy has come full circle in the last 25 years. Dmitri Trenin  The Moscow Times It started with the rejection of the Soviet Union’s superpower posture, its global geopolitical ambitions, and its ideology. The Russian Federation positioned itself as a “new Russia” — no longer a superpower, with modest ambitions beyond its borders, and willing to go along with the Soviet Union’s former adversaries who became Moscow’s new friends and ... Read More »

Here’s How to Pull Turkey Back From the Brink

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Erdogan gets more authoritarian, and closer to Russia and Iran, every day. But kicking him out of NATO would make things worse. James Stavridis Bloomberg Since its founding nearly a century ago, Turkey’s foreign policy goal has been summed up in a simple phrase: “No problems with our neighbors.” But the situation today is different: “all our neighbors have problems.” And the Turks have plenty of their own. There is no understating how important it is that the U.S. and ... Read More »

The Revolt that Shook the World

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What we can learn from the triumph of the Russian Revolution and its subsequent demise Pete Dolack  History does not travel in a straight line. The Indypendent I won’t argue against that sentence being a cliché. Yet it is still true. If it weren’t, we wouldn’t be still debating the meaning of Russia’s 1917 October Revolution on its centenary, and more than a quarter-century after its demise. Neither the Bolsheviks nor any other party played a direct role in the ... Read More »

The Domestic Challenge to Kyrgyzstan’s Milestone Election

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While Kyrgyzstan’s 15 October elections are a rare milestone for Central Asian democracy, the campaign is exposing dangerous fault lines. Deirdre Tynan  In the largest city of Osh, the new president will have to face down robust local power brokers, defuse Uzbek-Kyrgyz tensions and re-introduce the rule of law. ICG Kyrgyzstan’s forthcoming presidential elections on 15 October are a milestone for Central Asia: for the first time, a president from the region will voluntarily stand down at the end of ... Read More »

How to Turn Battleground Ukraine Into a Success Story

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If the West manages to talk Kiev out of any hasty ill-judged decisions and convince it to accept Moscow’s peacekeeper proposal as it is, then the world will finally see a win-win Anna Tikhonova, Cyril Fokin The National Interest Putin’s early September suggestion that a UN peacekeeping force be sent to the Donbass region triggered a skeptical reaction from the Western block To a certain degree, the Kremlin’s acceptance of the deployment of UN peacekeepers signifies a diplomatic victory of the ... Read More »

Europe still hopeful to get Turkmen gas

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Turkmenistan, a hydrocarbon-rich Central Asian, is still hopeful to see its gas reach the European markets, while Brussels counties talks in this regard. Gulgiz Muradova AzerNews The EU is negotiating with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan over a Trans Caspian Pipeline System, said Anca Paduraru, EU Spokesperson for Energy Union projects. “Negotiations are on-going,” Paduraru said, when answering on progress of the talks. “The EU’s objective has not changed. To diversify the EU’s supplies, the Southern Gas Corridor aims to expand infrastructure ... Read More »

The Twists and Turns along China’s Belt and Road

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China’s trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative could potentially transform relations with over 60 countries across Eurasia, Africa and beyond But to bring the concept to fruition, Beijing must overcome mammoth logistical obstacles, navigate fragile political situations and placate growing regional apprehension surrounding its ambitions. Michael Kovrig  ICG “The project of the century” is how Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi touted the Belt and Road Initiative to the world when addressing the UN General Assembly on 21 September. It was only ... Read More »

On Catalan independence, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden emerge as surprise backers

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Two Moscow-linked figures have emerged as the loudest voices on Twitter amplifying news and commentary about Catalonia’s secession referendum. Chris Zappone The Age Research independently confirmed by Fairfax Media shows Twitter accounts of WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange as well as former National Security Administrator contractor Edward Snowden now account for nearly a third of all Twitter traffic under the hashtag #… Assange has peppered his followers with more than 80 original tweets supporting the Catalan independence referendum, suggesting “the future ... Read More »

Trump may have to sanction Turkey for Russian deal

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Before their meeting Thursday, President Donald Trump praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, bragged about their friendship and claimed U.S.-Turkey relations are at an all-time high. Josh Rogin The Morning Call Trump may not be aware he might soon have to sanction Erdogan for striking a major arms deal with Vladimir Putin‘s Russia. “I think right now we are as close as we’ve ever been. And a lot of that has to do with the personal relationship,” said Trump, on ... Read More »

Production of shelf hydrocarbons to grow to 50 million tonnes by 2035

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By 2035, Russia may produce 22% of oil in the Arctic TYUMEN, September 21. /TASS/. Russian companies may produce 50 million tonnes of hydrocarbons on the shelf by 2035, Russia’s Deputy Minister of Energy Kirill Molodtsov told the Tyumen oil and gas forum on Thursday. “On the shelf we continue building up the production at the current fields,” he said. “The task is to produce about 50 million tonnes by 2035, while currently we produce about 28 million tonnes of ... Read More »

Russia’s S-400s Will Protect Turkey From A “Kurdish Air Force”

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Many people thought that this day would never come, but it’s official – Russian President Putin will sell his Turkish NATO counterpart S-400 missiles, and there’s nothing that the US or NATO can do about… Andrew KORYBKO OrientalReview This is a profound geo-military pivot for Turkey because it solidifies Russia’s role as the country’s high-level strategic partner for decades to come, considering that Russian experts will be relied on to provide maintenance, repairs, spare parts, and upgrades to these anti-aircraft… ... Read More »

What that missile deal really means for Turkey

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The Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile array has been described as the most sophisticated air defense system in the world. It can track up to 80 targets at the same time, aiming two missiles at each one. Yasar Yakis It can destroy aircraft, cruise missiles, medium range missiles, drones and other airborne surveillance systems. And now Turkey has bought it from Russia. Arab News “My colleagues have already signed a deal on S-400s. A deposit has also been paid as far ... Read More »