Russia

NATO Is Obsolete

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“Europe is prosperous and treats America like a patsy. Let it stand on its own.” Before the United States President Donald Trump attempts real diplomacy with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a summit in Helsinki on July 16, he’ll first be subjected to another summit. Christian Whiton The National Interest That first summit is a gathering of leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). These leaders continually assure the United States they are America’s best allies, even as most ... Read More »

Patriotic Mobilisation in Russia

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The Kremlin is fostering a culture of military-tinged patriotism, partly to rally support for armed interventions abroad. ICG The sentiment springs from pride in Russia’s past as a global power and desire to reclaim that status. Its possible co-optation by far-right nationalists, however, should worry Moscow. What’s new? In recent years, the Kremlin has pursued a policy of patriotic mobilisation – encouraging national pride, commemorating past military victories and promoting a vision of Russia as a reborn global power. While ... Read More »

6 US “Allies” That Are Russia’s Newest Partners

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Russia has mastered the art of making new partnerships among nations that in the 20th and much of the 21st century were and in some cases still are traditional American allies. Adam Garrie EurasiaFuture As the long dead realities of the Cold War era become dramatically re-shaped by the age of multipolarity and increased interconnectivity between global regions, it is helpful to look at some of the countries with whom Russia is a close partner or healthy friend in spite ... Read More »

How the Iran sanctions drama intersects with OPEC-plus

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Major states buying oil from Iran are unlikely to heed the US call to drop imports; key allies want a waiver to avoid sanctions; OPEC, meanwhile, will have trouble boosting output in the short-term; the puzzle is not solved, but there are dark clouds. Pepe Escobar Asia Times History may have registered stranger geoeconomic bedfellows. But in the current OPEC-plus world, the rules of the game are now de facto controlled by OPEC powerhouse Saudi Arabia in concert with non-OPEC Russia. Russia ... Read More »

The Transatlantic Rupture

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In the past, Europeans often diminished the value of geography, which would have demanded a closer relationship with Russia, in favor of the geography of values, which justified a transatlantic orientation. When the US is led by an administration that is betraying those values, however, that argument no longer applies. Dominique Moisi Project Syndicate PARIS – The national park of Thingvellir, 30 miles east of Reykjavik, is Iceland’s most important historical site. It is the place where the Vikings founded ... Read More »

Why the World is Not Becoming Multipolar

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In Russia, the concept of multipolarity is usually associated with Yevgeny Primakov. Indeed, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation marked the start of the transition to multipolarity as a key trend in contemporary international life back in 1996.[i] Andrey Kortunov RIAC During his visit to New Delhi as Prime Minister in late 1998, Primakov proposed a plan of trilateral cooperation between Russia, China, and India (RIC) as a practical mechanism for promoting global multipolarity. Sergey Lavrov ... Read More »

Poor but Proud

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The next meeting of the European Council, set to take place on June 28, 2018, promises a certain level of intrigue. Elena Alekseenkova RIAC One reason for this is the expectation that the new Italian government, formed on the basis of the March 4 elections after 80 days of coalition talks and conflict between the president and parliament, will present an ultimatum to Brussels. The ultimatum is expected to include the following points: 1) The cancellation of Italy’s €250-billion debt ... Read More »

British Court Freezes Gazprom Assets For Payment To Ukraine

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The Commercial court in London today gave long-awaited orders to freeze assets of Gazprom in the UK for payment to Ukrainian gas company Naftogaz to settle a recent Stockholm Arbitration award. Tsarizm “Naftogaz today served Gazprom with an order to freeze assets in England and Wales. The order was issued by the Commercial Court in London on June 18, 2018 to enforce the Stockholm arbitration award, whereby Gazprom owes Naftogaz $2.6 bln. In addition to freezing assets, it requires Gazprom ... Read More »

Russia: Government vs. Rights Groups

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The Battle Chronicle For the past four years, the Kremlin has sought to stigmatize criticism or alternative views of government policy as disloyal, foreign-sponsored, or even traitorous. HRW It is part of a sweeping crackdown to silence critical voices that has included new legal restrictions on the internet, on freedom of expression, on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, and on other fundamental freedoms. An enduring, central feature has been the 2012 law requiring independent groups ... Read More »

Russia inserts itself into North Korea game

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Japan’s Abe is looking sidelined while Russia’s Vladimir Putin adroitly places himself in the Korea strategy space M. K. Bhadrakumar Asia Times When it comes to North Korea, Japan and Russia may seem like two “lost souls” in Northeast Asia, standing on the fringes anxiously looking on as China, South Korea and the United States dominate the headlines. The tremors set in motion by the meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore last ... Read More »

Action against Russian meddling cannot threaten our civil liberties

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The greatest threats to civil liberties often occur in the name of “national security.” Alex Baiocco The Hill History has shown that free political speech is almost always among the first rights to be curbed. In the ongoing debate surrounding appropriate remedies and responses to foreign election campaign interference, we must remain skeptical of any proposal that risks repeating this shameful history. This brings us to the Honest Ads Act. The bill’s sponsors in Congress are pitching their proposal as a… Action against ... Read More »

Turkey’s Erdogan Offers Putin to Jointly Produce New Gen S-500 Missile System

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Turkey is eyeing a long-range missile defense system of its own as part of its current effort to enhance the county’s defensive strategic military capabilities. Sputnik Ankara is looking forward to the joint production of a new generation S-500 air and missile defense system with Russia, President Recep Tayyip has said. “I have contacted President Putin with a proposal about the joint production of the S-500,” Erdogan said in an interview with 24 TV. He didn’t mention the… Turkey’s Erdogan Offers… Read More »

US sees TANAP ‘universally’ good for Turkey, Europe

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The United States has expressed very strong support for the trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project (TANAP) that will carry natural gas from Azerbaijan to the European continent via Turkey, describing the $8.5 billion-worth project as a… Serkan Demirtaş – ANKARA Hurriyet “TANAP is pretty much universally good. It’s good for Azerbaijan, good for Turkey. Once the TAP [Trans Adriatic Pipeline Project] is built, it will also be good for Europe,” Sandra Oudkirk, the deputy assistant secretary of the… She came ... Read More »

Typhoon Trump blows G7 off course

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Other leaders thought they’d kept the club together — until the US president tweeted his fury. David M. Hersenhorn Politico LA MALBAIE, Canada — As host of this year’s G7 summit, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seemed to have just one over-arching goal: to get through the gathering without U.S. President Donald Trump blasting it to pieces. Trudeau succeeded — for all of about 90 minutes. Just an hour and a half after Trudeau finished his concluding news conference, an ... Read More »

Change in Eastern Europe?

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The 2018-19 elections in Russia and Ukraine (1) will change Eastern Europe’s political landscape. Le Monde diplomatique That could mean new chances for an end to (or escalation of) the war between Russia-led irregular separatists and Russian regulars, on the one side, and Ukrainian governmental forces (as well as some paramilitary units) in the… In both cases the Russian and Ukrainian political leaders’ behaviour has more to do with internal than foreign factors. But the domestic political implications of the Russia/Ukraine conflict in ... Read More »

How Istanbul’s man-made canal project could trigger an arms race in the Black Sea – and why China is watching closely

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The Kanal Istanbul project will not be subject to the international treaty that limits the access of warships to the strategically pivotal waters in central Europe Helene Franchineau South China Morning Post In the conservative Istanbul neighbourhood of Üsküdar, couples sit near the July 15 Martyrs bridge and sip cups of tea as oil tankers and cargo ships pass. The sight is common for the city’s residents: every day about 115 vessels cross the Bosphorus Strait. Accidents can happen in ... Read More »