China Reveals Its New Russian Jets Flying Over Secret Military Bases in Pacific

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China has for the first time revealed that its new fleet of advanced, Russia-built jets has flown over the South China Sea, where the U.S. has contested Beijing’s vast territorial claims and construction of artificial, militarized islands. By Tom O’Connor Newsweek The Chinese air force said in a statement Wednesday that it recently deployed Sukhoi Su-35s to carry out a joint patrol over the South China Sea. While the release did not include the size, date or location of the patrol, ... Read More »

Israel, Hizbollah and Iran: Preventing Another War in Syria

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Facts on the ground in Syria are defining the contours of the country’s political future and also the geography of a looming clash between Israel, Hizbollah and other Iran-allied militias. ICG Russia should broker understandings to prevent a new front from opening What’s new? A new phase in Syria’s war augurs escalation with Israel As the Assad regime gains the upper hand, Hizbollah probes the south west and Iran seeks to augment its partners’ military capacities, Israel has grown fearful ... Read More »

How Russia played its bad cards well to enlarge Mid-East role

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Russia has managed to enlarge its role in Syria and the Middle East using shrewd diplomacy and precise military aims. Watch out for similar tactics in Asia. Jonathan Eyal The Straits Times Middle Eastern leaders have long grown accustomed to attending Syria “peace conferences” in one city or another. Vienna, Geneva or New York were the perennial favourites, but even Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, served as a venue for such gatherings. Today, however, a new destination is being added ... Read More »

Where world’s power brokers really meet

MUNICH, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 18:  General atmosphere during a reception at Munich royal residence during the 2017 Munich Security Conference on February 18, 2017 in Munich, Germany. The 2017 Munich Security Conference, which brings together leading government figures from across the globe to discuss issues of common security concern, is taking place in the wake of the ascendence of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency and the appointment of a new U.S. government cabinet. Trump has repeatedly called for a more isolationist United States, which has caused alarm among many world leaders concerned about the U.S.'s continued commitment to matters of global security.  (Photo by Johannes Simon - Pool /Getty Images)

Another winter gathering has quietly become the venue for smart thinkers to get to grips with geopolitics For true “globalist elites,” it’s a rite of winter. By MATTHEW KARNITSCHNIG Politico Just when the European weather is at its most unwelcoming, the world’s great strategic minds descend on a quaint city at the Continent’s geographic center, crowding into rustic Stuben to debate the state of the world over beer and mulled wine. In recent years, this forum for Big Thought, aka the Munich Security Conference, ... Read More »

“Don’t let Afrin become another Kobane”

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Academics and international human rights activists launched a petition calling upon world powers to act against Turkish aggression against Afrin ANF The petition, signed by academics and activists like Noam Chomsky, Michael Hardt and Debbi Bookchin, called for prevention of further Turkish attacks on Afrin. The full text of the petition reads as follows: “We, the undersigned academics and human rights activists, insist that the leaders of Russia, Iran, and the U.S. ensure that the sovereignty of Syrian borders is ... Read More »

Russia, Iran open their arms as Turkey loses patience with U.S.

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LONDON — Relations between the U.S. and Turkey have hit a new low over Washington’s support of militias battling the Islamic State, according to analysts. F. Brinley Bruton NBC News The government in Ankara views the Kurdish fighters as terrorists. Experts warn that the crisis is resulting in Turkey — a longtime American ally with NATO’s second-largest standing army — turning away from the West and toward Russia and Iran. U.S. military support for Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which are ... Read More »

From Siberia to Crimea: The Revenge of History in U.S.-Russian Relations

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One is tempted to conclude that the Washington foreign-policy establishment has learned little over the past century Lyle J. Goldstein The National Interest Strolling the cavernous and well-appointed halls of Russia’s carefully renovated Central Naval Museum [Центральный Военно-морской Музей] near the Neva River in St. Petersburg, one can find an assortment of interesting artifacts, not least the small skiff in which Peter the Great learned to sail more than three centuries ago now. Among the many captured battle standards from Sweden, Turkey ... Read More »

The US ‘Betrayed’ Russia, but It Is Not ‘News That’s Fit to Print’

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New evidence that Washington broke its promise not to expand NATO “one inch eastward”—a fateful decision with ongoing ramifications—has not been reported by The New York Times or other agenda-setting media outlets. Stephen F. Cohen The Nation Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian Studies and Politics (at NYU and Princeton), and John Batchelor continue their (usually) weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments, now in their fourth year, are at Cohen returns to a subject ... Read More »

Statement of the National Coalition to Prevent an Iranian Nuclear Weapon

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The United States together with the UK, France, Germany, China, Russia and Iran should continue to implement rigorously the JCPOA. A TNI Exclusive The National Interest Prevention of an Iranian nuclear weapon is a vital U.S. national security objective. The multilateral nuclear agreement with Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), assures that if it continues to comply with it, Iran cannot acquire a nuclear weapon for at least 13 years, after which time the parties can either implement ... Read More »

Joe Hockey discussed Alexander Downer’s Russia revelations with FBI

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The ambassador to the United States Joe Hockey personally steered Australia’s dealings with the FBI on explosive revelations of Russian hacking during last year’s presidential campaign in a sign of how politically sensitive the Australian government regarded the bombshell discovery, Fairfax Media understands. David Wroe Brisbane Times It is also understood there is now annoyance and frustration in Canberra that the High Commissioner to Britain Alexander Downer has been outed through leaks by US officials as the source of information ... Read More »

Turkey, Russia finalize deal on anti-missile defense system

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ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey has finalized a deal with Moscow for the purchase of Russia’s S-400 anti-missile system, Turkish defense officials announced Friday, despite concerns voiced by some of the NATO member’s allies. By Suzan Fraser, Associated Press Suzan Fraser, Associated Press PBS NewsHour Associated Press Writer Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow contributed The deal, which would make Turkey the first member of the military alliance to own Russia’s most advanced air defense system, comes amid strengthening ties between Turkey and ... Read More »

Minsk is dead! Long Live Minsk?

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Minsk is shorthand for a diplomatic process established in 2014 and early 2015 The formal deadline for completing Minsk was December 2015, a deadline that long since passed without its first phase — a ceasefire — going into effect. MICHAEL KIMMAGE War On The Rocks The next two phases — decentralization and a political process for the Donbas — have never progressed beyond the hypothetical. As of this winter, the line of contact between the Ukrainian and the Russian-backed forces ... Read More »

Ankara’s Look East: How Turkey’s Warming Ties with Russia Threaten Its Place in the Transatlantic Community

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The strongmen of Turkey and Russia have met frequently this past year to discuss the Syrian civil war and bilateral relations Aaron Stein War on the Rocks In parallel, Turkey’s relations with its Western allies have deteriorated amid disagreements about the rule of law in Turkey and Washington’s policies in Syria. Russia and Turkey have a strong economic relationship, underpinned by the Russian export of natural gas to Turkey, Russian tourism to Turkey, and Turkish construction firms active in the ... Read More »

Ukraine to file more suits against Russia in The Hague – MFA

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In February 2018, Ukraine will submit to the International Court of Justice a memorandum, which is now being finalized, on Russia’s violation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, according to Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Olena Zerkal. UNIAN According to Ms Zerkal, the memo will be submitted within two months, and then the Russians will have another three months to file objections to the jurisdiction (until May 2018). According to the procedure, Ukraine will then have three ... Read More »

British navy frigate escorts Russian warship in North Sea

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A Royal Navy frigate escorted a Russian warship on Christmas Day as it passed close to British territorial waters, the ministry of defense said Dec. 26 at a time of strained relations between London and Moscow. LONDON – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The HMS St Albans monitored the Russian frigate Admiral Gorshkov in the North Sea, “keeping track of its activity in areas of national interest,” it said in a statement. The St Albans, a Type 23 frigate, was deployed on ... Read More »

Number of Russians who regret collapse of USSR hits 10-year high

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The number of Russians who regret the collapse of the Soviet Union has reached its highest level since 2009, with almost an equal share saying the event could have been avoided. RT A public opinion poll conducted by the independent Levada Center in late November this year found that 58 percent of Russians now regret the collapse of the USSR. Twenty-five percent said they felt no regret about this, while 16 percent could not describe their feelings in one word. ... Read More »