Russia

Trump isolates US as Russia follows inclusionary foreign policies

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Contrary to Russia’s broader, encompassing policies that take the focus off its domestic politics, Washington’s recent moves have only worked to isolate the U.S. and caused widespread disappointment among its… YUSUF SELMAN İNANÇ Daily Sabah By the time former U.S. President Barack Obama left office, U.S. allies in the Middle East were displeased, disappointed and unhappy with his policies. His so-called fight against Daesh had resulted in strengthening the PKK-affiliated Democratic Union Party (PYD), which has been waging a war ... Read More »

Russia’s Gazprom Says Signs TurkStream Protocol With Ankara

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Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom says it has signed a protocol with the Turkish government on the land-based part of the transit leg of the TurkStream gas pipeline. RFE/RL Gazprom on May 26 said it had also agreed with Turkish firm Botas to end an arbitration dispute over the terms of gas supplies related to the project, which will bring Russian natural gas to Europe on a… Gazprom said the dispute with Botas would be settled out of court, but ... Read More »

Russia’s Gazprom signs protocol with Turkey on TurkStream gas pipeline

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Russian state gas giant Gazprom said on May 26 it had signed a protocol with the Turkish government on a planned gas pipeline and agreed with Turkish firm Botaş to end an arbitration dispute over the terms of gas supplies. MOSCOW – Reuters Hurriyet The protocol concerned the land-based part of the transit leg of the TurkStream gaspipeline, which Gazprom said meant that work to implement it could now begin. Turkey had delayed issuing a permit for the Russian company to start building the land-based parts of the pipeline which, if completed, would allow ... Read More »

Pompeo: Russia is Aggressively Trying to Strengthen its Positions in the Balkans

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US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said Russia is aggressively trying to strengthen its position in the Balkans, and President Trump’s administration is opposed to this, he added, reports bgnes. © Novinite “The threat that the Russians continue to aggressively strengthen their influence on the Balkans is real and we have to fight,” he said at a hearing before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. According to one of the senators, “Russia is opening a new front on the Balkans, acting ... Read More »

Pompeo Says US Offered Alternatives to Turkey for Russia’s S-400 System

2602991 04/09/2015 An S-400 "Triumf" antiaircraft missile system is among other Defense Ministry's air defense missile battalions put on combat alert in the Moscow Region. Kirill Kallinikov/Sputnik

The U.S. has offered Turkey alternatives to Russia’s S-400s in a bid to prevent Ankara from completing the purchase of the missile defense system, an issue that significantly strained Ankara’s ties with its Western allies. The Globe Post “We continue to work to keep the Turks in a place where they don’t actually acquire the S-400,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a testimony before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday. “I believe that they have not ... Read More »

Abkhazia and South Ossetia: Time to Talk Trade

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Informal trade is increasing between Georgia and the breakaway territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and between Abkhazia and countries outside the region. Trade alone cannot transform the parties’ core political differences. But talks among them on mutually beneficial commerce could open lines of communication long cemented shut. ICG What’s happening?  Informal trade is increasing between Georgia and the breakaway territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and between Abkhazia and countries outside the region. Formalising aspects of this trade is ... Read More »

Uzbekistan’s President Goes to Washington

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Policymakers in Washington have begun to wake up to the changes taking place in Uzbekistan. Ilan Berman The National Interest In official Washington, which is routinely awash in foreign dignitaries, it’s all too easy to miss the comings and goings of world leaders. But even by the rather selective standards of the Beltway, last week’s state visit of Uzbekistan’s president, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, was noteworthy because it provided policymakers with an authoritative glimpse into the… Uzbekistan’s President Goes… Read More »

Uzbekistan: Activist’s Passing a Huge Loss

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Giant of Rights Movement Leaves Formidable Legacy (Bishkek) – Vasila Inoyatova, an Uzbek human rights activist who died of medical complications on May 19, 2018, at age 62, made an unassailable contribution to Uzbekistan’s human rights movement and nascent democracy, Human Rights Watch said today. She was the founder and chairwoman of Ezgulik (Compassion)¸ one of Uzbekistan’s most prominent independent human rights organizations. “Vasila Inoyatova fiercely defended human rights and spoke truth to power even during the… Uzbekistan: Activist’s Passing… Read More »

Russian Naval Exercises in Sea of Azov: A Prelude to ‘Hybrid’-Style Invasion?

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On May 18, Moscow released a navigation alert (NAVAREA 0423/18—reprinted by the Ukrainian government as coastal warning PRIP 173) for a section of the Sea of Azov, cautioning that Russian naval training exercises would make the area dangerous for maritime passage from… Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 15 Issue: 78 Ihor Kabanenko The Jamestown Foundation The zone, which occupies 2,000 square kilometers, has been closed to shipping traffic. Though the announcement quickly drew the attention of Ukrainian news outlets (Obozrevatel.com, ... Read More »

Turkey’s pipedreams and NATO’s nightmares

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Turkey’s relationship with NATO is at a nadir. Following its recent incursion into Syria’s Afrin district against NATO-backed Kurdish forces, Ankara now finds itself at loggerheads with the United States and other NATO… Amelia Meurant-Tompkinson The Strategist More troubling, Turkey’s offensive wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Russia: the operation required Russian clearance for Turkish warplanes to enter Syria’s airspace, and Ankara would have heeded assurances from… Then there’s the rapid progress on the controversial deal for Turkey ... Read More »

Exclusive: As Rosneft’s Vietnam unit drills in disputed area of South China Sea, Beijing issues warning

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HANOI (Reuters) – Rosneft Vietnam BV, a unit of Russian state oil firm Rosneft, is concerned that its recent drilling in an area of the South China Sea that is claimed by China could upset Beijing, two sources with direct knowledge of the… James Pearson Rosneft said on Tuesday its Vietnamese unit had started drilling at the LD-3P well, part of the Lan Do “Red Orchid” offshore gas field in Block 06.1, 370 kms (230 miles) southeast of Vietnam. The ... Read More »

House of Cards

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Due in part to Russia, war between Israel and Iran is not on the horizon, despite rising tensions in Syria. Yossi Melman JPost THE FIRST two weeks of May were very hectic and dramatic for Israeli leaders and security chiefs in dealing with Iran. On May 1, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed that Mossad operatives had stolen Iran’s central nuclear archive, proving that the Islamic Republic had violated its nuclear deal with the six major world powers. A week later, in ... Read More »

To Free a Human Rights Defender in Russia’s Chechnya

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Daughter of Chechnya’s Slain Rights Worker Pleas for Freedom of Mother’s Successor Tanya Lokshina HRW Today, my late friend’s daughter published a video calling on the public to petition Russia’s President Putin to free Oyub Titiev, the Chechnya director for Russia’s leading human rights organization, Memorial. Titiev has been jailed since January, pending trial on trumped-up drug possession charges. My late friend, Natasha Estemirova, was Chechnya’s most prominent rights defender. In summer 2009, a group of security officials kidnapped her ... Read More »

Turkey’s long, slow pivot to the dark side

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Some hardline conservatives in America are already over Turkey. “Turkey is effectively an ally no more,” argues Frank Gaffney, president and CEO of the right wing Center for Security Policy. “I think we have been divorced by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who seeks to become the leader of a new Ottoman caliphate.” Jamie McIntyre Washington Examiner It’s a harsh assessment for a country that has been a NATO member for 66 years, and which had been considered a model ... Read More »

Submarines are increasingly lurking in seas around the world, and the US Navy’s high-tech Poseidon is there to hunt them

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The US Navy announced this month that it was restarting the 2nd Fleet to oversee the western Atlantic Ocean, including the North Atlantic and the US East Coast. Christopher Woody Business Insider The decision comes after several years of tensions between NATO members and Russia — and several warnings from Western officials about growing Russian naval activity, including more sophisticated and more active submarines. NATO has responded in kind, with a special focus on antisubmarine warfare — a capability that ... Read More »

Are dictators on the way out – or on the way up?

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All around the world, democracy is looking shaky. While consolidated democracies are struggling to stay healthy, many flawed ones have turned into outright authoritarian regimes – most notably Russia under Vladimir Putin and Turkey under… Natasha Ezrow The Conversation But the news isn’t all bad: on several continents over the last decade, longstanding dictators have resigned, lost elections, or been deposed. As the table below indicates, the number of dictators who’ve fallen in recent years for all sorts of reasons ... Read More »