Russia

Trump escalates attacks on Mueller probe

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President Trump on Wednesday called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to immediately stop the Russia investigation, a significant escalation of Trump’s attacks against the long-running probe that has dogged his presidency. Jordan Fabian The Hill The remark was Trump’s most direct public appeal yet to end special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation, which he has blasted for months. It also raised questions from legal experts about whether the president was attempting to obstruct justice. In a series of morning tweets, Trump ... Read More »

What Turkey’s Political Changes Mean for U.S.-Turkish Relations

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The July 9 swearing-in of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his second term as Turkey’s president—and his subsequent decree1 thoroughly restructuring the Turkish government—have inaugurated a new phase in the… By Max Hoffman, Alan Makovsky, and Michael Werz Center for American Progress Erdoğan will preside over a new system in which power is even more centralized in the office of the presidency than it was previously. Of course, this structure represents the institutionalization of what had been a de facto reality: ... Read More »

NATO: the Unexamined Alliance

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The outcome of the July11-12 NATO meeting in Brussels got lost amid the media’s obsession with President Donald Trump’s bombast, but the “Summit Declaration” makes for sober reading. Conn Hallinan CounterPunch The media reported that the 28-page document “upgraded military readiness,” and was “harshly critical of Russia,” but there was not much detail beyond that. But details matter, because that is where the Devil hides. One such detail is NATO’s “Readiness Initiative” that will beef up naval, air and ground forces in “the eastern ... Read More »

Reclaiming European Sovereignty

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As if there was any remaining doubt, the past few weeks have shown that US President Donald Trump is fully committed to demolishing the American-led post-war order and free-trade system. Joschka Fischer * The Project Syndicate Europeans no longer have any time to waste: The EU must assert itself as a unitary, self-sufficient global power before it is too late. BERLIN – After US President Donald Trump’s recent European tour – which culminated in his infamous press conference with Russian President Vladimir ... Read More »

Ukraine jails scientist, 84, for spying for Russia

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A Ukrainian court on Tuesday sentenced an 84-year-old scientist to 12 years in prison for passing on military information to Russia, his lawyer and the prosecutor said. KIEV – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Mekhti Logunov was arrested in August last year in Kharkiv, a city in northeast Ukraine near the front with pro-Russian separatists, according to the regional prosecutor. “He was gathering information belonging to scientific institutions that were state secrets,” notably in the military domain, the prosecutor said in a statement. Logunov’s trial ... Read More »

NATO Is a Goldmine for US Weapons’ Industries

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Countries of the NATO military alliance have been ordered by President Trump to increase their spending on weapons, and the reasons for his insistence they do so are becoming clearer. Brian Cloughley Strategic Culture Foundation It’s got nothing to do with any defence rationale, because, after all, the Secretary General of the US-NATO military alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, has admitted that “we don’t see any imminent threat against any NATO ally” and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute recorded in its 2018 ... Read More »

The European Union Brings Serbia Closer

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The next EU expansion wave can “cover” Southeast Europe ahead of schedule In particular, Serbia can become an EU member even before 2025 – some six months ago the European Commission mentioned it as the most optimistic option. Peter Iskenderov Modern Diplomacy The corresponding statement was made by French President Emmanuel Macron when he received his Serbian colleague Aleksandar Vučić in Paris. At the same time, he again reminded that Belgrade first “must fulfill all the conditions” stipulated for joining ... Read More »

Vladimir Putin marks Russia’s Navy Day, reveals plans for 26 new ships

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has confirmed a major boost to the navy’s fleet, some armed with Kalibr cruise missiles. In a show of strength, amid heightened tensions with the West, 26 new… DW The Russian Navy will receive 26 new warships and other vessels this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin told an audience in St. Petersburg on Sunday to mark Russian Navy Day. “In total in 2018 the navy should get 26 new warships, motor boats and vessels including four battleships ... Read More »

South Korean firm backs off ‘treasure ship’ claim amid probe

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A South Korean company on July 26 backed off its claim to have found a sunken Russian warship with an enormous cargo of gold as financial regulators began investigating whether the outlandish treasure… SEOUL – The Associated Press Hurriyet The Seoul-based Shinil Group said it doesn’t know if any gold coins and bars would be found inside the sunken ship it identified as the Dmitrii Donskoi, which sank 113 years ago. Company officials… “There’s no way for us to figure out whether ... Read More »

Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas link pipelay barge sets up in Germany

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Brussels — Preparatory works to lay pipes for Russia’s 55 Bcm/year Nord Stream 2 gas link at Lubmin, Germany have begun, with the offshore pipe installation barge put in its starting position. Author: Siobhan Hall Editor: Jeremy Lovell S&P Global Barge in position at Lubmin to start laying pipe NS2 plans to complete Greifswald works by end-2018 “The Nord Stream 2 project continues as planned and the implementation schedule is well within the planned timeline,” Nord Stream 2 project company ... Read More »

Rare witness to horror of Stalin’s Gulag prisons dies

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A rare survivor of the harshest Stalin-era labour camps has died aged 89 in Russia’s far east. BBC Vasily Kovalyov had survived icy punishment cells and beatings in the USSR’s notorious Gulag prison system. During an escape attempt in 1954 he spent five months hiding in a freezing mine with two other prisoners. Kovalyov’s story was featured in Vesma, a news site based in Magadan. The communist regime shipped thousands of “enemies” to prison camps via Magadan. In 1950 Kovalyov, ... Read More »

Is Trump a danger — or just ‘incompetent’ and a ‘buffoon’?

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(CNN) – In The Boston Globe last week, distinguished scholar Andrew Bacevich put forth some strong criticism of President Donald Trump’s opponents. Julian Zelizer He said he increasingly has come to believe that “Trump’s election has induced a paranoid response, one that, unless curbed, may well pose a greater danger to the country than Trump himself. This paranoid response finds expression in obsessive attention given to just about anything Trump says, along with equally obsessive speculation about what he might do ... Read More »

Here’s the real reason the US must talk to Russia

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A new book details why future historians may well identify Putin’s landmark March 1 speech as the ultimate game-changer in the 21st century New Great Game in Eurasia Pepe Escobar Asia Times Future historians may well identify Russian President Vladimir Putin’s landmark March 1 speech as the ultimate game-changer in the 21st-century New Great Game in Eurasia. The reason is minutely detailed in Losing Military Supremacy: The Myopia of American Strategic Planning, a new book by Russian military/naval analyst Andrei Martyanov. Martyanov is uniquely… ... Read More »

Putin warns of ‘consequences’ if Nato develops closer ties with Georgia and Ukraine

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Russian president says Moscow will ‘respond appropriately to such aggressive steps’ Tom Embury-Dennis Independent Vladimir Putin has warned Nato of “consequences” if the western military alliance cultivates closer ties with Ukraine and Georgia. The Russian president said such a policy, which he branded “aggressive” and “irresponsible”, was a direct threat to the country’s national security. Speaking to Russian diplomats in Moscow, Mr Putin condemned what he said was Nato’s attempts to deploy new bases and military infrastructure near Russia’s borders, adding there was a… Putin warns of… Read More »

Why Russia will help the Democrats next

TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin attend a joint press conference after a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, on July 16, 2018. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP)        (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Election meddling is cheap, effective and here to stay. And hurting the Republicans is the smart strategy for the midterms. Garrett M. Graff Politico Director of U.S. National Intelligence Dan Coats warned last week that the nation is under sustained cyberattack from foreign adversaries like Russia. “I’m here to say, the warning lights are blinking red again,” Coats said, echoing the comments of former CIA Director George Tenet about the summer of 2001. “The warning signs are there. The system is blinking. ... Read More »

Russia news: Putin tests hypersonic MISSILE it says is ‘invincible to Nato defence system’

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RUSSIAN authorities have released details of five devastating new weapons which Vladimir Putin, who yesterday was invited by the White House to Washington, says are “invincible” to Nato’s defences. Charlie Moloney Express Broadcast by Moscow’s defence ministry on Russian state media, the videos include footage of the Poseidon nuclear submarine; a hypersonic guided missile which can be fired into the earth’s atmosphere; and a fighter jet releasing a missile which ignites and accelerates into the distance. The accelerating missile is ... Read More »