Turkey squeezed between American hammer, Russian anvil on Syrian stage

Aki 9i

Images can be misleading. Anybody who sees the presidents of Russia, Turkey and Iran in the Russian Black Sea resort town of Sochi might think this impressive trio could actually deliver a settlement to the bloody Syrian conflict that has been ongoing for six years. Cengiz Çandar AlMonitor Astana, Kazakhstan, is another venue being used by the same trio for peacemaking in Syria. Although the Russians were always keen to present Astana as a supplementary peace effort to the United Nations’ Geneva talks, the meetings in ... Read More »

The Duplicitous Superpower

BuP 1a

How Washington’s chronic deceit—especially towards Russia—has sabotaged U.S. foreign policy For any country, the foundation of successful diplomacy is a reputation for credibility and reliability. Ted Galen Carpenter The American Conservative Governments are wary of concluding agreements with a negotiating partner that violates existing commitments and has a record of duplicity Recent U.S. administrations have ignored that principle, and their actions have backfired majorly, damaging American foreign policy in the process. The consequences of previous deceit are most evident in ... Read More »

Prague appeals court to rule on Russian hacker extradition to US

Neki 2b

A Prague appeals court is due to rule on an appeal by a Russian man who faces charges of hacking computers at American companies against a lower court decision allowing his extradition to the United States. PRAGUE – The Associated Press Hurriyet Czech authorities arrested Yevgeniy Nikulin in Prague in cooperation with the FBI in October, 2016. He is accused by U.S. prosecutors of penetrating computers at Silicon Valley firms including LinkedIn and Dropbox in 2012. Moscow also wants him ... Read More »

The evolution of Turkish-Russian relations

Arab News 1a Green br

The past decade has seen considerable change in Russia’s Middle East policy, with greater involvement in regional crises and engagement in good relations with key countries and non-state actors. Sinem Cengiz Arab News Russia’s policy at times converges with Turkey’s, and at other times challenges it. Turkish-Russian relations have survived several crises, the most severe being in November 2015 when Turkey shot down a Russian jet along its border with Syria. Neither Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan nor his Russian ... Read More »

The Nansen passport: the innovative response to the refugee crisis that followed the Russian Revolution

Vuv 2b

The triumph of revolution in Russia in 1917 brought an end to the 300-year old Romanov dynasty and the empire over which it ruled Peter Gatrell The Conversation The collapse of the German, Austrian and Ottoman war effort in 1918 precipitated the end of the remaining continental European empires. In each instance, imperial dissolution went hand in hand with the formation of new states. The Russian Civil War, between 1918 and 1921, led to an exodus of people who opposed ... Read More »

Kurdish rift emerges between Erdogan, Putin

Bari 8h

ANKARA, Turkey — Since a Russian warplane was shot down by Turkey in November 2015, Turkey has been scrambling to reconcile with Russia, but disagreements over the role of Syrian Kurds are now threatening a fresh deadlock. Zülfikar Doğan Al-Monitor Despite the close dialogue between the two countries’ presidents, the rift over the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), seems to be deepening. Last week, Russia invited 33 groups, including Syrian President Bashar ... Read More »

Coincidence or coordination?

Kamp 1aa

Russians approached at least nine people in Trump’s orbit during the campaign and presidential transition Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger The Washington Post Through family, business and campaign operatives, Russian nationals repeatedly sought contact with Donald Trump’s world, starting only a few months after his presidential bid was announced in 2015. They forwarded proposals to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, brought a Trump adviser to Russia to speak and repeatedly sought meetings with Trump and his aides. Special ... Read More »

Turkey’s plan to acquire Russia’s S-400 air-defense system may never happen, analysts say

S 400 2b Getty Images LLLL

While Russia continues to tout the planned sale of its S-400 strategic air-defense system to Turkey, some U.S. analysts are growing more skeptical about the deal. Jeff Daniels CNBC On Thursday, the CEO of Russia’s state-owned Rostec defense company said the deal with Turkey exceeded $2 billion, according to Tass, the Russian news agency. It followed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in September announcing the longtime member of NATO had made a down payment to Moscow for the S-400 and ... Read More »

Carl Bernstein: Russia probe feels ‘worse than Watergate’

Kem 1a

If President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to win the presidency, its “worse than Watergate,” journalist Carl Bernstein says. Kim Janssen Chicago Tribune Bernstein’s views on the matter were of great interest to a standing room-only crowd in Hyde Park on Wednesday night. Along with his Washington Post colleague Bob Woodward, Bernstein, of course, broke the Pulitzer Prize-winning stories about the Watergate break-in that ultimately led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation. Now 73, Bernstein waxed lyrical about the parallels between ... Read More »

Latvia to build fence along Belarus border

Lut 4d

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

Auf 2b

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

Mauld 1a

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

Laurd 1a

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)

Ube 3c

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

Baur 7g

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

Sfyrodrepano 2b

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 »