Russia

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 »

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 »