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Foreign Policy in Review
March, 2010

The following resource is meant to quickly introduce the reader to Russia's relations with other countries (excluding most of Eurasia, which has its own review). For more news reviews, see the newsletter for this corresponding month.

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China Buys Air Defense Systems from Russia
Russia has delivered 15 batteries of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to China, Interfax news agency reported on Friday, under a contract analysts said could be worth as much as $2.25 billion.

Russian Pundits Call for Independent Policy in North Korea
North Korea is unlikely to give up its nuclear program and Russia has to take this fact into account to adjust its policy towards the reclusive Communist state, Russian experts said on Tuesday.


Central Asia

Kyrgyz Revolution Leaves Legacy of Oppression
On the anniversary of the uprising that toppled Kyrgyzstan's's hardline leader, the same revolutionaries who came to power promising a new era of freedom announced they have given up on Western-style democracy.



Lithuania: Back on the Map
Lithuania has just celebrated the 20th anniversary of its declaration of renewed independence, when late in the evening of March 11th 1990, deputies of the "Supreme Soviet" of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic voted unanimously to dump the symbols of Soviet rule and to restore their country's independence. 
Crude as Usual
In the face of strained relations with Russia, serious economic problems and a looming presidential election, can Alexander Lukashenko do anything but procrastinate? 
Belarus Opposition Rallies Despite Police Blocks
Some 2,000 opposition activists in Belarus held a protest rally Thursday despite police blocks that authorities explained were part of security measures against an alleged bomb threat. 
Medvedev, Sarkozy Celebrate 'Holy Russia' at Louvre: Review
Some 20 years ago, the new exhibition at the Louvre in Paris would have been unthinkable. In the Soviet Union, stubborn Christians were locked up in mental hospitals and churches had been blasted or turned -- as it happened to Leningrad's largest cathedral -- into a "Museum of Scientific Atheism."



Russia-Georgia Border Crossing Reopens
Russia and Georgia have reopened a border crossing that has been closed since July 2006, officials say.  

Russian Officials Brief ICC Prosecutors on Georgian War
International Criminal Court prosecutors were briefed this week on Russian efforts to bring to book the perpetrators of alleged abuses in the war with Georgia in 2008.

Panic in Georgia After a Mock News Broadcast
Some people placed emergency calls reporting heart attacks, others rushed in a panic to buy bread and residents of one border village staggered from their homes and dashed for safety — all after a television station in Georgia broadcast a mock newscast on Saturday night that pretended to report on a Russian invasion of the country. 
Georgia Mafia Suspects Arrested in Six Countries  
Sixty-nine suspected Georgian mafia members have been arrested in a co-ordinated operation across Europe.
U.S. Ambassador on Imedi TV's Fake Report
John Bass, the U.S. ambassador to Georgia, said Imedi TV's fake report as if Russian troops started invasion with opposition's help, was "irresponsible" and not helpful to address Georgia's real security threats.

Shevardnadze Backs Georgian Opposition on Building Russia Ties
Former Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze said he supports opponents of the former Soviet republic’s current leader, Mikheil Saakashvili, who are attempting to forge closer ties with Russia.
Spoof Invasion Newscast Slammed at Russia-Georgia Talks  
Participants at Russia-Georgia talks in Geneva on Tuesday slammed "provocative actions" for hindering efforts towards stability, in a reference to a spoof Georgian newscast announcing a Russian invasion.


Middle East

Russia, China Press Iran on Nuclear Program
A senior Russian diplomat said on Wednesday that Russia and China had pressed Iran to accept a United Nations offer to replace fuel for an atomic reactor.



Much Has Changed Since Russia's Last Military Doctrine
At the very moment when one part of the Russian establishment is cautiously welcoming a thaw in relations with the United States and NATO, another part of it (evidently the more influential part) has determined the North Atlantic alliance and its actions constitute one of the most serious threats to Russian security. This is made clear in the new military doctrine that was confirmed by President Dmitry Medvedev on February 5.

Russia Reaffirms Commitment to Destroy Chemical Weapons by 2012
Russia will complete the construction of chemical weapon destruction plants in 2011 and will destroy all chemical weapons stockpiles by 2012, a government official said on Wednesday.

National Security Challenged by Arctic Climate Change 
The Russian Security Council believes climate change in the Arctic will pose a serious threat to national security, a council representative confirms in a newspaper interview.

The Future of the Sevastopol Russian Navy Base
The recent election of Victor Yanukovich as president of Ukraine has brought the future status of Russia's naval base in Sevastopol back to the forefront of Russian-Ukrainian bilateral relations. 



NATO Air Forces to Train Over Baltic Countries
NATO air forces will conduct an exercise later this month over the Baltic states, which have been alarmed by the fast-improving ties between the alliance and neighboring Russia. 

Ukraine to Pass Law Scrapping NATO Ambitions
Ukraine's new governing coalition in parliament said Tuesday it will pass a law against joining military alliances such as NATO, a move that is sure to please Russia while tilting Ukraine away from its previous pro-Western course.

NATO Urges Russia to Help Create 'Security Roof'
The head of NATO has called on Russia to help create a vast "security roof" aimed at countering the growing nuclear threat posed by rogue nations such as Iran.



Ukraine's Yanukovych Signals Shift Over Russia Fleet
The newly elected president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych has suggested he would allow Russia's Black Sea Fleet to remain in his country beyond 2017.  

Russia Profile Weekly Experts Panel: Ukraine's New President
Ukraine has just had a successful presidential election, choosing Viktor Yanukovich, the leader of the Party of the Regions, as its fourth president. What will be Ukraine's foreign policy under president Yanukovich?

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych Forms Coalition
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has secured a coalition in parliament and one of his loyalists has been named as the new prime minister.
Ukrainian vs. Russian Language: Two Tongues Divide Former Soviet Republic
Ukraine's state language is Ukrainian. But 1 in 3 citizens of the former Soviet republic is a native Russian language speaker. The result is what locals call the 'Kiev compromise.'

No. 75: Russian-Ukrainian Relations
This issue of the Russian Analytical Digest examines Russian-Ukrainian relations. First, André Härtel analyzes the significance of the election of Viktor Yanukovych as the new president of the Ukraine for the country's relations with Russia. Second, Katerina Malygina examines the changes in the energy dialogue between the two countries. Third, Dmitry Gorenburg argues that the future status of Russia's naval base in Sevastopol is likely to be brought back to the forefront of Russian-Ukrainian bilateral relations. Finally, Jonas Grätz examines the impact of the Orange Revolution on Russian elite strategies and the framing of the public discourse.
Seeking Lower Fuel Costs, Ukraine May Sell Pipelines
In recent years, state-owned natural gas pipelines in Ukraine have been the source of such tension that a midwinter fight between Russia and Ukraine over pricing — often leading to Russia's shutting the valves and leaving people in Europe freezing — has become an annual ritual.


United States

Russian Anti-Americanism: A Priority Target for U.S. Public Diplomacy
The Kremlin is using anti-Americanism as a strategic tool for pursuing domestic and foreign policy goals. Through media controlled or owned by the state, the Russian government is deliberately spreading poisonous anti-U.S. propaganda at home and abroad, blaming many of Russia's problems on the West, particularly the United States.

U.S. Warship Conducts Joint Training With Georgia
U.S. naval forces started exercises with Georgia's coast guard today along the Black Sea coast, in a sign of Washington's support for the government of President Mikheil Saakashvili.
US, British, French Troops to March on Red Square 
The British Embassy says British, French and U.S. troops will march with Russian soldiers on Red Square to mark the 65th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany. 

Giving Putin His Due 
Sidelining the Russian prime minister will do little to help President Dmitry Medvedev -- or the White House.

Obama Seals Arms Control Deal With Russia
President Obama and Russian President Medvedev have agreed upon the follow on to the START nuclear arms treaty.  This treaty will commit both the United States and Russia to a significant new reduction of the strategic missiles each side has deployed. 



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