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NEWS  / RUSSIAN FOREIGN POLICY NOVEMBER 2008
12.12.2008


Foreign Policy in Review
November, 2008

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.

To receive SRAS's free monthly newsletter and obzori by email, simply sign up.  

 

International Business
Economic Relations and Agreements: G20, WTO

Customs Union Hardly Compatible with WTO
Russia's government has signed a package of agreements on the uniform terms for tariff preference within the Customs Union. But a raft of documents legalized within the EurAsEC will become null and void once any member of the new alliance joins the WTO.

Finland Spends €20 Million in Russia
The Russian-Finnish intergovernmental group for the development of border regions has adopted a program of bilateral relations.

Russia will give the IMF credit, gets advice in return

Russia, which regularly received credit from the International Monetary Fund in the 1990s, will begin crediting it before the end of the year. It is possible that $1 billion will be needed.

Russia Says IMF Inadequate

Russia's finance minister reiterated Moscow's call for reforming global financial institutions, saying in comments televised Monday that the International Monetary Fund was inadequate as a crisis manager.

Cyprus agrees to turn in owners of Russian offshore companies

The Russian financial regulator intends to find out soon who owns all the Russian companies in Cyprus and obtain confidential information about them.

Medvedev Happy To Talk Trade With U.S.

After including a chilly, anti-American message in his state-of-the-nation address Wednesday, President Dmitry Medvedev was on hand to offer a warm welcome Friday as U.S. automaker General Motors officially opened a new plant in St. Petersburg

Medvedev Signs Tariff Pledge In U.S.
President Dmitry Medvedev joined the other leaders of G20 nations Saturday in pledging not to introduce new trade barriers over the next 12 months, a commitment that might complicate the government plans to insulate the national economy from the global crisis.

Russia To Implement G20 Decisions, Protect National Interests –PM
Russia will implement the decisions adopted at the recent G20 summit, but will also take measures to protect its national interests, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said at a cabinet meeting on Monday.

Dmitry Medvedev's Speech At EU-Russia Industrialists' Round Table

President Dmitry Medvedev is "confident that the European Union will continue to be a strategic key partner for Russia". He expressed a desire "to develop the broadest range of contacts with business in the European Union, with the regions, the different countries, and the civil society of the European Union."

 

US-Russia Relations
How will they change under new administrations?

Uncovering the Slanted Coverage of Russia
During the airing of the RT feed, CSPAN captioned "Russia Today, State-Run." In contrast, the German government funded Deutsche Welle (DW) did not have the "State-Run" label, when CSPAN showed that station's news feed.

America Defends Itself on the Internet
A briefing was held in Washington on Tuesday on "U.S. Public Diplomacy and the War of Ideas." Under Secretary of State James Glassman spoke about the work of "digital outreach teams" that will work to improve the image of the United States and fight extremist propaganda on the Internet.

Council on Foreign Relations: Meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
We must admit that unipolarity based on the insistence that it's only the Western civilization which is right is absolutely a dead -- a dead end. And we must also admit that we must not pretend that the European civilization -- and there are three branches of this civilization, European Union embodying the Europe proper part of it, the American branch and the Russian branch -- we must not pretend that the European civilization is going forever to be the leader in this world.

Mark Ames and Ari Berman, McCain's Kremlin Ties
Yet despite McCain's tough talk, behind the scenes his top advisers have cultivated deep ties with Russia's oligarchy--indeed, they have promoted the Kremlin's geopolitical and economic interests, as well as some of its most unsavory business figures, through greedy cynicism and geopolitical stupor.

Talks to give clues on US-Russia ties
Talks on nuclear arms getting under way in Geneva should indicate how relations will develop between the US and Russia under President Barack Obama.

US-Russia relations: an interview with American political analyst Leon Aron
No particular complications are expected in Russian-American relations in the foreseeable future, if only because the administration of President-elect Barack Obama won't regard issues like missile defense deployment in Europe, or NATO expansion, as priorities for a long time to come.

Gorbachev Receives U.S. Medal of Freedom
Bush praised the former Soviet leader's role in history, saying he "opened up new possibilities for the world to come together and solve its problems in the pursuit of liberty.

U.S. Examined Beginning of War
Washington virtually acknowledged the chronology Russia established by Russia.

Boeing's Crash in Perm Initiated Claim against FAA
The state court in Chicago has set to the case of Alexei Afonasenkov, the farther of one of the victims of Boeing 737-500 that crashed in Russia's Perm in summer, vs. the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.

US congressman: Russia & US must cooperate
Russia and the United States must cooperate in tackling global threats despite their differences over Georgia and other issues, a key U.S. congressman said Tuesday.

Convicted Diplomat Returns from U.S.
Former Russian diplomat Vladimir Kuznetsov left the United States Tuesday evening after being remanded into the custody of Russian authorities by the U.S. Department of Justice, RIA Novosti reported. He was convicted in the U.S. of money laundering.

 

     Obama on Russia

U.S. Should Keep Engaging Russia, Obama Adviser Says
We don't believe in trying to isolate Russia. Those kind of actions we see as counterproductive in dealing with Russia.

Obama's Office Says `No Commitment' to Missile Shield in Poland
Barack Obama's office said the president-elect has made ``no commitment'' to a planned U.S. missile-defense system, after remarks on the Polish president's Web site suggested that Obama will press ahead with the shield.

Cold War Hawks Nesting With Obama
Improved relations with Russia are critical to the change toward a more peaceful world that Obama has promised, but it is disquieting in the extreme that some of his closest advisers are inveterate hawks with a history of needlessly provoking tension with the Russians during the Cold War days.

Russia Aims to Be High on Obama's Agenda
Mr. Obama has options to distance himself from his hawkish remarks on Russia during the campaign, foreign policy experts said. For one thing, while he can continue to support the idea of Georgia becoming part of NATO, the reality is that for now the Europeans will not go along.

The Russian Question. What's Obama's answer?
What we know of Obama's views on Russia are not encouraging. In his infomercial, he vowed to "curb Russian aggression."

Obama careful in response to mixed Kremlin signals
U.S. President-elect Barack Obama is reacting cautiously to Kremlin overtures, setting the stage for a less personal relationship with Russian leaders than that boasted by President George W. Bush.

Obama Ignored Congratulations of Russia's President
Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev wasn't in the list of world leaders, to whom U.S. President-elect Barack Obama called to thank for congratulations on historic victory.

 

     Russia on Obama & Co.

Russia's Medvedev congratulates U.S. president-elect Obama
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has congratulated U.S. president-elect Barack Obama on his election victory and expressed his hope for constructive dialogue.

Obama victory will have positive effect on world economy - Kudrin
The U.S. election will have a positive effect on the global economy due to new expectations, and the already absolutely clear new policy principles that will be used to achieve stability in the financial sector.

Russia Cool On Obama, But Eager For New Rules
Relations between Moscow and Washington saw a steady decline during the Bush presidency. Will ties between Russia and the United States be different with Barack Obama in the White House?

Russia searches for right tone to deal with Obama
Signals from the Kremlin since Obama was elected suggest there is still no consensus about what tactics are best.

Gorbachev calls on Obama to carry out 'perestroika' in the U.S.
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has said that the Obama administration in the United States needs far-reaching 'perestroika' reforms to overcome the financial crisis and restore balance in the world.

Russia's, U.S. Relations to Improve Under New Secretary of State
The relations of Russia and the United States will probably improve under the new secretary of state, Federation Council Foreign Committee Chairman Mikhail Margelov said, when commenting on the future office of Hillary Clinton.

Moscow received William Burns, but will hold talks with Barack Obama only
Moscow, seemingly, is not going to conduct political negotiations with Washington until Barack Obama substitutes for George Bush.

Medvedev, Obama to Negotiate at Earliest Opportunity
President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev and U.S. President-elect Barack Obama will conduct full-scale talks at the earliest opportunity. But they will cover all spectrum of relations no sooner than Obama takes office, RF Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

 

     Russians on Obama and America

Russians With Pumpkins Protest Many U.S. Plots
"We don't like to be told how to live, and we don't like it when our peacekeepers are attacked," said Yura Yakor, 23. "You're not likely to find any fans of America here."

Russians support U.S. presidential candidate Obama - online poll
An international online survey has found that 44% of Russians want Democratic candidate Barack Obama to win the U.S. presidential election, while only 9% support Republican John McCain.

Russians say no change in bilateral ties with new U.S. president
An opinion poll said on Friday that over 30% of Russians believe that the results of U.S. presidential elections slated for November will make no difference to "tense" Russia-U.S. relations.

Russians have no strong opinions on U.S. presidential race – poll
29% of Russians support neither Democrat Barack Obama, nor his opponent John McCain in the race for the U.S. presidency.

 

     Russia on America

Medvedev says no return to Cold War, hits out at propaganda
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday that he was certain the world would never again see a Cold War, despite recent tensions between the U.S. and Russia over the recent conflict in Georgia.

Getting Medvedev's message
The two main events of the year, Mr Medvedev said, had been the August war in Georgia and the world economic crisis. And America bore responsibility for both.

Dmitry's Diatribe. Chavez, Ahmadinejad, Medvedev
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev dumped a truckload of vitriol on the United States yesterday in Evian, France. Mr. Medvedev said that after 9/11 the U.S. missed a chance to build a "truly democratic world order" and instead chose to "consolidate its global domination."

Russia: Enigma variations
The loudest anti-Americans in Russia are not the unreformed communists but the well-dressed, English-speaking speechwriters from the perestroika era. The Kremlin's confrontation with the West is based not on differences of ideology or economic systems but on the conviction that Russia is no different from America.

U.S. Elections and the Ongoing Financial Crisis: The Russian Perspective
One of the gravest challenges facing Russia in its effort to overcome the financial crisis is Putin's inability to accept and understand that both he and his government made mistakes.

 

     Russia on American Elections

Russian Election Commission monitors snub U.S. presidential poll
The Russian Central Election Com¬mission is not sending any observers to monitor the U.S. presidential election scheduled for November 4

Russia sends eight monitors to U.S. presidential polls
Russia is sending eight monitors to the November 4 presidential elections in the United States, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.

OSCE, ODIHR Showed Double Standard at U.S. Election, Russia's Lawmaker Said
International observers, for instance from OSCE/ODIHR, have manifested the double standard when avoiding to speak of violations at the U.S. presidential election, said Leonid Slutsky, first deputy chairman at State Duma's Foreign Committee.

A Kommersant evaluates the U.S. electronic voting system
Kommersant special correspondent Dmitry Sidorov went to a school in Bethesda, Maryland, not far from Washington. He was interested in electronic voting using Premier Election Solutions, which was involved in a voting scandal four years ago.



     Ambassador Beryle on Russia

US diplomat frustrated by chilly Russia
Russia is shifting from cold war attitudes more slowly than the US would like, America's ambassador in Moscow has said.

U.S. Elections Promise Changes in Relations
U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Beyrle told a group of people gathered at his residence, Spaso House, tonight to discuss the American elections that new ideas and new approaches are in store for U.S.-Russian relations.

 

G7/G8/G20
How the world is changing...

Pres. Has Full Sched. at G20
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will hold a number of bilateral meetings at the G20 summit in Washington, presidential aide Sergey Prikhodko told Interfax.

Medvedev's Speech to the G-20
Full text, in English.

The U.S. shirks a G8 emergency summit
George Bush shows no enthusiasm, however: he doesn't want to share the same table with Russia's President, which would mean forgiving Dmitry Medvedev for the military invasion of Georgia.

G7 Urges Altruism, Cooperation in Crisis
Deputy Prime Minister Alexey Kudrin represented Russia in Washington, although not in the G7.

World Bank for Adding Russia to G7
Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank, has stated that the G7 is an outdated format and should be supplemented with the fast-growing economies of Asia and Latin America.

 

EU-Russia Relations
Energy, History, and Partnership

Lavrov's Poland Visit Sends Mixed Signals
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has held talks in Poland, the first EU country he has visited since the Russia-Georgia crisis began last month.

Russia's Assets in Germany to Be Auctioned Dec 17
For the first time, the RF assets will be sold at the public auction to pay off the debt under award of the International Arbitration.

The Conflicting Nobel Peace Prize
Former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari won the $1.4 million (10 million Swedish krona) Nobel Peace Prize for his 30-year work as peace mediator on different continents and for his contribution to settling the Kosovo conflict. Naturally, millions of people in Russia, Serbia and dozens of other countries will be enraged because Kosovo is not a classic example of a peace settlement.

 

     Energy

Questions for Mikheil Saakashvili. An American Friend
If Russia shuts off central Asia and the Caspian Sea from Europe, the European allies of the United States will be totally dependent on Russian gas and energy.

EU Plan To Battle 'Vicious Cycle' Of Energy Dependency
The European Commission has unveiled a legislative initiative it hopes will slow the bloc's runaway dependency on imported oil and gas. The initiative -- which the 27 EU member states are expected to endorse before the end of the year -- is a mixture of measures aimed mostly at diversifying supplies and cutting back on domestic consumption.

Europe, not the US, can get Russia to behave
Europe, not America is now best able to get Moscow to behave. Europe is a neighbor and huge market for Russian energy and minerals. The EU accounted for just over half of Russia's foreign trade in 2007.

Values, Energy Compete As European Parliament Debates Russia Policy
During a broad European Parliament debate in Strasbourg on October 21, senior EU officials said Russia's recent actions in Georgia cannot go unchallenged.

Russia's Gazprom Not As Powerful As It May Seem
In the aftermath of the Russian-Georgian conflict, new worries are being voiced in Europe that the Russian government could use Gazprom as a foreign-policy tool.

Moscow Denies It Slashed Crude Supplies to Czech Republic Because of Missile Defense
The agreement of the Czech Republic to host components of the U.S. missile defense system won't impair trading and economic relations with Russia, the Czech officials assured. According to Moscow, the decision to slash crude oil supplies to the Czech Republic hasn't resulted from Prague's agreement to build the U.S. radar.

 

     Talks and Agreements

Unpredictable Russia
Relations between Russia and the European Union have been going up and down for nearly three years. At first sight, they look fine, yet no progress has been made in drafting and signing practical agreements.

Russia Spurns PACE Chairmanship
The European parliamentarians laid the blame for what happened on both sides, and representatives of Russia accused Europe and the United States of arming Georgia.

Russia moves to fix European security principles in new deal
Russia has proposed that a new European security agreement reflect basic principles concerning arms control and a common security space.

Answers to Journalists' Questions after the 22nd Russia-EU Summit
Full text in English

EU resumes partnership talks with Russia after war
EU and Russian leaders at a high-stakes summit in Nice, France, remained divided over the continuing presence of Russian troops in the two breakaway provinces at the heart of the conflict.

Europe split on how to restore Moscow relations
A vigorous debate is taking place among European Union governments about how far, and how quickly, to restore the EU's relations with Moscow to normal after Russia's invasion of Georgia in August.

 

     Britain

Osborne Said He Made a Mistake by Discussing Donation from Deripaska
Britain's shadow chancellor and one of the Tory leaders George Osborne pledged Monday in the interview with The Guardian that he wouldn't discuss individual donations with individual donors.

Britain Outraged by Lavrov's English
Lavrov is said to have sworn in the phone conversation with Miliband dedicated to Georgia. The RF Foreign Ministry denied the accusations.

Britain Still Demands Lugovoi Extradition
New British Ambassador to Russia Ann Pringle spoke about the case at press conference in Moscow.

Lugovoy Demands British Immunity
The State Duma member Andrei Lugovoy and businessman Dmitry Kovtun announced Saturday their readiness to go to London to meet with Scotland Yard detectives probing into the murder of former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko. But Lugovoy and Kovtun will go to Britain if the British authorities guarantee immunity.

 

     France

Russian lawyer 'was not poisoned'
Fears that a lawyer representing several critics of Russia's government may have been poisoned appear unfounded, French authorities say.

Interview to the French Newspaper Le Figaro
Of course, given that the President addresses the Federal Assembly only once a year, I could not but react to a number of important international events and to the threats that our country faces. One of these is the current U.S. Administration's decision to deploy a missile defence system in Europe.

Sarkozy looks to bridge Russian-West divide
"I think Sarkozy is seeking to put himself in a position of mediator between Russia and the United States".

 

     EU-Russia-US

US advises EU to tread carefully with Russia
In recent weeks, U.S. diplomats have expressed concerns directly to European officials about resuming talks before Moscow has met the conditions of two cease-fire agreements negotiated by French President Nicolas Sarkozy after Russia's short war with Georgia in August.

Analysts, EU Leaders Urge New Approach To Russia
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev made clear he wants an early meeting with Obama to try to overcome this period of mistrust, and European leaders are hoping the new president will try a new approach when dealing with a resurgent Russia.

 

Latin America
Russia steps up its presence

Dmitry Medvedev on his visits to Latin American countries
Dear friends! I would like to tell you about the impressions I gathered during my trip to Latin America, the decisions that were taken, and our agreements with a number of leading Latin American countries.

Russia's Caribbean Farce
"Nyet! Nyet!" That's what a Russian bodyguard told a McClatchy news reporter when the latter asked for comment on an incident aboard the Admiral Chabanenko, a Russian destroyer that carried President Dmitry Medvedev to Venezuela last week.

Latin American Experience Beneficial to Russia
Latin America's potential has long been underestimated. Meanwhile its potential does not boil down to its enormous natural resources only. Latin American markets' solvency has grown considerably in the past decade. In addition, groundbreaking political shifts have been under way in the region.

Russia Returns To Latin America
Moscow this week hosts officials from three Latin American countries. One goal is profit. But another is provocation -- especially as Moscow's relations with Washington continue to sour.

Igor Sechin plans Russia's future in Latin America
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin completed a tour of three Latin American countries, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba, on the weekend. His trip was rewarded with the signing of several large contracts.

Russia to Loan Money to Cuba
The RF government sanctioned yesterday the loan to Cuba. The money will go for buying Russia's goods and services, RIA Novosti reported with reference to November 1 ruling. The maximum amount is $335 million.

 

     Venezuela

Medvedev's Venezuela, Cuba trips set to rile U.S.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's visits to Venezuela and Cuba during a week-long trip to Latin America look set to irk Washington, highlighting a foreign policy challenge facing President-elect Barack Obama.

With eye on the U.S., Russia resists Venezuela's wooing
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez could hardly contain his enthusiasm as Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and four Russian warships began historic visits to the Caribbean nation last week.

Russia Closed Ranks with Venezuela
Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev paid a two-day visit to Venezuela. The biggest achievement of president's tour was, perhaps, the memorandum on creating a mega-consortium by oil blockbusters of Russia and by the state-run oil company of Venezuela.

The price of the question
What should or should not be done with Venezuela? Developing economic cooperation with countries – even in the long-term – should be done, and Venezuela is no exception. But it should be done not for the sake of a political alliance with its president, but for new markets.



Other Areas
Treaty with China, Visit from Gaddafi

     Asia

Moscow, Seoul to Become Strategic Partners
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak had a meeting with Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev yesterday, September 29, 2008. The key result of that get-together was the agreement to proceed to another level in bilateral relations, the one of strategic partnership.

Vietnam to Introduce Visa-Free Procedures for Russians
Vietnam introduces visa-free procedures for the Russians visiting Vietnam for less than 15 days. The benefits will apply to all holders of Russian passports irrespective of purpose of the visit.

Terrorists Trapped Russians in Oberoi
There are three Russians in Trident Oberoi Hotel, Mumbai, that was attacked by terrorists, RBC news agency reported citing Roman Vorobiev, the attaché of Russia's Consulate General in Mumbai.

The RoboCat Diplomacy
During the recent APEC summit in Lima, Japan's Prime Minister Taro Aso presented to Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev a gift for his son. It was the radio-guided flying blue robot cat named Doraemon.

 

     China

Handover of Russian islands to China seen as effective diplomacy
The settlement of the border issue between Russia and China is an example of using a diplomatic solution to solve tough international issues, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Russia gives territory to China, ending border dispute
Russia ended a decades-old border dispute with China on Tuesday by giving it a stretch of river island territory in a ceremony symbolising the Cold War rivals' warming ties.

China Ready to Share Olympic Experience with Russia
China is ready to render all necessary assistance and share experience of Olympics host, member of the PRC State Council, Vice Premier Liu Yandun said at today's meeting in Sochi.

China Ran Across Latin America Before Russia
The Latin America's tour of Chinese President Hu Jintao began yesterday November 17, 2008; the agenda sets forth visits to Costa Rica, Cuba and Peru. By strange coincidence, Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev will go to Latin America in the end of this week.

 

     Middle East

Russia Shields Iran from Sanctions
Moscow wants to maintain the possibility for a diplomatic solution to the crisis around Iran's enrichment of uranium.

Could New Polarization Bring Russia-Iran Alliance?
The Georgia crisis and the U.S. agreement to locate part of its missile-defense system in Poland have revived a Cold War mentality among some observers in both Russia and the West.

Russia Cements Relations with Bahrain
Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev and H.M. Sheikh Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain, passed a joint statement about the intent to strengthen friendly relations of both countries. The recent negotiations were the first talks of Russia's and Bahrain's leaders in history.

Moscow to Host Middle East Peace Quartet
The plans are that the Middle East Peace Quartet (of the United States, EU, U.N. and Russia) will meet in Moscow in the spring of 2009.

 

     Africa

Muammar Gaddafi Visits Moscow
Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi arrives today in Moscow for an official visit. He faces difficult a talk with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Libya did not fulfill the agreement reached in April with Prime Minster Vladimir Putin, even though Russia wrote off $4.5 billion in Libyan debt.

Russia Moves to Africa
It was no coincidence that the EU offered $21 billion for the trans-Saharan pipeline just after the Georgia-Russia war. Let the great games begin.

 

Commentary 
Will changing economic factors change int'l politics?

Putin Vs. Wall Street
Russia's rulers continue to hammer away with their anointed party line on the financial crisis: We are blameless victims and it's all the West's fault.

World Bank chief: Better ties with Russia a must
Russia's ties with the United States and the European Union must be improved to ensure stability, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said.

Russia: Bully no more?
But the heady days of easy profits from energy sales seem to have come to an end -- at least for the time being. And the Russian government now must scramble to maintain an ambitious economic and political agenda with rapidly dwindling means.

Building on Common Ground With Russia
Opinion By Henry A. Kissinger and George P. Shultz

Is a 'Resurgent' Russia a Threat to the United States?
If the United States insists on expanding its informal empire into Russia's nearby sphere of influence, it has to expect some pushback from a Russia that is no longer as weak as it once was.

Obama, Misha and the Bear
Because Russia behaves irresponsibly — including its latest disgraceful threat to base missiles near Poland — the temptation in the Obama administration will be to continue with NATO expansion and perhaps even with the ill-advised missile system for Europe.

Next US President Must Deal With the Real Russia
As a student of Russian culture and politics, I was terribly disappointed by both politicians' obvious lack of understanding of that nation as expressed during the debate.

John Bolton, Three Steps to Stop Putin . . . Before It Is Too Late.
Western opposition to Russia's recent aggressive behavior should not rest on a desire to "punish" Russia, but on the critical need to brace Moscow before its behavior becomes even more unacceptable. Europe and the United States have real interests at stake.

Our future with Russia
What the world needs now is an unprecedented strategic partnership between Moscow and Washington, bridging Europe and Asia, north and south, as the ground of political and economic renewal. McCain, stuck in the past, hasn't a clue of this future. Obama speaks from it.

Choose your enemy: Moscow or Teheran
The next American president would be well advised to give up this legitimate initiative in order to seek the crucially vital entente with Russia, without which a nuclear, imperialistic Iran will almost certainly materialize in short order.

Why is the American left making excuses for Putin's Russia?
The Putin/Medvedev Russia is the opposite of everything today's left supports: It's a land where billionaires flaunt their $20,000 watches and $350 million yachts, social services are slashed to a minimum, religion is entangled with the state, ethnic bigotry flourishes, labor unions are trampled, and homophobia is rampant and officially condoned.

The West must not push Russia away ¬ again. After so many broken promises, integration is key
Russia thought it had found a friend in America. Unfortunately, despite the desire of Russia's newly formed leadership to move closer to the West, to be integrated to Western institutions, there was no move to meet Russia partway.

Sixteen reasons why Russia should NEVER trust the West
The West raped Russia. Starting with pressure on the Yeltsin regime and with hand picked oligarchs and bureaucrats as intermediaries, it has been estimated that the West has ripped as much as $500 Billion from Russia.

A Less Ideological America
There is a consensus that, after eight years of George W. Bush, America will enter a period of major foreign policy adjustment, but Russia will not be at the heart of it. No one seriously expects a magical transformation of U.S. foreign policy, but there is a hope that the state of world affairs will make the next U.S. administration less ideological and more pragmatic.

Trans-Atlantic policy on Russia needed
The new president is headed for a clash with some of the United States' European allies, headed by Germany, over what Obama describes as a "resurgent and very aggressive Russia."

Russia: How Will Moscow Behave in a Multi-Polar World
As the revived multi-polar world probes for ways to avert a potential confrontation over Ukraine, some experts in Russia are hoping the Kremlin will be restrained in its actions..

Dumb and dumber
In the 1990s when the doors and windows of the Kremlin were wide open (too wide open) to western advisers, and when they had a man in charge whom they thought of as "theirs", the diplomats spent most of the decade looking the other way when things went wrong.

Handle with care. A cornered Russia could pose greater risks
The Russian leadership can, and does, blame the current financial crisis on America. It is doing its best to mobilise Russians against the West and the Westernisers and is becoming more confrontational.

Economic Crises And Presidential Terms -- Through A Western Looking-glass

Western correspondents often write about Russia the ease and comfort attendant on their job. Their formula is as simple as pie: blackwash anything that happens or does not happen in this country, and your copy will be a sure and easy sell.

Russian Prosecutors Probe Media For Bank 'Attacks'

Russian prosecutors are investigating media "attacks" on banks as President Dmitry Medvedev seeks to stave off panic during the country's worst financial crisis since the 1998 default, officials said.



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