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30.10.2018

"Russia’s Roadmap to Exiting Ukraine"

https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/russias-roadmap-to-exiting-ukraine-op-ed-63317

Charles North vom United States Institute of Peace hält die Schaffung einer UN-Friedenstruppe im Osten der Ukraine für einen realistischen Weg, um Russland den Rückzug aus dem Konflikt zu ermöglichen. Grundsätzlich hätten Moskau und Kiew einer solchen Mission bereits zugestimmt. Zwei Streitpunkte ständen einer Einigung im Weg: "First, Putin has insisted that Ukraine must negotiate directly with the self-proclaimed 'republics.' Ukraine understandably refuses. Coordination with the 'republics,' if not handled by Russia or through the Minsk process, would more properly be handled by the U.N. special representative. Second, the Minsk Accords endorse a 'special status' for the areas currently under Russian influence, including specific powers for their local authorities. Many Ukrainians mistrust such an arrangement, applied exclusively to these areas, as a way for Russia to continue subverting Ukrainian governance. Adhering to this provision will increase resentment toward the separatists and inhibit their reintegration. Alternatively, Ukraine could advance its decentralization and make all regions 'special' by adopting the European Union’s Charter of Local Self-Government as a framework nationwide. This approach may address Russian concerns, while strengthening Ukraine’s governance and easing the reintegration process."

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25.10.2018

"Russia Will Target European Countries if They Host U.S. Nuclear Missiles — Putin"

https://themoscowtimes.com/news/russia-will-target-european-countries-if-they-host-us-nuclear-missiles-pu
tin-says-63294

Russlands Präsident Putin hat angesichts des drohenden Endes des INF-Vertrags angekündigt, auf die Stationierung neuer US-Mittelstreckenraketen in Europa entsprechend zu reagieren. "Putin told reporters on Wednesday that Russia would have to respond in kind and would do so swiftly if the United States quit the pact. 'Answering your question directly, can we respond,' Putin said, when asked what Russia would do if Trump made good on his pledge to leave the treaty. 'We can, and it will be very fast and very effective,' he said. 'If the United States does withdraw from the INF treaty, the main question is what they will do with these [intermediate-range] missiles that will once again appear.' 'If they will deliver them to Europe, naturally our response will have to mirror this, and European countries that agree to host them, if things go that far, must understand that they are putting their own territory at risk of a possible counter-strike.' Putin said he did not understand why it was necessary to put Europe in such danger, saying it was a situation that Russia itself wanted to avoid if possible."

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22.10.2018

"Deja Vu in Europe as Trump Quits Nuke Treaty"

https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/deja-vu-in-europe-as-trump-quits-nuke-treaty-the-op-ed-63268

Leonid Bershidsky meint, dass ein Rücktritt der USA aus dem INF-Vertrag auch dem russischen Präsidenten Putin politisch gelegen kommen würde. "As Sestanovich pointed out, the U.S. was 'free under the treaty to move forward with a robust program of new deployments, all the while generating a steady stream of public accusations about Russian duplicity.' Now Trump has given up this convenient position, lending credence to the Russian view that in today’s world, all rules are out the window and everyone must fend for themselves. Russia no longer needs to hide its work on shorter-range missiles or their deployment, and it can describe it as a response to U.S. disrespect for fundamental international frameworks. (...) The real losers here are the countries that will be caught in the middle. The U.K. government announced, perhaps not surprisingly given the recent poisonings in Salisbury, it stood with Trump; but the German government doesn’t relish the thought of a repeat of the mass demonstrations that rocked the country when the Pershing IIs were deployed."

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19.10.2018

"Putin Is Living in a World Without Rules"

https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/putin-is-living-in-a-world-without-rules-op-ed-63252

Leonid Bershidsky schreibt, dass Präsident Putin mit seinen jüngsten Äußerungen zur Atomstrategie Russlands eine "fatalistische" Weltsicht offenbart habe, die kaum Platz für eine vernünftige internationale Kooperation zur Verhinderung einer atomaren Katastrophe lasse. "Putin told a session of the Valdai Club, set up as a forum for Russian foreign-policy intellectuals to share their views with foreign colleagues, that Russia doesn’t believe in a preemptive nuclear strike but rather in an immediate, deadly response: Yes, in this situation it appears as through we’re waiting for someone to use nuclear weapons against us, and we’re doing nothing ourselves. Well, yes. But then the aggressor must know anyway that retribution is inevitable, that he will be annihilated. (...) Putin is tired of any and all discussion. He’s already made all his decisions. It’s not just his visceral reaction to being in power after more than 18 years, though. The moderator of Thursday’s session, political scientist Fyodor Lukyanov, and a team of other well-known Russian intellectuals with links to the Valdai Club, wrote in the club’s report for this year’s session that all attempts to forge a workable global system have failed and it’s everyone for themselves now".

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20.09.2018

"Why Putin Has Suddenly Turned Dovish on Syria"

https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/why-putin-has-suddenly-turned-dovish-on-syria-opinion-62940

Leonid Bershidsky führt Russlands Kompromissbereitschaft in Syrien vor allem auf US-Präsident Trump und dessen demonstrierte Bereitschaft zum Einsatz des US-Militärs gegen Präsident Assad zurück. "Unlike President Barack Obama, Trump has not hesitated to use force against the Assad regime. He has stepped up the U.S. military presence in Syria, and he reportedly agreed recently to keep troops there indefinitely. Erdogan’s warnings against attacking Idlib were backed up by some strong rhetoric from the U.S. The last thing Putin wants is for the U.S., flanked by Turkey and Israel, to attack the Assad regime. He’d be pitted against three major military powers with only Iran and the feckless Assad forces as his allies. (...) Now, to hold on to the gains Putin made jointly with Assad, he needs to exercise caution. On the one hand, he’s winning points by showing a willingness to compromise; on the other hand, though, he can’t be seen as showing weakness. This is perhaps the most difficult position for the Russian leader in Syria since 2015."

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18.06.2018

"The Dangerous Legacy of Keeping Russia's World Cup Safe"

https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/dangerous-legacy-of-keeping-the-world-cup-safe-61865

Auch wenn die vor dem Hintergrund der Fußball-WM getroffenen Sicherheitsmaßnahmen in Russland aufgrund der riesigen Kosten kaum aufrechterhalten werden dürften, erwartet Mark Galeotti ein "gemischtes Erbe" der Großveranstaltung. "Extra spending on law enforcement and urban security measures will carry forward and be especially useful for venue cities such as Rostov-on-Don, Volgograd and Yekaterinburg, which have needed something of an assist. However, if the more intrusive campaign of 'prophylactic chats,' local confinement and unofficial intimidations are also deemed successful, the temptation will be to adopt them more generally. Russia may gain a better reputation abroad while losing even more of its freedoms at home."

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15.06.2018

"Amid Concerns of Terrorism and Hooligans, Russia Puts In Place 'Ring of Steel'"

https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/russias-ring-of-steel-61854

Die russischen Sicherheitsbehörden hätten einen "Ring aus Stahl" um das WM-Turnier gezogen, um Terroranschläge und Übergriffe von Hooligans zu verhindern, schreibt die Moscow Times. "With Russia hosting a massive influx of tourists in 11 cities across the country, the question on many people’s minds is: Is it safe? Russia is well aware that the world’s attention is fixed on the country this summer and it is eager to show that it can easily accommodate the more than one million foreign fans expected to descend on the country during the World Cup. Ensuring that the tournament’s matches go ahead without a hitch is a matter of supreme importance to the Kremlin, and the government has spared no expense: Official estimates claim that more than 30 billion rubles ($479 million) have been spent solely on security."

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30.05.2018

"Russia’s Islamic State Women and Children Should be Returned Home"

https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/russias-islamic-state-women-and-children-should-be-returned-home-op-e
d-61628

Die Moskauer Regierung hat sich bereit erklärt, die Kinder von russischen IS-Anhängerinnen, die in Irak inhaftiert worden sind, nach Russland zu überstellen. Im Hinblick auf die Frauen selbst beschränke man sich derzeit darauf, Todesstrafen durch irakische Gerichte zu verhindern, schreibt Ekaterina Sokirianskaia vom Conflict Analysis and Prevention Centre. Sie empfiehlt den Behörden, auch den Frauen die Rückkehr nach Russland zu ermöglichen, um deren Aussagen im Kampf gegen die Terrormiliz nutzen zu können. "Women in IS were overwhelmingly non-combatants, segregated, not allowed to see other men and in the near constant cycle of birth and breastfeeding. Bringing these women home, putting them through rehabilitation and deradicalization programs, reintegrating and rehabilitating their children rather than letting them languish in prisons in the Middle East is not just an act of humanity. Their rescue and compassionate treatment would be a very effective mechanism of preventing violent extremism in Russia. Their stories and testimonies will be the most powerful counter-narratives to ultra-radical Islamist ideologies and the most effective vaccine against future waves of mobilization under jihadist flags."

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18.05.2018

"The End of the Annexation"

https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/the-end-of-the-annexation-opinion-61495

Der Westen sollte nach Fertigstellung der neuen Brücke zwischen dem russischen Festland und der Krim nach Ansicht von Andrei Kolesnikov die Hoffnung aufgeben, dass die Halbinsel irgendwann in Verhandlungen an die Ukraine zurückgegeben werden könne. "The bridge solves the problem of Crimea’s isolation from Russia. It should boost the number of tourists visiting the peninsula. But, most importantly, it is proof of Russia’s capabilities to the world and its authorities' soft power at home. (...) Crimea and Sevastopol received colossal financial support motivated by what is now generally referred to as 'geopolitical reasons.' The bridge is both a part of that support and its symbol. It is a sign of yet another victory by Russia — that is, Putin — and one that stands out all the more for taking place so close to hostile Ukraine and its Western supporters. Finally, it is also the conclusion of Crimea’s incorporation into Russia, both physically and politically. Any haggling over on what terms Russia might return Crimea to Ukraine is now definitively null and void."

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16.05.2018

"Majority of Russians Fear Syria May Lead to WWIII, Poll Says"

https://themoscowtimes.com/news/majority-russians-fear-syria-may-lead-wwiii-poll-says-61463

Einer neuen Umfrage zufolge fürchtet eine Mehrheit der Russen, dass der Konflikt in Syrien zu einem Dritten Weltkrieg führen könnte. "According to the independent Levada Center pollster’s results published Wednesday, 57 percent of Russian respondents said they had 'some' or 'great concerns' about the Syrian conflict spilling into a global war, up from 48 percent in 2016. '[The results are] the outcome of the escalating conflict in Syria as it’s reflected in the media,' the RBC business portal cited Levada sociologist Stepan Goncharov as saying. Almost 40 percent said they did not share fear the start of World War III because of Syria."

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28.03.2018

"Russia is a 'Beast From the Deep Sea' With 'Tentacles' — U.S. State Department"

https://themoscowtimes.com/news/russia-beast-from-deep-sea-with-tentacles-us-state-department-60965

Eine Sprecherin des US-Außenministeriums habe Russland aufgrund seiner internationalen Geheimdienstaktivitäten mit einer "Bestie aus der Tiefsee" verglichen, berichtet die Moscow Times. "'Russia has long arms; Russia has lots of tentacles […] It’s a beast from the deep sea,' Nauert told reporters at a daily briefing. Russia’s Embassy in the U.S. replied to the comparison on Twitter, saying that it resembled an anti-Russian propaganda poster from Nazi Germany."

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15.03.2018

"How the Collapse of the Soviet Union Could Have Helped Skripal's Attackers"

https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/how-the-collapse-of-the-soviet-union-could-have-helped-skripals-attac
kers-60815

Premierministerin May habe in ihrer Erklärung zum Fall des vergifteten russischen Ex-Spions die Möglichkeit genannt, dass der verwendete Kampfstoff von unabhängigen Akteuren eingesetzt worden sein könnte, schreibt Henry Nicholls. Das Chaos der zusammenbrechenden Sowjetunion lasse es tatsächlich denkbar erscheinen, dass toxische Substanzen bzw. das entsprechende Know-How vor vielen Jahren in kriminelle Hände geraten sind. "The Soviet Union's chemical weapons program was in such disarray in the aftermath of the Cold War that some toxic substances and know-how could have got into the hands of criminals, say people who dealt with the program at the time. 'Could somebody have smuggled something out?' said Amy Smithson, a biological and chemical weapons expert. 'I certainly wouldn't rule that possibility out, especially a small amount and particularly in view of how lax the security was at Russian chemical facilities in the early 1990s.' (...) Accounts of security deficiencies at weapons facilities indicate that, at least for a period in the 1990s, Moscow was not in firm control of its chemical weapons stockpiles or the people guarding them."

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20.02.2018

"President Trump, I'm Russian and I'm Not Laughing"

https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/president-trump-im-russian-and-im-not-laughing-60566

Leonid Bershidsky hat keine Zweifel, dass die von US-Sonderermittler Mueller genannte "Internet Research Agency" tatsächlich Propagandaarbeit in den USA geleistet habe, da die russische "Trollfabrik" in sozialen Netzwerken in Russland oder der Ukraine mit ähnlichen Methoden eine Putin-freundliche Stimmung verbreite. Die Reaktion der USA auf diese Aktivitäten sei allerdings nicht nur übertrieben, sondern könnte langfristig auch die Meinungsfreiheit der Amerikaner gefährden. "The next time someone rolls out a cage containing an actor impersonating a presidential candidate, it could be seen as a legitimate reason to investigate: What if the Russians (the Chinese, the North Koreans, the Iranians) are behind this? Even such an investigation would have the effect of censoring speech. The other reason I'm not laughing is that the U.S. is on the verge of a misunderstanding that can be dangerous to me as a Russian citizen and to millions of other Russians living, working or just traveling in the West. (...) The Internet Research Agency trolls got visas to travel to the U.S. for personal reasons, but instead, according to the indictment, they 'gathered intelligence.' The obvious next step for the U.S. is to decide that, since so many Russians work for the regime in unofficial capacities, all Russians are automatically suspect."

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22.01.2018

"Russia Denies it Violates the INF Treaty. OK, Show It"

https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/russia-denies-it-violates-the-inf-treaty-ok-show-it-op-ed-60200

Steven Pifer schreibt, dass der aktuelle Streit um den INF-Vertrag zwischen den USA und Russland durch die Entwicklung des russischen Marschflugkörpers 9M729 ausgelöst worden sei. Nach Ansicht der USA verletze diese Rakete durch ihre Reichweite den Vertrag, was Russland vehement abstreite. Pifer empfiehlt, die Frage durch eine Inspektion zu klären. "Russian and U.S. officials could use the Special Verification Commission established by the INF Treaty to work out procedures for Russia to exhibit a 9M729 to U.S. technical experts. The relevant question is how far the missile can fly. One key factor, for example, would be the size of the missile’s fuel tank(s). The experts could design ways to protect sensitive information unrelated to the missile’s range. (...) An exhibition of the 9M729 missile offers a possible way out of the current compliance impasse. If the missile has a range of less than 500 kilometers, an exhibit could allow the Russians to show that and make their case. Of course, if its range exceeds 500 kilometers, all 9M729s would have to be destroyed if Russia wished to return to full compliance with the INF Treaty. Something similar to an exhibit could also help resolve the most serious Russian charge of U.S. non-compliance with the INF Treaty."

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14.12.2017

"The Story Behind Putin's Mistrust of the West"

https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/the-story-behind-putins-mistrust-of-the-west-op-ed-59937

Leonid Bershidsky meint, dass die von der George Washington University veröffentlichten Dokumente über das 1991 von westlichen Vertretern geäußerte Versprechen, die NATO nicht nach Osteuropa auszudehnen, einiges zum Verständnis der heutigen Haltung von Präsident Putin beitragen. "The assurances were never put on paper. But anyone looking for insights into President Vladimir Putin's worldview should take an interest in the GWU documents. They back up, to a certain extent, conclusions he appears to have reached on the basis of the Soviet records of these discussions. (...) He has clearly pored over Soviet documents from 1990 and 1991 - he quoted Woerner on non-expansion in his famous, belligerent 2007 speech to the Munich Security Conference. And he appears to want to negotiate with the West the way he feels Westerners negotiated with the Soviets back then. That means, to him, feinting, dissembling, offering meaningless assurances of non-aggression, denying Russia's military actions in Ukraine, offering concessions in Syria that he never intended to make. Irritated Western interlocutors find that it's impossible to negotiate with him because he doesn't mean what he says and doesn't say what he wants. He sees it differently - as talking like a winner."

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12.12.2017

"Trump’s Decision on Jerusalem Might Open the Door For Russia"

https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/trumps-decision-on-jerusalem-might-open-door-for-russia-oped-59908

Die russische Regierung wird nach Ansicht von Alexei Khlebnikov versuchen, die kontroverse Jerusalem-Entscheidung der USA zu nutzen, um den eigenen Vermittlerstatus im Nahen Osten zu stärken. "(...) Russia can easily improve its public image in the Arab world by siding with Arab countries against the U.S. decision. If Moscow invests carefully, it might increase its influence in the region even further. Russia, being a member of the Middle East Quartet alongside the United States, the EU and the UN, is increasingly well positioned to take the lead on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, especially since Mahmoud Abbas, who heads the Palestinian Authority, has already said that Washington ceded its credibility in the group by recognizing Jerusalem. As the likelihood of the U.S. brokering a lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians wanes, Russia’s role in the Middle East looks set to deepen."

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11.12.2017

"Putin Orders Russian Military to Withdraw During Surprise Syria Visit"

https://themoscowtimes.com/news/putin-orders-russian-military-to-withdraw-during-surprise-syria-visit-598
95

Präsident Putin hat in einer Rede im syrischen Latakia den Abzug der russischen Kampftruppen aus Syrien angeordnet. "'I order the Defense Minister and the Chief of General Staff to proceed to withdraw Russian forces back to their points of permanent deployment,' Putin was cited by the state-run RIA Novosti news agency as saying at the Khmeimim airbase. If IS 'raise their heads again,' the president added, 'we will strike them with a force that they have never previously seen.' Putin also said that conditions have been created in Syria 'for a political resolution under the auspices of the United Nations.'"

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15.11.2017

"Independent Journalists in Russia Will Have to Live Without Their Western Role Models"

https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/independent-journalists-in-russia-will-have-to-live-without-their-wes
tern-role-models-oped-59579#new_tab

Viele westliche Medien haben in den vergangenen 18 Monaten Oleg Kashin zufolge ein Bild Russlands vermittelt, das selbst auf vehemente russische Putin-Gegner "schockierend" wirke. Der ehemals gute Ruf von CNN, der BBC und anderer Medien habe darunter stark gelitten. "At some point, quantity becomes quality, and the Western press has already published so many inaccurate, exaggerated, and knowingly untrue things about this country that the only Russians who seriously consider [Yuri Milner — the Russian billionaire with investments in Facebook, Twitter and other leading Internet resources] a Kremlin agent are either terribly naive or cynically hypocritical. These labels once applied only to the gullible viewers of state-controlled Russian television: Now they apply equally to those seeking the truth about Russia from the Western press. It is probably too early to call this a tectonic shift, but it is worth noting as a potentially important factor: The crisis of trust in the Western media that we 'poor Russian provincials' are experiencing will inevitably affect the public mood in this country."

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24.10.2017

"Russia Has Grand Designs For the International Order"

https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/russias-formative-plan-c-foreign-policy-59357

Dmitry Trenin mit einem kurzen analytischen Rückblick auf die prägenden Momente der russischen Außenpolitik in den vergangenen 25 Jahren. Nach dem Zusammenbruch der Sowjetunion habe sich das damalige "neue Russland" von seinen Supermachtambitionen verabschiedet und eine Kooperation mit dem Westen gesucht. Mit der neuen geopolitischen Strategie Moskaus habe sich nun ein Kreis geschlossen. "Russia is alone, but it is free to move. Its geographical position in the north and center of the great continent of Eurasia both allows and compels it to have a 360 degrees vision of its gigantic neighborhood, from Norway to North Korea, and from Murmansk to Mumbai. It has the two powerhouses of the continent, the EU and China, as direct neighbors, and it does not have to choose between them. Moscow’s new grand strategy is still in gestation. It seeks to maximize connectivity with all, while putting Russia’s own interests first. Managing a large number of very different partners is difficult, but not impossible, as Moscow’s recent experience in the Middle East shows."

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17.10.2017

"Russia's Trade With China Up 22%"

https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/russias-trade-with-china-up-22-to-59285

China entwickle sich langsam zum wichtigsten Außenhandelspartner Russlands, berichtet die Moscow Times. "Russia’s drive to make China its most important trade partner in terms of dollar turnover is on track, as trade between the two new-found friends increases steadily. The partners are hoping that trade will hit $80 billion this year and $200 billion by the end of the decade. (...) From January to September trade between Russia and China increased by 22.4 percent year-on-year to $61.4 billion, the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China announced on Oct. 13."

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29.09.2017

"Two Years on, the Stakes of Russia's War in Syria Are Piling"

https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/two-years-on-the-stakes-of-russias-war-in-syria-are-piling-59112

Zwei Jahre nach dem Eintritt in den syrischen Bürgerkrieg habe Russland das Ziel erreicht, sich im Nahen Osten erneut als einflussreiche Großmacht zu etablieren, stellt Vladimir Frolov fest. Nun müsse die russische Führung entscheiden, ob sie mit der Assad-Regierung und dem Iran einen kompletten militärischen Sieg über die Opposition anstreben und möglicherweise eine direkte Konfrontation mit den US-Truppen vor Ort riskieren wolle. "Washington needs to decide whether it wants to stay in Syria for counterinsurgency operations to prevent the re-emergence of Islamic State. It may also decide to block Iran from establishing the 'Shia land bridge' from the Iraqi border to the Mediterranean. But this entails supporting the SDF and helping them control sizeable real estate northeast of the Euphrates river and blocking regime forces and Russia from advancing east. Moscow needs to decide whether it wants to be dragged into Assad and Iran’s strategy of ensuring a complete military victory in Syria and preventing the opposition from exercising any autonomous self-rule. That could see Russia pulled into a nasty proxy fight with the Americans."

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29.08.2017

"How Kazakhstan Could Help Prevent Nuclear War"

https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/the-stakes-of-us-russia-relations-are-too-hight-for-pessimism-58790

Die Einrichtung der ersten internationalen "Uran-Bank" in Kasachstan wird vom früheren russischen Außenminister Igor Ivanov als wichtiges politisches Signal bezeichnet. "The arms – and nuclear weapons – race has accelerated. And the problem of nuclear proliferation has become worse, as highlighted once again by the grave Korean peninsula crisis. Under these circumstances, deep pessimism and the darkest prophecy have become the hot trend in discussing international security issues. Politicians, experts, journalists and diplomats strive to outdo each other in painting the grimmest picture of the impending upheavals. And, of course, the 'inevitable' proliferation of nuclear weapons is an integral part of the picture. Yet the event that took place in Ust-Kamenogorsk on Aug. 29 shows otherwise. There are still politicians and public leaders in this world who are not only prepared to go against the global flow, but are also capable of reversing it."

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22.08.2017

"What Israel's Netanyahu Wants From Moscow"

https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/what-does-netanyahu-want-from-moscow-op-ed-58720

Anlässlich des jüngsten Moskau-Besuchs des israelischen Premierministers Netanjahu schreibt Seth J. Frantzman, dass Israel sich von Russland vor allem eine stärkere Kooperation in Syrien erhofft. "Moscow takes into account Israel’s security concerns, but for Netanyahu it is important to stress the issue face-to-face. While Israel understands the Russian-Syrian alliance, it hopes that Moscow will encourage Damascus to wean itself off Tehran and sectarian militias including Hezbollah. A weakened Syrian regime has allowed foreign forces too much influence and Israel fears that Iran is attempting to dominate the region with a corridor of power that stretches through its allies in Baghdad via Damascus to Beirut. This threatens Russia as well because too much Iranian power leads to Sunni radicalization and the growth in Jihadist groups which have carried out attacks on Russian soil."

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16.08.2017

"Here's a Breakdown of Russia's Foreign Policy Goals"

https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/heres-a-breakdown-of-russias-foreign-policy-goals-op-ed-58677

Dmitry Trenin vom Carnegie Moscow Center analysiert die außenpolitischen Ziele der russischen Regierung in den kommenden Jahren. Das zentrale Motiv Moskaus sei demnach das Bemühen, Russland auch außerhalb des postsowjetischen Raums erneut als Großmacht zu etablieren. "On the other hand, conquering the Baltic states or establishing pro-Russian enclaves there are not on Russia’s foreign policy to-do list. Neither is taking Ukraine by force. Even integrating Ukraine’s Donbass region controlled by anti-Maidan separatists would be a major problem for Russia, economically and legally. (...) Though Putin likely enters his fourth formal, and fifth actual, presidential term in 2018, the post-Putin future will loom larger with every passing year. The stakes for all involved, both in Russia and the West, will be very high."

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29.07.2017

"Russia's Response to Sanctions Shows Restraint"

https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/russias-response-to-sanctions-is-restrained-for-now-op-ed-58531

Die Reaktion Russlands auf das neue Sanktionsgesetz der USA sei bislang zurückhaltend, stellt Vladimir Frolov fest. Die US-Botschaft in Moskau sei angewiesen worden, ihren Personalbestand zu reduzieren und der Zugang zu zwei US-Gebäuden in der russischen Hauptstadt sei beschränkt worden. "Russia’s response is designed to vent Moscow’s outrage, but it is also designed to avoid irreparable damage to its relationship with President Donald Trump. Putin hasn’t given up entirely on his personal investment in Donald Trump. The staff cuts are actually a delayed response to President Barack Obama’s decision in December 2016 to expel 35 Russian diplomats and seize diplomatic compounds in the United States. (...) The expulsions are the least painful way that both countries can register their displeasure with each other, without actually inflicting bodily harm. They don’t scar the relationship too badly. They don’t impact on core national interests. They are easily reversed."

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09.07.2017

"Putin and Trump Talked. But Don’t Bet on Real Change"

https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/trump-and-russia-dont-bet-on-change-58340

Vladimir Frolov glaubt nicht, dass das persönliche Treffen zwischen Donald Trump und Wladimir Putin beim G20-Gipfel in Hamburg nachhaltige politische Folgen haben wird. "With the bar set so low, anything other than a presidential brawl would pass off as a diplomatic breakthrough. But while the dust is still settling, it is important to take stock of the meeting’s tangible results, measured by the depth and breadth of issues covered. By these counts, the first presidential meet was underwhelming and a disappointment. The meeting made clear just how little the leaders agree on. Both were entrenched. Neither side was prepared to explore serious compromises."

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07.07.2017

"What Russians Want From Their President"

https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/what-Russians-want-from-their-president-58335#new_tab

Einer neuen Umfrage in Russland zufolge will eine Mehrheit der russischen Wähler offenbar keine grundsätzliche Veränderung der politischen Situation in ihrem Land. Alexei Levinson vom Levada Center erläutert die Ergebnisse der Umfrage seines Instituts: "An absolute majority of Russians is in favor of leaving the current political situation unchanged. Two-thirds of respondents want the next president to be Vladimir Putin (18 percent are hoping for someone else), and 56 percent of respondents overall expect their next leader to continue the country’s foreign policy 'as it is now.' Another 42 percent feel the same way regarding domestic policy. This holds true for almost every socio-demographic group queried in the survey, although each also has its particular demands of the future president. (...) Keep in mind that these are the opinions of people who are willing to take a firm and independent stance. Those who, in conversation with a pollster, are unafraid to express views that contradict the official government line."

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21.06.2017

"Tillerson’s Russia Strategy May Look Too Much Like Obama’s"

https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/frolov-58242

Vladimir Frolov analysiert das von Buzzfeed veröffentlichte Strategiepapier des US-Außenministeriums für eine Neuausrichtung der amerikanischen Russlandpolitik aus russischer Perspektive. "Tillerson’s strategy appears to be ambiguous and flexible. It is malleable enough to be rapidly scaled up or down depending its progress, and the response to it. The strategy does not set any lofty goals. It sticks to a minimalist agenda. But it suffers from the basic flaws that doomed Obama’s 2010 reset with Russia and his 2015 framework, which focused on issues marginal importance to Russia."

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20.06.2017

"It’s the Russians Wot Done It"

https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/its-the-russians-wot-done-it-58228

Mark Galeotti meint in Bezug auf einen Buzzfeed-Artikel über angebliche russische Attentäter in Großbritannien, dass derartige in der Regel kaum belegte Anschuldigungen Präsident Putin letztlich in die Hände spielen. "The article conflates Russian gangsterdom and officialdom — yes, they connect, and one hand sometimes washes the other, but they are not quite the same — and rolls together rumour, innuendo, paranoia and serious reportage in one package that seems to be crying out for a film adaptation. (...) Whether or not this is Cold War 2.0, the Russkies are undoubtedly reprising their greatest hits as the ubiquitous bad guys of the Western imagination. So what? Prussian King Fredrick the Great memorably said that to defend everything is to defend nothing. By the same token, blaming everything on Moscow runs the risk of pinning nothing on them. If lurid fantasies are mixed with credible accusations, then the former undermine the credibility of the latter. The Kremlin and its naïve Western apologists can then simply hand-wave anything away as 'Russophobia.'"

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06.06.2017

"Russia Mulls New Committee to Fight Western 'Election Meddling'"

https://themoscowtimes.com/news/russia-mulls-new-committee-to-fight-western-election-meddling-58156

Das russische Parlament erwägt offenbar, eine Kommission zur Abwehr einer westlichen Beeinflussung der russischen Präsidentschaftswahl 2018 einzusetzen. "Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the Federation Council’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, said that the United States and its 'NATO allies' had all carried out 'systematic attempts' to influence Russian politics. 'There is no doubt that during the run-up to the presidential elections in March next year, we're going to face some active and consistent attempts to influence the course of the vote,' he told the Interfax news agency. 'We'd like to see a permanent body that would monitor those attempts and improve current legislation.'"

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