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28.01.2021

"Will This Contender for German Chancellor Be a Friend to Russia"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2021/01/28/will-this-contender-for-german-chancellor-be-a-friend-to-russia
-a72764

Nach Ansicht von Dmitri Kartsev ist keineswegs ausgemacht, dass der neue CDU-Vorsitzende Armin Laschet seine bisher eher pragmatische Position gegenüber Russland auch als möglicher deutscher Bundeskanzler beibehalten würde. "His personal preferences, if they even exist, will have to contend with a number of other factors shaping German foreign policy. And unlike the U.S. or Russian presidents, the German chancellor exerts far less foreign policy influence. Much will depend on the choice of coalition partner, since the head of the second coalition party generally becomes foreign minister. That place may well be occupied by the Greens after the fall elections, and they take a very tough stance on Russia. The party’s federal leadership has called for Nord Stream 2 to be frozen, and harsher sanctions to be imposed. German politicians, including those from the CDU, generally agree that establishing closer ties with Russia is unlikely in the foreseeable future. Finally, there are external factors: primarily the position of the new U.S. administration and the situation in other European countries. There are no indications that Laschet would want to preside over a change in old policies, which combine sanctions that he has said should not be lifted, and specific agreements in certain areas despite the sanctions regime. As a new leader who is weaker than Merkel, he would need to strengthen his domestic policy positions before undertaking any foreign policy overhauls."

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25.01.2021

"The New Face of Russian Protest"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2021/01/25/the-new-face-of-russian-protest-a72716

Alexander Baunov rät davon ab, die aktuellen Proteste in Russland als "liberal" oder "pro-demokratisch" einzuschätzen. "Saturday’s protests were undeniably anti-regime, anti-elite, and anti-corruption, but not necessarily liberal, pro-Western, and pro-democracy. It’s not surprising that such protests frighten not only the authorities, but also successful members of society: even those who don’t consider themselves supporters of the regime. The protests that took place across Russia on Saturday were not like the local movements seen in recent times, such as the Moscow protests of summer 2019, or the regional ones seen in 2019–2020 in Khabarovsk, Yekaterinburg, and Shiyes. Instead of several different causes, which make the opposition agenda appear incoherent, the latest protests were all united by the same cause: opposition to the ruling regime, and support for the jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny."

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25.01.2021

"Protests for Jailed Kremlin Critic Navalny Sweep Russia"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2021/01/23/protests-for-jailed-kremlin-critic-navalny-sweep-russia-a72708

Uliana Pavlova und Felix Light berichten aus russischer Sicht über die andauernden Proteste gegen die Festnahme des russischen Oppositionspolitikers Alexei Navalny. "Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in over 100 towns and cities across Russia on Saturday to demand the release of jailed Putin critic Alexei Navalny in one of the broadest waves of nationwide protest the country has seen in recent years. (…) Moscow’s normally bustling city center was quiet in the hours before the protest as Navalny supporters moved toward the rallying point on Pushkin Square amid heavy riot police presence. Though the authorities had feared a large turnout of school and university students — going so far as to warn that those who attended would be expelled from their institutions — the crowd that assembled on Pushkin Square was mostly adult, ranging from veterans of decades of demonstrations to committed Navalny supporters in their 20s."

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17.01.2021

"U.S. Will Lift Nord Stream 2 Sanctions if Europe Suspends Construction, Says Biden Advisor"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2021/01/15/us-will-lift-nord-stream-2-sanctions-if-europe-suspends-constru
ction-says-biden-advisor-a72629

Die kommende US-Regierung will offenbar anbieten, die US-Sanktionen gegen Nord Stream 2 aufzuheben, sollte die Arbeit an der Ostseepipeline eingestellt werden. "The U.S. is willing to lift sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline if Europe suspends its construction, adviser to U.S. President-elect Joe Biden and incoming C.I.A. chief William Burns told the German newspaper Handelsblatt. 'The Europeans must stop the construction of Nord Stream 2, and the Americans must suspend the sanctions. This will give the new U.S. administration the opportunity to confidentially and calmly speak with the German government and other countries involved,' Burns said. The U.S. imposed sanctions at the end of 2019 in an effort to halt the construction of the pipeline, which will transport Russian gas to Europe. Trump's administration has repeatedly slammed Germany and other European nations for their reliance on energy from Russia."

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14.01.2021

"No One Benefits From Renewed Demonizing of Russia"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2021/01/14/no-one-benefits-from-renewed-demonizing-of-russia-a72606

Mark Galeotti hält eine andauernde "Dämonisierung" Russlands im Westen für problematisch. "(…) the continued presentation of a Russian threat that is both outsized and out of control is profoundly problematic for the West itself. There are smart and well-informed analysts of Moscow’s politics, who understand that Kremlin policy is often reacting to perceived Western slights and pressures, and that it is often both pragmatic and risk-averse. However, if their political masters are seduced by the easy caricature of Putin as Sauron to the Russian Mordor and assume both that everything they do is hostile and that they are driven not by self-interest but an irrational hatred, then this will distort policy. This is all the more important at such a crucial moment. The Biden administration will likely embark on no 're-sets' but nonetheless will have to develop a Russia policy for the next four years. The European Union, emerging from the Brexit discussions and eventually from the COVID crisis, will likely be considering its place in the world and thus its relationship with Moscow. The activities of a newly-aggressive China will force a recalculation of Realpolitik across the globe. In other words, this is a time for clarity of vision and honesty of assessment, not cheap shots and crass caricature."

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28.12.2020

"The Kremlin Faces a Difficult 2021"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/12/28/the-kremlin-faces-a-difficult-year-ahead-a72498

Der Kreml könnte sich 2021 einer neu gestärkten Opposition gegenübersehen, schreibt Abbas Gallyamov. "President Vladimir Putin has exhausted his political agenda. Even his recent referendum to 'reset' the political clock hasn’t helped. Putin might physically remain in power for some time, but he has already become a 'lame duck' president in the eyes of many people, a leader on his way out the door. Nobody — not even loyalists — has any hope that the country will improve while Putin remains in office. The only real questions now are, When will all of this end? and Who will be the next president? (…) Changes in Russia’s political parties take on particular importance in the run-up to State Duma elections. There are two main trends here. The first is the radicalization of the lower echelon of the Communist Party, the country’s second largest party. (…) The second trend is the emergence of the strong right-wing party called New People that has proven itself capable of winning elections. (…) Navalny’s return to Russia could play a decisive role in the current situation. The closer to the start of the Duma election campaign, the greater the effect it will have. Political tensions will be high then, and the arrival of the main opposition leader might act as a detonator, much as Lenin’s return did in April 1917."

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23.12.2020

"Has Navalny’s Prank Shattered the FSB Myth Once and For All?"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/12/23/has-navalnys-prank-shattered-the-fsb-myth-once-and-for-all-a724
57

Der russische Oppositionspolitiker Alexei Navalny habe dem Mythos der Kompetenz des russischen Geheimdienstes FSB mit seinem Telefonstreich vom 14. Dezember einen schweren Schlag versetzt, meint Sergey Radchenko. "Is it fair to say that the spectacular trainwreck of the FSB’s operation to poison Alexei Navalny is the worst failure in the history of the Russian and Soviet security services? To be sure, it’s just the latest in a series of incredible blunders. Consider the failure of the plot to kill Sergei Skripal that highlighted the astounding incompetence of Russia’s military intelligence (GRU). Or Bellingcat’s recent report that blew the cover of some 305 GRU officers through a car registration database. All these point to a deep rot at the heart of Russia’s intelligence apparatus that is really quite unparalleled."

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24.11.2020

"U.S. Sanctions Under Biden: What to Expect"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/11/24/us-sanctions-under-biden-what-to-expect-a72136

Ivan Timofeev geht davon aus, dass sich das Paradigma der "scharfen Rivalität" in den Beziehungen zwischen den USA und Russland unter Präsident Biden nicht grundlegend ändern wird. "(…) there’s no good news for Russia. But there’s no outright bad news either. None of the sanctions in place will be reviewed: issues in the U.S.-Russian relationship like Ukraine, cybersecurity, the Middle East, and human rights are not going to show improvement, so nor will the sanctions policy. Things could, however, undoubtedly take a turn for the worse. The United States has not yet adopted any sanctions over the poisoning of the opposition politician Alexei Navalny. This will likely happen before Trump leaves office in January. But there’s no reason to expect radical measures. Most likely, Washington will limit itself to blocking entry and visas to the United States for the Russian officials already included on the EU sanctions lists. (…) If there are no major crises (such as Ukraine in 2014, the U.S. election interference scandal in 2016, or the Skripal poisonings in 2018), it’s unlikely that there will be an escalation of sanctions on Washington’s part. (…) It’s more likely that we will see more active sanctions related to human rights, such as the Magnitsky Act. They won’t have a fundamental impact on the Russian economy, since they will only affect individual members of the Russian security services or officials."

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10.11.2020

"Russian Ceasefire Deal in Nagorno-Karabakh Marks Slow, Painful End of Empire in the South Caucasus"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/11/10/russian-ceasefire-deal-marks-slow-painful-end-of-empire-in-the-
south-caucasus-a72001

Mark Galeotti meint dagegen, dass die Waffenruhe in Bergkarabach das Ende des russischen "Imperiums" im südlichen Kaukasus eingeleitet habe. "The Kremlin has long regarded the South Caucasus as part of its 'Near Abroad' sphere of influence. Not an empire as such, but a region in which it has to be acknowledged as regional hegemon. Its inability and seeming unwillingness to control this six-week war had become increasingly problematic, especially as Armenia — unlike Azerbaijan, still a member of the CSTO, Russia’s increasingly-threadbare answer to NATO — was suffering attacks even on its own territory. This was all the more serious given Turkey’s extensive and evident support for Azerbaijan. (…) This is neither mature statecraft not self-confident hegemony. This is managing decline, a Russia that in regional terms is strong in capacities, weak in will, trying to make the best of a situation, and in the process disappointing its allies and doing nothing to deter its challengers. All one can say is that at least the guns are silent now — but for how long?"

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09.11.2020

"Trump’s Loss Not Necessarily Russia’s"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/11/09/trumps-loss-not-necessarily-russias-a71985

Der Amtswechsel im Weißen Haus müsse für Russland nicht nur negative Folgen haben, schreibt Steven Pifer. Präsident Putin werde in Zukunft einer berechenbaren US-Regierung gegenüberstehen, die zu seriösen Gesprächen bereit sein könnte. "With Biden, the president’s attitude and the administration’s policy will match. The Kremlin may not like certain elements of that policy, but it will understand it. Second, Biden can be expected to professionalize relations, both on issues where interests coincide and where major differences divide the two countries. (…) Third, Biden will want guardrails to manage the adversarial aspects of the U.S.-Russia relationship, beginning with arms control. (…) Fourth, Biden has the disposition to tackle problems that may require months, perhaps longer, to resolve. Trump wanted immediate results. Even had he bothered to take the time to get smart on a particular issue, he lacked the patience necessary to work out settlements to difficult disputes. Biden’s approach could help address the toughest nuts on the U.S.-Russia agenda, such as Moscow’s conflict against Ukraine — which U.S. officials have termed the biggest barrier to a more positive development of the bilateral relationship. (…) if Putin and the Kremlin exercise some moderation, they can expect from the next American president a readiness for serious dialogue — including on differences — of a kind that has been noticeably absent in recent years."

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02.11.2020

"What's Next for Protesters in Belarus?"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/11/02/whats-next-for-protesters-in-belarus-a71931

Weißrussland befinde sich derzeit in einer politischen "Pattsituation", stellt Gennady Rudkevich fest. "What would it take for the Belarusian protests to succeed in removing Lukashenko from power? Firstly, there would have to be substantial defections from the elite. Not because political elites in Belarus wield significant power, but because of the signal this would send to the Belarusian military and to Russia. That’s unlikely to happen, barring a significant economic decline. Secondly, Russia would have to adopt a more neutral stance. Without Russia backing-off in its support for Lukashenko’s regime, the Belarusian economy is unlikely to collapse, the Russian-speaking media will be able to maintain a unified pro-Lukashenko front, and other countries will remain unwilling or be unable to put enough pressure on Lukashenko to resign. Finally, Lukashenko would have to make a serious mistake — comparable to the Maidan massacre in Ukraine in February 2014 — to push otherwise passive opposition supporters to come out to the streets. While none of these developments are impossible, they are improbable without the strike action rapidly gaining steam."

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15.10.2020

"Is Russia's Dialogue with the EU Coming to an End?"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/10/15/is-russias-dialogue-with-the-eu-coming-to-an-end-a71766

Die jüngsten Anmerkungen des russischen Außenministers Sergei Lavrov zum Dialog mit der EU haben nach Ansicht von Fyodor Lukyanov das überfällige Ende des bisherigen Verhältnisses beider Seiten eingeläutet. "In effect, he has simply stated what everyone already knew — namely, that the old framework for Russian-EU relations no longer exists. This does not mean an end to all relations, only an end to relations as they were. A new framework is needed now, but it will probably be a long time in coming. And the framework Russia might want for its relations with Europe will not materialize for the very reasons mentioned above: present circumstances are simply too unfavorable. Of course, no new Iron Curtain between Russia and the EU will fall from the sky. Their mutual humanitarian and economic relations remain very strong, despite some damage from sanctions, and cultural and even political ties remain intact. However, these are strictly utilitarian relations, without any pretense of common goals, and they take a backseat to Moscow’s bilateral relations with individual European countries. Russia and Europe are devolving into coolly polite neighbors that have no real interest in each other, but who are forced to interact simply because they live next door to each other."

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07.10.2020

"Russia’s Security Guarantees for Armenia Don’t Extend to Karabakh, Putin Says"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/10/07/russias-security-guarantees-for-armenia-dont-extend-to-karabakh
-putin-says-a71687

Präsident Putin hat in einem Interview bekräftigt, dass die Sicherheitsgarantien Russlands für das verbündete Armenien nicht für die umstrittene Region Bergkarabach gelten. "Russia's commitments to Armenia as part of a Moscow-led regional security bloc do not include the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region where fighting is raging between Armenia and Azerbaijan, President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday. In his first public comments on the deadly conflict since it broke out on Sept. 27, Putin called the 10-day eruption of fighting a 'tragedy' whose end is 'still a long way off.' Russia has walked a thin line between ex-Soviet neighbors Yerevan and Baku, calling for a ceasefire in the latest flare-up but not publicly backing either side."

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07.10.2020

"Poland Fines Gazprom $7.5Bln Over Nord Stream 2"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/10/07/poland-fines-gazprom-75bln-over-nord-stream-2-a71682

Die Wettbewerbsbehörde in Polen hat gegen das russische Energieunternehmen Gazprom eine Geldstrafe in Höhe von 7,5 Milliarden US-Dollar verhängt. Die umstrittene Ostseepipeline Nord Stream 2 schade den polnischen Verbrauchern und gefährde die polnische Energiesicherheit, so die Begründung. "The figure is equal to 10% of Gazprom’s annual revenues, the maximum allowable penalty. Tomasz Chrostny, president of Poland’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection said the fine was 'unprecedented.' The European companies involved in the project — Engie, Uniper, OMV, Shell and Wintershall — have also been fined a total of $61 million, also equivalent to 10% of their annual turnover. (…) 'Poland is going to great lengths to create new hindrances for Nord Stream 2,' Maria Shagina, a fellow at the University of Zurich and member of the Geneva International Sanctions Network told The Moscow Times. But, she added that the fine was unlikely to change much. 'U.S. sanctions are the main threat. Plus, Gazprom has a proven record of not complying with legal verdicts,' she said, referring to a battle with Ukraine’s Naftogaz which played out in Stockholm courts."

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28.09.2020

"The Return of the Berlin Patient"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/09/28/the-return-of-the-berlin-patient-a71574

Der Kreml werde sich nach der Rückkehr Alexei Navalnys nach Russland einem gestärkten Oppositionsführer gegenübersehen, der vom "Kraftfeld" der öffentlichen Meinung im Westen geschützt sei, meint Andrei Kolesnikov. "A sort of political force field now surrounds and protects Navalny, even if he does not receive the Nobel Peace Prize, because his reputation has gained global and not merely national dimensions. (…) To be fair, 'the Navalny brand' had suffered a series of setbacks of late. He had quarreled with journalists over trivialities, become fixated on the mechanics of 'smart voting' and seemed to be losing money in his fight against Yevgeny Prigozhin, the so-called 'Kremlin chef.' He played no role in the civil protests that have broken out in different parts of the country, even though supporters of various conspiracy theories consistently claimed that he was behind them all. However, it was his poisoning that revealed exactly whom the Kremlin — or its hired killers — considered the main figure opposing Russian authoritarianism. Navalny will emerge from this dramatic incident an even stronger figure, only underscoring for domestic, and especially overseas audiences, that Russian politics is a binary construction consisting of 'Navalny vs. Putin.'"

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25.09.2020

"Gorbachev Backs Belarus Opposition Protesters"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/09/25/gorbachev-backs-belarus-opposition-protesters-a71547

Michail Gorbatschow, der letzte Präsident der Sowjetunion, hat sich in einem Interview hinter die Protestbewegung in Weißrussland gestellt. "'I respect the Republic [of Belarus] and love the Belarusian people...They have now shown their true strong character — that’s very good,' Gorbachev, 89, said in an interview with the Podyom media outlet. The ex-Soviet leader said that he is closely following the developments in Belarus and described the mass arrests of protesters on the day of Lukashenko’s secret inauguration as 'devilish.' Gorbachev voiced hope that protesters’ efforts will be rewarded, but acknowledged that there is still a lot of work left to do."

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20.09.2020

"Tens of Thousands Protest in Belarus Capital Against Lukashenko"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/09/20/tens-of-thousands-protest-in-belarus-capital-against-lukashenko
-a71492

In Weißrussland sind am Wochenende erneut zehntausende Demonstranten mit Forderungen nach einem Rücktritt von Präsident Lukaschenko auf die Straße gegangen. "The opposition movement has kept up a wave of large-scale demonstrations every Sunday since President Alexander Lukashenko won a disputed victory in August 9 polls. People holding red-and-white protest flags gathered at the 'March of Justice' that occupied the whole of a central avenue and walked towards the heavily guarded Palace of Independence, where Lukashenko has his offices. (…) The scale of Saturday's detentions prompted the opposition's Coordination Council to warn of a 'new phase in the escalation of violence against peaceful protesters.' Among those detained was one of the most prominent faces of the protest movement, 73-year-old activist Nina Baginskaya, although she was later released."

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04.09.2020

"The West Is Outraged By Navalny’s Novichok Poisoning. That’s No Guarantee of Tough Sanctions"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/09/04/the-west-is-outraged-by-navalnys-novichok-poisoning-thats-no-gu
arantee-of-tough-sanctions-a71331

Einige Experten bezweifeln, dass die westliche Empörung über die mutmaßliche Vergiftung des russischen Oppositionellen Navalny zu harten Sanktionen gegen Russland führen wird. "Despite the shock and outrage, the most likely reaction, analysts say, is a new round of so-called 'personal sanctions' against a handful of individuals seen as responsible for the poisoning. 'Many countries could slap on asset freezes, visa bans and travel restrictions very easily. They’re always available as an off-the-shelf option,' Richard Connolly, director of the Center for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies at the University of Birmingham told The Moscow Times. (…) 'I am deeply skeptical that the Donald Trump administration will impose new sanctions on Russia of any significance over the Navalny poisoning,' said Brian O’Toole, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and former adviser to the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which administers and enforces U.S. sanctions around the world. (…) The EU is also 'extremely unlikely' to roll out tougher sectoral sanctions, said Connolly. He pointed out that even the poisoning of Sergei Skripal — seen as a Russian attack on foreign soil that resulted in the death of a British citizen — did not push Europe to introduce new broad economic penalties on Russia. And if there was any desire from the more hardline European countries, dynamics among the EU’s 27 members are likely to thwart a more robust reply."

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22.08.2020

"Russia’s Murderous Adhocracy"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/08/22/russias-murderous-adhocracy-a71219

Die mutmaßliche Vergiftung Alexej Navalnys bestätigt nach Ansicht von Mark Galeotti, dass "politischer Mord" in Russland nicht länger Staatsmonopol sei. Eine direkte Verwicklung des Kreml könne zwar nicht völlig ausgeschlossen werden. Der mutmaßliche Angriff auf den Oppositionspolitiker könne jedoch auch eine "tödliche Nebenwirkung" der von Präsident Putin geschaffenen "Adhocracy" sein. "Putin’s system is a substantially de-institutionalised one, in which the president’s favor is the main asset everyone wants to earn, and formal roles and responsibilities matter less than how one can be of use today. The boss largely doesn’t micromanage, but rather sets broad objectives and hints at what kinds of things he would like to see. This generates flexibility and initiative, but at the cost of duplication and control. Ambitious and cynical figures work to what they believe Putin wants, or else find ways to justify their own interests as being in line with those of the state. In Navalny’s case, there is no lack of potential enemies. (…) A state that kills is a terrible thing, but its red lines can generally be observed and it can ultimately be held to account. But a state that permits a whole range of actors and interests to kill with impunity is an even more uncomfortable thing, as the red lines may be invisible, intersecting and mobile, and the challenge of accountability is even greater."

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16.08.2020

"Putin Doesn’t Want to Intervene in Belarus. That’s an Opportunity for the West."

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/08/16/putin-doesnt-want-to-intervene-in-belarus-thats-an-opportunity-
for-the-west-a71166

Trotz des russischen Hilfsangebots an den weißrussischen Präsidenten meint Anna Arutunyan, dass Moskau bisher zurückhaltend auf die Krise im Nachbarland reagiere. Dies könnte ihrer Ansicht nach den Weg für eine Kooperation zwischen Moskau und Brüssel zur diplomatischen Beilegung der Krise öffnen. "The truth is, neither Moscow nor Brussels are invested in Lukashenko, and neither want another Euromaidan. This may be a chance for the EU to reach out to Russia to help broker dialogue in Belarus — together. This would, of course, have to happen behind the scenes — Moscow prefers negotiations out of the public eye and trusts them more than empty statements that don’t deliver on substance. The explicit goal of such mediation should not be forced regime change. But the implicit goal could be a gradual, peaceful transition towards a Belarus without Lukashenko."

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30.07.2020

"Russian Mercenaries in Belarus: All You Need to Know"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/07/30/russian-mercenaries-in-belarus-all-you-need-to-know-a71020

Vor den Präsidentschaftswahlen sind in Weißrussland 33 russische Söldner aufgegriffen worden. Die Moscow Times hat die aktuellen Informationen und Expertenmeinungen zu diesem ungewöhnlichen Vorgang zusammengetragen. "Belarus has arrested 33 Russian mercenaries allegedly plotting to destabilize the country ahead of next month's presidential election. Belarus' KGB security service said the detained men were members of the Wagner group, a shadowy private military firm reportedly controlled by an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin which promotes Moscow's interests in Ukraine, Syria, Libya and a number of other countries. (…) Experts have so far pushed forward three main theories as to what happened: The Wagner soldiers were on their way to a third country from Belarus. (…) The whole thing is orchestrated (with or without Russian approval) to postpone the elections in Belarus. (…) Russia wants to integrate Belarus into its territory. (…) Lukashenko has increasingly resisted a number of the Kremlin’s latest overtures to strengthen the political alliance through moves such as a single currency or more beefed-up supranational governance bodies, and in return Putin has come good on long-standing threats that Moscow’s cash and cut-price energy is not a gift without strings. (…) In a warning which now looks prescient, Artyom Shraibman said at the time: 'The two countries are irrevocably set on a path of cooler and more pragmatic relations. This process may result in a situation that is healthier for both sides, but it’s unlikely to be without incident.'"

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06.07.2020

"Denmark Paves Way for Russia's Nord Stream 2 Restart"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/07/06/denmark-paves-way-for-russias-nord-stream-2-restart-a70797

Dänemark hat grünes Licht für den Weiterbau der Ostseepipeline Nord Stream 2 durch dänische Gewässer erteilt. "Gazprom’s controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline overcame another major obstacle to completion Monday, as Denmark granted permission for the pipeline to continue being laid with the use of less technologically advanced ships, potentially negating the impact of U.S. sanctions against the project. (…) Russia could now complete the project using its own vessels, such as the Akademic Cherskiy, which is currently docked in German waters in the Baltic, having set sail from Russia’s Far East port of Nakhodka in February, or another pipe-laying ship, the Fortuna, which is also located in the Baltic. The Akademik Cherskiy is more than three times slower than the vessels that were being used by Allseas, according to Independent Commodity Intelligence Services — meaning the final stretch would take more than three months to complete."

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03.07.2020

"The 'Talibangate' Claims About Russian Bounties Still Don’t Add Up"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/07/03/the-talibangate-claims-about-russian-bounties-still-dont-add-up
-a70772

Mark Galeotti empfiehlt, dem "Talibangate"-Skandal nicht vorschnell Glauben zu schenken. Sein wichtigstes Argument ist die Frage, warum Moskau ein derart hohes Risiko eingehen sollte. "The Kremlin is not averse to playing geopolitics hard. New evidence has emerged recently linking the FSB to murders in Germany and Turkey, and the GRU has been connected to 'wet work' in the U.K., Ukraine and beyond. Yet their targets tend to be 'traitors,' from Chechen rebels to defectors, rather that outsiders. Indeed, they appear well aware of the risks in killing others, especially Americans. In Syria, for example, they sat back and meekly allowed U.S. forces to kill hundreds of Russians from the Wagner Group mercenary force. To target Americans would seem to be a major escalation, inviting retaliation — and despite the claims that Trump is 'Putin’s puppet,' U.S. policy towards Russia is already tougher than at any point since 1991, largely because it is in the hands of Congress. Were Moscow to take this step — and it is worth noting that the recent allegations about a Russian plot to assassinate Czech politicians, another seeming escalation of Kremlin 'active measures,' turned out to be a hoax – this would presumably only be for the best of reasons. And those reasons would be? That’s rather trickier to say, except for the ultra-hawks who believe, evidence notwithstanding, that hurting Americans is an end in itself for Putin and his circle (…)."

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01.07.2020

"Result of Vote Extending Putin Rule a 'Triumph' – Kremlin"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/07/02/result-of-vote-extending-putin-rule-a-triumph-kremlin-a70759

Die umstrittene russische Verfassungsreform ist in einem Referendum mit großer Mehrheit angenommen worden. "Russians began voting last week on the package of constitutional changes proposed by Putin earlier this year, including a reset of presidential term limits allowing him to run twice again after his current six-year term ends in 2024. Other amendments strengthen presidential and parliamentary powers, enshrine traditional values including an effective ban on gay marriage and guarantee better minimum wages and pensions. 'Now that Russians have given such support for changes to the constitution, this will all become the foundation for a better future for our country,' [presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov] said. 'It was very difficult to predict the extremely high turnout and the extremely high support.' The result was seen by many as a foregone conclusion, however, and copies of the new constitution were already on sale in bookshops weeks ahead of the ballot."

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20.06.2020

"Opening Nuclear Talks With Russia, U.S. May Also Be Ending Them"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/06/20/opening-nuclear-talks-with-russia-us-may-also-be-ending-them-a7
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Sollte die US-Regierung bei den Atomwaffenverhandlungen mit Russland auf einer Beteiligung Chinas bestehen, dürften die Gespräche nach Ansicht von Experten schnell wieder enden. "Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, a Washington-based research group, said the insistence on including China showed the Trump administration was not serious. 'The only conclusion I can come to is that Marshall Billingslea and the Trump administration do not intend to extend New START and are seeking to display China's disinterest in trilateral arms control talks as a cynical excuse to allow New START to expire,' he said. (…) Russia, to be led in Vienna by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, has proposed simply extending New START to allow time to negotiate. But Moscow's ambassador in Washington, Anatoly Antonov, said he was 'quite pessimistic, as for now I don't see any positive sign.' (…) Russia has hit back by proposing the participation of U.S. allies France and Britain, which respectively have 290 and 215 warheads, according to the Stockholm Institute. Four countries have smaller nuclear arsenals — India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea. One wild card in New START could be the U.S. elections. If Trump loses to Joe Biden, the new president will have just days to act before the treaty expires."

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02.06.2020

"Russia Scales Down Military Drills Near NATO Borders in 2020 – Official"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/06/02/russia-scales-down-military-drills-near-nato-borders-in-2020-of
ficial-a70444

Das russische Militär will in diesem Jahr auf Großmanöver an der Grenze zu NATO-Staaten verzichten. "Sergei Rudskoy, chief of the main operational department for Russia's General Staff, also accused the United States and NATO allies of continuing to carry out war games near Russia’s borders. He said NATO has stonewalled Russia’s written proposal to scale down each other’s military activities. 'We will continue to de-escalate the situation in Europe. This year, the Armed Forces don’t plan to conduct major exercises near the borders of NATO member countries,' Col. Gen. Rudskoy said. He said Russia has moved large-scale drills scheduled for September, Kavkaz-2020, deeper inside the country and is 'ready to adjust the locations of exercises on a parity basis' with the Western military bloc. Rudskoy blamed the U.S. and its allies of 'continuing to destroy Europe’s security system under the guise of a perceived 'Russian aggression,'' the Associated Press reported."

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22.05.2020

"Explainer: What Is the Open Skies Treaty and Why Is U.S. Quitting?"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/05/22/explainer-what-is-the-open-skies-treaty-and-why-is-us-quitting-
a70358

Die US-Regierung hat ihren Ausstieg aus dem internationalen Abkommen zum Offenen Himmel ("Open Skies") angekündigt. Christian Spillmann erläutert die Hintergründe dieser Entscheidung, die sowohl Moskau als auch die europäischen Verbündeten der USA "schockiert" habe. "The Open Skies Treaty, which the United States plans to quit, was agreed just after the Cold War to allow signatories to avoid nasty surprises by monitoring rival militaries. It was signed in 1992 and came into force in 2002, allowing 35 countries — including the United States and Russia — to fly unarmed surveillance flights over each other's territory. Moscow and Washington have long accused the other of breaching its terms, and last year President Donald Trump suggested that the United States might leave the treaty altogether. That threat now seems likely to come to fruition, despite the dismay of Washington's European allies, who remain attached to the treaty as part of their continent's security architecture."

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06.05.2020

"'Hostile' Russia Excluded From U.S. Moon Mining Pact: Reuters"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/05/06/hostile-russia-excluded-from-us-moon-mining-pact-reuters-a70195

Die angespannten Beziehungen zwischen den USA und Russland wirken sich auch auf die Kooperation beider Länder im Weltraum aus. Einem Reuters-Bericht zufolge will die USA Russland aus einem internationalen Vertrag über den Abbau von Rohstoffen auf dem Mond ausschließen. "Russia will not be an early partner in the United States’ international agreement on moon mining rights it seeks to negotiate with other countries in the coming weeks, Reuters reported Tuesday. The Trump administration’s so-called Artemis Accords agreement reportedly seeks to establish 'safety zones' around future moon bases to prevent damage or interference from rivals, Reuters cited unnamed people familiar with the proposed pact as saying. U.S. President Donald Trump last month signed an executive order allowing commercial lunar mining, a move that Moscow compared to colonialism. The U.S. Defense Department increasingly views Russia as a hostile spacefaring country due to its 'threatening' satellite movements toward U.S. spy satellites and as a result won’t include Moscow in early Artemis Accords negotiations, Reuters cited its sources as saying. (…) U.S. officials reportedly plan to formally negotiate the Artemis Accords with Canada, European countries, Japan and the United Arab Emirates in the coming weeks. The Trump administration views them as having 'like-minded' interests in lunar mining. A Reuters source denied that the deal amounts to 'some territorial claim.'"

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30.04.2020

"4 in 5 Young Russians Are Apolitical: Poll"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/04/30/4-in-5-young-russians-are-apolitical-poll-a70153

Einer neuen Umfrage des russischen Levada Center und der deutschen Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung zufolge interessiert sich nur eine Minderheit junger Russen für Politik. "Only 19% of Russian respondents aged between 14 and 29 expressed an interest in politics, according to a poll conducted by Russia’s independent Levada Center and Germany’s Friedrich Ebert Foundation cited by Vedomosti. 'Politics is boring and de facto nonexistent [for young people],' Vedomosti quoted Andrei Kolesnikov, senior associate for the Carnegie Moscow Center think tank and the chairman of its domestic politics program, as saying. 'It’s interesting to engage in it when there’s competition between real actors. That’s why young people have no incentive to get involved in politics,' Kolesnikov added. Peer Teschendorf, the head of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation’s Russia office, echoed that assessment: 'The youth sees that there will be a strong reaction to their activity, so that’s why they don’t want to engage in politics.'"

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