US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty


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22.05.2020

"White House Official: Trump To Seek Extension Of New START Arms Treaty With Russia"

https://www.rferl.org/a/new-start-arms-treaty-russia-trump-united-states/30627011.html

Die USA wollen sich einem Offiziellen der US-Regierung zufolge in Verhandlungen für eine Verlängerung des New-START-Abkommens mit Russland einsetzen. Auch der angekündigte Ausstieg aus dem "Open Skies"-Abkommen könnte Donald Trump zufolge unter bestimmten Bedingungen noch vermieden werden. "Signed by Washington and Moscow in 2010, New START caps the number of warheads and delivery systems in each country's arsenal. It also includes rigorous on-site inspection provisions, which supporters of the treaty have cited as one of the main arguments for extending it. The agreement will expire in February unless the two sides agree to extend it by five more years. Asked by Fox News if the United States would pull out of New START, O’Brien said no. 'We are going to enter into good-faith negotiations with the Russians on nuclear arms control,' he said. But. while Russia has agreed to an extension, the Trump administration has called for a new treaty that would include China. (…) Trump signaled (…) that the United States would consider remaining a signatory to Open Skies under certain conditions."

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18.05.2020

"World Should Take 'Declining Power' Russia 'More Seriously,' Says Political Analyst Nye"

https://www.rferl.org/a/world-should-take-declining-power-russia-more-seriously-says-political-analyst-ny
e/30619007.html

Der renommierte Politikwissenschaftler Joseph Nye hat sich in einem Interview mit Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty zum Stand der internationalen Beziehungen geäußert. Russland sollte seiner Ansicht nach trotz der abnehmenden geopolitischen Bedeutung ernster genommen werden. "He coined the term 'smart power' a decade ago to argue for a greater reliance on accurate information and cultural and political arguments to complement military strength to achieve foreign policy goals. Nye told RFE/RL he believed 'American soft power has declined' since 2015, when he famously asked in the title of a book, 'Is The American Century Over'? But he argued that people in Poland or other Central European countries will tell you they could not imagine being in an alliance with Russia. Nye cited continued European support for U.S. engagement and NATO, for instance. But added that Russia cannot be ignored. 'I think Russia has to be taken very seriously,' Nye said. He called Russia a 'declining state' by virtue of its annual loss of around 750,000 people from its workforce in recent years and its failure 'to adapt its economy to a modern-technology economy as opposed to an energy-based economy.' But it is still a vast country with 'talented people' and a nuclear arsenal, he added. 'After all, sometimes it is declining countries which are the most dangerous, because they're the most willing to take risks,' Nye said. 'So Russia should not fall below the radar; it's something we should take much more seriously.'"

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14.05.2020

"Kaspersky: 'Greater Frenzy' Of Cybercrime During COVID-19 Lockdowns"

https://www.rferl.org/a/kaspersky-founder-says-cybercrime-on-riseduring-covid-19-lockdowns/30612725.html

Die internationale Cyberkriminalität hat während des Corona-Lockdowns deutlich zugenommen, so der CEO des russischen IT-Sicherheitsunternehmens Kaspersky Lab. "In an interview with the TASS news agency that was published on May 14, Yevgeny Kaspersky said that the quarantines 'have forced cybercriminals to hunt for prey with greater frenzy.' 'Every day we fish out several million files on the suspicion they may have malicious functions. Also, every day we identify more than 300,000 malicious samples we’ve never come across,' Kaspersky said, adding that each of those samples can be used hundreds of times. According to Kaspersky, as people have to stay at home due to the coronavirus, they spend more time surfing the net to buy food and other items and sometimes venture into no-go areas, which has led to an increase in cyberattacks by 25 percent globally."

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06.05.2020

"Freedom House Drops Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro From List Of Democracies"

https://www.rferl.org/a/freedom-house-democracies-breakdown-balkans-hungary-serbia-russia-armenia-ukraine
-uzbekistan/30595474.html

Die amerikanische NGO Freedom House hat Ungarn, Serbien und Montenegro in einem neuen Bericht von ihrer Liste der Demokratien gestrichen und Polen als "halbkonsolidierte" Demokratie eingestuft. "In its latest report, U.S.-based democracy monitor Freedom House warns of a 'stunning democratic breakdown' across Central Europe, the Balkans, and Eurasia as many leaders in the region attempt to do away with any remaining checks on their power. (…) The report singles out EU member Hungary as having the largest drop ever recorded in the 25 years since Freedom House -- a nonprofit organization largely funded by the U.S. government -- published its first Nations In Transit report. The country’s democracy score has been on a steep decline in the past decade and the report describes Prime Minister Viktor Orban as a leader who has 'dropped any pretense of respecting democratic institutions.' Similarly, Poland, also an EU member state, moved downward, becoming a semi-consolidated democracy largely because of losses in judicial framework and independence over the past five years."

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26.04.2020

"Taliban Constitution Offers Glimpse Into Militant Group's Vision For Afghanistan"

https://www.rferl.org/a/taliban-constitution-offers-glimpse-into-militant-group-s-vision-for-afghanistan/
30577298.html

Frud Bezhan zufolge haben die Taliban während ihrer Herrschaft in Afghanistan damit begonnen, eine neue Verfassung für das Land zu entwerfen. Das Dokument sei offiziell nie veröffentlicht worden, gewähre aber einen Einblick in die politischen Vorstellungen der Gruppe. "It is unclear how the document shaped the Taliban’s draconian laws and brutal policies during its Islamic Emirate, the official name of the Taliban regime that ruled Afghanistan from 1996-2001. The Taliban banned TV and music, forced men to pray and grow beards, forced women to cover themselves from head to toe, and prevented women and girls from working or going to school. The Taliban amputated the hands of thieves, publicly flogged people for drinking alcohol, and stoned to death those who engaged in adultery. Executions were common. Andrew Watkins, a senior analyst for Afghanistan at the International Crisis Group, said the draft constitution reflects the 'Taliban's intensely religious roots' and reveals the importance placed on a 'centralized authority' for a group that was 'founded on a mission of restoring order to the country.'"

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25.04.2020

"Zelenskiy's First Year: He Promised Sweeping Changes. How's He Doing?"

https://www.rferl.org/a/zelenskiys-first-year-he-promised-sweeping-changes-how-s-he-doing-/30576329.html

Ein Jahr nach dem mit großen Erwartungen verbundenen Amtsantritt des ukrainischen Präsidenten Volodymyr Zelenskiy zieht Christopher Miller ein gemischtes Zwischenfazit. "(…) the first year since the 42-year-old comedic actor's election has been chock full of ups and downs and twists and turns, with plenty of serious criticism over his governing from constituents and international observers, not to mention an array of opponents. (…) He also inherited an ongoing war with Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, persistent corruption, and the powerful influence of Ukraine's oligarchs, among other issues. So, how has he done so far? 'It could have been worse,' says Volodymyr Yermolenko, chief editor of the news site UkraineWorld and analytics director at Internews Ukraine. 'Zelenskiy came to this post totally unprepared and he's facing unprecedented challenges.'"

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22.04.2020

"Iran Claims It 'Successfully' Launched Military Satellite"

https://www.rferl.org/a/iran-says-it-successfully-launched-military-satellite/30569530.html

Nach mehreren Fehlschlägen haben die iranischen Revolutionsgarden (IRGC) den erfolgreichen Start eines Militärsatelliten gemeldet. "There was no immediate independent confirmation of the launch of the satellite but analysts said it raised concerns about whether the technology used could help Iran develop intercontinental ballistic missiles. (…) The launch comes amid increased tensions between Iran and the United States over the latter's withdrawal from a landmark nuclear deal and after a U.S. drone strike killed top IRGC commander Qasem Soleimani in January. It also may signal that Iran is more willing to take chances during the current global coronavirus crisis, which has slashed oil prices to historic lows and forced many countries into an economic recession. 'This is big,' said Fabian Hinz, a researcher at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California. 'Big question now is what tech the first stage used. Solid propellant? Liquid using old Shahab 3 tech? Liquid using more sophisticated motors/fuels? This is key to establishing how worrisome the launch is from a security perspective,' he added."

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06.04.2020

"Trump Says He Would Impose Tariffs On Oil Imports If Russia, Saudi Arabia Fail To Cut"

https://www.rferl.org/a/trump-oil-saudi-russia/30533358.html

Der "Ölkrieg" zwischen Saudi-Arabien und Russland trifft die amerikanische Schieferölindustrie besonders hart. US-Präsident Trump hat nun eine Erhebung von Zöllen auf Ölimporte in Aussicht gestellt, um die betroffenen US-Unternehmen zu schützen. "Tariffs would hurt Saudi Arabia and Russia, who are among the largest exporters of oil to the United States. Global oil demand has fallen by about 20 million barrels a day, or one-fifth, due to the coronavirus pandemic, sending oil prices to their lowest in nearly 20 years. The sharp price decline threatens to bankrupt higher-cost U.S. oil producers and wipe away thousands of American jobs tied to the industry, officials and analysts have said. Trump has been seeking to broker a production cut agreement between Saudi Arabia and Russia, the second- and third-largest oil producers, following their fallout last month."

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30.03.2020

"Donbas Development: Will 'Advisory Council' Unlock Door To Direct Talks Between Kyiv And Russia-Backed Separatists?"

https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-peace-advisory-council-direct-talks-kyiv-separatists-russia-backed/305182
79.html

Könnte es in der Ostukraine bald zu direkten Gesprächen zwischen den Separatisten und der Regierung in Kiew kommen? Tony Wesolowsky berichtet über eine entsprechende Einigung bei den Minsker Verhandlungen am 11. März. "It is unclear whether the plans set out that day in March will be implemented. There is angry pushback from opponents of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy - and even from some of his allies: Several members of his Servant of the People party, which holds a majority in parliament, voiced concern over the proposal. And it wasn't the only new idea that was floated in Minsk. Another platform would promote 'dialogue,' not only on the Donbas but also on Crimea, which Russia seized a month before the war in the Donbas started, as well as other potential problem spots in Ukraine, including western Ukrainian areas where ethnic Hungarians are seeking a stronger voice. Another factor is the fast-moving coronavirus crisis: A follow-up meeting scheduled for March 25 was postponed amid concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. RFE/RL takes a look at what happened in Minsk on March 11, and what it may mean for the future of Ukraine, Russia, and the only war in Europe."

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10.03.2020

"The Reasons And Risks Behind Russia's Big Oil Bet"

https://www.rferl.org/a/failed-talks-a-fit-of-anger-a-plot-to-sink-u-s-shale-the-reasons-and-risks-behind
-russia-s-big-oil-bet/30480151.html

Im aktuellen "Öl-Krieg" stehen sich Todd Prince zufolge Saudi-Arabien, Russland und die USA gegenüber. Einige Experten betrachten den Preisverfall auf den Märkten demnach als russischen Schachzug gegen die amerikanische Schieferöl-Industrie, andere machen die fragilen Beziehungen Moskaus zur OPEC verantwortlich. "'There are three parties facing off against each other - Russia, Saudi, and U.S. shale - and it really is a case of who blinks first,' [Chris Weafer, an energy specialist and founder of Moscow-based consultancy firm Macro-Advisory,] told RFE/RL. Several analysts said that in the short-term, Russia is in the strongest position among those three players. (…) If the spread of the coronavirus retreats globally, leading to a pickup in economic activity and oil demand, the tensions between Russia and Saudi Arabia will ease as the question of greater cuts subsides, Mammadov said. Another factor potentially limiting the depth of the price war is the Kremlin’s determination to maintain the political influence it has achieved in the Middle East in recent years, Weafer said. (…) 'The Kremlin will want to try to get back to the negotiating table because the political relations' with Saudi Arabia are 'very important,' Weafer said."

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09.03.2020

"Depopulation Disaster: The Balkans And Its Creeping Demographic Crisis"

https://www.rferl.org/a/depopulation-disaster-the-balkans-and-its-creeping-demographic-crisis/30477952.ht
ml

Die Balkanländer verzeichnen seit Jahren einen besorgniserregenden Bevölkerungsrückgang, berichtet Andy Heil. "It is undeniable that decades of net migration out of the region and into wealthier nearby European countries -- and further abroad to places like the United States, Canada, and Australia -- is taking a toll. (…) Even worse - experts and emigrants from the region agree - it is difficult to envisage an early reversal of the demographic crisis that has deepened as states in the Western Balkans remain stagnant politically, stalled in their reform efforts, and mired in corruption, inefficiency, and other drags on economic performance and opportunity. (…) A whopping 47 percent of Bosnians and 45 percent of Montenegrins live abroad, followed by 41 percent of Albanians, 30 percent each of Kosovars and Macedonians, and 18 percent of Serbians, according to the World Bank's latest figures. The average for all of the countries in the European Union, by comparison, is around 11 percent."

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09.03.2020

"'Tremendous Uncertainty' As Competing Presidential Oaths Plunge Afghanistan Deeper Into Crisis"

https://www.rferl.org/a/tremendous-uncertainty-as-competing-presidential-oaths-plunge-afghanistan-deeper-
into-crisis/30477968.html

Afghanistan befinde sich nach der Vereidigung von zwei rivalisierenden Präsidenten im politischen Chaos, schreibt Frud Bezhan. "President Ashraf Ghani, the officially declared winner of the vote, was sworn in for a second term by the country's chief justice in Kabul on March 9. Abdullah Abdullah, chief executive officer after a power-sharing deal settled another election dispute five years ago, took an oath administered by a senior cleric in his own inauguration ceremony nearby at the same time. The unprecedented move has plunged the country into further uncertainty, with experts warning that the dispute could descend into violence and derail a historic deal to end fighting between the United States and fundamentalist Taliban militants."

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07.03.2020

"More Nord Stream 2 Sanctions On Horizon? U.S. Senator And Ukraine's Naftogaz Discuss Ways To Halt Controversial Gas Pipeline"

https://www.rferl.org/a/more-nord-stream-2-sanctions-on-horizon-u-s-senator-and-ukraine-naftogaz-kobolyev
/30475104.html

Die USA und die Ukraine wollen die Fertigstellung der russischen Gaspipeline Nord Stream 2 diesem Bericht zufolge mit weiteren Strafmaßnahmen aufhalten. "'There is a very elegant and efficient way available to the U.S. government to make sure this pipeline will never happen and we believe that this should be done,' [Andriy Kobolyev, the chief executive officer of Ukraine's state-owned gas giant Naftogaz,] told RFE/RL in Washington on March 3 following his meetings with congressmembers, including Senator Ted Cruz (Republican, Texas), who is seen as a leading voice in the effort. (…) What exactly the United States will do if Russia comes close to completing the project is unclear, and Kobolyev declined to give any details, saying it's a 'sensitive issue.' 'If the U.S. really wants this pipeline not to happen, there is a way to achieve that outcome. That is why we are here' in Washington, he said. Russia has two ships it could potentially use to complete the project: the Akademik Chersky and the Fortuna. However, Russia would first need to receive a permit from Denmark to deploy the ships in its waters and that could be complicated, analysts said."

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03.03.2020

"The Historic U.S.-Taliban Deal May Already Be Unraveling Over These Two Key Issues"

https://www.rferl.org/a/the-historic-us--taliban-deal-may-be-unraveling-over-these-two-key-issues/3046697
0.html

Ein Streit um zwei Punkte des Abkommens zwischen den USA und den Taliban könnte den Deal frühzeitig scheitern lassen, berichtet Frud Bezhan. "Part of the deal is the launch of direct negotiations between Afghans and the Taliban over a permanent cease-fire and a power-sharing arrangement. But those intra-Afghan talks have been thrown into doubt because of disagreement over two key tenets of the deal. The Taliban has demanded that the Afghan government free 5,000 of its captured fighters, a claim rejected by Kabul. Meanwhile, the militants have refuted the government’s claim that violence nationwide must remain low during intra-Afghan talks. The disputes have been fueled by the United States using different language in separate documents it agreed with the Taliban and the Afghan government. (…) 'There is a lot of ambiguity [in the text of the U.S.-Taliban deal], even when it comes to very particular points,' said Andrew Watkins, a senior analyst for Afghanistan at the International Crisis Group. 'This ambiguity can be a good thing; it allows for flexibility.'"

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22.02.2020

"UN Reports More Than 10,000 Civilian Casualties In Afghanistan Last Year"

https://www.rferl.org/a/un-reports-more-than-10-000-civilian-casualties-in-afghanistan-last-year/30449036
.html

UN-Angaben zufolge sind im vergangenen Jahr über zehntausend Zivilisten Opfer der Gewalt in Afghanistan geworden. "The United Nations mission in Afghanistan has reported that 3,404 civilians were killed and 6,989 were injured in violence there in 2019. According to the report issued on February 22 by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), 2019 was the sixth consecutive year that civilian casualties have topped 10,000. However, the figures marked a 5 percent drop compared to 2018."

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18.02.2020

"60 Days And Counting? Republika Srpska Threatens Secession From Bosnia"

https://www.rferl.org/a/days-and-counting-republika-srpska-threatens-secession-from-bosnia/30441207.html

Die Serben der Republika Srpska in Bosnien-Herzegowina haben mit der Sezession gedroht, um eine Reform des Verfassungsgerichts durchzusetzen. "Lawmakers in Republika Srpska (RS), Bosnia's Serb entity, have given a 60-day deadline for the reform of Bosnia's Constitutional Court, threatening secession following the court's rejection of a move by Bosnian Serbs to claim federal agricultural land. During an extraordinary session on February 17, Bosnian Serb lawmakers voted 72-2 to suspend the work of all RS representatives in Bosnia's institutions until the federal parliament terminates the mandates of the three international members of the Constitutional Court. (…) In reaction to the move, Valentin Inzko, the European Union's high representative for Bosnia-Herzegovina, warned on February 17 that 'secession would cross the red line.' Bosnia remains deeply divided along ethnic lines."

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07.02.2020

"Whistle-Blower Snowden Seeks Extension Of Russian Residence Permit, Says Lawyer"

https://www.rferl.org/a/snowden-extension-russian-residence-permit-whistle-blower-lawyer/30422639.html

Edward Snowden hat eine Verlängerung seiner Aufenthaltserlaubnis in Russland beantragt. Europäische Länder wie Frankreich haben auf entsprechende Asyl-Anfragen des NSA-Whistleblowers nicht reagiert. "Snowden has been living in Russia since 2013 after he revealed details of secret surveillance programs by U.S. intelligence agencies. 'At Edward's request, I am drawing up documents for the Russian Interior Ministry migration service to extend his residence permit,' Kucherena said. Snowden was charged under the U.S. Espionage Act for leaking 1.5 million secret documents from the NSA on government surveillance, prompting public debate about the legality of some of the agency’s programs, on privacy concerns, and about the United States snooping on its neighbors. If convicted, Snowden faces up to 30 years in prison. In September, Snowden called on French President Emmanuel Macron to grant him asylum. The French presidency did not comment. Snowden had unsuccessfully applied for asylum in France in 2013 and several other countries."

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29.01.2020

"Russia’s Gazprom Says It Will Complete Nord Stream 2 Alone"

https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-s-gazprom-says-will-complete-nord-stream-2-alone/30403428.html

Das russische Energieunternehmen Gazprom will das umstrittene Pipelineprojekt Nord Stream 2, das aufgrund neuer US-Sanktionen ins Stocken geraten ist, im Notfall auch allein fertigstellen. "'The Nord Stream 2 project, which is already 94 percent complete, will be finished by the Russian side,' Gazprom deputy head Yelena Burmistrova reportedly told the European Gas Conference in Vienna on January 28. (…) It remains unclear how Gazprom would finish the project without international assistance. Options on the table, according to the Financial Times, include using vessels owned by Gazprom and other Russian pipe-laying contractors. The foreign companies building the pipeline -- all not part of Gazprom's project consortium -- were Finnish, Swedish, and Danish. The two most crucial companies facing sanctions were Swiss pipelayer and undersea construction firm Allseas, as well as Italian pipeline contractor Saipem."

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26.01.2020

"Syrian Government Troops Advance In Last Rebel Stronghold"

https://www.rferl.org/a/syrian-government-troops-advance-in-last-rebel-stronghold/30397782.html

Syrische Regierungstruppen setzen ihren Vormarsch in der letzten von Rebellen kontrollierten Provinz Idlib Berichten zufolge weiter fort. "Syrian government forces have captured several rural settlements in the northwestern province of Idlib, as they continue an offensive into the country’s last rebel stronghold, state media and a war monitor said on January 26. At least six villages in the Idlib countryside have fallen to government forces over the past two days, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Backed by Russian air strikes, government troops on January 26 reached the outskirts of Maaret al-Numan, 33 kilometers south of the city of Idlib, on an important highway that connects Damascus to Aleppo. (…) Turkey said on January 24 that around 400,000 people from Idlib Province were moving toward the Turkish border as a result of the surge in violence."

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20.01.2020

"Eight Countries Back European-Led Naval Mission In Strait Of Hormuz"

https://www.rferl.org/a/eight-countries-back-european-led-naval-mission-in-strait-of-hormuz/30387967.html

Acht europäische Staaten, darunter auch Deutschland, haben ihre Unterstützung für eine europäische Militärmission zur Überwachung der Straße von Hormus signalisiert. "Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, and Portugal backed the new force, they said in a 'political statement' issued by France's Foreign Ministry on January 20. The move comes amid 'rising insecurity and instability' in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz last year, the statement said, citing 'multiple maritime and nonmaritime incidents.' 'This situation has been affecting the freedom of navigation and the security of European and non-European vessels and crews in the area for months. It has also been jeopardizing trade and energy supplies with potential worldwide economic consequences,' it said. France, Denmark, Greece, and the Netherlands have already confirmed they will contribute to the so-called EMASOH mission, which is to be based at a French naval facility in the United Arab Emirates."

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10.01.2020

"France Warns Iran Could Have Nuclear Weapon Within One To Two Years"

https://www.rferl.org/a/france-warns-iran-could-have-nuclear-weapon-within-one-to-two-years/30370205.html

Nach Ansicht des französischen Außenministers Jean-Yves Le Drian könnte der Iran innerhalb von zwei Jahren eigene Atomwaffen herstellen. "'If they continue with unraveling the Vienna agreement, then yes, within a fairly short period of time, between one and two years, they could have access to a nuclear weapon, which is not an option,' Le Drian said on German radio station RTL on January 10. Iran insists its nuclear program is for civilian purposes only, and the JCPOA allows the country to run reactors to generate power. (…) Following Soleimani's assassination by the United States, Tehran announced what it said was its fifth and final step in violating the JCPOA and said it no longer will abide by any limitation to its enrichment activities."

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09.01.2020

"U.S. House Set To Vote On Resolution To Limit Trump War Powers"

https://www.rferl.org/a/us-house-vote-war-powers-act-trump-iran/30367578.html

Das von Demokraten dominierte US-Repräsentantenhaus will Präsident Trump mit einer Resolution dazu bewegen, künftige Militäreinsätze gegen den Iran erst nach der Zustimmung des Kongresses durchzuführen. "The resolution directs Trump to terminate the use of the U.S. military in or against Iran, unless Congress declares war or approves an authorization for the use of force against Tehran. The effectiveness of such a resolution - which is likely to pass in the Democratic-controlled House - was under debate. Democrats are saying the resolution would fall under the 1973 War Powers Act and would be legally binding if also passed in the Senate. Republicans say the proposal, which would not require a presidential signature, does not have the force of law. Federal courts have never definitively decided the matter. Republicans control the Senate and a similar resolution would have little chance of passing."

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07.01.2020

"Russia Launches Into New Export Territory With TurkStream Natural-Gas Pipeline"

https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-launches-itself-into-new-export-territory-with-turkstream-natural-gas-pipe
line/30364755.html

Russland und die Türkei haben am Mittwoch offiziell die neue TurkStream-Pipeline eingeweiht, die für Moskau als weitere Alternativroute für den Transit von Erdgas nach Europa dienen soll. Todd Prince erläutert die Hintergründe des geopolitischen Großprojekts, das auch von Präsident Erdogan vorangetrieben worden sei. "The pipeline, which transits the Black Sea and surfaces outside Istanbul, took five years to complete and is one of two major new natural-gas export routes totaling nearly $20 billion that Russia expects to go on line this year. TurkStream also marks a major achievement for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has long sought to turn his country into an energy hub and will stand alongside Putin at the January 8 inauguration ceremony. (…) With the start of TurkStream and Nord Stream 2 on the horizon, the Kremlin last month renegotiated a new gas-transit contract with Kyiv guaranteeing 65 bcm this year and then 40 bcm over the following four years, a drop from nearly 90 bcm in 2019. TurkStream 'directly undermines Ukraine as a gas-transit country and directly undermines Ukrainian security,' Margarita Assenova, a senior fellow at the Jamestown Foundation and an energy analyst at the Center for European Policy Analysis in Washington, told RFE/RL."

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31.12.2019

"Iranian President Says U.S. Sanctions Have Cost Country $200 Billion"

https://www.rferl.org/a/iranian-president-says-us-sanctions-have-cost-country-200-billion/30354022.html

Dem iranischen Präsidenten zufolge haben die US-Sanktionen dem Iran in den vergangenen zwei Jahren einen wirtschaftlichen Schaden in Höhe von 200 Milliarden US-Dollar zugefügt. "President Hassan Rohani made the comments while launching a railway project near Tehran on December 31. 'Iran would have earned $200 billion surplus income...if the country were not involved in an economic war,' he said. The United States imposed new sanctions against Iran after Washington abandoned the 2015 nuclear deal in which Iran agreed to curb its controversial nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief and other incentives. Since the United States abandoned the deal in 2018, Iran has lost 90 percent of its oil exports, a key source of revenue. Its currency has plummeted and inflation has surpassed 40 percent. Rohani also questioned arguments from hard-line conservatives who criticize him and who say that the sanctions have not affected Iran. 'What should we do? When there is no food and water, you are still in danger no matter how strong you are,' he said."

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21.12.2019

"Russia, Ukraine Disclose Details Of New Gas Transit Deal"

https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-ukraine-disclose-details-of-new-gas-transit-deal/30337491.html

Vor dem Hintergrund des Streits um Nord Stream 2 haben sich Russland und die Ukraine auf ein neues Abkommen für den Transit von russischem Erdgas nach Europa geeinigt. "Officials from Russia and Ukraine have given details on a new five-year deal to transport Russian gas to Europe via Ukraine. News of the deal was first reported late on December 20, ending worries that Europe could be without a large amount of Russian gas, which it relies on for heating and industry. Russia ships about 40 percent of its European gas deliveries through pipelines that cross Ukraine. The current contract is due to expire at the end of the year and delays in concluding a new one caused concern in Europe. Officials in the Russian and Ukrainian capitals said they plan to have the new contract signed before New Year's Day."

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20.12.2019

"Former U.S. Ambassadors Say Nord Stream 2 Sanctions Bill Pits U.S. Against Germany"

https://www.rferl.org/a/nordstream-germany-russia-gas/30335322.html

Zwei frühere US-Botschafter haben Todd Prince zufolge davor gewarnt, dass sich die USA mit den neuen Sanktionen gegen Nord-Stream-2-Unternehmen nicht gegen Russland, sondern gegen Deutschland stellen. "Former Ambassador Daniel Fried, who crafted the State Department’s sanctions policy against Russia in 2014 after it annexed Crimea, (…) said he thought the Germans were 'wrong' for agreeing to Nord Stream 2, but 'that doesn’t mean that the Germans are the problem. The Kremlin is the problem. It is their aggression and their use of energy as a coercive tool' that is a problem. (…) Fried along with former Ambassador Richard Morningstar, who served as the Secretary of State’s special envoy for Eurasian energy during the Obama administration, suggested using the uncertainty over Nord Stream 2 sanctions to reach a deal with Germany and the European Union on other measures. Fried and Morningstar suggested the United States could impose sanctions on Russia’s state-owned gas giant Gazprom - such as on its debt, equity, and technology needs - should Russian gas transit through Ukraine fall below a certain level."

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14.12.2019

"Bosnians Unhappy With Permanence Of Dayton Deal's 'Temporary Solution'"

https://www.rferl.org/a/bosnians-unhappy-with-permanence-of-the-dayton-s-temporary-solution-/30325778.htm
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Mit dem Abkommen von Dayton wurde 1995 der Krieg in Bosnien und Herzegowina beendet. Una Cilic und Pete Baumgartner erinnern daran, dass es sich bei dem Friedensvertrag eigentlich um eine Übergangslösung handeln sollte, die heute einen dysfunktionalen Staat geschaffen habe. "Dayton created a country with two entities - Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina - three constitutive peoples, one district, 10 cantons, and a rotating tripartite presidency to create a system of government that has been described as the most complicated on Earth. Holbrooke called the deal an 'imperfect peace,' as if he realized he was creating a dysfunctional state in exchange for securing peace. 'The Dayton peace agreement has flaws,' James Pardew, a key member of the Dayton negotiations team, tells RFE/RL. 'It was a document made in compromise. It was never imagined for it to be absolute and the only solution for the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was a starting point.' But 24 years after Dayton was signed, David Kanin, a professor at Johns Hopkins University and a former CIA analyst, says little has changed in Bosnia. 'The key things of 1995 are still the same,' he tells RFE/RL. 'We still have a great number of physically displaced people. We still have a divided country. And Bosnia doesn't work. The part of the country that does work is the Serbian part.'"

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10.12.2019

"Red Lines And Relief: Mixed Feelings In Ukraine After Zelenskiy-Putin Talks"

https://www.rferl.org/a/red-lines-and-relief-mixed-feelings-in-ukraine-after-zelenskiy-putin-talks/303183
33.html

In der Ukraine seien die Ergebnisse des Pariser Gipfeltreffens mit gemischten Gefühlen aufgenommen worden, berichtet Tony Wesolowsky. "Many Ukrainians feared Zelenskiy would make major concessions to Putin, particularly with European leaders eager for progress toward peace looking on. But the modest agreements reached seemed to leave little room for concerns of 'capitulation' to Moscow, making for a mix of relief at that result and disappointment about the obstacles that still loom large in a country torn by a five-year war in its east."

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01.12.2019

"Six New European Nations Join Iran Barter System Opposed By U.S."

https://www.rferl.org/a/european-allies-join-instex-iran-barter-system-us-sanctions/30301213.html

Sechs weitere Staaten haben sich dem von Deutschland, Frankreich und Großbritannien geschaffenen INSTEX-Mechanismus angeschlossen, der europäischen Unternehmen ermöglichen soll, bei Geschäften mit dem Iran drohende US-Sanktionen zu umgehen. "In a joint statement on November 30, the three said they 'warmly welcome the decision taken by the governments of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden to join INSTEX as shareholders.' The United States has vehemently opposed the plan, with Vice President Mike Pence saying earlier this year that 'the time has come for our European partners to stop undermining U.S. sanctions against this murderous revolutionary regime.' The Paris-based INSTEX - or Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges - is a special-purpose financial vehicle that allows Iran to continue to sell oil and in return import other products and services, using a barter system rather than the U.S. dollar."

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