Foreign Press Review (01.08-07.08)

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Russia continued to be one of the most popular topics in the US presidential elections last week. The media was full of articles about Russian interference in the election process, but this time many journalists drew readers’ attention to the fact that the US itself frequently meddles in different foreign elections, in particular America widely resorted to such an instrument under Hilary Clinton as State Secretary. Moreover, during the Cold War attempts to influence the internal politics of a rival country were an intrinsic part of the then existing system and even after the collapse of the Soviet Union the US, according to the press, was involved in the Boris Yeltsin’s campaign in 1996 when three American political consultants, who allegedly were closely connected with the White House, helped Putin’s predecessor to win over the Communists.

Playing the Russian card former CIA director Michael Morell openly supported the Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and accused Donald Trump of being recruited as “an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation”, since a career intelligence officer Mr. Putin, from Morell’s point of view, “played upon Mr. Trump’s vulnerabilities by complimenting him”. This characteristic was highly resonant in the media. Trump answered that it is just “an effort to shift attention away from the Democratic nominee’s bad judgment”. This cross-fire became another demonstration of Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov’s words who told NBC that “regretfully, Russia-bashing is becoming a habit in American elections”. Meanwhile, a number of respectable US observers called for real debates on US foreign policy and policy towards Russia in particular, instead of a simple spinning of the facts and demonization of Vladimir Putin.

The Summer Olympics Games started in Rio de Janeiro on Friday with about 280 Russian athletes taking part. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) reaffirmed its “no” to a blanket ban and announced the participation list for Russian athletes. Thomas Bach, the president of the IOC, determinedly rejected the so-called “nuclear option” claiming that its consequences are “death and devastation” while “the Olympic Movement stands for life and the construction of a better future”.  Mr. Bach also lashed out at the World Anti-Doping Agency blaming it for the chaos ahead of the Games. Nevertheless, on Sunday the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) decided to totally bar the Russian team. Considering that the IOC said “the cynical “collateral damage” approach is not what the Olympic movement stands for” and allowed Russian sportsmen to compete, the IPC decision raises questions as to the values the Paralympic movement stands for.

As for the Syrian conflict, speaking at a news conference at the Pentagon the US president said: “I’m not confident that we can trust the Russians or Vladimir Putin, which is why we have to test whether or not we can get an actual cessation of hostilities”. Commenting on Obama’s remarks Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov pointed out the US’s unwillingness to work on equal footing and asserted that “confidence in relations between Russia and the United States can be restored only if colleagues in Washington take an honest and responsible approach towards the entire agenda of bilateral relations between Moscow and Washington” instead of deliberately undermining the pillars of the relations. Besides, Russia continues its humanitarian operation in Aleppo with Russian soldiers risking their lives as it occurred with five men who heroically died in a shot down helicopter which was delivering aid to Aleppo residents.

Russia-US relations

Trump Is Right on Russia

By Bruce Walker

The American Thinker


Donald Trump has the right idea about Vladimir Putin and Russia.  Trump is a realist and a nationalist.
Commentary: The real reason Washington calls Putin a thug

By Peter Van Buren



There is a near-certainty in American political speech, going back to the 1980s: When a senior United States official labels you a thug, trouble follows.

Trump and Putin: a Love Story

By David Remnick

The New Yorker


The attraction is mutual, but history shows who’s really using whom.

Notable & Quotable: Trump, Putin and NATO

By Stephen Cohen

The Wall Street Journal


This is a moment when there should be, in a presidential year, a debate. Vladimir Putin wants to end the “New Cold War” and so do I.

Clearing up some myths about Trump and the Kremlin

By L. Todd Wood

The Washington Times


Mr. Putin is not taking advantage of Mr. Trump, as a real estate developer or as a future president. Mr. Trump is simply doing what he does best: telling the truth about the situation.

Information war

Russia, Trump and Manafort: A Test of the News

By Rachel Bauman

The National Interest


The media doesn’t mind being an echo chamber.

Today, coverage of Russia is starting to resemble the unanimity of opinion that prevailed over a decade ago on Iraq and it is seeping into a variety of outlets.

The Propaganda War With Putin

By Renee Parsons



If it had not already been apparent, the net effect of the DNC email hack has been to kick open the door to a deep American antagonism towards Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russia-West relations

Russia’s long-term aims and how the west will respond

By Timothy Ash

The Financial Times


How should we read Russia, and Vladimir Putin’s game plan with respect to the US, the west and Ukraine?

UN elections

U.S. and Russia brawl over race for U.N. chief

By Benjamin Oreskes and Nahal Toosi



The U.S. and Russia have turned the race for United Nations secretary-general into the latest front in their escalating war for geopolitical influence.

Syrian conflict

U.S. Is Letting Putin Win in Syria

By Leonid Bershidsky



In terms of helping to end the war, the U.S. inaction may be worse than the scenario touted by Donald Trump — an alliance with Russia to defeat Islamic State — but it’s more politically acceptable.

Stalling Obama’s Overtures to Russia

By Alastair Crooke


Washington’s foreign policy mavens are thwarting President Obama’s moves to work with Russia to resolve the Syrian war and reduce other tensions, so the new Cold War can proceed under Hillary Clinton.

Doping scandal

What Russia’s Ministry of Doping Tells Us About Putin

By Reid Standish

Foreign Policy


Vitaly Mutko may be responsible for one of the worst scandals in Olympic history. Here’s why he still has his job — for now.

All Russian athletes to be banned from Paralympic Games in Rio

By Owen Gibson

The Guardian


The International Paralympic Committee is set to do what its Olympic counterpart did not and ban Russia outright from its Games later this month.

Russia-Turkey relations

As Turkey’s coup strains ties with West, detente with Russia gathers pace

By Nick Tattersall and Alexander Winning



As Turkey’s relations with Europe and the United States are strained by the fallout from its failed coup, President Tayyip Erdogan travels to Russia on Tuesday to meet Vladimir Putin in a trip he may hope will give the West pause for thought.

Ukrainian conflict

The Ukrainian State Treaty: An Offer Putin Can’t Refuse

By Douglas Macgregor

Foreign Policy


Why a 1955 neutrality agreement might be the perfect model for a strategic and successful deal for Moscow, Washington, and Kiev.

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