Foreign Press Review (12.12-18.12)

Featured Image

Last week the “hysteria” around the alleged Russia’s meddling into the US presidential election continued to dominate the headlines. Firstly it was said in the media that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which is responsible for overseeing the US intelligence community, did not fully embrace the recent CIA findings that the Russia’s aim was to help Trump win. The Federal Bureau of Investigation also declined to accept the CIA analysis due to lack of evidence, which can be presented to court. But later the week the press published the information that both are in agreement with the CIA assessment. Meanwhile, the situation aggravated when “two senior officials with direct access to the information” told the media that Russia’s President was directly involved in Russia’s alleged interference with Vladimir Putin pursuing multifaceted purposes including a vendetta against Hillary Clinton and discrediting the US democracy and its global leadership. The information was said to be given to the US by diplomatic sources and spies working for US allies. Moscow, which has already repeatedly denied the accusations, called this information “laughable nonsense”.

However, the situation clearly gave a boost to Hillary’s camp, which openly supported the calls to give an intelligence briefing for the electors on Russia’s alleged meddling as the camp hopes it could change their decision to vote for Trump. Moreover, many urged the intelligence to make the results of their analysis public, but some US experts think that it is impossible as it will give the Kremlin information about the CIA sources and methods. Meanwhile, on Thursday President Obama in his interview with NPR pledged retaliation against Russia and said “I think there is no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our election, we need to take action. And we will – at the time and place of our choosing”. What the response will be is a secret, bit it potentially could include new economic sanctions or covert attacks on the cyberspace. Moscow’s reaction was harsh. Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitri Peskov commented that Washington should either stop talking about the Russia’s meddling or eventually produce some evidence. Otherwise, it looks rather obscene”.

The current situation in the US domestic arena is quite complicated now as President-elect Donald Trump still disagree with the US government and intelligence findings. He wondered: “If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?” Moreover, his nominee for secretary of state Mr.Tillerson was almost immediately blamed for close ties with Russia, which seems quiet funny given he is an ExxonMobil’s CEO and, of course, have big business projects with Russia’s oil giant Rosneft.

In addition, last week Vladimir Putin’s visit to Japan was also widely covered. Anticipating the meeting between the leader of Russia and Japan, the media tried to predict whether the parties could resolve the territorial dispute and a bilateral peace treaty, which will formally end World War II. While experts were not optimistic about that since Russia’s officials tried to dampen the expectations ahead of the summit, it seemed to them that it was the first time in decades when settlement was at least conceivable. The reasons for that are as follows: the softening of Japan’s demands, Russia’s interest in Japanese investment and the parties’ geopolitical aims, with Tokyo seeking to prevent Russia-China axis and Moscow willing to drive a wedge between the US allies over sanctions. The breakthrough predictably did not occur, but Vladimir Putin and Shinzo Abe personally worked out an agreement on launching experts’ talks on joint economic activities on the Kuril Islands, which is an extremely positive sign. Moreover, following the summit the Japanese PM in an exclusive interview to TASS emphasized that the visit will give a big boost to Russia-Japan relations.

Russia-US relations

The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S.

By Eric Lipton, David E. Sanger and Scott Shane

The New York Times


What seems clear is that Russian hacking, given its success, is not going to stop.

Exclusive: Top U.S. spy agency has not embraced CIA assessment on Russia hacking – sources

By Mark Hosenball and Jonathan Landay



The overseers of the U.S. intelligence community have not embraced a CIA assessment that Russian cyber attacks were aimed at helping Republican President-elect Donald Trump win the 2016 election, three American officials said on Monday.

Rex Tillerson’s potentially huge conflict of interest over Russia and oil, explained

By Brad Plumer



On Tuesday, Donald Trump tapped ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be his secretary of state. And one eyebrow-raising aspect of this pick is that Exxon could potentially have billions of dollars at stake in one of the biggest foreign policy decisions Trump will consider over the next few years — whether to maintain sanctions on Russia.

U.S. Officials: Putin Personally Involved in U.S. Election Hack

By William M. Arkin, Ken Dilanian and Cynthia Mcfadden

NBC News


U.S. intelligence officials now believe with “a high level of confidence” that Russian President Vladimir Putin became personally involved in the covert Russian campaign to interfere in the U.S. presidential election, senior U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News.

Obama Says U.S. Will Retaliate for Russia’s Election Meddling

By Julie Hirschfeld Davis and David E. Sanger

The New York Times


President Obama said on Thursday that the United States would retaliate for Russia’s efforts to influence the presidential election, asserting that “we need to take action,” and “we will.”

FBI in agreement with CIA that Russia aimed to help Trump win White House

By Adam Entous and Ellen Nakashima

The Washington Post


FBI Director James B. Comey and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. are in agreement with a CIA assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election in part to help Donald Trump win the White House, officials disclosed Friday, as President Obama issued a public warning to Moscow that it could face retaliation.

Trump, Putin, and the Art of Appeasement

By Dominic Tierney

The Atlantic


The famed deal maker seems intent on giving away American leverage for nothing.

Changing Putin’s Mind 

By Leon Aron

Foreign Affairs


How Trump Can Reshape Russian Foreign Policy.

Hybrid wars

How to Wage Hybrid War on the Kremlin

By Max Boot

Foreign Policy


President Obama has been shamefully derelict in making Putin pay a price for his aggression. It’s time to give Vladimir a taste of his own medicine.

Putin Is Waging Information Warfare. Here’s How to Fight Back.

By Mark Galeotti

The New York Times


Welcome to 21st-century conflict, more Machiavellian than military, where hacks, leaks and fake news are taking the place of planes, bombs and missiles. The Russian interference in the United States presidential election is just a taste of more to come.

Russia-EU relations

Russia’s next election operation: Germany

By Anne Applebaum

The Washington Post


In Europe right now, there is one prediction that everyone is happy to make: In 2017, the Russian government will mount an open campaign to sway the German elections.

Russia-Japan relations

Japan and Russia braced for an island challenge

By Robin Harding and Kathrin Hille

The Financial Times


Abe and Putin seek to end the 70-year-old territorial dispute over the Kuril archipelago.

Why Abe Is Seeking a Settlement with Russia

By Tomohiko Taniguchi, Daniel Bob

The National Interest


In Asia’s unstable regional context, it makes more strategic sense than at any time for Japan to forge a peace treaty with Russia.

Syrian conflict

In Syria, Russia Acts as U.S. Pulls Back

By Jay Solomon and Maria Abi-Habib

The Wall Street Journal


The Assad regime’s recapture of Aleppo shows Washington’s pullback in the Middle East.

Russia’s internal politics

Why do Russians trust Putin?

By Areg Galstyan

The American Thinker


Over the past few years, there has been a significant increase in the popularity rating of President Vladimir Putin among Russians.

Putin’s Loudest Critic to Challenge Him. The Kremlin’s Happy 

By Henry Meyer, Stepan Kravchenko and Irina Reznik



A political outsider may be able to storm into the White House — but not Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin.

Articles also deserving your attention

  1. Three Steps to Set the Tone on Russia (12.12.16)
  1. 11 Suggestions for a New Era of U.S.-Russia Relations (13.12.16)
  1. Why it’s hard for the CIA to make its case on Russian hacking (13.12.16)
  1. Russia Is Neither Friend Nor Foe (12.12.16)
  1. Global Deals That Made Exxon’s CEO Now Pose Big Test (13.12.16)
  1. Why Russia Is Excited About Donald Trump’s Pick for Secretary of State (13.12.16)
  1. S. Faces Tall Hurdles in Detaining or Deterring Russian Hackers (15.12.16)
  1. Putin didn’t win this election for Trump. Hillary Clinton did (13.12.16)
  1. Russia Didn’t Hack the U.S. Election (13.12.16)
  1. Let Trump’s Election Stand (13.12.16)
  1. Russia accused of waging secret warfare against Britain using cyber attacks, espionage and fake news (17.12.16)
  1. Moscow has the world’s attention. For Putin, that’s a win (14.12.16)
  1. Intel analysis shows Putin approved election hacking (16.12.16)
  1. Why Didn’t Obama Do More About Russian Election Hack? (16.12.16)
  1. Will Trump’s Man-To-Man Deal With Putin Work? (16.12.16)
  1. Under Vladimir Putin, Russia Plays a Smart Round of Global Martial Arts (15.12.16)
  1. Vladimir Putin was Never Head of the KGB, Nor Did He Order the Hacking of the DNC (17.12.16)
  1. New battlefield video shows how Russia’s elite KSO military unit is fighting in Syria (13.12.16)
  1. Russia’s Syria Doublespeak (12.12.16)
  1. Russian Special Forces Seen as Key to Aleppo Victory (16.12.16)
  1. Putin Will Find Germany’s Elections Hard to Subvert (13.12.16)
  1. Why Putin and the Populists Love Each Other Deeply (14.12.16)
  1. Putin Quashes Japan’s Territorial Hopes (15.12.16)
  1. Breakthrough in Japan, Russia islands row eludes PM Abe, Putin (16.12.16)
  1. Opinion: Navalny is useful for Putin (15.12.16)
  1. A Populist Challenge to Putin (14.12.16)

List of Comments

No comments yet.