Foreign Press Review (16.01-22.01)

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Last week Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. Analysts think his presidency could be a new era not only for America, but also for the existing world order and for Russia-US relations in particular. The inauguration took place amid new reports about the investigation American law enforcement and intelligence agencies have been carrying out to examine alleged Russian interference, including possible covert money flows from the Kremlin and links between associates of the new President and Russian officials. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin clearly explained that the reports about “kompromat” were “total nonsense” and were fabricated to “undermine the legitimacy” of Trump’s presidency.

Moreover, the outgoing administration heavily tried to prevent Trump from rapprochement with Russia or at least ironing the current differences. Joe Biden in his final speech as vice president sharply criticized Russia and emphasized that, from his point of view, Moscow is aimed at undermining the liberal international order. Generally Barack Obama’s legacy could become crippling burden for Russia-US relations. In his press-conference Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov lambasted “double standards” of the outgoing US administration and expressed hope for “renewing dialogue on strategic stability, which was destroyed by the Obama administration”, and for cooperation with the incoming one in different areas, including combating terrorism and resolving the Syrian conflict. Nevertheless, Russian officials repeatedly warned against high expectations of quick progress as it will take a lot of efforts on both sides to normalise the ties.

Meanwhile, in the recent interview with German newspaper Bild and the Times of London Donald Trump touched on several sensitive questions. Firstly, he repeated that NATO is “obsolete because it was designed many, many years ago” and “because it wasn’t taking care of terror” and claimed that the members “aren’t paying what they’re supposed to pay”. Moscow agreed with the Trump’s assessment adding that “the systematic goal of this organization is confrontation”. Furthermore, Trump claimed that he would consider lifting sanctions against Russia in exchange for a deal on reduction of nuclear arsenals. In response Russian officials said that they would not equate Trump’s words to a “formal proposal” and called for patience.

Unfortunately, under the previous US administration relations between Moscow and Washington drifted into confrontation some observers called a “New Cold War” while the level of anti-Russian rhetoric in the US public narrative reached unprecedented levels. Donald Trump could and must turn the tide as being on the brink of disaster and facing a lot of crises the world really needs cooperation between the two powers.


Russia-US relations

Putin’s revenge

By Kristina Spohr and David Reynolds

NewStatesman

16.01.17

Twenty-five years after the demise of the Soviet Union, Russia is consumed by an insatiable desire for recognition as the equal of the USA.

America’s Russian Hypocrisy 

By Nina L. Khrushcheva

Project-Syndicate

17.01.17

The hysterical response of Americans to the Kremlin’s alleged efforts to influence the US presidential election has forced me to look at things from Putin’s perspective.

The Real Meaning of Putin’s Press Conference

By Julia Ioffe

The Atlantic

18.01.17

The Russian leader tries to claim the role of senior partner in relationship with the U.S.

The Fight Over a Trump-Putin Détente Begins

 By Stephen F. Cohen

The Nation

18.01.17

Events this past week make clear that Trump was serious about changing US policy toward Russia, and the enemies of détente know it. Lessons from the past.

Russia Is Already Winning

By Molly K. Mckew

 Politico

18.01.17

If you understand what the Kremlin is up to, the news is grim. But it also gives us a clear path to fight back.

FBI, 5 other agencies probe possible covert Kremlin aid to Trump

By Peter Stone and Greg Gordon

McClatchy DC

18.01.17

The FBI and five other law enforcement and intelligence agencies have collaborated for months in an investigation into Russian attempts to influence the November election, including whether money from the Kremlin covertly aided President-elect Donald Trump, two people familiar with the matter said.

Russia Fears That Trump Won’t Be Such a Great Deal After All

By Henry Meyer, Ilya Arkhipov and Irina Reznik

Bloomberg

19.01.17

Inside the Kremlin, the initial euphoria over having a Putin admirer in the White House is giving way to skepticism that any meaningful detente with the U.S. can be achieved, according to four senior officials in Moscow.

Intercepted Russian Communications Part of Inquiry Into Trump Associates

By Michael S. Schmidt, Matthew Rosenberg, Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo

The New York Times

19.01.17

American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said.

Russia-NATO relations

The Simple Reason Russia and America Keep Inching towards Crisis

By Ted Galen Carpenter

The National Interest

19.01.17

Tensions between the United States and Russia rose rapidly during the final months of the Obama administration. Symbolizing that trend is the new deployment of three thousand U.S. troops along with tanks and other military hardware in eastern Poland, directly on that country’s border with Russia. That decision drew an angry rebuke from Moscow.

Information Wars

Inside the belly of Russia’s ‘propaganda machine’: A visit to RT news channel

By Fred Weir

The Christian Science Monitor

17.01.17

US security services have fingered the channel as a key player in the Kremlin’s efforts to sway Western politics. But inside its offices, RT seems a far cry from what the US says it is – and what it aspires to be.

Russia-UK relations

Without America, Britain must lead in standing up to Tsar Putin’s new imperial Russia

By Luke Coffey

The Telegraph

18.01.17

Britain can stand up to imperial Russia. It has done it before and it can do it again if the political will is there.

Syrian conflict

Russia Signs Deal for Syria Bases; Turkey Appears to Accept Assad

By Rod Nordland

The New York Times

20.01.17

Russia signed a long-term agreement on Friday to greatly enlarge its military presence in Syria, more than doubling the space for warships in Russia’s only Mediterranean port and securing rights to an air base that may already be adding a second runway.

Russia-Ukraine relations

Ukraine’s conflict with Russia is also financial

The Economist

21.01.17

Russia may extract $3bn from Ukraine.

Russia-Moldova relations

For Former Soviet Republics, Moscow Has a New Playbook

By Charles Duxbury

The Wall Street Journal

20.01.17

A fresh bargain with Moldova points to more carrots, fewer sticks as Moscow attempts to win allies.

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