Foreign Press Review (06.03-12.03)

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Trump’s Russia scandal continued to be in the spotlight as last week the media published information that not only his allies and aides but also Donald Trump himself had met with the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during his presidential campaign. The meeting took place at a VIP reception in April before Trump’s foreign policy address. It is worth noting that the information about this short encounter was published in May 2016 and was not very resonant as it was generally perceived to be a usual diplomatic situation. Now the Center for the National Interest had to publish an explanation that Trump was not responsible for inviting guests and it was the Center which invited some ambassadors to “a short reception” where “any conversations with Mr. Trump in that setting were inherently brief and could not be private” and “were limited to the polite exchange of pleasantries appropriate on such occasions”. The whole situation clearly demonstrates the level of paranoia, which consumed the American media. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted that “the hysteria in the official Washington and hysteria in American media are doing a lot of harm to the future of the bilateral relations” and emphasized that Moscow doesn’t “have the slightest intention to interfere”. Several weeks ago Donald Trump also accused the media of preventing the normalization of Russia-US relations.

Meanwhile, the press published the name of the next U.S. ambassador to Russia. Jon Huntsman, who represented America as ambassador to Singapore under President George H.W. Bush and then to China under President Barack Obama, was offered this post and reportedly accepted it. Many journalists and experts were surprised by this choice since Mr Huntsman isn’t a Russia expert and doesn’t speak Russian while previously the US used to choose candidates with some Russia or Eastern Europe background. However, the mainstream media welcomed Trump’s pick because considers Jon Huntsman, who now is the head of the Atlantic Council, as a man who will be able to stand up to Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin already commented on the media’s reports about a “hawkish” view of Mr Huntsman on Russia claiming that it would welcome any US ambassador, who is “a convinced proponent” of the idea of building up a dialogue between the two countries.

Additionally, Russia’s role in the Middle East was intensely discussed amid two high-profile meetings, which were held in the Kremlin last week. Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted two Middle Eastern leaders: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Observers think it is another sign of Russia’s current role in the Middle East. According to the experts, despite some existing differences (Kurds’ issue In Russia-Turkey relations and Iran’s role in Russia-Israel relations), Turkey and Israel have to seek Moscow’s help as the Kremlin highly strengthened its positions amid US stepping back.

Russia-US relations

Risks in Demonizing Diplomacy with Russia

By Jack Matlock, the last U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union

Consortiumnews.com

06.03.17

The crazy assailing of the Trump team’s contacts with Russian diplomats is demonizing the idea of cooperation and deepening risks of a dangerous arms race.

Trump and Russia: What the fallout could be

By Angela Dewan and Kara Fox

CNN

06.03.17

The communications between key Trump aides and Moscow officials are just some of the Russia-induced headaches for Trump that are threatening to overshadow his political agenda.

Democrats Now Demonize the Same Russia Policies that Obama Long Championed

By Glenn Greenwald

The Intercept

06.03.17

One of the most bizarre aspects of the all-consuming Russia frenzy is the Democrats’ fixation on changes to the RNC platform concerning U.S. arming of Ukraine.

The Ultimate Trump-Putin Deal 

By Mikhail Khodorkovsky

The Wall Street Journal

08.03.17

Could the White House pull Russia out of its spiral by negotiating a peaceful transition of power?

As Trump’s Team Faces More Scrutiny Over Russia Ties, Russians See End Of Bromance

By Anastasya Manuilova

The Huffington Post

08.03.17

There’s been a noticeable decline in Trumpophilia here.

Fresh Doubts about Russian ‘Hacking’

By Robert Parry

Consortiumnews.com

08.03.17

The gauzy allegations of Russia “hacking” the Democrats to elect Donald Trump just got hazier with WikiLeaks’ new revelations about CIA cyber-spying and the capability to pin the blame on others.

Jon Huntsman, Trump’s pick for Russia ambassador, is a baffling choice

By Zack Beauchamp

Vox

09.03.17

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. has been tapped to be President Donald Trump’s ambassador to Russia. And that is very, very strange.

Cyr: The Russians are not coming

By Arthur I. Cyr

The Chicago Tribune

09.03.17

Russia continues a tradition of making political mischief elsewhere. Attempted disruption of the U.S presidential election was a well-publicized distraction, not a security threat.

Russia-NATO relations

Russia’s Missile Gamble: Is the INF Treaty Dead?

By William McHenry

The National Interest

09.03.17

Russia’s intervention in Syria has provided Putin with a laboratory to test his country’s cruise missiles.

Information war

Russia’s RT Network: Is It More BBC or K.G.B.?

By Steven Erlanger

The New York Times

08.03.17

Analysts are sharply divided about the influence of RT.

Russia-EU relations

EU struggles to regain credibility in western Balkans

By Neil Buckley, Arthur Beesley, Andrew Byrne

The Financial Times

09.03.17

Russia and Turkey exploit historic links in the region in play for power.

Russia and the Middle East

Putin deepens Middle East influence with Kremlin summits

By Tim Lister

CNN

09.03.17

Leaders of Turkey and Israel find themselves inside the walls of the Kremlin in the next two days as President Vladimir Putin tries to entrench Russia’s resurgent role in the Middle East.

Russian Realpolitik at Work in the Middle East

The Stratfor

10.03.17

In Syria, Moscow’s regional alliances take a back seat to its wider interests.

Russia’s internal politics

How a Russian social media site is reliving the revolution

By Max Seddon

The Financial Times

10.03.17

‘Project 1917’ is helping a new generation to make sense of the drama of 100 years ago.

‘Revolution? What Revolution?’ Russia Asks 100 Years Later

By Neil MacFarquhar

The New York Times

10.03.17

The Kremlin plans to sit out the centenary of the Russian Revolution.

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