Foreign Press Review (15.05-21.05)

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Last week a new scandal occurred in Washington and consequences are to be far-reaching. The Washington Post citing anonymous current and former US officials said that during the recent meeting in the White House Donald Trump had revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. It was claimed that this information could jeopardize a critical intelligence source of a close US ally on ISIS activities and plans. The report disseminated with light speed In the US press even leading to the discussion of a possible impeachment of the current president because of divulging state secrets. However, in practice for ordinary readers the situation could have another colour and be an extremely disturbing sign concerning the cooperation on combating terrorism.

According to the media, President Trump told Mr Lavrov and Mr Kislyak that Washington has information that ISIS terrorists plan to use laptops for committing a terror acts on aircraft. The focus of the US media was that this ally had not permitted to share this information with Russia and now Moscow could identify the source, which potentially could be used for gathering materials on Russia’s actions in Syria. Now try to disengage yourself from the current differences in the bilateral relations and have another look at the situation: Washington got information that there exists a specific terror threat, Trump decided to share it with Moscow and was blamed for it. Sure, there are some details and particular context, but, nevertheless, doesn’t this material generally deserve to be shared as it is extremely important for fighting terror across the world? It seems that now some could have understandable doubts whether world powers really have a commonly perceived threat of terrorism or conjuncture interests are still more important.

What is also interesting and worth noting is that the media accused Trump of placing the intel source under threat. However, almost all news outlets published this information and eventually some even named the country, which had given materials to America. The media (and, surely, those officials, who leaked information to journalists) should ask themselves what is jeopardizing national security and the intel source more: Trump’s sharing with Russia at a closed meeting or the fact that they openly published almost the same data on their pages. Donald Trump once said that the media hinders him from building closer ties with Russia while the leaks threaten national security. Now it is difficult to say he was wrong. It so happened that the most politically inexperienced president in the US presidential history managed to quickly make a diagnosis.

As for Russia’s reaction, Moscow found the reports absurd with Russian president describing the situation in the US as “political schizophrenia” while foreign minister Sergey Lavrov pointed at the fact that recently the Trump administration officially banned laptops on airlines from some Middle East countries and, therefore, he could see no secreсy in this infromation.

Russia-US relations

Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassador

By Greg Miller and Greg Jaffe

The Washington Post


President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, according to current and former U.S. officials, who said Trump’s disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State.

Did the Russians Dupe Trump?

By Julia Ioffe

The Atlantic


Putin has long used the pretext of counterterrorism cooperation to get what he wants from the West. It just paid off again.

The Myopic Campaign to Make Russia a Pariah

By Ted Galen Carpenter

The American Conservative


Reporting on the Oval Office conversation is the latest salvo.

Putin offers transcript to prove Trump did not pass Russia secrets.

By Denis Pinchuk and Andrew Osborn



Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that U.S. President Donald Trump had not divulged any secrets during a meeting in Washington with Russian officials and offered to prove it by supplying Congress with a transcript.

Did Trump Commit a Crime in Sharing Intelligence With Moscow?

By James Carden

The Nation


 The idea that these leaks to the Post by “current and former U.S. officials” are in the service of US national security interests strains credulity. They manifestly are not.

House majority leader to colleagues in 2016: ‘I think Putin pays’ Trump

By Adam Entous

The Washington Post


A month before Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination, one of his closest allies in Congress — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy — made a politically explosive assertion in a private conversation on Capitol Hill with his fellow GOP leaders: that Trump could be the beneficiary of payments from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Exclusive: Trump campaign had at least 18 undisclosed contacts with Russians: sources

By Ned Parker, Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel



Michael Flynn and other advisers to Donald Trump’s campaign were in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the 2016 presidential race, current and former U.S. officials familiar with the exchanges told Reuters.

Inside Russia’s Social Media War on America

By Massimo Calabresi



Marrying a hundred years of expertise in influence operations to the new world of social media, Russia may finally have gained the ability it long sought but never fully achieved in the Cold War: to alter the course of events in the U.S. by manipulating public opinion.

Inside Putin’s Campaign to Destroy U.S. Democracy

By Bill Powell



Now Russia is again public enemy No. 1 in the United States, and Putin is on offense around the world.

Syrian conflict

Experts to Trump: Russia is not our ally in the war on ISIS

By Alex Ward



Trump shared intelligence claiming Russia is on the same team.

Russia-China relations

China’s Silk Road Project Shows Putin Needs Xi Way More Than Trump

By Kenneth Rapoza



Depending on who you speak with, Russia has no business in the United States. Other than Lukoil and a uranium mine, Russia only exists in the U.S. as a figment of some people’s wild imaginations. Russia has very little economic interests here. But in China, that’s another story.

Russia-Japan relations

The Kuril Islands on the Installment Plan

By Ekaterina Kuznetsova and Alexander Troïtsky

The American Interest


Putin and Abe seem to have already decided between themselves how their delicate negotiations will end.

Russia-Iran relations

Iran’s election is one Vladimir Putin does not want to meddle in

By Roula Khalaf

The Financial Times


Moscow has an interest in maintaining the status quo in Tehran.

Afghan conflict

Evidence of Russian military support for Afghan Taliban is growing

By Hollie McKay

Fox News


Afghanistan villagers caught in Taliban territory in the northern province of Kunduz, by the border of Tajikistan, recently began reporting unmarked helicopters at night landing and leaving quickly from known Taliban hideouts, or at least areas outside of government control.

Russia-Ukraine relations

Why Ukraine Said ‘Nyet’ to Russian Social Networks

By Leonid Bershidsky



Ukraine knows Russia’s social networks aren’t neutral. But neither are anyone else’s.

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