Foreign Press Review (24.04-30.04)

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Amid a new phase in Russia investigation and continuing harsh debates over the recent chemical attack in Syria the foreign press actively discussed an article by Russian newspaper Kommersant, which citing some anonymous government sources form both Moscow and Washington reported that Putin and Trump could meet at the end of May in one of the European countries. During this time the American president is to be in Europe for the NATO and G-7 summits. While Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov already said that there were no preparations for such a meeting and called the reports on it “wishful thinking”, foreign journalists nevertheless wondered whether this meeting is possible and what results for the Russia-US relations it could bring.

Whereas some experts pointed out that a meeting (if one takes place) will be next to useless given the recent critical statements by both sides, others believe that it could pave the way for, at least, finding common ground as the political agenda in the bilateral relations is not limited to Syria and Ukraine. Some foreign authors even went further and made some sort of advice to Trump’s administration on how they should speak to Putin calling for “a sober, objective and respectful relationship with Putin”.

Meanwhile, the hysteria about Russia’s alleged meddling in the French presidential elections continued to be fanned by the Western outlets. The level of evidence once again doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. This time a Japanese cybersecurity firm claimed that “the campaign of the French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron has been targeted by what appear to be the same Russian operatives responsible for hacks of Democratic campaign officials before last year’s American presidential election”. However, the firm refused to directly blame the Kremlin for the attacks while the media presented a story like a new sensational proof of Moscow’s involvement. The “may be” tool, when the media doesn’t directly blame somebody but just points at him with some probability, clearly helps the media to pour oil in the flame while waiving responsibility for the real content of articles and their message that, certainly, creates an impression of Russia’s meddling as an established fact. For example, Mr. Macron’s digital director, Mounir Mahjoubi, directly said that he has no evidence of Russia’s involvement but emphasized that Russia could be involved.

Moreover, after catchy headlines some articles then mentioned that potentially some other groups could try to imitate the attacks on the DNC during the US presidential elections. Given a lot of conspiracy theories appearing in the media currently, one can go further and suspect that the EU, which is definitely interested in Macron’s victory over Le Pen, could have organized the attacks in order to accuse the Kremlin of them and increase its preferable candidate’s chances. Ironically, the amount of evidence for this version will be almost equal to that of Russia’s interference.

Russia-US relations

Why Do We Want a Cooperative Relationship With Russia?

By George D. O’Neill Jr.

The American Conservative


To seek better relations with Russia and the rest of the world is part of the noble American tradition of Washington, Adams, Eisenhower, and many others.

Mounting Incitements to War With Russia

By Stephen F. Cohen

The Nation


Villainizing the Kremlin—without much evidence—for crises from Washington and Europe to Syria, Ukraine, and Afghanistan is increasing the possibility of a US-Russian war.

Commentary: Why Trump should mend ties with Russia

By Josh Cohen



While Republican hawks and even some Democrats praised Trump’s about-face on Russia, let’s be clear about one thing: Whatever differences exist between the United States and Russia, an improved relationship with the Russians is good for America.

Rhetoric isn’t working – Trump needs to speak with Putin

By Jill Dougherty



How should – or shouldn’t – American politicians talk to Putin?

Russia’s foreign policy

In His Own Words: Vladimir Putin’s Foreign Policy Analyzed

By Stephen Benedict Dyson and Matthew J. Parent

War on the Rocks


To try to cut through the confusion, we analyzed every word President Putin has ever said on the major issues of foreign policy — a big data approach to the vexing problem of understanding one man.

Russia-NATO relations

Putin’s Russia shouldn’t win with missile cheats: Column

By Barry M. Blechman

USA Today


When Russia violates treaties, we should respond.

Russia And Trump Must Be Partners To Assure Nuclear Security – Analysis

By Richard Weitz and YaleGlobal Online

Eurasia Review


With the new US administration open to rethinking Russian-US relations and nuclear security, the time has come to reconsider old truths and seek new paths to a more secure nuclear future.

French elections

Cyber experts ‘99% sure’ Russian hackers are targeting Macron

By Sébastian Seibt

France 24


The Russian cyber-spying group Pawn Storm (also known as Fancy Bear) has targeted French presidential front-runner Emmanuel Macron, according to Japanese cyber-security experts. Macron campaign officials, however, say the group has so far failed.

Russia’s Hack Of Elections In France Requires Counterpunch

By Anders Corr



Russian elections influence on Brexit, Trump, and Le Pen prove that democracy is in a state of emergency.

Syrian conflict

How the West Can Press Putin to Keep Assad In Order

By Colin P. Clarke and William Courtney



Russia is doing itself no favors on Syria. Its leadership defends the regime of Bashar al-Assad and denies strong evidence that it attacked civilians with sarin gas on April 4 in Idlib province.

Did Assad Order the Syrian Gas Attack?

By Philip Giraldi

The American Conservative


Once again, actual intelligence seems sparse.

Russia-China relations

A China-Russia Alliance?

By Lyle J. Goldstein

The National Interest


The debate in Beijing continues to heat up.

North Korea issue

What Does Putin Really Think about North Korea?

By Damien Sharkov



As tensions around North Korea’s nuclear ambitions simmer, one of the country’s neighbors has kept a noticeably low profile _ Russia.

Russia-Japan relations

Isle row breakthrough eludes Putin-Abe talks but Moscow offers to fly kin to visit graves; project teams readied

The Japan Times


Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday discussed joint economic projects on disputed islands that could pave the way for the countries to finally sign a peace treaty ending World War II.

Russia’s internal politics

Who Really Influences Policy in Moscow?

By Nikolas K. Gvosdev

The National Interest


With thousands of Russians being branded as close associates of Vladimir Putin, it is difficult to tell who actually has a voice in the Kremlin.

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