Archive for the ‘Russians’ Category

Economy, “Foreign Forces” Trying to Destabilize Russia?

March 26, 2009

Foreign forces are using the economic crisis to  destabilize the political situation in Russia, asserted State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov.
    
“We  already  see  manifestations  of  political  extremism.  I  am speaking  about  attempts to destabilize the country, taken both outside and inside Russia,” Gryzlov said at a meeting of the Supreme and General Councils of the United Russia party in Moscow on Thursday.
    
“We  are  now seeing attempts when people who are unhappy are given flags, and sometimes these are flags of foreign countries,” he said.
    
“We have seen protest rallies in Primorye, were the protesters were carrying Japanese flags. It is a fact,” Gryzlov said.

–Interfax

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Pro-Russia protest against US frigate in Sevastopol

March 25, 2009

Pro-Russia protesters cried “NATO out” Wednesday as a US naval frigate arrived in the Ukrainian naval port of Sevastopol, where Russia’s Black Sea fleet is also based.

The USS Klakring docked at 0630 GMT, as about 250 largely communist and far-left demonstrators also shouted “Yankee go home!”

The frigate is in port for a five-day “friendly visit” and will not take part in any exercises, a Ukrainian navy statement said.

It is feared that Sevastopol in the Crimea, where the Russian fleet has maintained a presence for over 200 years, could become a flashpoint in strained relations between Russia and the West.

Russia signed a 20-year contract with Ukraine in 1997 to station its fleet in the Black Sea and makes an annual payment of 12 million dollars (nine million euros) to Kiev for the privilege.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/200903
25/wl_afp/ukrainerussiausmilitarynat
osevastopolprotest_20090325131321

Activists from the Ukrainian Communist Party and Russian Bloc ... 
Activists from the Ukrainian Communist Party and Russian Bloc protest as the USS Klakring sails into Sevastopol. The pro-Russia protesters cried “NATO out” as the US warship arrived in the Ukrainian port — where Russia’s Black Sea fleet is based.(AFP/Vasiliy Batanov)

Russia Pressing “Reset,” Medvedev Orders Military To Re-Arm

March 17, 2009

Was it Joe Biden, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton that thought it was a good idea to encourage Russia to just hit the “reset” button?  Well, whoever.

Russia apparently did hit the reset button today….

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with a red button marked "reset" in English and "overload" in Russian.
Coffrini/Getty

Related:
 Barack, Hillary: Moronic “Reset” Idea for Relations With Russia

******************

The Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, has ordered a ‘comprehensive’ military rearmament after accusing Nato of once again encroaching on Moscow’s sphere of influence in the former Soviet Union.

By Adrian Blomfield in Moscow
The Telegraph (UK)
.
Mr Medvedev’s bellicose speech risks causing unease in Washington and will dampen hopes of a rapid improvement in strained East-West relations.

The president told defence ministry officials in Moscow that Nato’s continued enlargement ambitions meant that Russia had been left with no choice but to increase its conventional and nuclear combat preparedness.

The threat to Russia’s stability had also been increased by local crises, Mr Medvedev added, in an apparent reference to last year’s five-day war with Georgia.

Russia announces major military buildup

“The attempts to enlarge Nato’s military infrastructure are not ceasing,” said Mr Medvedev. “All this calls for qualitatively modernising our armed forces and reshaping their image. This involves the enhancement of combat preparedness of our troops, primarily the strategic nuclear forces.”

A “comprehensive re-armament” of the Russian army and navy will begin in 2011, the president announced.

Despite the aggressive symbolism of the word, US officials are less likely to be concerned about Mr Medvedev’s talk of rearmament than they are of his antagonistic references to Nato.

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/world
news/europe/russia/5005261/Russia
n-president-orders-military-rearmament.html

CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/e
urope/03/17/russia.rearmament/index.html

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev: Russian president orders military rearmament  

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev Photo: AP

Reuters on this topic:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/2009
0317/wl_nm/us_russia_medvedev_army_2

What does Russia really want?  No missile defense in Eastern Europe and no NATO expansion….

From the Associated Press as printed in the Moscow Times
March 17, 2009

The United States should seek Russia’s close cooperation in dealing with Iran and solicit Moscow’s participation in, or at least acquiescence to, a missile defense system in Europe, a panel of former high-level U.S. diplomats and members of Congress urged on Monday.

Calling for across-the-board repairs to a splintered relationship with Russia, the commission took note of some recent positive trends.

But the panel warned that they “are deeply concerned by the gap between the current U.S.-Russian relationship and the level of cooperation that the United States needs with Russia in order to advance vital American interests.”

The commission, headed by former senators Chuck Hagel, a Republican, and Democrat Gary Hart, is a joint project of the Nixon Center, a Washington think tank, and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs of Harvard University.

Describing current relations as “deeply troubled,” the commission said, however, that Moscow is not hostile to the United States, “at least not yet.”

Even if the relationship breaks down completely, Russia does not have the will or the resources for a new Cold War, the report said.

Both governments are to blame for the decline, the panel concluded. Rebuilding the relationship “is not solely the responsibility of the United States,” the report said.

The commission proposed that the administration of President Barack Obama “take a new look” at proposed U.S. missile deployments in Central Europe and concentrate instead on cooperation with Russia in confronting any threat from Iran.

A recent private letter from Obama to President Dmitry Medvedev reportedly broached recasting the proposed missile defense system to allay Russian concerns in return for Moscow’s aid in dealing with the Iranian threat to build nuclear weapons.

“Building a joint system that could include Russian facilities and equipment is most desirable,” the report said.

The United States has a strong interest in attracting Russia’s cooperation. Key U.S. allies would prefer such an approach, and “it would send a powerful signal to Iran” while avoiding new dangers from a possibly hostile Moscow reaction to deployment of the missile defense system without an understanding with Russia, the report said.

http://www.themoscowtimes
.com/article/1010/42/375365.htm

Pressuring Obama: International Actors Take Risks Amid Uncertainty

Barack, Hillary: Moronic “Reset” Idea for Relations With Russia

March 12, 2009

Hillary Clinton’s notion that one can just push a reset button on damaged relations with Russia is embematic of a typical response many Americans have to human and international relations.

We can’t just push the reset button and  make it all right.  This electronic view of relations just doesn’t wash.  International relations are not cell phones.

Relationsships take work and years and years of work.  Trust is a factor and testing, as China just proved again on the high seas last weekend, is also common.

International relations are not a car wash: you can’d drive through and get clean.  Alcoholics and drug users who believe in the drive through and get clean car wash approach are usually called relapsers.

So Hillary has proposed an electronic reset or a relapse with Russia to what?  The Soviet Union?  Certainly not.  Hillary probably wants to return to the pre-Georgia gets attacked by Russia times; the pre-Russia shut off Europe’s heating oil times.

But those times, as viewed by Russia, and in particular Mr. Putin and Mr. Medvedev, are the relations of one dog putting it to the other dog times.

And to Russians, they got tired of being the bottom dog.

For Barack and Hillary: welcome to the real world: there is no reset.  We only move ahead.  Which takes work and time and trust.

And there will be testing.  And dogs putting it to other dogs.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with a red button marked "reset" in English and "overload" in Russian.
Coffrini/Getty

Related:
Obama Wasting America’s Strategic World Power; China Surges Despite Economy

Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists

Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”

China Provoked Obama; Now Works To Smooth Situation: Why?

 Hillary: One-Time Health Care Failure Now American’s Chief Diplomat, Fouls Up First Time Out

Obama says we need a total rebuilding of American health care, education and energy: but we’ll just push reset with the rest of the world….It just seems like a sophomoric and socialistic thought process that can’t work.  The Soviet Union spent itself to death trying to keep up with U.S. military advances.  Now China and Russia will just watch as America spends itself to death with $1 billion dollars an hour of borrowed (much from China) money….


Dumb and Dumber

Russia, U.S. Missile Defense Dispute

March 8, 2009
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday that the United States and Russia have the opportunity to cooperate on missile defense.

“We believe that Russia and the United States have the opportunity to do joint research and joint development. And even eventually assumingly we can reach such an agreement (on) joint deployment,” Clinton said in Brussels.

From The People’s Daily, China

Clinton’s remarks were the latest in years of argument between Russia and the United States on the latter’s ambition to deploy a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe.

Former U.S. President George W. Bush and his administration planned to deploy 10 missile interceptors in Poland and a radar system in the Czech Republic which it claimed to protect its European allies from missile threat by “rouge state.”

In 2002, the United States started negotiations with Poland on the missile shield issue, without making any significant progress due to their difference.

In January 2007, Washington resumed negotiations with Warsaw and Prague and finalized agreements with the two countries before Bush’s departure from the White House.

The U.S. plan has met strong opposition from Moscow, which insists that the missile shield, if deployed, will undermine Russia’s national security.

In November 2008, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced plans to deploy missiles in Kaliningrad, to counter the U.S. defense shield plan.

On March 3, 2009, Medvedev said that “We have to work together and create a common shield against all threats. The U.S. and Europe would negotiate on that, but it would have to be global and not fragmented around the Russian frontier.”

Barack Obama’s administration has already decided to review the effectiveness of the missile shield and its cost.

Source:Xinhua

Related:
Russian Relations With U.S., Europe Improve: But Putin, Medvedev Understand Strength, Power More than Diplomacy

 Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”
.
Israel Ponders War on Iran; Obama, Russia HaggleRussia Testing Obama: Just as Biden Predicted
.
Russia building anti-satellite weapons

 Russia: Medvedev Pushing Putin Out?

Russia Verifies “American, Western Weakness”

Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”

Mr. Obama and Russia
NYT Editorial: Russia only understands strength….

 Chutzpah: Admire Russia’s Arrogance

Russia, Obama and the Strategic Chess Tournament

Putin Medvedev
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Above: Russia’s “power couple.” Vladimir Putin speaks with his presidential successor, Dmitry Medvedev.

Russia Is Top Heroin Consumer

March 7, 2009

Moscow Russia has become the world’s biggest heroin consumer, and the flood of the drug from Afghanistan poses a threat to national security, Russia’s drug enforcement chief said Friday. “In recent years Russia has not just become massively hooked on Afghan opiates, it has also become the world’s absolute leader in the opiate trade and the number one heroin consumer,” Viktor Ivanov, head of the Federal Drug Control Service, said in a report made public on Friday.

–Reuters

Russia welcomes “positive signals” from US

March 6, 2009

If Russia is this happy with Obama: WORRY!

******************

By Steve Gutterman, Associated Press Writer 

 MOSCOW – Russia has received “very positive signals” from the new U.S. administration but wants a missile shield plan scrapped or reworked to eliminate Moscow’s concerns, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said Friday.

Dmitry Peskov suggested Russia sees the new American administration’s moves on missile defense as a crucial test of its stated intention to revamp ties. The remarks were broadcast hours before the highest-level meeting between the former Cold War foes since President Barack Obama took office and signal that the Kremlin expects the United States to make the first move on concessions in missile defense.

“We are receiving very positive signals and we welcome them,” Peskov told Voice of Russia radio, apparently referring to the Obama administration’s repeated calls for a “reset” in badly frayed relations with Moscow.

But he repeated Russia’s vehement opposition to plans pushed by the previous U.S. administration to deploy elements of a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic, former Soviet satellites now in NATO.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009030
6/ap_on_re_eu/eu_russia_us

Related:
Hillary: One-Time Health Care Failure Now American’s Chief Diplomat, Fouls Up First Time Out

Israel Ponders War on Iran; Obama, Russia Haggle

Russia Testing Obama: Just as Biden Predicted
.
Russia building anti-satellite weapons

 Russia: Medvedev Pushing Putin Out?

Russia Verifies “American, Western Weakness”

Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”

Mr. Obama and Russia
NYT Editorial: Russia only understands strength….

 Chutzpah: Admire Russia’s Arrogance

Russia, Obama and the Strategic Chess Tournament

Putin Medvedev
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Above: Vladimir Putin speaks with his presidential successor, Dmitry Medvedev

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin heads up a meeting in ... 
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin heads up a meeting in Moscow. NATO agreed Thursday to resume high-level talks with Russia, ending a seven-month freeze sparked by Moscow’s decision to send troops into Georgia in August 2008.(AFP/RIA/Alexey Nikolsky)

Clinton faces first diplomatic test with Russian

March 6, 2009

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton‘s first discussions with her Russian counterpart will test her diplomatic skills as well as the Obama administration’s hopes for a new direction in U.S. foreign policy.

Clinton’s planned meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Friday in Geneva is aimed at advancing an Obama administration effort to put U.S.-Russian relations on a more positive track by presenting Moscow with a package of proposals including accelerated arms control talks and an appeal for help in stopping Iran’s nuclear program.

The full scope of the U.S. approach to Russia has not been worked out, but the Geneva session is a chance to set the stage for improved relations on numerous fronts after years of friction and only modest diplomatic progress during the Bush administration.

By ROBERT BURNS, Associated Press Writer

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009030
6/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/eu_clinton_russia

Related:
 Israel Ponders War on Iran; Obama, Russia Haggle

Russia Testing Obama: Just as Biden Predicted
Russia building anti-satellite weapons

 Russia: Medvedev Pushing Putin Out?

Russia Verifies “American, Western Weakness”

Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”

U.S. offers Moscow concession on missile shield

February 13, 2009

The United States is ready to look at re-modeling its missile defense plans to include Moscow, a senior U.S. diplomat said on Friday in a concession to Russian opposition.

The Kremlin has been pressing Washington to give ground on the proposed missile shield in exchange for Russia helping supply the U.S.-led military campaign in Afghanistan — a priority for new President Barack Obama.

Washington and Moscow have in the past discussed a compromise deal that would give Russia a role in the U.S. shield but those talks petered out in the last days of the previous U.S. administration.

By James Kilner and Christian Lowe
Reuters

“(Washington is) open to the possibility of cooperation, both with Russia and NATO partners, in relation to a new configuration for missile defense which would use the resources that each of us have,” Interfax news agency quoted U.S. Undersecretary of State William Burns as saying.

The U.S. embassy in Moscow confirmed the text of the interview. Burns, a former ambassador to Moscow, was in Russia this week for talks with officials.

Burns gave no details on what form the new missile defense configuration might take, but the wording he used appeared to go further than previous U.S. proposals aimed at easing Russia’s concerns.

Russia’s ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, told Reuters in an interview that Moscow would have to wait to see how Washington follows up on Burns’ remarks.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090213
/ts_nm/us_usa_shield_russia

Mr. Obama and Russia

February 12, 2009

Vice President Joseph Biden told a European security conference on Saturday that it was “time to press the reset button” and revisit the many areas where the United States and Russia can work together. On Sunday, Russia’s almost never conciliatory deputy prime minister, Sergei Ivanov, embraced the overture.

New York Times Editorial

We are relieved that Washington and Moscow are talking about cooperation. There is certainly a lot in the relationship that needs resetting, starting with reviving negotiations to do away with thousands of nuclear weapons. But pressing the reset button cannot mean absolving Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin of its authoritarian ways.

President George W. Bush spent years looking the other way while Mr. Putin harassed opponents, stifled a free press and bullied Russia’s neighbors. While he was busy looking into Mr. Putin’s eyes, Mr. Bush also ignored Russia’s list of grievances — many illegitimate, but not all.

President Obama must not repeat either mistake. The Russians gave him fair warning last week of how difficult this relationship could be. Just days before Mr. Biden spoke, the Kremlin “encouraged” the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan — with a $2.15 billion pledge of loans and aid — to give notice that it is closing an American base that supplies United States forces in Afghanistan.

Arms control may be the most promising area for early progress. The 2002 Moscow treaty, Mr. Bush’s one and only agreement, allows each country to deploy between 1,700 and 2,200 long-range nuclear weapons. They could easily go to 1,000 weapons each. A swift agreement also would send an important signal to North Korea, Iran and other potential nuclear scofflaws.

The administration also has begun hinting that it may be open to some compromise on Mr. Bush’s missile defense system planned for Poland and the Czech Republic. We are skeptical that the technology is anywhere near ready for prime time. We are also skeptical about the Russians’ insistence that the system poses any threat to their security. A healthy dialogue on the subject is clearly in order.

The Kremlin has offered to assist NATO with Afghanistan, President Obama’s top security challenge. Moscow has no love for the Taliban. And that is certainly worth testing. But if Washington has learned any lesson, it is that it must have multiple options for wartime supply routes — and Russia cannot have a chokehold.

The administration also will have to test whether Moscow will do more to help end Iran’s nuclear program. That, too, is in Russia’s clear strategic interest, even though the Kremlin has yet to see it.

So far Mr. Obama has been quiet about Russia’s latest efforts to bully its neighbors. He will have to find his voice. After its war with Georgia last year, Russia defied international law by recognizing the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. It recently went further and announced plans to establish bases there — instead of withdrawing forces to prewar numbers as promised. While the Georgia dispute may not lend itself to quick solution, Moscow must not be allowed to think the world has acquiesced to its indefinite presence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

We’re not sure how Mr. Obama is going to find the right balance between cooperating with the Kremlin and avoiding enabling its bullying ways. But that can be the only basis for a sound relationship.