May 23, 2010

Tilting Toward Russia?

Published: May 20, 2010
Dmitri Medvedev managed to get half-way through his presidency without ever visiting Kiev. That was before Viktor Yanukovich replaced the Kremlin's bête noire, Viktor Yushchenko, as Ukrainian president in February. Since then, high-level meetings have taken place almost weekly, culminating in Mr. Medvedev's state visit to Kiev this week. Mr. Medvedev has even taken to advertising his part-Ukrainian grandmother from Belgorod.

May 19, 2010

David J. Kramer - U.S. abandoning Russia's neighbors

David J. Kramer - U.S. abandoning Russia's neighbors

By David J. Kramer

Saturday, May 15, 2010
Some 14 months ago on this page, I warned against a "grand bargain" between the United States and Russia as part of the Obama administration's reset efforts with Moscow ["No grand bargain," op-ed, March 6]. One concern then was that the administration would pursue a "Russia first" policy at the expense of Russia's neighbors. The problem, it appears, is actually worse: The administration seems to have moved toward a "Russia only" approach, neglecting and even abandoning other countries in the region.

May 15, 2010

Stefan Fule: "Cetatenii RM vor merge in UE fara vize intr-o perspectiva"

Stefan Fule: "Cetatenii RM vor merge in UE fara vize intr-o perspectiva" /

Sâmbătă, 15 Mai, 2010 / 15:42
Negocierile pe marginea regimului liberalizat de vize dintre Republica Moldova si Uniunea Europeana vor demara pe 15 iunie. "Vor fi niste discutii structurate in aceasta privinta, astfel incat, intr-o perspectiva, cetatenii Republicii Moldova sa aiba posibiliatea de a calatori in spatiul european fara vize", a declarat astazi Comisarul european pentru Extindere si Politica de Vecinatate, Stefan Fule, aflat intr-o vizita la Chisinau.

David J. Kramer - The Obama Team Should Rein in Russia's Expectations -

David J. Kramer - The Obama Team Should Rein in Russia's Expectations -

No 'Grand Bargain'

By David J. Kramer
Friday, March 6, 2009

Russian officials should like what they are seeing from the Obama administration: President Obama has exchanged public comments and personal letters with President Dmitry Medvedev. Vice President Biden declared last month that we ought to press the "reset button" on U.S.-Russian relations. In her meeting today with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to continue ratcheting down tensions. But while improved ties with Moscow are desirable, the Obama team should rein in expectations and avoid the "grand bargain" that some in the United States and Europe have recommended.
The "bargain" is simple: In exchange for Russian cooperation on containing the Iranian nuclear threat and other strategic issues, the United States would, to varying degrees, scale back its relations with Russia's neighbors, pause on missile defense plans and stay quiet about Russia's deteriorating human rights situation. For the United States to hush up about the crackdown would have been unthinkable before Clinton's disappointing suggestion in China last month that we should not allow human rights problems to "interfere" with more important matters. If they are smart, the Russians will seek a similar arrangement.

May 9, 2010

Putin taking advantage of Merkel's fear of dogs

Profiles in Phobia | Foreign Policy


As a child, Chancellor Merkel was bitten by a dog, instilling her deep fear of canines. Merkel's fear is well known, and perhaps worryingly for Germans has reportedly been used against her by foreign leaders. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, a master of psychological diplomacy, has repeatedly attempted to take advantage of Merkel's fear. In 2006, the then-president perplexed German diplomats by presenting the chancellor with a small dog as a gift and made a habit of having his black Labrador, Koni, sit in on their meetings. Putin's successor, Dmitry Medvedev, has put a stop to the practice.

May 7, 2010

Newsweek Can Be Good Acquisition for Russian Oligarch - Pravda.Ru

Newsweek Can Be Good Acquisition for Russian Oligarch - Pravda.Ru
Newsweek, a well-known publication of The Washington Post Co., has been put up for sale. The magazine has not been returning profit during the recent several years, and its owners expect more losses this year. As a result, Donald Graham, the WashPo chairman, decided that it would be better to sell the magazine to someone else.
"Despite heroic efforts on the part of Newsweek's management and staff, we expect it to still lose money in 2010. We are exploring all options to fix that problem. Newsweek is a lively, important magazine and website, and in the current climate, it might be a better fit elsewhere," he said in a statement.

May 2, 2010

UAobserver: Tymoshenko: Russia absorbs Ukraine, and this can not be tolerated

UAobserver: Tymoshenko: Russia absorbs Ukraine, and this can not be tolerated
Saturday, May 1, 2010, 16:33
Opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko has said Saturday that if the "Naftogaz” of Ukraine and Russian Gazprom will unite the Ukraine will have only 6% stake in the joint management structure.
She stated this at a press conference in Lutsk, the official website said.
"After the experts estimation the share of Ukraine in the joint venture will be 6.1. In such circumstances Ukraine would be unable to influence the management of these objects "- she said.

UAobserver: Putin proposes merger of Gazprom and Naftogaz

UAobserver: Putin proposes merger of Gazprom and Naftogaz
Friday, April 30, 2010, 16:54

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin proposed a joint venture in the gas field with Gazprom and Naftogaz.

Putin said that on Friday at a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Mykola Azarov was talking about integration in the nuclear field, but "we're ready for integration and in the gas sector. "I propose a merger of Gazprom and Naftogaz Ukraine", - said Putin.

In his turn, Gazprom chairman Alexei Miller said that Gazprom, Naftogaz of Ukraine and Ministry of Energy of Russia and Ukraine after the May holidays will discuss the unification of Gazprom and Naftogaz.

UAobserver: Yanukovych sabotaging opposition’s meetings with people

UAobserver: Yanukovych sabotaging opposition’s meetings with people
Yanukovych sabotaging opposition’s communication with people
The leader of Ukrainian opposition Yulia Tymoshenko stated that the government intentionally creates a confrontation in the society. "We are now even not given the possibility to talk. The TV and Radio are totally closed for us. And even when we go to calmly talk to people, the power stands the speakers to mute us" - Yulia Tymoshenko said at a rally in Lutsk. According to the report on her official site, when Yulia Tymoshenko went on stage, the Party of Regions partisans came on the same area with their flag, including at full power loudspeakers to drown out her speech. Yulia Tymoshenko stated, that the authorities do not take into account the results of presidential elections, in which 17 regions of Ukraine expressed their support for another presidential candidate. "Seventeen regions voted for another country, voted in favor of Ukrainian Ukraine, the independence of their native state. Seventeen regions of Ukraine have voted to ensure that Ukraine has not lost its future. We together won the Volyn region. Unfortunately, half of Ukraine is not noticed, "- she said. Earlier it was reported that the BYuT faction in Lviv and Ternopil regional councils will initiate expression of distrust toward the heads of regional state administrations on their anti-Ukrainian actions.
Earlier Tymoshenko stated that the governors are appointed for two purposes. "The first goal is to suppress the opposition by all possible means, and the second - to create support for the Party of Regions, Viktor Yanukovych in each region”.

May 1, 2010

UAobserver: Dramatic events in and near Verkhovna Rada on April 27

Dramatic events in and near Verkhovna Rada on April 27

Live records from the plenary session - please pay attention that only 211 deputies are registered, which is insufficient for session opening. And yet the speaker did open the session. Later on 236 votes were given for the ratification. No jokes! This paradox happened because the absent deputies' cards were used by their peers. All in all not a very solid legal basis for reliable ratification.