After a confrontational NATO summit in Brussels where the primus inter pares target was Germany and a UK visit which was characterized by some observers as an “assault on diplomatic norms” President Trump met his Russian counterpart in Helsinki. He arrived in the Finnish capital leaving behind a week of controversy while the latter came from a successful World Cup which gave its host Russia added international visibility. At the beginning of the Helsinki meeting President Trump repeated his conviction that good relations between Washington and Moscow are good for both countries and the world. Okumaya devam et →
On October 13, 2015, the Dutch Safety Board published its report on the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Hrabove, Ukraine. The report says that the crash of flight MH17 on July 17, 2014 was caused by the detonation of a 9N314M-type warhead launched from the eastern part of Ukraine using a Buk missile system. The 279 page report contains extensive technical detail on various aspects of the crash but it does not address questions of blame and liability. Yet, some see it as a vindication of their claims as to those responsible for the disaster. Others contest part, if not all, of its findings. There are accusations, rebuttals and counter-accusations. With the Ukraine conflict far from settled this is only to be expected. Okumaya devam et →
I constantly stress the need for US-Russia cooperation in finding solutions to international conflicts, particularly those in the broad Middle East. I mention compartmentalization as a way out in the absence of a wide convergence of views. I concluded a spot in early June by saying that, “U.S. and Russia need to look at the feasibility of an Obama-Putin summit. The UN General Assembly meeting in September may provide a good opportunity.” (1) It appears that there is now some groundwork in this direction including the military-to-military US-Russia talks on Syria.
To find a reasonable way to end the Syrian conflict one may look at what has been said by people who could make a difference:Okumaya devam et →
Article 11 of the Minsk Agreement of February 12, 2015 reads as follows: “Carrying out constitutional reform in Ukraine with a new constitution entering into force by the end of 2015 providing for decentralization as a key element (including a reference to the specificities of certain areas in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, agreed with the representatives of these areas), as well as adopting permanent legislation on the special status of certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions … until the end of 2015.”
The Ukrainian Parliament is currently debating constitutional changes with a view to recognizing more autonomy to these two separatist regions. The move is opposed by some, in particular the rightist parties. There has been violence and accusations of provocation. A policeman has lost his life. The coalition government is under strain. The autonomy measure requires approval by 300 members of the 450 seat Parliament. Okumaya devam et →
The French-Russian deal for the sale of two Mistral class amphibious assault ships was announced by President Sarkozy on December 24, 2010 and signed in his presence by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin and French Defense Minister Alain Juppé on January 25, 2011. This was the largest defense contract concluded between a NATO member and Russia.
The date chosen to announce the deal could not have been a coincidence. It was Christmas Eve and President Sarkozy must have thought that a 1.2 billion euro contract would be welcome news to the French public and contribute to his standing as a promoter of French economic interests.
The communiqué issued by the Elysée said that Presidents Sarkozy and Medvedev were pleased with this unprecedented cooperation which reflected the two countries’ readiness and ability to develop substantial partnerships in all fields including defense and security. Okumaya devam et →
On 12 May 2015 Secretary Kerry had eight hours of talks with President Putin and Minister Lavrov in Sochi.
During the joint press conference held after the meetings Mr. Lavrov stated that the state of bilateral relations was also discussed, including specific irritators that have been in place recently. “But” he said, “we fully understand that it is absolutely necessary to avoid any steps that could further detriment relations between Russia and U.S. We believe that it is necessary to continue the cooperation between our countries, especially given the fact that resolution of many international problems really depends on our joint efforts – on the joint efforts of Russia and the U.S. – and I believe this is one of the main ideas about today’s negotiations, one of the main conclusions and outcomes of today.”
Mr. Kerry referred to the removal of Syria’s chemical weapons as an example of US-Russian cooperation. He said that it was the confidence in the two countries’ ability to be able to make a difference on some important issues that brought them together in Sochi. Okumaya devam et →