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Annual Forecast 2015
Annual Forecast 2015 2014 was the year in which the world was finally shaken out of complacency. Ukraine triggered Russia's inevitable confrontation with the United States and Europe. Economic malaise in Europe became impossible to ignore, with anti-establishment groups growing louder with each passing election. An intensifying anti-corruption drive in China exposed how far and deep the Chinese leadership is willing... Forward>>
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Russian Jets Are Flying Under the Radar and Endangering Civilian Airplanes
Russian Jets Are Flying Under the Radar and Endangering Civilian Airplanes Almost six months after pro-Russian rebels shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people aboard, Russia is flouting international aviation rules and showing reckless disregard for the safety of civilian flights. Over the past several months, NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission has detected an alarming number of Russian military planes flying through international airspace... Forward>>
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Will 2015 Be A Turning Point For Putin And His Regime?
Will 2015 Be A Turning Point For Putin And His Regime? This year will be a tough one for Vladimir Putin as the Russian people come to better understand the huge social and economic costs of his Ukraine venture. Putin has violated his pledge of growth and prosperity. He has lost Ukraine and has turned Russia into a rogue state. The sanctions combined with low oil prices have created a perfect storm of declining living standards and double... Forward>>
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Merkel: no end to Russia sanctions if Minsk agreement not met
Merkel: no end to Russia sanctions if Minsk agreement not met European sanctions against Russia will only be eased once all parts of last year's Minsk agreement for a Ukraine truce are met, Angela Merkel has said. It comes as the EU announced 1.8 billion euros in aid for Ukraine. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that the key to ending sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine conflict was the full implementation of September's Minsk... Forward>>
Ukraine
A New Policy to Rescue Ukraine
A New Policy to Rescue Ukraine The sanctions imposed on Russia by the US and Europe for its interventions in Ukraine have worked much faster and inflicted much more damage on the Russian economy than anybody could have expected. The sanctions sought to deny Russian banks and companies access to the international capital markets. The increased damage is largely due to a sharp decline in the price of oil, without... Forward>>
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The Media Battle for Hearts and Minds in Russia and Central Asia
The Media Battle for Hearts and Minds in Russia and Central Asia Does public opinion matter to authoritarian leaders? Just ask Vladimir Putin. Putin has shown great care in the past several months to hide the deaths of Russian soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine, where he has repeatedly promised that no Russian soldiers are being ordered to fight, in the face of a rising death count. Loved ones and others who attempt to investigate, and in some cases to publicize... Forward>>
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Why Putin's Russia Is The Biggest Threat To America In 2015
Why Putin's Russia Is The Biggest Threat To America In 2015 Like the stock market crashes that periodically wipe out so many fortunes, military crises are hard to predict.Washington’s track record as a seer of future threats is remarkably poor. From the bombing of Pearl Harbor in the 1940s to North Korea’s invasion of the South in the 1950s to the Cuban Missile Crisis in the 1960s to the collapse of South Vietnam in the 1970s to the breakup of the Soviet... Forward>>
Ukraine
Ukraine eyes IMF credit lifeline in early 2015
Ukraine eyes IMF credit lifeline in early 2015 Ukraine expects the International Monetary Fund to disburse new and overdue loans after a visit next month and still hopes a $17 billion bailout program can be expanded, its central bank governor said on Tuesday. Valeria Gontareva declined to give a value for the payment, even when pressed by journalists, but it is likely to total more than $4 billion. With its economy pushed close to bankruptcy... Forward>>
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The five most significant events of 2014
The five most significant events of 2014 Most people have something they do to mark the end of the year: make a resolution, go to a party, tidy the attic. My annual ritual is to make a list of the five most significant events of the past year in global politics. This year is an odd one, in that it seems to me that there are only two events that stand head-and-shoulders above the others. The first is the breakdown in relations between Russia... Forward>>
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Russia's Natural Gas Sales Plummet: Is Russia Captive To European Buyers?
Russia's Natural Gas Sales Plummet: Is Russia Captive To European Buyers? The received wisdom is that Europe cannot offend Russia because it depends so much on Russian natural gas. We have this backwards. It should be: Russia cannot offend Europe because it depends too much on sales of natural gas sales to Europe. The third quarter 2014 audit report of Gazprom, the Russian national gas company, shows a substantial decline in sales of Russian natural gas... Forward>>
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Germany Urges Negotiations on Eastern Ukraine
Germany Urges Negotiations on Eastern Ukraine FRANKFURT--German government officials over the weekend urged members of the international contact group on eastern Ukraine to resume negotiations for setting the line separating government-controlled areas from separatist-occupied territories. The contact group includes Russia, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. "We support the tireless efforts... Forward>>
Ukraine
Ukraine's parliament approves 2015 budget
Ukraine's parliament approves 2015 budget Ukraine's parliament backed a budget for 2015 on Monday that it had been under pressure to approve to secure the next tranche of financial aid under a $17 billion International Monetary Fund loan package, the Interfax news agency reported. Before the budget vote in the early hours of the morning, deputies approved a series of austerity laws, including an amendment to impose additional duties... Forward>>
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Interview with Henry Kissinger: 'Do We Achieve World Order Through Chaos or Insight?'
Interview with Henry Kissinger: 'Do We Achieve World Order Through Chaos or Insight?' Henry Kissinger is the most famous and most divisive secretary of state the US has ever had. In an interview, he discusses his new book exploring the crises of our time, from Syria to Ukraine, and the limits of American power. He says he acted in accordance with his convictions in Vietnam. Henry Kissinger seems more youthful than his 91 years. He is focused and affable, but also guarded, ready at any time... Forward>>
Ukraine
Ukraine Needs New Security Guarantees
Ukraine Needs New Security Guarantees This year we witnessed two decades of genuine efforts to build a reliable post-Cold War security system shattered by the desire of one country, driven by its imperial ambitions, to reestablish the long-gone division lines of the previous century. Twenty years ago, in December 1994 in Budapest, Ukraine received security assurances against threats or use of force against its territorial integrity... Forward>>
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For Putin, a year of successes and failures — on Ukraine, NATO and the West
For Putin, a year of successes and failures — on Ukraine, NATO and the West Amid increasing speculation that the ruble's collapse could shake Vladimir Putin's grip on power, the Russian president addressed his critics at his annual news conference. (Reuters). A year ago, most Ukrainians didn’t want to join NATO. U.S. tanks weren’t doing training exercises near the Russian border. And a dollar bought 33 rubles. But after the most tumultuous stretch of President Vladimir... Forward>>
Ukraine
EU says Ukraine needs $15 billion, has limited ability to help
EU says Ukraine needs $15 billion, has limited ability to help The International Monetary Fund estimates Ukraine needs another $15 billion in financing to withstand an economic crisis but the European Union has only limited capacity to help, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Wednesday. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk appealed to the EU in Brussels this week for urgent financial aid. He says Ukraine, facing a pro-Russian... Forward>>
Ukraine
Ukraine ceasefire leaves frontline counting cost of war in uneasy calm
Ukraine ceasefire leaves frontline counting cost of war in uneasy calm Lull in fighting prompts some locals to fear Moscow is retooling its strategy, while others suspect it has abandoned them. It was mid-morning when the bombs began to fall on Artyomove, a crumbling mining town on the frontline in eastern Ukraine. One mortar landed in Nina Dmitrievna’s garden. It flattened her fence. Another hit next door, gouging a large raw hole in a black plot... Forward>>
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Oil Prices Hurting Putin More Than Ukraine Crisis
Oil Prices Hurting Putin More Than Ukraine Crisis Oil prices are hurting the Russian economy more than the Ukraine crisis. Despite sanctions and a lock-out of Russian banks from tapping credit from Western lenders, Vladimir Putin may still have the upper hand, at least strategically. Washington’s man in Kiev, Prime Minister Arseniy “Yats” Yatsenyuk, continues to portray Russia as the reason for all of Ukraine’s troubles. But, as the Financial... Forward>>
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Opinion: Appeal against war with Russia reveals ignorance about Eastern Europe
Opinion: Appeal against war with Russia reveals ignorance about Eastern Europe Sixty prominent Germans have issued a public appeal against war with Russia. Although honorable, the appeal overlooks certain key facts, writes DW’s Ingo Mannteufel. The petition titled "New war in Europe? Not in our name" was signed by 60 prominent, well-respected Germans intent on avoiding war in Europe and in favor of dialogue with Russia. And they're right: There should not be any more wars... Forward>>
Ukraine
Ukraine forces, rebels largely suspend hostilities
Ukraine forces, rebels largely suspend hostilities DONETSK, Ukraine — Government troops and Russian-backed separatists largely suspended hostilities in east Ukraine on Tuesday, raising hopes of a lasting peaceful settlement in a conflict that has raged for seven months and claimed thousands of lives. The lull in fighting followed a proposal by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to hold a “day of silence” as a bid to revive a largely... Forward>>
Ukraine
Opinion: Stop Talking about NATO Membership for Ukraine
Opinion: Stop Talking about NATO Membership for Ukraine NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (third from left) speaks at the start of a meeting of NATO ministers of foreign affairs on Tuesday. The president of Ukraine is talking up the idea of a national referendum to join NATO, an idea that the military alliance's chief has openly supported. But such a debate is dangerous - because it divides member states and provides Putin with powerful... Forward>>
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The Impact of Russian High Technology Weapons: Transforming the Strategic Balance in Asia
The Impact of Russian High Technology Weapons: Transforming the Strategic Balance in Asia The F-22A Raptor, B-2A Spirit and planned “2018 bomber” are the only US designs capable of surviving in the technological environment presented by the current and emerging generation of Russian high technology weapons. The 'Fulda Gap optimised' F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is not capable of surviving in this environment and is for all intents and purposes now a strategically irrelevant design... Forward>>
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NATO could have trouble combating Putin’s military strategy
NATO could have trouble combating Putin’s military strategy Since Russian troops seized Ukraine’s strategic Crimean peninsula in late February, and separatists backed by Russian President Vladimir Putin began waging a bloody insurgency in the country’s east, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has walked a fine line. The transatlantic military alliance has sent hundreds of troops to Ukraine to train alongside Kiev’s forces. But at a major summit... Forward>>
Ukraine
Could Ukraine Be The Next Silicon Valley?
Could Ukraine Be The Next Silicon Valley? Even among the sordid histories of Eastern Europe, Ukraine is particularly tragic. In just the 20th century, it was starved by Stalin, decimated by Hitler, subjected to seventy years of incompetent Soviet rule, looted by its own government and, most recently, invaded by Putin. Ukraine’s situation today remains desperate. The country is in dire financial straits, dependent on financial assistance... Forward>>
Ukraine
Nearly 1,000 killed during Ukraine ceasefire, says UN
Nearly 1,000 killed during Ukraine ceasefire, says UN Human rights watchdog says 957 people have died since peace pact was signed in September, with abuses on both sides. Almost 1,000 people have been killed in Ukraine since a ceasefire in September, an average of 13 people a day, according to the UN. A report from the organisation’s human rights monitoring mission in Ukraine puts the death toll at 957 from 5 September, when the peace pact... Forward>>
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