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Posts Tagged ‘Putin’

The West should learn some lessons from Vladimir Putin’s success

Posted by hkarner - 26. Oktober 2019

Date: 25-10-2019
Source: The Economist

The pariah is now feted

When vladimir putin arrived in Brisbane for the g20 meeting five years ago, he cut an isolated figure, frozen out of the civilised world by the annexation of Crimea, the invasion of eastern Ukraine and the shooting down of a passenger airliner with Dutch and Australian families on board. Western leaders kicked Russia out of the g7 and imposed sanctions. Some refused to greet Mr Putin. He left early, snubbed and humiliated.

Five years later he has swaggered back onto the world stage, presiding over the conflict in the Middle East, building a strategic alliance with China and driving a wedge between nato allies. It was his residence in Sochi, not President Donald Trump’s Mar a Lago estate in Florida, that Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey, visited on October 22nd to seal the fate of Syria, and some 40 African leaders flew to on October 23rd in search of weapons and money.

The meeting with Mr Erdogan cemented Russia’s dominant position in the Middle East with a deal establishing joint military control over what used to be Kurdish territory. Earlier this month Mr Putin was welcomed in Saudi Arabia, the world’s third-largest oil producer, by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Saudi Arabia’s military band played Russia’s national anthem while its jets let off a trail of smoke the colour of the Russian flag. Russia, the world’s second-largest oil producer, is now in a better position to influence output and prices. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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When Leninists Overreach

Posted by hkarner - 19. August 2019

Nina L. Khrushcheva is Professor of International Affairs at The New School. Her latest book (with Jeffrey Tayler) is In Putin’s Footsteps: Searching for the Soul of an Empire Across Russia’s Eleven Time Zones.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping have for years flexed their foreign-policy muscles and consolidated power at home. But Russia and China now appear increasingly isolated on the world stage, and the question now is whether they have finally gone – or soon will go – too far.

MOSCOW – Ongoing street protests in Hong Kong and Moscow have no doubt spooked the authoritarian duo of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Moscow protests, the largest in many years, must be keeping Putin up at night, or they wouldn’t be dispersed with such unabated brutality. Yet rather than hold a dialogue with the people, Putin has been demonstrating that he is in control, even preening for photos in a tight leather outfit with his favorite motorcycle gang.

Nonetheless, the demonstrations have become a poignant sign of Putin’s declining popularity, including among Russian elites, whose views matter in ways that other forms of public opinion do not. For two decades, the Russian elite’s rival factions have generally seen Putin as the ultimate guarantor of their interests – particularly their financial interests. But as Russia’s economy has sunk into sanctions-induced , Putin’s leadership has started to look like more of a roadblock than a guardrail. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Trump’s Case Against Europe

Posted by hkarner - 5. Juni 2019

Date: 04-06-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Walter Russell Mead

The president sees Brussels as too weak, too liberal, and anti-American on trade.

President Trump

“Why does he hate us?” is the question American foreign-policy types often hear from European friends and colleagues when the subject of Donald Trump comes up—as it often does. With Mr. Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Europe this week, it seems an auspicious time to attempt an answer.

The news isn’t all bad. When Mr. Trump and senior administration officials talk about China, they attack it for abusing the international system in a ruthless quest for global hegemony. Their reading of Europe is different: that a mix of dysfunctional policies, unrealistic ideas about world politics, and poor institutional arrangements has locked the Continent on a trajectory of decline. As Mr. Trump’s team sees it, they aren’t trying to weaken Europe; they are trying to save Europe from itself.

There are five elements of the Trump critique of the European Union. First, some of the “new nationalists” believe multinational entities like the EU are much weaker and less effective than the governments of nation-states—so much so that the development of the EU has weakened the Western alliance as a whole. In this view, cooperation between nation-states is good and through it countries can achieve things they couldn’t achieve on their own. But trying to overinstitutionalize that cooperation is a mistake. The resulting bureaucratic structures and Byzantine politics and decision-making processes paralyze policy, alienate public opinion, and create a whole significantly less than the sum of its parts. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Austria and the Plot Against Europe

Posted by hkarner - 21. Mai 2019

Date: 20-05-2019
Source: by Charles Tannock

Charles Tannock is a member of the foreign affairs committee of the European Parliament. He is British citizen and member of the conservative party.

The collapse of Austria’s government has revealed how extensive Russian manipulation of Europe’s politics has become. The question every European democrat of the left, right, and center must now ask is whether the true scope and scale of the political, moral, and material corruption of Europe’s far-right parties has been exposed in time.

LONDON – Across Europe, the looming European Parliament elections have long been viewed as the biggest showdown yet between populism and Europe’s established democratic parties. The collapse of Austria’s government has now revealed just how high the stakes are. The question every European democrat of the left, right, and center must now ask themselves is whether the true scope and scale of the political, moral, and material corruption of Europe’s far-right parties, as revealed in Austria, have been discovered in time.

Austria has been ruled since 2017 by a coalition government comprising the Austrian Peoples’ Party (dubbed the Sebastian Kurz list, after the party leader and current chancellor) and the Freedom Party (FPÖ), founded by ex-SS officers in the 1950s. The release of a video by two of Germany’s leading news outlets, Der Spiegel and Süddeutsche Zeitung, has ruptured the coalition, and a new election has been called for this September. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Can Putin Fix Russia’s Sputtering Economy?

Posted by hkarner - 15. März 2019

Date: 14-03-2019
Source: Foreign Affairs By Chris Miller

Why Stagnation Is the New Normal

“Blatant disrespect” for Russia’s government can now land you in jail, under a new law the country’s legislature has passed. Worried that Russians are increasingly inclined to criticize the state or protest against it, the government is tightening the screws.

Public support for the Kremlin and for Russian President Vladimir Putin has slumped in recent months. The government’s popularity had spiked after Russia annexed the Ukrainian territory of Crimea in 2014, catapulting Putin’s approval rating to near 80 percent, where it remained for nearly five years. Yet that political magic is wearing thin. Over the past six months, Putin’s rating has crashed. True, the most recent poll by the Levada Center, an independent Russian polling organization, suggests that 64 percent of Russians continue to approve of Putin’s work as president. Yet that is the lowest number since 2013, when Putin returned to the presidency amid anti-regime protests.

THE KREMLIN’S EMPTY PROMISES Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Vladimir Putin tells Theresa May to ‚fulfil will of people‘ on Brexit

Posted by hkarner - 21. Dezember 2018

That’s exactly the support Ms. May needs! (hfk)

Date: 20-12-2018
Source: The Guardian

Russian president gives backing to UK prime minister in ‘fighting for this Brexit’

Vladimir Putin, speaking on national television, criticised the idea of the UK holding another EU vote.

Vladimir Putin has said the UK should not hold a second referendum on Brexit, insisting Theresa May must “fulfil the will of the people”.

Offering public support that the embattled British prime minister may rather do without, Putin said he “understood” May’s position in “fighting for this Brexit”. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Is Trump Duping Putin?

Posted by hkarner - 8. November 2018

Nina L. Khrushcheva, the author of Imagining Nabokov: Russia Between Art and Politics and The Lost Khrushchev: A Journey into the Gulag of the Russian Mind, is Professor of International Affairs at The New School and a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute.

Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to think that he has been using his strategically incompetent American counterpart to advance his ends. In fact, Donald Trump has dragged everyone into his reality-TV world, in which sensation, exaggeration, and misinformation all serve his only true goal: to be the center of attention.

NEW YORK – Most of the world has spent the last two years thinking that Russian President Vladimir Putin is twisting his US counterpart, Donald Trump, around his little finger. But it could well be Trump who is leading Putin by the nose.

Trump does love Putin, or so he says. In his hyperbolic reality-TV-style, Trump has praised Putin’s strongman leadership style and boasted that he could improve America’s relationship with the Kremlin.

This summer, during their bilateral summit in Helsinki, Trump even sided with Putin, a former KGB operative, over US security officials on the issue of Russia’s now-documented interference in the 2016 US presidential election. According to Putin, he rooted for Trump (but of course did not interfere on Trump’s behalf) because they shared a desire to improve bilateral relations.

Now, more than ever, Putin needs America’s friendship. Though he was reelected president in a landslide in March, his approval rating has since plummeted to 45%. Russians resent the mounting economic insecurity brought about by the sanctions Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, initiated after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 (a move that initially bolstered Putin’s flagging approval ratings).

Popular discontent in Russia has also been inflamed by the authorities’ widely reviled pension reform, which includes an increase in the retirement age. It may be exacerbated further by a generalized “animosity fatigue” among Russians, who are simply tired of Putin’s belligerent foreign policy in Ukraine and Syria, and his unrelenting anti-Western propaganda. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Tough Times for the Tough Guys

Posted by hkarner - 25. August 2018

Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong and a former EU commissioner for external affairs, is Chancellor of the University of Oxford.

Authoritarian leaders worldwide are confronting mounting crises of their own making. But while Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin face slower-brewing challenges, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and US President Donald Trump seem to be bringing matters in their respective countries to a head.

TARN, FRANCE – Shares in strongman leaders seem to be falling. The market has not yet turned bearish, but autocrats have little reason to feel bullish.

Consider China. The internal power games of the Communist Party of China (CPC) are notoriously opaque, and rarely does political infighting reach the level at which it cannot be covered up. And yet rumbles of disquiet can clearly be heard. This month, as President Xi Jinping and his senior advisers retreated to the seaside resort of Beidaihe, rumors were circulating about growing criticism of Xi’s personality cult among the CPC rank and file. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Putin Overplays His Hand

Posted by hkarner - 20. August 2018

Christopher R. Hill, former US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia, was US Ambassador to Iraq, South Korea, Macedonia, and Poland, a US special envoy for Kosovo, a negotiator of the Dayton Peace Accords, and the chief US negotiator with North Korea from 2005-2009. He is Chief Advisor to the Chancellor for Global Engagement and Professor of the Practice in Diplomacy at the University of Denver, and the author of Outpost.

This summer, the governments of Greece and the Republic of Macedonia reached an agreement that would finally put to rest a decades-long diplomatic dispute over Macedonia’s name. By reportedly attempting to derail the rapprochement, the Kremlin has shown that even countries sympathetic to Russia cannot trust it.

DENVER – The Kremlin’s foreign policy increasingly seems to rest on the assumption that all countries are as corruptible as Vladimir Putin’s Russia. This was evident most recently in Russia’s alleged efforts to undermine an agreement between Greece and its tiny northern neighbor, the Republic of Macedonia, over the latter’s name. Assuming that Macedonians approve a September 30 referendum, their country will henceforth be known as the Republic of North Macedonia.

The agreement was not easy to reach. The quintessentially Balkan dispute between Greece and Macedonia dates back at least to 1991, when Macedonia, then one of Yugoslavia’s poorest republics, declared its independence, and adopted the name Republic of Macedonia. That appellation would go on to have significant real-world consequences for the fledgling country of 2.1 million people. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Trump’s Gambling Problem

Posted by hkarner - 1. August 2018

Nina L. Khrushcheva, the author of Imagining Nabokov: Russia Between Art and Politics and The Lost Khrushchev: A Journey into the Gulag of the Russian Mind, is Professor of International Affairs at The New School and a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute.

Vladimir Putin has been running the table on Donald Trump and the US. Ultimately, however, it is Trump’s own aberrant – and increasingly abhorrent – presidency that is generating the most danger, not least by offering Putin more opportunities to engage in adventurism and degrade US power.

NEW YORK – At a summit with US President Donald Trump in Helsinki earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin proved that he remains a master of the tradecraft he perfected in the 1980s as a Soviet operative in East Germany. Trump wilted under Putin’s impassive KGB-trained gaze.

After the summit, Trump declared that he trusted Putin’s assurance that Russia had no reason to meddle in the 2016 US presidential election. The statement, which contradicted US intelligence agencies, was quickly condemned by many in the US security establishment, US Democrats, and even some Republicans. Paul Ryan, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, said that Trump “must appreciate that Russia is not our ally.” Some went so far as to call Trump’s behavior “treason.Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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