Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘Russia’

How to Hit Russia Where It Hurts

Posted by hkarner - 6. Januar 2019

Date: 05-01-2019
Source: Foreign Affairs By Peter Harrell

A Long-Term Strategy to Ramp Up Economic Pressure

Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, its war in eastern Ukraine, its interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and other aggressive acts against the United States and its allies demand a strong Western response. For the past four years, that response has been dominated by sanctions and other coercive economic measures. U.S. and European officials have hoped that the economic measures would not only exact a cost for such actions but also deter the Kremlin from escalating its assault on American and European interests.

The economic pressure has certainly had an effect. The IMF estimated that the sanctions linked to the 2014 invasion of Ukraine cost Russia 1 to 1.5 percent of its GDP by mid-2015. The sanctions also hurt the Russian treasury’s bottom line, since Russia had to make up for lost Western capital by spending billions of dollars to prop up large companies that depended on Western funds. The more recent sanctions announced in April 2018 in response to Russia’s interference in the U.S. election rattled Russian financial markets and put pressure on the value of the ruble. Specific people and companies have also felt the squeeze: the net worth of Oleg Deripaska, the pro-Putin oligarch, for example, has tumbled because of U.S. sanctions. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »


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Democracy Could Bounce Back in 2019

Posted by hkarner - 2. Januar 2019

Date: 01-01-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal By William A. Galston

The old year saw some troubling setbacks, but things could have worked out far worse.

Twenty eighteen wasn’t a good year for democracy, but it could have been worse. Established autocracies showed few signs of democratic opening, backsliding among newer democracies continued, and established democracies struggled to regain stability after the shocks of recent years. Nonetheless, comparisons to the interwar years remain far-fetched, and it is hard to spot a potential Weimar Republic among democracies that existed before the Soviet Union’s collapse.

Vladimir Putin continues to play a weak hand well, at home and abroad. He has used energy revenues to sustain social programs and rebuild Russia’s military—both popular measures. The national debt remains low, and prudent reserves have buffered the government from fluctuating energy prices. Mr. Putin’s entente with the Russian Orthodox Church has bolstered his standing among tradition-minded Russians, especially in smaller towns and rural areas, and he has advanced his country’s long-held aims in Crimea and Syria at modest cost in blood and treasure. There are few obvious openings for democracy-minded dissidents to exploit. 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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Russia’s growing threat to north Europe

Posted by hkarner - 4. Oktober 2018

Date: 03-10-2018
Source: The Economist

Sweden hugs its friends closer, but will it tie the knot with NATO?

SOME states soothe their citizens in troubled times. Others prefer not to sugar-coat things. “A larger European conflict could start with an attack on Sweden,” warned the most recent report of the country’s defence commission. Electricity would be limited. Calorie intake would fall. Tens of thousands might be wounded. This was not idle talk: in June, all 22,000 Swedish volunteer soldiers were called up for the largest surprise exercise since 1975. For the first time in almost 30 years, the government has written to millions of households exhorting them to prepare for the worst. “We will never give up,” warned leaflets decorated with vivid tableaux of burning buildings and rolling tanks.

Sweden’s aim is to hold out for three months, until help arrives. These twin tasks—becoming “indigestible to Russia”, as one analyst puts it, and ensuring that the cavalry shows up—will be high on the agenda of whichever government emerges from the hung parliament produced by the election of September 9th. Sweden may not be a member of NATO. But under Stefan Lofven, Sweden’s Social Democratic prime minister for the past four years, it has manoeuvred as close to the alliance as it is possible to get from the outside. By deferring the question of outright membership, anathema to the left, he created political space to tighten Sweden’s triple embrace of America, NATO and its neighbours. A landmark “host nation” agreement with NATO was steered through parliament in 2016. America’s potential wartime role in Sweden was once a state secret; now contingency plans can be made openly. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Russia’s Internal Otherness

Posted by hkarner - 23. August 2018

Date: 22-08-2018
Source: YaleGlobal by Viacheslav Morozov

Russia is Europe’s most populous country, and Vladimir Putin, in his fourth term, promises to focus on modernizing the economy and social institutions. “It is evident… that achieving a new level of economic development is hardly possible in total isolation,” argues Viatcheslav Morozov, professor of EU-Russia Studies at the University of Tartu, who writes about identity and foreign affairs. “On the other hand, the feeling of insecurity that underlies Russia’s pushback cannot be fully rationalized even if one agrees with the assumption that Western democracy promotion and geopolitical expansion go hand in hand.” Russians cherish a distinct history, traditions and peasant imagery that suggest an inability to integrate with Europe. Political leaders take advantage of a perceived cultural divide no longer based on social reality, one that vanished with standardized education and urbanization. Morozov concludes that the nation need not pursue some idealized image of Europe to improve the country and give all Russians a political voice. – YaleGlobal

A deep internal culture divide in Russia between traditionalists and European Russians encourages isolationism Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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What the far left and right have in common, in Germany and elsewhere

Posted by hkarner - 11. August 2018

Date: 09-08-2018
Source: The Economist

Parties that combine economic statism and cultural conservatism are growing

SITTING down with The Economist in her office in Berlin, Sahra Wagenknecht is restless: “Do we think that anyone can just migrate to Germany and have a claim to social welfare?” asks the doyenne of the Left (Die Linke), a socialist party. “Or do we say that labour migration is more of a problem?” The party’s leader in the Bundestag worries about its direction. “If you concentrate more on hip, urban sorts of voters—on identity and lifestyle debates—you don’t speak to the poorest in society. They no longer feel properly represented.” Her answer, launched on August 4th, is a new, non-party movement called “Rise Up” designed to reach those who have switched off from politics. It may point to a significant realignment in both German and European politics.

The Left was formed in 2005 when leftists who had quit the Social Democrats (SPD) merged with the successor party to the former East German communists. It has always been an uneasy alliance of provincial socialists and urban left-libertarians. At last year’s election it lost some 420,000 voters, principally older ones in the former communist east, to the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, but offset that loss by gaining 700,000 from the SPD and 330,000 from the Greens, mainly in western cities and university towns. It now faces a choice: consolidate its new strength as a lefty alternative to the Greens (as Katja Kipping, the Left’s leader, wants to do) or prioritise winning back traditional working-class voters as a lefty alternative to the AfD? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Russia Says U.S. General’s Remarks Discredited Trump’s Position

Posted by hkarner - 26. Juli 2018

Date: 25-07-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Defense Ministry in Moscow criticizes comments by Army Gen. Joseph Votel, U.S. Central Command chief

U.S. Army Gen. Joseph Votel said watching Russia’s military actions in Syria gave him “some pause” about working more closely with its forces.
Russia criticized the top U.S. military commander of the Middle East on Tuesday, saying he “discredited the official position” of President Trump by expressing hesitance toward working with Russian counterparts in Syria.

Army Gen. Joseph Votel, U.S. Central Command chief, made his comments over the weekend to The Wall Street Journal and ABC News while en route to Afghanistan. He said watching Russia’s military actions in Syria gave him “some pause” about working more closely with its forces.

“With his statements, Gen. Votel not only discredited the official position of his supreme commander-in-chief, but also exacerbated the illegality under international law and U.S. law of the military presence of American servicemen in Syria,” Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement published on social media.

The statement also said the U.S. should “engage in cooperation with Russia and the country’s legal leadership,” referring to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whom Russia backs. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Der Autokraten-Gipfel

Posted by hkarner - 17. Juli 2018

Date: 16-07-2018
Source: ZEIT: Eine Kolumne von Martin Klingst

Wladimir Putin und Donald Trump stellen das Unrecht über das Recht und den Nationalismus über den Multilateralismus. Europa muss sich wehren und ein Zeichen setzen.

Ausgerechnet Helsinki. Ausgerechnet in Finnlands Hauptstadt treffen sich an diesem Montag Donald Trump und Wladimir Putin zu ihrem Autokraten-Gipfel. Seit über 40 Jahren steht Helsinki für Frieden, Freiheit und Menschenrechte. Hier wurde nach zweijährigen Verhandlungen am 1. August 1975 die Schlussakte der Konferenz über Sicherheit und Zusammenarbeit in Europa (KSZE) unterschrieben.

Die unterzeichnenden Staaten – mit dabei die Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika und die damalige Sowjetunion – verpflichteten sich in diesem Dokument zur Wahrung der Grundfreiheiten, zum Gewaltverzicht, zur Unverletzlichkeit der Grenzen, zur territorialen Integrität der Staaten, zur Nichteinmischung in die inneren Angelegenheiten anderer Länder und zur friedlichen Beilegung von Streitfällen.

Es war ein langer, beschwerlicher und von vielen Rückschlägen begleiteter Weg. Und wirklich komplett erfüllt wurden diese Versprechen nie. Aber damals, mitten im Kalten Krieg, entstand in Helsinki die Hoffnung auf eine bessere, friedlichere Welt. Und diese Zuversicht war nicht vergebens. Rund vierzehn Jahre später fiel die Mauer, seither leben viele Völker des ehemaligen „Ostblocks“ in Freiheit.

Multilateralismus: ein Ärgernis

Heute aber weht ein anderer Geist. In Helsinki treffen sich ein amerikanischer und ein russischer Präsident, denen Prinzipien wie der Gewaltverzicht und die Achtung der Menschenrechte egal sind. Der Multilateralismus ist ihnen ein Ärgernis und sie bekämpfen ihn nach Kräften, wenn auch mit oft unterschiedlichen Interessen und von verschiedenen Enden aus. Wer hätte je gedacht, dass ein amerikanischer und ein russischer Präsident eines Tages gemeinsam die bestehende Nachkriegsordnung infrage stellen, die Vereinten Nationen, das westliche Verteidigungsbündnis Nato, die EU, die Welthandelsorganisation WTO? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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President faces renewed pressure to confront Russian counterpart about election meddling

Posted by hkarner - 16. Juli 2018

Date: 15-07-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Subject: Russian Agents’ Indictment Raises Stakes Ahead of Trump-Putin Summit

The federal indictment on Friday of 12 Russian intelligence agents accused of hacking Democratic and state election computers in 2016 moves the topic of Russian meddling in the presidential election higher on the agenda for the two nations ahead of President Donald Trump’s summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

President Trump said he would address the issue, though it’s unclear how much he will prioritize it compared with other matters, such as seeking Mr. Putin’s help in Syria and other hot spots.

Last week, before Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment was released, the president dismissed the Russia probe as a “rigged witch hunt.” He later said he anticipated the encounter with Russian President Vladimir Putin would be the easiest of a series of overseas meetings this past week with European allies and NATO officials.

At a news conference Thursday, he told reporters that when he meets with Mr. Putin he would “ask your favorite question about meddling,” going on to say that “he may deny it.”

“It’s one of those things,” he continued. “All I can say is, ‘Did you? and ‘Don’t do it again.’ All I can do is say it.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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West’s Failure to Reform Threatens World Order

Posted by hkarner - 29. Juni 2018

Date: 28-06-2018
Source: YaleGlobal

A rebalancing of world power is underway, and global and regional organizations are in need of reform. China and Russia challenge the post–World War II international order developed by the United States and its allies. China’s swift economic growth and Russia’s military interventions have caught the West off guard, explains journalist and author Humphrey Hawksley: „China… is stepping into an array of vacuums created by economic crises, weak governance and unpredictable populism, yet nether Beijing nor Moscow has the wherewithal to build rival institutions of the strength that has allowed the West to hold sway in the world order for centuries.“ International organizations designed to promote cooperation have not kept pace with social and economic changes since 1945. Groups like the United Nations, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund must take voices of rising powers into account or risk losing credibility and influence. Hawksley concludes, “The West’s failure to act on modernizing the world order is becoming as much a threat to the West’s rules-based system as is Russia and China’s attempt to challenge it.” – YaleGlobal
Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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