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July 2, 2019 No.
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Russia This Week – Focus On Russia-US Relations – July 2, 2019

Russia This Week is a weekly review by the MEMRI Russian Media Studies Project, covering the latest Russia-related news and analysis from media in Russia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe.

Photo Of The Week


(Source: Kremlin.ru)

In The News:

  • G-20 And Trump-Putin Meeting
  • Putin On Liberalism
  • Trilateral Conference In Jerusalem And The Iranian Issue
  • Putin’s Direct Line
  • Defense
  • The Council Of Europe Voted To Return Russia's Voting Rights
  • Russia-Saudi Arabia Relations
  • News In Brief: Domestic Policy; NATO – INF Treaty; Russia-UAE Relations; Russia-UK Relations

G-20 And Trump-Putin Meeting


(Source: Kremlin.ru)

On June 28, Vladimir Putin met with President of the United States of America Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka.

Commenting on the meeting, the Russian media outlet RT wrote:

“President Donald Trump described his G20 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin as ‘excellent.’ As the media scrambled to slate Trump for cozying up to Putin, it’s worth asking, does friendly rhetoric change anything?

“Putin and Trump talked for an hour and a half on Friday, in a meeting Trump described as ‘interesting’ and ‘excellent.’ The Kremlin echoed the sentiment, with spokesman Dmitry Peskov calling the chat ‘intensive,’ and promising to officially invite Trump to Moscow for World War II Victory celebrations next year.

“Both presidents certainly seemed comfortable in each other’s presence, with Trump jokingly wagging his finger at the Russian leader with the instruction ‘don’t meddle in the elections please,’ and the pair toasting each other at dinner later that evening.”

(Rt.com, June 28, 2019)

Russian Expert Garbuzov: Our Position After Japan Has Not Been Strengthened

Valery Garbuzov, Director of the Institute of the USA and Canada of the Russian Academy of Sciences, commented on the results of the meeting of leaders at the G20 and how the position of Russia in the world changed after that summit.

Q: “The general background of comments on the outcome of the negotiations in Japan is positive. Our country can be satisfied with the outcome of Osaka-2019?”

Garbuzov: “I do not think that our position after Japan has fundamentally strengthened. Even the most extensive conferences do not strengthen the position of the country. Only a long-term strategic policy contributes to such strengthening, and as a result also ultimately leads to a change in its global position. Personally, I do not consider negotiations with Trump to be a breakthrough.”

Q: “Why?”

Garbuzov: “It was another meeting of the leaders of the two major powers, filled with lots of courtesies and jokes. Outwardly, everything looks decent. Both sides confirmed the need to improve relations. I always say: let's see what happens after these meetings...”

Q: “But Trump called the results of the meeting in Putin excellent.”

Garbuzov: “As for Trump himself, his ability to improve relations with Russia is limited. Many believe that the two leaders met in the same room and everything will go differently - but this is not so. For Trump, the question of foreign policy in the upcoming elections to the White House ... I do not think that it will play an important role.”

Q: “Do American voters care about Russia?”

Garbuzov: “Only Democrats will again revive the topic of ‘Russian interference in the American elections’. Other than that the American voter is absolutely indifferent to what position will Trump take in relation to Russia. Conservatives will hope that Trump displays toughness towards Russia – as usual. Toughness against Russia, in the opinion of many Americans, is necessary so that what happened in 2016 does not recur… Russia's desire to retain a foothold in [its traditional] geopolitical space, to create its own new geopolitical fields is perceived quite negatively in the United States. These two factors are intertwined. And they will determine the general background of the attitude of the American society towards Russia, towards Putin and in general towards the prospects of relations between the two countries…”

(Kp.ru, June 30, 2019)

Read More:

  • Meeting with US President Donald Trump. Putin met with Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka. (Kremlin.ru, June 28, 2019; Read the full transcript)
  • Watch the video: Trump and Putin meet in Osaka
  • Russian expert Oleg Barabanov commented: World public opinion is focusing on the G20 summit in Osaka. But the event itself reveals a very indicative pattern. If you read the press or comments by experts and politicians, you will notice that the overwhelming majority of stories are devoted to bilateral meetings on the sidelines, with writers engaging in guesswork as to whether or not such and such meeting is going to take place, and if it is, what its outcome, if any, will be. At the same time, the G20 agenda and issues discussed at its plenary meetings seem to be viewed as a matter of secondary importance. Moreover, by no means all the experts can say what precisely G20 is going to concentrate on this year. It was the same at last year’s summit in Argentina, and in 2017 too. (Valdaiclub.com, June 26, 2019; read the full article)
  • Nezavisimaya Gazeta: G20 summit proves effective. The G20 summit in Japan’s Osaka has shown that a compromise on many challenging global political issues is within reach. (Tass.com, July 1, 2019; read the full article)
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, discussed Ukraine and the need to re-energize the so-called Normandy Four format of talks on the Ukrainian conflict settlement, the Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov said. (Sputniknews.com, June 26, 2019; read the full article)

Putin On Liberalism


(Source: Kremlin.ru)

Putin: It Has Gotten Too Far, In My View, That This, Liberal Idea Starts Destroying Itself

Following the G20 summit, the President of Russia Vladimir Putin answered journalists’ questions:

Question: “You have already mentioned the recent interview with the Financial Times. It has been widely quoted and broadly discussed, especially regarding your feelings towards liberalism. There were those who agree with that and those who disagree, even the famous singer Elton John argued with you, accusing you of hypocrisy. The interview was also discussed here, at the summit, if I am not mistaken. Mr Tusk, Mr Juncker, and I think Mr Macron even talked to you about it.

“As other politicians and leaders expressed their opinions, did they support you or, on the contrary, did they argue with you about the liberal idea? Thank you.”

Vladimir Putin: “Yes, to be honest, it was totally unexpected for me that an interview – which I saw to be routine, ordinary, something passing, in which I did not think I said anything new – should stir such great interest. Some colleagues – I will not be giving their names now – indeed discussed the issues raised in the interview. Some of them supported me on the whole, others opposed and debated with me. So, yes, it did happen.

“So you see the point? If we go back to the G20, it is an economic forum. The issues of liberal policy, attitude towards migration and so on were raised here. But regarding the economy, there are debates between the Peoples’ Republic of China and the United States on trade issues, with China being blamed, among other things, for subsidies to industries.

“But if we want to discuss the problem of subsidizing industries, let us talk about agricultural subsidies, which are very common in the European Union. If this policy continues, a policy that shuts down the market of agricultural products, or, theoretically speaking, keeps the market closed to goods from developing countries, then a question prompts itself: how can the economies of those countries be developed?

“The question is: what is the best way for us to unblock discussions within the WTO, and would it not be a better option to direct part of the subsidies to supporting agriculture in the developing countries so as to provide them with jobs? What do our colleagues want? To open the market for the goods that may appear in this case, or to open the borders for migrants? But something will have to be done, either this or that. This is what I was talking about in the interview, in part.

“There are other issues related to that liberal idea. This idea is multifaceted, and I do not question its attractiveness on the whole, but look at the migration I have just mentioned. You see, how can one imagine that in some European countries parents are told that ‘Girls should not wear skirts to school for safety reasons.’ What is that? Listen, people are living in their own country in their own culture. What is that? How did it get so far? This is what I was talking about.

“It has gotten too far, in my view, that this, liberal idea starts destroying itself. Millions of people live their own lives whereas those who promote those ideas, they seem to be living in their own paradigm. This is what I was saying. I don’t see anything special about it that I had not talked about earlier.

“Or, you brought up the example of Elton John. I have deep respect for him, he is a genius of a musician. In reality he comes to Russia, and we all really enjoy listening to him. I think he is mistaken. I did not give a different slant to anything here; it is true that we really have a very calm attitude towards the LGBT community. Truly, it is calm and absolutely unbiased.

“We have a law that everybody has been kicking us for – a law prohibiting homosexual propaganda among minors. But listen, let a person grow up, become an adult and then to decide who he or she is. Leave children in peace. There are so many inventions nowadays. I also said in that interview that they invented five or six genders, transformers, trans…

“You see, I do not even understand what it is.

“This is not the problem. The problem is that this part of society is aggressively imposing their view on the majority. We have to be more loyal to each other, more open and transparent. I did not say anything unusual. We have to respect everyone, that is true, but we must not impose our points of view on others. Meanwhile, representatives of the so-called liberal idea are simply forcing their ideas on others. They dictate the need for the so-called sex education. Parents are against it, and they are practically imprisoned for that. This is what I was talking about.

“We are aware of what is going on. The question was related to the way we assess the situation in our partners’ countries, I think. Yes, people are fed up with that, and this may actually account for the Trump phenomenon, when he won the election, and people’s discontent underlies it in many countries of Western Europe, when they walk out into the streets.

“This is the point. Meanwhile, everyone is looking for the reasons somewhere far away and trying to blame Russia for what is happening there. Do we have anything to do with it? Yes, there are certain polemics in the information sphere, and we have expressed our point of view about it. Don’t they do it themselves? Of course, they do, all the time. We are not making noise or getting hysterical about their constant interference in our affairs, even though their interference is present on a daily basis. But this is what has been established, the practice of international relations, unfortunately. I wish this did not happen. But there are deep reasons and they do not want to admit them. That is what I said about. I think I said nothing new because I have talked about it a number of times before.”

(Kremlin.ru, June 29, 2019; read the full transcript)

Trilateral Conference In Jerusalem And The Iranian Issue


(Source: Twitter.com/AmbJohnBolton)

Russian FM Lavrov: The Americans Are Trying To Preserve Their Presence And The Presence Of Extremist Groups They Control In The Areas On The Euphrates’s Eastern Bank

The trilateral conference of Russian, US, and Israeli national security advisers was held in Jerusalem on June 25, 2019. Commenting on a meeting, during après conference, Russian FM Sergey Lavrov stated:

Question: “Did yesterday’s meeting between the heads of the Russian and US security councils in Jerusalem help ease tensions in the relations between the two countries? Has any progress been made in the Syrian settlement process and in the preparations for the meeting between the presidents of Russia and the US in Osaka?”

Sergey Lavrov: “It is always useful, in any conditions, to meet face to face. It is clear that such a conversation in any format cannot solve all the problems, but I believe that the US is more aware that all the demands for Russia to change its independent policy, to surrender to the approaches unilaterally promoted by the US on the global stage that violate international law, are senseless and counterproductive. Here is an example: their behavior towards the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue. They did not just withdraw from the JCPOA, but in fact forbid everyone else from implementing the UN Security Council Resolution that approved this program. The program – the Plan of Action adopted by the UN Security Council – includes unblocking Iran’s economic ties with the rest of the world. This is a part of the decision made by the supreme body of the United Nations. Now the US as much as forbids countries from implementing this resolution.

“Speaking about easing tensions, it is not us who creates them. It does not depend on us. I hope that a gradual recognition of the fact that all attempts to speak the language of sanctions to us are flawed is finally coming to the American political masses.

“We are ready to discuss issues of common interest, and a dialogue can be based on equality and mutual respect, which is essentially what we have in our contacts with our American colleagues on the developments in Syria, in particular. We have a military channel, for deconflicting, or exchanging our substantive assessments of the situation. We agree – or at least the Americans say – that Syria’s territory must remain integral, and all countries must respect its sovereignty and independence. This is our ultimate goal, as Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev said yesterday following the meeting in Jerusalem.

“Of course, we see different ways to achieve this goal. We are in favor of establishing an inclusive dialogue as soon as possible and of handing over the areas still controlled by illegal military groups to the Syrian government in full compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254.

“The Americans are trying to preserve their presence and the presence of extremist groups they control in the areas on the Euphrates’s eastern bank. This does not help to implement the agreements we discuss.

“Anyhow, the talks between the secretaries of the Russian and US security councils, their Israeli colleague and also Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu were useful in the sense that, as I hope, our colleagues made it clear to our partners that we would not support any attempts to move the entire Syrian discussion onto an anti-Iran track, simply because this approach to the problem is completely wrong and twisted. The problem is that an inclusive dialogue is necessary among the Syrians above all, like this resolution requires, with an unbending approach to what remains of the terrorist groups and, let me stress this once again, unconditional respect for the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic…”

(Mid.ru, June 26, 2019)

Russian FM Lavrov: When The US Ranks Countries In Terms Of The Threat Of Terrorism, I Would Recommend That It First Look At Its Own Laws

In another press conference, Lavrov commented:

Question: “Can you comment on the move to pressure Iran with tougher sanctions, which the US spoke about yesterday. Has Washington been in regular contact with Moscow on the Iran issue? Does Moscow consider this contact to be a mechanism for resolving or easing the current situation?”

Sergey Lavrov: “We have been in contact with Washington over Iran and other regional issues, as well as the situation in the Persian Gulf, including in the UN Security Council. Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolay Patrushev is in Israel to attend a tripartite meeting with his counterparts from the US and Israel, which is being held at the initiative of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Mr Patrushev’s interlocutors are obviously concentrated on Iran as a country creating problems for the entire region, ascribing all the negative processes taking place there to Iran and its policy. They have declared Iran a primary source of spreading terror around the world. While at the same time, the Americans forget that only one Shiite organization is included on their list of terrorist organizations, which has about 15 in total, while all the rest refer to Iran as an enemy in their policy-making documents. So, when the US ranks countries in terms of the threat of terrorism, I would recommend that it first look at its own laws. “

Question: Is Moscow satisfied with the evidence provided by the US to the UN Security Council to support the Americans’ claim that Iran is allegedly responsible for an attack on oil tankers?”

Sergey Lavrov: “As for our position, we are strongly against blaming anyone, whoever it is, without presenting proof. We are in favor of the most thorough investigation into any accusation regarding the attacks on the tankers in May and this month. The blurry photos provided by the Americans, as well as their blurry videos are not unassailable evidence [of Iran’s guilt] not only for Europe or Russia but also in the US. Experts who do not work for the Executive Office of the US President offer rather frank and critical assessments of what has been produced as evidence.

“It would be appropriate to remind you that yesterday the UN Security Council discussed the situation in the Persian Gulf and approved a statement which did not support the US’ persistent attempts to link Iran to these incidents. Even so, after a failed attempt to push the matter through, the US representative tried to secure the wording that it was quite clear that a ‘country’ was behind the incident. This attempt also failed because nobody has ever been provided proof that a country rather than an independent group was responsible for the incident.

“We are very concerned about what is happening. The new, purely personal, sanctions that were imposed yesterday by the Trump administration against Iran’s leadership are worrying and are sending a signal that the situation is developing along a very negative scenario. This reminds me of 2003, when then-US Secretary of State Colin Powell appeared at the UN Security Council holding the notorious vial in his hand while the US was hectically imposing sanctions – one after another – against Saddam Hussein and Iraq as a whole. We all remember what this led to. A month later, in May 2003, the US announced a victory for democracy in Iraq. You can see how this democracy has manifested itself over the 16 years that have elapsed since that time.

“I would conclude my answer by reminding you of Russia’s proposal, made long ago, to establish a dialogue between the littoral countries in the Persian Gulf, primarily, the Arab monarchies and the Islamic Republic of Iran, who should be receiving assistance from their neighbors, the League of Arab States, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the permanent members of the UN Security Council, and the European Union as a sort of positive external supplement. It is time to stop expecting relations between the Arab countries in the Persian Gulf and Iran to be settled in any way other than through dialogue, confidence-building measures and transparency.”

(Mid.ru, June 25, 2019)

Russian MFA: The US Imagines Itself To Be The Master Of The Fate Of The World

On the day of the trilateral meeting, the Russian MFA published the following comment regarding US pressure on Iran:

“Moscow has watched with the concern as the US has ratcheted up tensions around Iran for over a year. Levelling baseless charges and withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Washington has steadily piled on massive sanction pressure and taken actions, including actions of a military nature, intended to provoke Iran, while demanding unwarranted concessions of it, up to and including the de facto abandonment of its absolutely legitimate interests in international affairs, despite the fact that Iran’s nuclear activities are exclusively peaceful and fully supervised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

“Following the high-profile incident with a US drone, Washington announced individual sanctions against the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and a number of high-level military officials. While reaffirming its commitment to dialogue with Iran, Washington seems intent on burning bridges.

“This is just the latest example of the continued US propensity to dictate its will to sovereign states. Imagining itself to be the master of the fate of the world, it adopts increasingly aggressive policies and is quick to ‘punish’ those who refuse to submit to American dictates.

“Russia stands in full solidarity with the friendly people of Iran and its government. The US government should consider where such a reckless course of action might lead. Not only could it destabilize the Middle East, it threatens to undermine the entire system of international security.”

(Mid.ru, June 25, 2019)

Putin’s Direct Line


(Source: Kremlin.ru)

The direct line has been watched by TV only by 5.3 million Russian viewers which is the worst number since 2015...5,336,368 Russians watched Putin's answers to question, constituting 7.6 of the population, while researchers included in the 'target audience' of this program children 'four years and older' as well”.

(News.ru, June 24, 2019)

Russian Columnist Martynov: In 2019 The Russians Do Not Want To Hear Anything About Foreign Policy

Commenting on Putin’s Direct Like, Kirill Martynov, senior political columnist, wrote in Novaya Gazeta:

“You may endlessly stare at three things: the Russians' falling incomes, how sociologists convince us the rating of the authorities remains stable despite this [the falling incomes] and how the president explains to the citizens the sense behind the national projects. The Direct Line, model 2019, has demonstrated not only the deep crisis of this traditional ruler-people interaction, but it also highlighted the crisis of the whole management model, designed in the last decades…

“In 2019 the Russians do not want to hear anything about foreign policy – the field where the Kremlin traditionally has scored, or at least thought it scored over its opponents. Two main themes, amongst the millions of questions addressed to the President are clearly discernible:

“If Russia is so great and strong country, then why did we become so poor? And if everything in Russia in done for the people's sake, then why we are we so disenfranchised?

“Despite all the hi-tech [that went into the production Direct Line] the number of questions submitted to the president dropped by 25 % in comparison with the previous year, in 2018 there were 2 million questions. We’ve been previously writing a lot that the Direct Line remained the last political institution in the country. But now it also seems to be dying - people do not believe that anything can get changed even if they get through to the President. Also attracting attention to oneself could be dangerous. In Lublino (the outskirts of Moscow) the police has dispersed a group of citizens, who gathered in order to record their question to Putin. Just in case…”

(Novayagazeta.ru, June 20, 2019)

Russian Expert Kynev: Putin Demonstrated That He Was In The Loop And Understood All, But Yet Did Not Intent To Change Anything

Aleksandr Kynev, Associate Professor Higher School of Economics, commented:

“In organizing this Direct Line, the authorities had no good alternative. To make the direct line positive, by ignoring the scandals such as the dispersal of demonstrations was impossible: then there would have been a perception of dissonance that would have triggered negative [feelings]. There were two choices available: to hear out [the questioners] and do nothing, or to listen and make some concessions. I can’t rule out that the authorities were scared of making concessions– they did not want to set a precedent and give people further hopes. As a result, the Direct Line came off very peculiarly: in which the power [Putin] demonstrated that he was in the loop and understood all, but yet did not intent to change anything.”

(Vedomosti.ru, June 20, 2019)

Russian Expert Galyamov: The President Conducted An Effective Show In The Framework Of The Traditional ‘Manual Control’ Paradigm

Abbas Galyamov, political expert, stated:

"The president conducted an effective show in the framework of the traditional ‘manual control’ paradigm. The act was well organized and Putin himself was in good form. The problem is that paradigm in itself decreasingly corresponds to popular request. People increasingly understand that manual control has exhausted itself –as part of this model, for one problem solved, 10 unsolved ones occur. Thus systematic steps for changing the same political model are needed... The audience, of course felt they were trying to deceive it."

(Vedomosti.ru, June 20, 2019)

Russian Expert Egorova: The Direct Line Has Demonstrated That The Power Do Not See ‘The Beam In Their Own Eye’

Moskovskii Komsomolets published a column by Elena Egorova that panned the program:

“In general, if anyone counted on finding out from the president when life would get easier and boost his confidence in the future, then these hopes were dashed. The Direct Line has demonstrated that they - up there in power – do not see ‘the beam in their own eye’ and intend to go with the flow without any fundamental reforms, be it in economics or in the law enforcement system.”

(Mk.ru, June 20, 2019)

Read More:

  • Direct Line with Vladimir Putin. (Kremlin.ru, June 20, 2019; read the full article)
  • Putin’s answers to journalists’ questions following Direct Line. (Kremlin.ru, June 20, 2019; read the full transcript)

Defense

Defense Minister Shoigu: What Is The Reason For All The West’s Agony? It Is Caused By The Birth Of The Second Pole Of The World Order

Russian Defense Minister General of the Army Sergei Shoigu accused the West of waging information war on Russia in order to prevent the strengthening of its position as one of the geopolitical poles in the world.

“The main goal of this war is to control Russia and, ultimately, the world,” Sergei Shoigu said, opening the “Actual issues of information counteraction” conference, which was held within the ARMY 2019 International Military and Technical Forum.

As for Russia, Shoigu noted, the aggressive informational influence of the West is caused by the fact that the country has actually regained the status of the second pole keeping the world in global equilibrium which was lost after the collapse of the USSR.

“What is the reason for all this agony (let's call it so) of the West? It is caused by the birth of the second pole of the world order. Which seemed to be buried. But now we see it reviving."

Moreover, the head of the military department noted, for Russia, this birth is “not in agony”.

“For us, this is creation, creativity, energy. We do this with desire. The world is becoming multipolar again. And one may not like it, of course. At the same time, so far the West has failed to understand that it is impossible to simply start to govern today’s world just like that,” the Minister of Defense emphasized.

(Mil.ru, June 26, 2019)

On June 27, the military TV channel Zvezda aired a footage of simultaneous methodic launch of Iskander-M quasi-ballistic missile and Iskander-K cruise missile in Eastern Military District drills ( Buryatia republic).

(Watch the full video)

Read More:

  • Hackers target Russia’s defense, nuclear power industry secrets. According to a cyber-security official, the United States is the main source of threat to information security. (Tass.com, June 27, 2019; read the full article)
  • Russia offers to sell new batch of Su-35 fighter jets to China — government service. (Tass.com, June 27, 2019; read the full article)
  • Russia says S-400 missile systems will be delivered to Turkey by year-end. (Tass.com, June 27, 2019; read the full article)
  • Russia will sign over 10 export contracts worth $350 mln at "Army-2019" forum — official. (Tass.com, June 26, 2019; read the full article)
  • Russia’s Almaz design bureau launches airborne anti-surveillance laser project. (Tass.com, June 25, 2091; read the full article)

The Council Of Europe Voted To Return Russia's Voting Rights

Commenting on the decision of the Council of Europe to return Russia’s voting rights on June 26, Russian Senator Alexey Pushkov twitted: “After being unsuccessful in organizing a demarche of walking out of the Council of Europe, the coalition of Russia's opponents collapsed: Georgia and Lithuania abandoned Ukraine and decided to remain at the session despite the angry denunciations by official personages of the two countries [over Russia's readmission]. The reason: the main fight was lost. They did not want to pointlessly strike a pose.”

(Twitter.com/Alexey_Pushkov, June 27, 2019)

Russia-Saudi Arabia Relations

Russia supplied Saudi Arabia with a consignment of arms and military technology, questions of licensing production are being discussed, Interfax was informed by the federal service for military-technological cooperation.

'All projects in the sphere of military technological cooperation with the Saudi Kingdom are implemented in accordance with earlier reached agreements. In the course of the year the supply of the first consignments of arms and military technology began' said the official representative of the Federal Service for Military Technological Cooperation Marie Vorobiev.

(Interfax.ru, June 26, 2019)

News In Brief

Domestic Policy

  • ‘Who here has been tortured? Name yourselves.’ The Kremlin comments on a poll showing one in 10 Russians has been tortured by police. Kommersant published a poll conducted by the Levada Center in which one in 10 Russians surveyed said they had encountered torture at the hands of law enforcement officials. Has the Kremlin familiarized itself with the results of the poll? Is it planning to take any measures to respond? (Meduza.io, June 26, 2019; read the full article)

NATO – INF Treaty

  • The troops’ surprise combat readiness check in Russia’s Central Military District is linked with NATO’s increased activity near the Russian borders, the tensions between the United States and Iran and the latest events in Georgia, Chairman of the Officers of Russia Presidium Major-General Sergei Lipovoi said. (Tass.com, June 24, 2019; read the full article)
  • The current deterioration in the military and political situation in the Euro-Atlantic Region is a direct aftermath of the US and NATO actions on militarizing Europe and stepping up confrontation, Director of the Foreign Ministry’s Department for European Cooperation, Andrei Kelin, said. (Tass.com, June 25, 2019; read the full article)
  • Moscow will be forced to take ‘countervailing’ military measures should NATO make good on its threats related to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters. (Tass.com, June 26, 2019; read the full article)
  • The potential deployment of US missiles on the ground near Russian borders may trigger a missile crisis identical in scale to the Caribbean one, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the Federation Council during debates on a bill on the suspension of Russia’s participation in the treaty on the elimination of intermediate and shorter range missiles (INF Treaty). (Tass.com, June 24, 2019; read the full article)

Russia-UAE Relations

  • Russia, UAE discuss preventing another Gulf ‘storm’. (Tass.com, June 27, 2019; read the full article)

Russia-UK Relations

  • Russia intends to work with any new UK prime minister who will also be ready to cooperate, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with anchorman of the program "Vesti v Subbotu" ("News on Saturday") Sergei Brilyov on Rossiya 1 TV Channel. The Russian president also said he was bewildered over the UK system of electing the head of the Cabinet of Ministers. "They seem to poke a finger at us all the time over the democratic processes in Russia, the electoral law and so on and so forth. But let’s look at the method of bringing actually the country’s top person, the top person of the executive branch to the supreme power in Great Britain… Is this done through general elections? No. This is done with the help of the party’s gathering. This is, of course, strange for me, honestly speaking. But such is the British system," the Russian president said. (Tass.com, June 22, 2019; read the full article)