July, 2016 Russia


by Con Coughlin
In recent months the Kremlin has hinted that keeping Assad in power is not its primary concern. Rather its main objective in Syria is to keep its strategically-important bases in the country.

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Geopolitical Monitor, Daniel Urchick
Russia continues to seek to increase its influence in the Middle East region’s power-brokering structure to a level it believes to be appropriate for its traditional great power status. As one Russia-watcher recently described, “Russia seeks the same level of say in the global system as it had at the Yalta conference of 1945.” It is important to look at Russia’s broader moves in the Middle East, like in Egypt, and not just Syria to properly understand the evolution of Russia’s resurgent great power foreign policy.


by Daniel J. Graeber
Russia could revisit a land-based oil pipeline meant to get around Turkish waterways if the political situation worsens, a Russian executive said. Nikolai Tokarev, the head of Russian pipeline company Transneft, said there was renewed interest in building the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline.

By Umberto Pascali
 "Information Clearing House" - "Kaethon" - In his last public rant (“Toward a Global Realignment,” ), an obviously worn-out and senile Zbigniew Brzezinski successfully shows that old dogs can't learn new tricks.

 US President Barack Obama (R) greets Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan prior to a meeting at the US Chief of Mission’s residence in Paris on December 1, 2015.

Signs of tensions growing between the US and Turkey continue to emerge, prompting some to question whether Ankara has reviewed its geopolitical priorities and made a shift from Washington toward Moscow. Due to its unique geostrategic position, Turkey has long been important to the US as a NATO ally and a "bridge" between the West and the Arab world.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Vladimir Putin. Kremlin.ru

Erdoğan is set to turn to Russia.
Nikolas K. Gvosdev

As we continue to sort through the aftermath of the failed attempt at a military coup against the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, one unexpected (and potentially unwelcome, from a U.S. standpoint) development is that this botched attempt to remove Erdoğan will further the reconciliation process between the Turkish leader and Russian president Vladimir Putin.

President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev​. Kremlin.ru

By Nikolay Pakhomov
Seeing Eurasia as a whole has been to Moscow’s benefit.
The political earthquake of the Brexit referendum has already changed international relations in many ways. While the majority of experts in the United States dwelled on the parallels between the anger of British and American voters and the possible negative consequences for the global economy, only a few considered the referendum’s implications for American foreign policy, naming, as an example, a possible end to the American “pivot” towards Asia.


DEBKAfile Exclusive Report

In a supreme effort to prevent ISIS suicide units from reaching Russia from Syria, Sergei Shoigu, Russia's
Defense Minister, has promoted the Russian commander in Syria, Colonel-General Alexander Dvornikov. to an expanded command as head of the South Russia military district.

Orthodox Church

BY PAUL GOBLE 
Many Ukrainians and their supporters have misunderstood the Orthodox procession organized by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Vitaly Portnikov says. It is not about putting direct pressure on the Ukrainian government as some suppose but rather about making an impression on the Universal Patriarch in Constantinople.

Culture, Europe, Politics, Russia

By Dan Goure
As NATO prepares for its summit in Warsaw, the leaders of the Alliance’s 28 nations will try to put a good face on what is clearly a deteriorating security situation on the Continent. Government officials, diplomats and military leaders are wringing their hands at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s apparent ability to run rings around the United States and its allies.

A Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter jet lands at Incirlik air base in Adana, Turkey. © Murad Sezer

The statement came from Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu during his interview with TRT channel.
The top diplomat has acknowledged that Moscow might be given the green light to use Turkey’s Incirlik airbase to engage Islamic State targets in Syria. As of now, Russian aircraft make their sorties from Khmeimim airbase in Syria’s Latakia province.


 Jobar, a district of Damascus controlled by Jabhat al-Nusra militants

Russia and Turkey have reached common understanding on the Syrian crisis, including fighting al-Nusra Front militants. During a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Ankara considers not only Daesh but also al-Nusra Front as terrorists.

NURAY MERT, hurriyetdailynews
Turkey seems to be changing its foreign policy with new deals with Israel and Russia – two arch enemies until recently. Nevertheless, it would be very misleading to assume that this change is a sign of “moderation.” First of all, these are not deals between moderate, peaceful and democratic countries; Turkey, Russia and Israel have authoritarian regimes and governments which will hardly encourage each other to engage in moderate politics.

By Josh Rogin

 "Information Clearing House" - "Washington Post"- The Obama administration has proposed a new agreement on Syria to the Russian government that would deepen military cooperation between the two countries against some terrorists in exchange for Russia getting the Assad regime to stop bombing U.S.-supported rebels.

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Central Asia Caucasus Analyst, Stephen Blank
Despite the ongoing terrorist insurgency, Russian officials claim significant progress in pacifying and reintegrating the North Caucasus. For example, in 2015 alone, Ministry of Interior forces in the North Caucasus (VVMVD) allegedly killed over 70 militants.