Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov told Bloomberg that the Russian reset was an "invention of Hillary Clinton" and the Obama administration.
"Well, if you take the original reset, it was not our invention, it was the invention of Hillary Clinton and Obama administrations because with their predecessors, George Bush Jr., Vladimir Putin had very good personal relations," said Lavrov.Read more
Today is the sixth anniversary of Hillary Clinton's reset with Russia. That's when Clinton physically gave her Russian counterpart a "reset" button (though, in fact, she got the translation wrong):Read more
In an interview to promote her book on BBC, Hillary Clinton called the Russian so-called reset "a brilliant stroke." The statement came in response to a question about whether she was in retrospect embarrassed about the policy.
The BBC reporter asked, "You famously pressed the reset button. Are you embarrassed by that now, that gesture?"Read more
New Hampshire senator Kelly Ayotte called for reseting the "reset" policy with Russia.Read more
Continuing his pattern of intruding upon every major event (or at least the ones he’s aware of), President Obama appeared on Friday night’s broadcast of the Winter Olympics, just before the Opening Ceremonies. When Bob Costas asked, “[D]o you have a message for the United States team?” Obama replied, “Well, we couldn’t be prouder of them” and then immediately turned things back to himself: “I’ve had the chance now to meet a lot of Olympic athletes, including those that were so successful in Vancouver. One observation, when they came to the White House, Michelle and I shook hands and met with all of them, and they all look really healthy.”Read more
The Scrapbook enjoyed what might charitably be called a warmhearted chuckle at the news that President Obama had abruptly canceled his planned “summit” meeting in Moscow with Russian president Vladimir Putin. Even the reliably turgid language of White House press secretary Jay Carney was unusually blunt in explaining the reasons why: “We have reached
the conclusion that there is not enough recent progress in our bilateral agenda with Russia to hold a U.S.-Russia summit in early September.”Read more
Polls have closed in Georgia, the small Caucasus Republic that took center stage in the 2008 presidential campaign when Russian troops poured over the border there and threatened to topple the country's pro-American government. With both sides claiming victory, the country of 4.5 million people may once again feature prominently in an American presidential campaign.Read more
CBS reports that when Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin met with the press after their long private discussion, "The two men barely looked at each other. You could just feel, sort of, the tension between them. And the body language really represented how far apart the two leaders remain on the issue of Syria."Read more
President Obama got caught in private conversation with a hot mic today in Seoul, South Korea, telling outgoing Russian president Dmitry Medvedev that Vladimir Putin should give him more "space" and that "[a]fter my election I have more flexibility."Read more
One of the core strategic beliefs of the Obama administration has been that their Bush predecessors overreacted to the attacks of 9/11 and became obsessively focused on the greater Middle East at the expense of East Asia or the “Asia-Pacific,” where the rise of China and India presages a new constellation of global great powers. This, perhaps more than Russia policy, has been Obama’s idea of a strategic “reset” for the future.Read more
When Barack Obama campaigned for president in 2008, he promised to “cut investments in unproven missile defense systems.” The word “unproven,” folks worried, could be used against every defense system that hasn’t intercepted a missile in combat.Read more
The Associated Press reports that, according to Iranian state TV, the mullahs have "stepped up" nuclear operations "after years of delay."
The other worrisome news? The relationship between the Iranians and Russians. The AP reports:
Senior Iranian and Russian officials attended celebrations Monday for the official launch of the 1000-megawatt Bushehr plant in southern Iran.Read more
Last week, Eli Lake reported on a very specific allegation by a senior Georgian official that the Russian GRU was behind a series of bombings in that country, including the bombing of the U.S. embassy in Tbilisi. The charge was so detailed that it even included the name of the Russian officer who had coordinated the attack, and his last known whereabouts in the Russian occupied Georgian province of Abkhazia.Read more
Eli Lake has a pretty big scoop today on Russian espionage in Georgia: A bomb targeting the U.S. embassy in Tbilisi has been linked, by Georgian intelligence, to a series of bombings around the country over the last 12 months that all lead back to Russia's GRU.Read more
In a little noticed letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, dated May 9, three House members and four senators wrote, “As strong supporters of the Baltic States in Congress, we were troubled to learn that Russia intends to build a nuclear power plant within 50 kilometers of the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius. This is in addition to the nuclear plant Russia is already building in Kaliningrad, only 23 kilometers from the Lithuanian border. While we support the use of nuclear energy, when done in full compliance with IAEA Safeguards, it appears Russia’s motivation is not to produce electricity but to maintain its stranglehold on energy supplies to Europe.”Read more
Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport had been planning to provide an initial public offering to investors this week, allowing folks from around the world to buy shares in the currently private company that operates the facility. Suddenly, over Memorial Day weekend and in the middle of the night, Domodedovo sent out a statement saying that it had canceled its plans and pulled the IPO. Why, and why so suddenly?Read more
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