Category Archives: Russian Federation
Russia, officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation, is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland (both via Kaliningrad Oblast), Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, and North Korea.
(Reuters) – President Barack Obama voiced doubt on Tuesday on the prospects for progress with Moscow on missile defense until after the November U.S. election as he staunchly defended remarks caught on camera the day before with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
Obama was overheard assuring Medvedev on Monday that he would have “more flexibility” to deal with contentious arms-control issues after the November 6 presidential ballot, drawing sharp criticism back home from his Republican foes.
Speaking on the sidelines of a global nuclear security summit in Seoul, Obama sought to put the controversy to rest but made clear that his earlier comments reflected a political reality that “everybody understands.”
“I don’t think it’s any surprise that you can’t start that a few months before presidential and congressional elections in the United States and at a time when they just completed elections in Russia,” Obama told reporters with Medvedev at his side.
U.S. plans for an anti-missile shield have bedeviled relations between Washington and Moscow despite Obama’s “reset” in ties between the former Cold War foes. Obama’s Republican opponents have accused him of being too open to concessions to Russia on the issue.
In Monday’s talks, Obama urged Moscow to give him “space” until after the U.S. election and Medvedev said he would relay the message to incoming Russian president Vladimir Putin, who takes over at the Kremlin in May.
The unusual exchange came as Obama and Medvedev huddled together on the eve of the summit, unaware their words were being picked up by microphones as reporters were led into the room.
It was a rare public admission by a U.S. president on the world stage of electoral pressures he faced at home, and threatened to detract from his message at the summit on the need to do more to combat the threat of nuclear terrorism.
Obama, responding to a reporter’s question on Tuesday during a break in the summit, said progress on complex arms control issues required dealings with the Pentagon and Congress to build bipartisan support and that 2012 was not a good year to get that done.
“The current environment is not conducive to these kinds of thoughtful consultations,” Obama said. “I think we’ll do better in 2013.”
The Democratic president has faced stiff opposition from Republicans in Congress to his legislative agenda on everything from job creation to taxes. Republicans have already made clear they have no interest in cooperating on further arms reduction deals with Russia.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney seized on Obama’s earlier comment, calling it “alarming and troubling.”
“This is no time for our president to be pulling his punches with the American people,” Romney said in a campaign speech in San Diego.
But Obama pushed back, insisting he was not trying to “hide the ball” and had no hidden agenda with Russia over the planned missile shield. Obama, in a speech on Monday, vowed to pursue more arms-control deals with Moscow as part of his broader nuclear disarmament agenda.
As he was leaning toward Medvedev in Seoul on Monday, Obama was overheard asking for time – “particularly with missile defense” – until he is in a better position politically to resolve such issues.
“I understand your message about space,” replied Medvedev.
“This is my last election … After my election I have more flexibility,” Obama said, expressing confidence that he would win a second term.
“I will transmit this information to Vladimir,” said Medvedev, Putin’s protege and long considered number two in Moscow’s power structure.
The United States and NATO have offered Russia a role in the project to create an anti-ballistic shield which includes participation by Romania, Poland, Turkey and Spain.
But Moscow says it fears the system could weaken Russia by gaining the capability to shoot down the nuclear missiles it relies on as a deterrent.
It wants a legally binding pledge from the United States that Russia’s nuclear forces would not be targeted by the system and joint control of how it is used.
- President Obama Asks Medvedev for ‘Space’ on Missile Defense – ‘After My Election I Have More Flexibility’ (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Obama’s Open Mic Medvedev Missile Gaffe (news.sky.com)
- Obama: ‘After My Election I’ll Have More Flexibility’ (foxnews.com)
- Obama to Medvedev: More ‘flexibility’ after election- Obama urges North Korea to ‘pursue peace’ (foxnews.com)
President Obama Asks Medvedev for ‘Space’ on Missile Defense — ‘After My Election I Have More Flexibility’
SEOUL, South Korea — At the tail end of his 90 minute meeting with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev Monday, President Obama said that he would have “more flexibility” to deal with controversial issues such as missile defense, but incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin needs to give him “space.”
President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.
President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…
President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.
President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.
When asked to explain what President Obama meant, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications Ben Rhodes told ABC News that there is room for the U.S. and Russia to reach an accommodation, but “there is a lot of rhetoric around this issue — there always is — in both countries.
A senior administration official tells ABC News: “this is a political year in which the Russians just had an election, we’re about to have a presidential and congressional elections — this is not the kind of year in which we’re going to resolve incredibly complicated issue like this. So there’s an advantage to pulling back and letting the technical experts work on this as the president has been saying.”
Joe Weisenthal | Feb. 28, 2012, 11:37 AM
From Citigroup, the connection between the Russian market and the price of oil.
- Why Investors Should Care About The Russian Elections (businessinsider.com)
- Putin a shoo-in, but his state machine is showing signs of rust (smh.com.au)
Rosatomflot has revealed its plans to construct an LK60, the largest and most powerful nuclear icebreaker ever built, that will be deployed in the Northern Sea Route. Vyacheslav Ruksha, General Director of Rosatomflot, says to BarentsObserver.com that the estimated cost for a new icebreaker is € 1.1 billion (approx $ 1.4 billion) and is already included in Rosatomflots’s 2012 budget.
The tender for a new icebreaker will be announced this summer and the construction contract will probably be signed in September. If everything goes according to plan, the construction will commence by the end of 2012 and the newbuild might be ready for traffic by 2018.
Russia is the major player in deploying nuclear icebreakers for shipping in the Arctic and other freezing seas. The company wants to develop its fleet that would be a key element of the Northern Sea Route infrastructure thus the new generation nuclear icebreaker is being designed.
The LK60 icebreaker is designed to maneuver through three meters of ice with its supreme power of 60 MW. This is exactly what Rosatomflot needs to open the Northern Sea Route for commercial traffic all year around. Her draught varies ranging from 8.5 m to 10.8 m. The new design features maximum width of 34 meters, compared to the maximum of 30 meters width at the Arktika class vessels. Such a design will be capable of providing support to larger tankers through the northern sea route.
The LK60 icebreaker will replace one icebreaker of the Arktika class and one icebreaker of Taimyr class.
- Reconditioning of Nuclear-Powered Icebreaker Sovetsky Soyuz to Start Next Year (Russia)
- China Plans to Build Polar Research Icebreaker
- Russia: USC Inks USD 640 Million Contract to Build Four Diesel Icebreakers
- AURORA BOREALIS to Become The World’s Most Advanced Polar Research Vessel
- Italy: Rossita Completes RS Survey for Transporting Radioactive Material
- Fatal Fire Aboard Russian Nuclear Icebreaker (gcaptain.com)
- How nuclear icebreakers work and the reversible ships that will replace them (InnovationToronto.com)
- The Lone Icebreaker: U.S. Sovereignty in the Arctic (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Canada well behind Russia in race to claim Arctic seaways and territory. (thestar.com)
- Shortage of icebreaker ships could lose us the race to explore the Antarctic (io9.com)
- Reversing U.S. Retreat from the Arctic (mb50.wordpress.com)
May 1881 US explorers approached Jeannette Island and Henrietta Island and claimed them for the United States. According to some US individuals, including the group State Department Watch, eight Arctic islands currently controlled by Russia, including Wrangel Island, are claimed by the United States. However, according to the United States Department of State no such claim exists. The USSR/USA Maritime Boundary Treaty, which has yet to be approved by the Russian Duma, does not address the status of these islands nor the maritime boundaries associated with them.
The Obama Administration is reportedly giving away Wrangell, Bennett, Jeannette and Henrietta islands in Alaska to Russia. The federal government drew the line to put these seven Alaskan islands on the Russian side
Former senatorial candidate Joe Miller broke this story at World Net Daily:
The Obama administration, despite the nation’s economic woes, effectively killed the job-producing Keystone Pipeline last month. The Arab Spring is turning the oil production of Libya and other Arab nations over to the Muslim Brotherhood. Iraq is distancing itself from the U.S. And everyone recognizes that Iran, whose crude supplies are critical to the European economy, will do anything it can to frustrate America’s strategic interests. In the face of all of this, Obama insists on cutting back U.S. oil potential with outrageous restrictions.
Part of Obama’s apparent war against U.S. energy independence includes a foreign-aid program that directly threatens my state’s sovereign territory. Obama’s State Department is giving away seven strategic, resource-laden Alaskan islands to the Russians. Yes, to the Putin regime in the Kremlin.
The seven endangered islands in the Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea include one the size of Rhode Island and Delaware combined. The Russians are also to get the tens of thousands of square miles of oil-rich seabeds surrounding the islands. The Department of Interior estimates billions of barrels of oil are at stake.
The State Department has undertaken the giveaway in the guise of a maritime boundary agreement between Alaska and Siberia. Astoundingly, our federal government itself drew the line to put these seven Alaskan islands on the Russian side. But as an executive agreement, it could be reversed with the stroke of a pen by President Obama or Secretary Clinton.
The agreement was negotiated in total secrecy. The state of Alaska was not allowed to participate in the negotiations, nor was the public given any opportunity for comment. This is despite the fact the Alaska Legislature has passed resolutions of opposition – but the State Department doesn’t seem to care.
The imperiled Arctic Ocean islands include Wrangell, Bennett, Jeannette and Henrietta. Wrangell became American in 1881 with the landing of the U.S. Revenue Marine ship Thomas Corwin. The landing party included the famed naturalist John Muir. It is 3,000 square miles in size.
- The Us Is Giving Away 7 Strategic Islands to Russia (disclose.tv)
- Obama Giving Oil-Rich Alaskan Islands To Russia (thedaleygator.wordpress.com)
- Obama gives 7 oil-rich Alaskan islands to Russia (fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com)
- The Destruction of a Nation (loopyloo305.com)
- Fumbling the Falklands? (hotair.com)
- Russia “resets” to nuclear-weapons, “military-purpose spacecraft” expansion (hotair.com)
- Obama State Dept. Giving U.S. Territory to Russia — in exchange for nothing (bokertov.typepad.com)