Sunday, August 20, 2017

Tag: Sanctions

Trump Reverses Obama’s Mortgage Fee Cuts on First Day

Soon after Donald Trump was sworn in as president, his administration undid one of Barack Obama's last-minute economic-policy actions: a mortgage-fee cut under a government program that’s popular with first-time home buyers and low-income borrowers. The new administration on Friday said it’s canceling a reduction in the Federal Housing Administration’s...

Whither the Iran Deal Under Trump?

How the president-elect might pick apart one of the Obama administration's signature accomplishments. In the aftermath of Donald Trump's upset victory, no foreign policy question looms larger than the fate of the Iran nuclear deal. That central component of President Barack Obama’s legacy was the focus of Trump's contempt on...

Everyone in Europe Needs to Take a Deep, Calming Breath

We don't yet know how the president-elect will behave in office. Meanwhile, the present state of hysteria could make things worse. “The sky is falling!” exclaimed Chicken Little, in the well-known folk tale, after an acorn fell on the poor fowl’s head, leading to mass hysteria over an imminent apocalypse...

Trump And Iran: What The Next Administration Can Do

The United States’ relationship with Iran tops the list of foreign policy issues that will confront President-elect Donald Trump when he takes office in January. Like many of the other Republican presidential candidates, Trump was an early and staunch opponent of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the...

Trump Hasn’t Mastered the Art of Killing the Iran Deal

The presidency-elect can’t kill the agreement directly – but he could undermine it from within. America has never known so little about a president-elect. After Trump ran a campaign almost completely void of substance, speculation about his positions regarding key national security issues is doomed to be based on nothing...

Never Trump GOP preparing to work with Trump to squeeze Iran

Republicans in Congress who vigorously opposed Donald Trump's run for president are now preparing to work with the incoming Trump administration on a number of foreign policy and national security issues where their policies overlap. First on their agenda is drastically increasing sanctions on Iran. “There are several issues that...

Russia and France’s Right

How Moscow Is Playing in the French Presidential Elections. The United States is not the only Western country in which Russia is featuring prominently in electoral politics. For the first time since the end of the Cold War, Russia is also a hot topic in the French presidential campaign. In...

America’s Russia Policy Has Failed

By any number of measures, Washington’s Russia policy has failed. While ostensibly suffering from diplomatic and economic isolation under a U.S.-led international sanctions regime, Moscow has succeeded in challenging a wide range of American interests, most notably in Ukraine, Syria, and cyberspace. Coming up with a new approach on Russia should therefore be a top priority for either President Hillary Clinton or President Donald Trump soon after Jan. 20, 2017.

Do We Really Want A War With Russia?

Because we're in danger of getting exactly that. I wish I could say things were improving between the US and Russia but they aren't. They're rapidly worsening. There’s so much happening right now, I can only provide a summary of a few of the more interesting and worrying developments. This report builds...

Ukraine and Syria: Linked Together by Russia

The United States and Russia are now at daggers drawn over Syria. Following the collapse of the ceasefire negotiated last month by Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the United States has abandoned talks with the Russians on Syria. Meanwhile, in a supposedly unrelated part...

Russia suspends plutonium deal with U.S.

Citing “unfriendly actions” by the United States, the Kremlin announced Monday that Russia would suspend a landmark agreement to dispose of surplus weapons-grade plutonium, yet another sign of deteriorating relations between the two countries. In a decree released by the Kremlin, President Vladi­mir Putin said Moscow would consider a resumption...

Inside the Shadowy PR Firm That’s Lobbying for Regime Change in Syria

Posing as a non-political solidarity organization, the Syria Campaign leverages local partners and media contacts to push the U.S. into toppling another Middle Eastern government. On September 30, demonstrators gathered in city squares across the West for a "weekend of action” to “stop the bombs” raining down from Syrian government...

U.S. and EU Sanctions Are Punishing Ordinary Syrians and Crippling Aid Work, U.N. Report...

Internal United Nations assessments obtained by The Intercept reveal that U.S. and European sanctions are punishing ordinary Syrians and crippling aid work during the largest humanitarian emergency since World War II. The sanctions and war have destabilized every sector of Syria’s economy, transforming a once self-sufficient country into an aid-dependent...

Merkel Rules out Assistance for Deutsche Bank, Focus Reports

Chancellor Angela Merkel has ruled out any state assistance for Deutsche Bank AG in the year heading into the national election in September 2017, Focus magazine reported, citing unidentified government officials. The German leader also declined to step into the Frankfurt-based bank’s legal imbroglio with the U.S. Justice Department, which...

Journey To Aleppo: Exposing The Truth Buried Under NATO Propaganda

ALEPPO, Syria — Aleppo has become synonymous with destruction and “Syrian state-generated” violence among those whose perception of the situation in the war-torn nation is contained within the prism of mainstream media narratives. The NATO-aligned media maintains a tight grip on information coming out of this beleaguered city, ensuring that...
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AP interview with Syrian President Assad

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — The Associated Press sat down with Syrian President Bashar Assad at a palace in downtown Damascus. Here's a full transcript of the interview: Q: I will start by talking about the cease-fire in Syria. Russia, the U.S., and several countries say a cease-fire could be revived...

Aid groups suspend cooperation with UN in Syria because of Assad influence

Coalition withdraws from information-sharing programme, saying regime is manipulating relief effort. More than 70 aid groups have suspended cooperation with the UN in Syria and have demanded an immediate and transparent investigation into its operations in the country because of concerns the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, has gained “significant and...

U.S. imposes sanctions on Putin’s bridge to Crimea

Companies building a multi-billion dollar bridge to link the Russian mainland with annexed Crimea, a project close to the heart President Vladimir Putin, were targeted by the United States in an updated sanctions blacklist on Thursday. The U.S. Department of the Treasury added dozens of people and companies to the...

What will be Turkey’s toll for a second chance with Russia?

Although he brought together a million people at an Aug. 7 rally in Istanbul, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan still doesn’t feel safe in his own country. He might feel safer in Russia, although the countries were on the brink of war after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet Nov. 24. Fearing an...

Turkey’s Erdogan Can’t Afford Abrupt Pivot Into Putin’s Embrace

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appears to be shunning the West, by picking Russia as his first overseas destination since surviving a coup attempt and calling Vladimir Putin his “dear friend” during the visit. Symbolism aside, Turkey is too intertwined with its old allies to drop them. Trade between Turkey and...

Will Russia Reject Neoliberalism?

According to various reports, the Russian government is reconsidering the neoliberal policy that has served Russia so badly since the collapse of the Soviet Union. If Russia had adopted an intelligent economic policy, its economy would be far ahead of where it stands today. It would have avoided most...

Turkey signals joint defense plan with Russia

Turkey and Russia will establish a joint military, intelligence and diplomacy mechanism, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Wednesday. Speaking at Anadolu Agency’s Editors’ Desk, Cavusoglu said the previous day’s meeting between Presidents Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin had paved the way for closer ties following a nine-month freeze after...

Putin and Erdogan vow to restore links and economic ties

Summit comes as some in west fear Nato member Turkey could be drawn into Moscow’s orbit. The Russian and Turkish presidents on Tuesday vowed to restore their friendship, ending an eight month stand-off over the Syrian conflict as economic pressures and the failed coup in Turkey drive the two countries...

Erdoğan and Putin discuss closer ties in first meeting since jet downing

Turkish president holds talks in St Petersburg with Russian counterpart, thanking him for support in wake of last month’s coup attempt. Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a clear-the-air summit in St Petersburg on Tuesday, the first time the pair have met since they fell out over the Russian...

U.S. Sent Cash to Iran as Americans Were Freed

WASHINGTON—The Obama administration secretly organized an airlift of $400 million worth of cash to Iran that coincided with the January release of four Americans detained in Tehran, according to U.S. and European officials and congressional staff briefed on the operation afterward. Wooden pallets stacked with euros, Swiss francs and other...

Turkey thanks Putin for unconditional support over coup attempt

Turkey has expressed its satisfaction with the unconditional support Russian President Vladimir Putin lent to the Turkish government in the wake of the July 15 failed coup attempt and vowed to speedily improve bilateral ties with Moscow after an eight-month rift. “We thank the Russian authorities, particularly President Putin. We...

Eric Holder’s Longtime Excuse for Not Prosecuting Banks Just Crashed and Burned

Eric Holder has long insisted that he tried really hard when he was attorney general to make criminal cases against big banks in the wake of the 2007 financial crisis. His excuse, which he made again just last month, was that Justice Department prosecutors didn’t have enough evidence to...

The Role of Sanctions in U.S.-Russian Relations

Sanctions are a critical tool in persuading Russia to change its Ukraine policy. But the West’s overreliance on them risks undercutting their long-term effectiveness. Sanctions have been a central element of U.S. Russia policy following Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and the beginning of the undeclared war in eastern Ukraine. They...

Germany Says Iran Kept Trying to Get Nuclear Equipment After Deal

Iran continued trying to illegally procure nuclear equipment from Germany after forging last year’s landmark nuclear agreement with world powers, German intelligence officials said, even as the Foreign Ministry in Berlin and the White House played down the reports. German authorities detected repeated efforts by Iran-tied companies and organizations to...

Turkish president apologizes for downing Russian jet

Turkey's president has apologized to Moscow for the downing of a Russian military jet at the Syrian border, Russian and Turkish officials said Monday, a move that could open the way for easing a bitter strain in Russia-Turkey ties. Recep Tayyip Erdogan's move comes seven months after the incident, which...

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