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Can LNG ensure European security of supply?

... Asian LNG spot prices reflect similar patterns. Only Henry Hub price (determined by shale revolution, reduced Import, low coal price in the EU and low industrial demand for gas as well as post-Fukushima nuclear dismantlement) remains cheaper, giving the USA additional incentives for export. Today, 53% of the EU (80% in North West EU) gas supplies are traded in gas-for-gas markets that gives reliable price signals thus determining most economic and efficient supply mix. LNG flows (given availability of ...

09.10.2016 21:21:00

Russian Gas Projects in the Context of New Paradigm

Today, Russia remains the second largest gas producer after the US. However, its leverage ability is being challenged by the slowdown of world economy (stemming from 2008 crisis and decreasing growth of the Chinese economy,in particular), political turmoil (Ukrainian crisis) “appearance of illegal and cheap oil” on the market (eg. ISIS’ expansion), as well as the overall strive to develop new energy sources in the view of global warming. That being said, a plummeted oil price (going...

09.10.2016 20:58:00

Electing an American President: What the Polls Don’t Tell

American Presidential elections are approaching in November, and are getting more attention than normal this year because of two unusually high profile and controversial candidates: Hillary Clinton (Democrat) and Donald Trump (Republican). Polls as of mid-September suggest a close race. But while polls report voter preferences, it is important to understand that winning also depends on two other issues: first, which voters actually go to the polls, and second, the distribution of those voters by...

27.09.2016 14:53:00

NATO, Russia, and Empathy: Modern Lessons from a Cold War Military Exercise

... other’s actions. Many of these same failures are all too apparent in the ongoing NATO-Russia confrontation, in particular the lack of empathy and critical self-assessment. Taking place as it did in a period of particular hostility between the USA and USSR, effective strategic communication relaying the scope and explicit purpose of Able Archer should have been paramount. Instead the report reveals that the US intelligence community routinely dismissed the concerns raised by the Soviet leadership ...

29.08.2016 18:05:00

Trump, Putin, Russia, DNC/Clinton Hack, & WikiLeaks: “There's Something Going on” with Election 2016 & It's Cyberwarfare & Maybe Worse: UPDATED 8/15

... a press conference that he is considering lifting sanctions on Russia and recognizing its annexation of Crimea. Trump also doesn’t think that there is enough evidence to blame Russia for the downing of MH17. Trump defended Putin against accusations that he was behind the murders of numerous Russian journalists critical of Putin. Most recently, Trump signaled less-than-enthusiastic, vague, and conditional support for NATO and has calling it “obsolete,” while the weakening of ...

16.08.2016 17:46:00

The Stability of NATO Under Trump

On June 20, 2016, U.S. Republican Presidential Nominee Donald J. Trump, in an interview with The New York Times, gave insight towards what U.S. foreign policy under his leadership would look like.[1] Receiving the most attention in the press and on social media was when asked if the United States would respond to a Russian invasion of the Baltic (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania), as per Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty, Trump only gave a definitive “yes” for those states who have...

10.08.2016 10:30:00

Brexistentialism for useful innocents

... social media say that's what we should believe, and that thet “existential crisis” exists among Brexiteers in Great Britain too. Just ask new Tory foreign secretary and super Toff, Boris Johnson, who just last year (born in the USA, BoJo was a dual national) renounced his US citizenship in an unsuccessful attempt to become Prime Minister. But is all this consternation (Boris Johnson) and Machiavellian mendacity (Michael Gove) spawned by Brexit really indicative of existentialism,...

28.07.2016 07:50:00

State Department speech reflects growing security risks in Central Asia

... last year. It is now also more difficult for Central Asians to work in Russia, in light of a recent hike in prices of monthly work licenses and the institution of expensive procedures and tests, like a Russian history and language test. Hundreds of thousands of migrant workers from Central Asia have even been banned from Russia, apparently from fear of ISIS foreign fighters returning en masse. Thousands of Central Asians, most of them young and male, are now returning home. This, coupled with a strapped ...

18.07.2016 11:59:00

The Donkey and the Elephant: American Presidential Politics, Russia, and 'None of the Above'

... have had to fend off as an entire party in the past generation of presidential races: that Democrats are too focused on domestic affairs and are unfit or inexperienced to handle world affairs. In essence, Democrats always have to defend against the accusation of being foreign policy weaklings. This accusation is never leveled against Republican candidates (even when a particular candidate may be internationally amateurish, his party’s reputational legacy is apparently automatically transferred ...

30.06.2016 20:53:00

Western Democracy Is on Trial, More than Any Time Since WWII

... — Roughly a quarter-century ago, the world seemed poised for a triumph of democracy and human rights unprecedented in human history. As Francis Fukuyama famously noted in “The End of History,” the end of the Cold War marked the end of thousands of years of ideological struggle, and the spread of Western Democratic capitalist ideals all around the world was inevitable with the demise of the Soviet Union. It was the end of history as we knew it: nothing could stand anymore in the way of ...

17.04.2016 14:28:00

Ilya Kravchenko: Historical Foundations of Expansionism in the U.S. foreign policy

The United States of America was formed on July 4, 1776, with the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. It happened during the War of Independence, or as it is called the "First American Revolution" (the second was during the Civil War in 1861-1865.). Until 1823, the U.S. government did not have a specific policy regarding the Western Hemisphere. After all, the country was young and there were a lot of problems with the Indians. And there was also constantly going development of...

01.04.2016 16:18:00

American LNG exports: still a good idea?

... pipeline. As we see, Europe won’t be a big US customer. However, American LNG will be vital for Japan and China as well as Turkey who currently imports 98% of its gas from Iran and Russia at a higher price than would be alternatively offered by the USA.Doesn’t the US need its own gas?Given that American demand for electricity is likely to experience a 50% increase in the next 20 years, it seems rational to presuppose that gas will become the optimal choice for power generation. Also, despite ...

01.04.2016 15:34:00

Ilya Kravchenko: Asia-Pacific – a special region for US foreign policy

... the US elite continues following the foreign policy strategy and realizing the US national interests abroad. Recently, such topics as the Middle East, the world terroristic threat, and the migration crisis have been dominating in the news line. The USA is participating practically in all these issues. The question often arises: what will the White House and the Department of State be concentrated on? Is there any region the political elite of the USA is paying a special attention to, beside the ...

18.03.2016 16:10:00

America’s Putin

Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton emerged as the leaders for the republicans and democrats respectively at the end of the decisive Super Tuesday on March 1. These results, though not final raise important questions on the notion and the role of American leadership in the 21st century. The US has always been characterized by a certain exceptionalism. Since Woodrow Wilson this nation has been driven by its strong will to make the world ‘safe for democracy’[1]. For the liberals it translated...

17.03.2016 00:21:00

Ban Ki-Moon and the charade of transparency

UN propagandists claim that the selection process to name the next secretary general, who will take office before the inauguration of the next U.S. president, will be the most transparent in the history of the organization, which was founded in 1945. But on close examination, the security council recommends a new secretary general based on "a private meeting." This means that the politics and diplomacy that determine who becomes the next leader of the institution, and the roles of NGOs...

12.03.2016 00:51:00

Pundits ponder on the future and implications of the Syria ceasefire deal

The U.S.-Russia agreement on the Syria ceasefire was in the spotlight of global media and think tanks last week. Likewise, Russia Direct has been extensively covering this deal and its implications for the world and the Middle East. With a great deal of uncertainty about the future of the agreement, foreign policy pundits and former diplomats express both cautious optimism and skepticism. While some point out to flaws of the ceasefire deal, others highlight that the very fact of the agreement between...

01.03.2016 17:12:00

What lessons should politics learn from religion?

Amidst the increasing risks of a military confrontation between Russia and the West, politicians would better to take into account the experience of religious leaders like Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill. By Russia Direct With a great deal of buzz about a global war, involving Russia and other great powers, the recent Munich Security conference is very symbolic and ill-omened. It seems to create a sort of the catch 22 situation: the more politicians talk about it, the more concerns they have, the...

20.02.2016 21:15:00

Crowdfunding with the enemy

With western media continuing to blame Russia and its allies for the escalation of violence in Syria and elsewhere, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov told participants at the Munich Security Conference-- itself a relic of the Cold War designed to promote defense spending-- that “all sides in Syria are guilty.” Speaking to the same audience in Munich, Russian prime minister Dmitry Ledbedev said he feels Western Europe and NATO are conducting relations with Russia, treating Moscow...

16.02.2016 22:23:00

Ilya Kravchenko: US-Israeli relations on the background of the Middle East tensions

... policy is the following: fight against "Islamic State", nuclear program in Iran and closure of the civil war in Syria, by way of removal of B. Asad from power. It may seem that on the background of a struggle with conflicts and crisis, the USA has distanced from Israel, the main ally in the Middle East. What is the current status of the relations between USA and Israel? What place does Israel take in the USA foreign policy strategy in the Middle East? The USA was one of the first countries,...

05.02.2016 14:39:00

The War against Islamic State: Reconstruction of the Geopolitical Balance

... state of Iraq and Syria. Was it the opportunity for Putin to reconstruct geopolitical balance? The answer is definitely yes. However, Andrew Weiss (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) stated that: “Cooperation against terrorism between USA and Russia was always problematic due to the lack of confidence between our secretive agencies”. The politician Harry Kasparov has criticized president Putin and supposed that Putin is distracting attention away from the Ukrainian crisis. There ...

21.01.2016 14:19:00


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Poll conducted

  1. In your opinion, what are the US long-term goals for Russia?
    U.S. wants to establish partnership relations with Russia on condition that it meets the U.S. requirements  
     33 (31%)
    U.S. wants to deter Russia’s military and political activity  
     30 (28%)
    U.S. wants to dissolve Russia  
     24 (22%)
    U.S. wants to establish alliance relations with Russia under the US conditions to rival China  
     21 (19%)
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