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The 2018 Helsinki Summit brings warmer relations between US and Russia

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The entire world revolved around Finland and its capital Helsinki, these past days. Finally, the talking point happened, and we bring you the latest news.

Both the US and Russia presidents agreed yesterday to improve the relationship between these two superpowers and that there is no more need for tensions. This news is something that brings, at least a bit of, ease of mind to everyone since we all know just how the US and Russian policies differ and clashed quite often.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=We5vSlR9Krs

Finish capital Helsinki was the place where the two presidents met and discussed “everything from trade to military to missiles to China.” During the press conference, Putin stated that “There are no objective reasons for difficulties (between Russia and the US). The Cold War is a thing of the past, the situation in the world has drastically changed.” On the other side, just before the summit, Donald Trump pretty much blamed his own country for, as he said, “foolishness and stupidity” that drove a wedge between these two countries.

At the same press conference, after the talks, Trump had words of praise for Putin and his “direct, open and deeply productive dialogue.” He also said that there should be a lot more emphasis on these types of meetings instead of confrontations that do not benefit anyone. He stated, “A productive dialogue is not only good for the United States and good for Russia, but it is good for the world.” Trump continued by saying “Our relationship has never been worse than it is now, however that changed as of about four hours ago… To refuse to engage would not accomplish anything.”

The two presidents spoke on the topic of international security as well, and the overall agreement, according to what Putin said, is that these two countries have to work together to cope with challenges such as terrorism, international crime, the economy and the environment. He also pointed out counterterrorism and cybersecurity as two areas where these two superpowers are already making huge progress. Putin stated: “As major nuclear powers, we bear special responsibility for maintaining international security.” He also pointed out that Russia, together with the US, could “establish peace and reconciliation” in Syria. Trump added that by doing so, they could also “save hundreds of thousands of lives.” They also reached another agreement and it is to secure Israel’s border with Syria in accordance with the 1974 Agreement on Disengagement between Israel and Syria.

The big topic that should rise during the talks of the two presidents is the alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential campaign in the US. On the press conference, Putin once again denied the alleged Russian meddling into the democratic process in America and stated: “The Russian state has never interfered and is not going to interfere in internal US affairs.” He openly offered readiness to analyze any findings together with Washington.

Source:thenational.ae

Trump was not holding back as well, and clearly criticised the ongoing US investigation of the accusations and categorized it as a “disaster.” He said, “If they had (evidence), it would have been out long ago.”

According to the two presidents the Helsinki Summit was a very important first step towards better and warmer relations between the US and Russia. “We were not able to clear all the backlog, but I think we made a first important step in this direction” Putin stated. Apparently, just before the start of the summit, Putin told Trump that “the time has come to talk thoroughly about bilateral relations, as well as various hotspots in the world.”

On the other side, the US Congress, including some Republicans were not satisfied with where the summit went and openly criticised Trump and his comments. According to Senator McCain, the press conference is “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.” Arizona Republican basically said that the Helsinki Summit was a big mistake and that POTUS willingly decided to “defend a tyrant.” Others like House Speaker Paul Ryan still clinch for what they believe, and that is that there’s “no question” that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. Ryan continued by stating “The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally” and continued by saying that Moscow “remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals.”

The high-ranking Republicans also continued to show their dismay, and one of them was Senator Jeff Flake who Tweeted “I never thought I would see the day when our American president would stand on the stage with the Russian president and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression. This is shameful.”

Source: aljazeera.com

Putin Invites Kim Jong-un To Russia

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Reports coming from Kremlin suggest that Russian President Vladimir Putin has invited Kim Jong-un, leader of North Korea, to Russia. The purpose of the visit isn’t clear nor with whom the rogue state dictator will meet. What we do know is that he will most likely travel to the far east city of Vladivostok in September and will be a part of an economic forum.

Invitation from Moscow comes as a follow up of the Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister visit to Pyongyang and we are sure that talks went well as the head of the state decided to call his colleague from North Korea for a visit. Hopefully, this and other meetings will help to resolve the issues and quarrels that Washington and Pyongyang currently have.

Source:zerohedge.com

We know that Trump/Kim summit has been scheduled for June 12 in Singapore, and in the last few weeks, it has been on and off. This, unfortunately, mostly depends on the mood of the two leaders that are planned to meet.

Putin also talked about the summit he could potentially have with the U.S. President Donald Trump. He blamed current political situation in America as the reason why this meeting didn’t happen. A few months ago, in March to be more precise, Trump said that they would meet soon. The problem here is that Washington and Moscow’s relations are not in the best shape. On top of that, problems like the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain and the conflict in Syria certainly make the matters even worse.

Source:breakingthenews.net

Here is what Putin said when asked about the meeting and why does it take so long for it to be organized: “You have to ask our colleagues in the USA. In my view it is the consequence of the fierce domestic political contest in the United States.” He also added that: “In one of our last discussions, Donald said he is concerned about the danger of a new arms race. I agree with him entirely.”

Currently, special counsel Robert Muller is investigating the potential involvement of Russia in 2016 U.S. elections. These allegations were denied by both Trump and Putin.

Source: dailymail.co.uk

14 Tweets Which Show Donald Trump’s Growing Obsession with Russia

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While you are doing something you love, President Donald Trump also does something he loves – he tweets. Between Friday morning and Tuesday morning, Trump posted 14 times, and all of the tweets were about the current Russia probe.

Social media activity perfectly shows his obsessions with Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and their impact on the presidency. Other than a large number of Tweets, we have to point out that they are all similar and here is one from Saturday:

“This whole Russia Probe is Rigged. Just an excuse as to why the Dems and Crooked Hillary lost the Election and States that haven’t been lost in decades. 13 Angry Democrats, and all Dems if you include the people who worked for Obama for 8 years. #SPYGATE & CONFLICTS OF INTEREST!”

On Tuesday, Trump tweeted: “Why aren’t the 13 Angry and heavily conflicted Democrats investigating the totally Crooked Campaign of totally Crooked Hillary Clinton. It’s a Rigged Witch Hunt, that’s why! Ask them if they enjoyed her after election celebration!”

As you can see, the sentence constructions are changed, but the essence is there for the most part. 13 Angry Democrats are mentioned, Crooked Hillary, of course, and as expected a lot of exclamation points and caps.

Some of the Trump supporters might argue that if you repeat something over and over again, a part of the population will start to believe it. Whereas another part and phrases such as “witch hunt,” “hoax” and “13 Angry Democrats” will be inside their consciousness. This is just an assumption.

Source:theepochtimes.com

However, based on these tweets and many before, you can only conclude that POTUS has no strategy whatsoever. He posts the things that are on his mind at a particular moment, and the White House and his supporters, need to think of a way to justify what he said. Considering that Trump’s thoughts and emotions are expressed through the tweets, it is obvious that the Russia probe and Mueller have been on his mind lately.

Trump managed to convince himself that Mueller, who by the way, is a Republican, an appointed FBI director by the Republican President and an appointed special counsel by a Republican deputy attorney general, has surrounded himself with Democrats in order to trash Trump. However, five people, two of which are his national security adviser and his former deputy campaign chairmen have pleaded guilty in the Mueller probe.

POTUS is someone who loves conspiracies. During his presidential campaign, when he wasn’t talking about the Wall, Trump would criticize President Barack Obama, asking him to show his birth certificate and prove that he was born in the US. He also believed that Muslims were celebrating on 9/11, whereas Ted Cruz’s father could be involved with the Kennedy assassination.

Also on Tuesday, Trump tweeted: “The 13 Angry Democrats (plus people who worked 8 years for Obama) working on the rigged Russia Witch Hunt, will be MEDDLING with the mid-term elections, especially now that Republicans (stay tough!) are taking the lead in Polls. There was no Collusion, except by the Democrats!” This pretty much sums up who Trump is and what he does.

Source:cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com

The last in the series of tweets was: “Sorry, I’ve got to start focusing my energy on North Korea Nuclear, bad Trade Deals, VA Choice, the Economy, rebuilding the Military, and so much more, and not on the Rigged Russia Witch Hunt that should be investigating Clinton/Russia/FBI/Justice/Obama/Comey/Lynch, etc.”

Instead of devoting his time to the actual governance of the country, Trump is focused on conspiracy theories regarding the Russia probe. And his obsession with Russia continues.

Source: edition.cnn.com

The Main Threat For The US In The Middle East Is Not Iran; It’s Russia!

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The news that the US left the Iran deal was felt around the world like an earthquake. It brought out many questions, with one of them being will the Israel and Iran start an all-out war? The move is considered a catastrophe from the stance of foreign policy, and now the US must deal with the threat that Russia could further expand its influence in the Middle East.

Donald Trump’s decision to leave the agreement is similar to what Britain did with EU exit. It is a decision that affects the entire world. Like we said, Iran and Israel are closer to war with every passing day. This conflict could change the present and the future of the entire region, and not for the better.

The most significant change that occurred, and that is something Trump’s administration won’t admit, is that the US is no longer the most influential player in the Middle East; It’s Russia! With recent development, Moscow increased their authority in this region.

Of course, we all know there’s something more to this country than just matryoshka nestingdolls and vodka. Russia is one of the most powerful countries in the world. You would expect them to have at least a little influence on everything that goes on in this planet.

America is focused solely on the Iran deal, which can already be considered a dead agreement, missing their primary conflict. It’s not with Iran or with the Middle East as a region; it is with Russia. If the US doesn’t start dealing with this threat, it will lose much more than with cancelation of the deal, and it will be a catastrophe for the foreign policy.

Source: www.newsweek.com

At this moment the conflict between Israel and Iran seems inevitable. Israeli doesn’t want Iranian troops in Syria, while this is exactly what Iran wants in order to be the regions most powerful country. The smaller fights already started, the moment the US left the Iran deal.

Because of this development, America’s influence in the Middle East dropped in favor of Moscow. At the moment Putin has more control over this region than Trump. It can be seen through their actions when tensions in this region started to escalate. When Israeli F-16 fighter was shot down over Syria, Russia was the one who told them to calm down. The same happened when Iran lost seven soldiers to Israel attacks. Moscow was the one who told Israel to cease air strikes on Syria and one who calmed down Netanyahu when Iran became aggressive after the US left the nuclear deal. Russia is the central player in the Middle East, even if the US doesn’t want to admit it.

It will not come as a surprise if Israel accepts Russian aid in dealing with Iran. Yes, Tehran and Moscow are allies, but if what all parties involved want is peace, Russia can help them; the US no longer has this power. Many believe that Israeli/American ties are too deep to be cut off by Kremlin. But, Israel/Russia bond is equally deep. Just remember back in the 1990s more than 1 million Jews went from Russia to Israel. This was 20% of their population back in the day.

Source: www.washingtontimes.com

The second language in Israel is not English; it’s Russian! You have airlines flights from Israel to Moscow twice a day, and Netanyahu started spending more time with Putin than he is with Trump. Also, the rift between Israeli and American Jews is becoming more profound. For example, Natalie Portman decided to boycott 2018 Genesis Prize which is also known as Jewish Nobel Prize after showing support to Palestinians and criticizing the way they are treated by Israel. She is only one person in a see of people who share her sentiment.

The US leaving the Iran deal hasn’t only made Tehran its enemy once again, it brought out Russia as their biggest threat. Moscow is steadily becoming a leading player on the world’s battleground while Washington stands and does nothing.

Source: www.jpost.com

What America needs to do is to lower the Russian influence in the region. What they should do is not another Cold War, but more of collecting back its allies one by one, starting with Turkey. The next in line should be Egypt and Lebanon. They should broaden their influence similarly to what Kremlin is doing right now. The US needs to regain its role as the peacemaker in the Middle East. The part that Moscow is playing at the moment, and they are doing it with a long-lasting American friend, Israel.

Instead of destroying its foreign policy, the US should do that to Russia. They must gather their allies and make a push of decreasing Kremlin influence by making them deal with internal affairs. This shouldn’t be hard to do considering the levels of corruption, and lack of human rights that exist in both Russia and their puppet states from where they are pulling all of their influence.

Source: www.cnbc.com

Putin still looking for a deal with Trump despite the Sanctions and Syria Attack

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We were all in the thick of things when the US brought sanctions to Russia and when they decided to go ahead with air strikes in Syria. That there nearly brought these two superpowers to an open clash which would be the first big tension between them since Cold War. Thanks to at least one cool head – Putin, tensions might start dialing down.

Russia president Vladimir Putin is the one still willing to give a second chance to Trump and make a deal that will assure they make good on their pledges to improve ties and avoid escalation. To make things even more interesting, we found out that Kremlin ordered their officials to curb any and all anti-US rhetoric. This, of course, explains why they so suddenly pulled the draft of the law that would impose sweeping counter-sanctions on U.S. companies.

According to Igor Bunin of the Center for Political Technologies “Putin is ready to make numerous, deep concessions, but he has to appear like he’s not losing. He understands Russia can’t compete with the West economically and he doesn’t plan to go to war with the West.” On Wednesday, Foreign Ministry official in Moscow stated that Trump administration notified Russia’s embassy in Washington (on Sunday) that there will not be any new sanctions towards them, at least not in the near future.

The reason for this simmering down is hidden behind the fact that Kremlin is still trying to get a grasp on this whole situation, and especially the economic impact that the sanctions bring. If you recall some of the latest news, these sanctions actually damaged one of the country’s most powerful businessmen, billionaire Oleg Deripaska, the most.

Source:npr.org

His company’s (Rusal) shares dropped down about 70% in Hong Kong, and this is all thanks to the U.S. who basically banned the company from the dollar economy April 6. This sanction immediately erased about $6 billion of value and jeopardized around 100,000 jobs and in worse time possible – just when Russia is starting to crawl out of its longest recession in two decades.

President Trump wanted to try and improve ties between the two superpowers, but Congress and much of his administration are keen to keep the pressure up. What complicates this diplomatic dance, even more, are the often and mixed signals that come from the White House. On Monday Trump decided to put a halt at new Russian sanctions which brought a brief rally in the ruble, but on Tuesday everyone gets a totally different message (that scared Russian markets the most) from economic adviser Larry Kudlow who stated: “additional sanctions are under consideration.”

This diplomatic rollercoaster is putting a lot of strain on Kremlin, but they remain firm. They showed this on Monday when their legislators abandoned a bill that was supposed to limit a broad range of trade with the U.S., from farm products and medications to aviation and space. According to Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin this ban on selling rocket engines “would hurt Russia more than the U.S.” since they are so dependent on American contracts. We have already mentioned that (even before the attack on Syria) Russia told its officials to tone down the retaliatory speech, but somehow Russia’s ambassador to Lebanon didn’t get that memo and thanks to one interview made world headlines. While speaking for the local television, he stated that Russia wouldn’t hesitate to shoot down missiles and attack whatever platforms they were launched from if its forces were threatened. This, of course, put Kremlin in a very tough spot, but thankfully the warning wasn’t repeated.

Source:dailystar.co.uk

The tensions between Russia and US have always been high, and the situation was always tight. The long built fragile relationship is nearing its crumble thanks to recent events like the nerve-agent attack on a Russian turncoat spy in the U.K. and this airstrike in Syria. Thankfully, US officials have high hopes that Trump might be able to stop the downward slide. The first big step towards this was Trump’s congratulation to Putin on his re-election in March and the prospect of a White House summit, that is on a long pole, to be honest.

What doesn’t benefit this entire situation between these superpowers is a lot of other tensions like alleged Russian hacking, trolling and other forms of online aggression. In order to prevent these things from happening again, U.S. and U.K. officials, just this week, issued a joint warning of “stepped up Russian probing of corporate and government computer systems in the West.” The alert included advice to companies about how to protect themselves and warned specifically of attacks on routers, the devices that channel data around a network. Ciaran Martin, a chief executive officer of Britain’s National Cyber Security Center, stated that “Russia is our most capable hostile adversary in cyberspace.” On the other side, Vladimir Frolov, a former Russian diplomat (now a foreign-policy analyst in Moscow) tried to defend their case by stating “Cyber-espionage is considered a legitimate activity, it shouldn’t really affect bilateral relations.”

Source: bloomberg.com

Donald Trump Still Not Sure How Will U.S. Retaliate To Syria

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British Prime Minister Theresa May called for an emergency meeting of the cabinet on Thursday, while the U.S. President remains undecided on the manner of retaliation.

Donald Trump still hasn’t decided how will the United States of America respond to chemical weapons attack conducted by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Damascus. The entire western world is gearing up to go against Syrian President.

Chief of Pentagon, Jim Mattis and the rest of Trump’s national security team had a meeting on Wednesday. Before that President Trump gave out a warning to Russia via Twitter: “You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”

Head of the U.S. threatened to fire a barrage of missiles on Syria, but despite this, the U.S. is not sure in which way are they going to retaliate. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the spokeswoman for White House, told the gathered reporters on Wednesday, that the president is conducting conversations with U.S. allies.

When asked what military steps are they going to take she responded: “We’re maintaining that we have a number of options and all of those options are still on the table. Final decisions haven’t been made yet on that front.”

The officials of White House were clear that the decision will be made after consultations with closest allies – French President Emmanuel Macron, and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May. The U.K. Cabinet will meet on Thursday to decide which actions will be taken after Assad regime allegedly used chemical weapons against Syrian Rebels located in Douma. Despite Russian claims that Syrian president is not to be blamed for the attack, U.K. Officials doubt that he’s not responsible.

Talking to reporters Therese May said: “All the indications are that the Syrian regime was responsible. We will be working with our closest allies on how we can ensure that those who are responsible are held to account. The continued use of chemical weapons cannot go unchallenged.” This was yesterday, and same as the U.S., the U.K. still has to decide which steps are they going to take.

Interestingly, despite the claims that conflict is imminent, the price of oil remains high. At the same time, Turkey’s currency weakened. Turkey is one of the country’s that has troops stationed in Syria.

This is the second time in one year span that the U.S. needs to take action in Syria. In April of 2017, they conducted swift air strikes that destroyed single Syrian base. This time around the U.S. needs to hit harder.

Assad’s political advisers claim that no chemical weapon was used. They are adamant that regardless of world’s reaction they will, together with their allies Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah prevail as winners: “They will not win in anything they do. We will be the winners.”

In order to avoid breaking of international law, the U.S. will have to strike together with their allies. It is expected that joint force of U.S, France, U.K., and Saudi Arabia would help “to build a case for the humanitarian mandate.”

Source: collider.com

Donald Trump was clear in one of his Twitter addresses to Russia: “Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart.’ ”

Chief of Staff at Pentagon together with CIA Director Mike Pompeo stated that the U.S. is “ready to provide military options if appropriate.” Air strikes could possibly damage one of Russia’s assets in Syria, and if this happens even by accident, it could create a more profound conflict between America and Russia.

Ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Norbert Roettgen said about the situation: “There must be a consistent Syria policy, that is the key thing. There is no real U.S. policy on Syria. Assad and Russia have been given a free hand militarily.”

The high tensions prompted Syrian government to clear airports and military positions in expectations of U.S. air strike. One of the Syrian officials from the Foreign Ministry said: “The Americans are sponsoring the lies of “terrorists” as a pretext to attack Syria.”

Source: cbsnews.com

European air traffic agency, Eurocontrol, issued a warning to all air companies not to use the airspace above Syria due to the possibility of an air strike.

Talking about the matter Elena Suponina, a Mideast analyst at the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies said: “The risk of military conflict between Russia and the U.S. in Syria is very high. If Trump takes this step and Russian citizens are harmed, the reaction will be very harsh.”