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lawmakers call for preserving sanctions against russia


- house democratic whip steny hoyer (d-md.), rep. eliot engel (d-n.y.) and rep. adam schiff (d-calif.) urged democrats and republicans to unite to oppose dropping sanctions on russia at a news conference, feb. 15.()






russian lawmakers mount fierce defense of flynn


moscow — russian lawmakers on tuesday mounted a fierce defense of u.s. president donald trump’s national security adviser, who has resigned following reports that he misled white house officials about his contacts with russia.michael flynn handed in his resignation late monday night, conceding that he gave “incomplete information” about his calls with russia’s ambassador to the u.s.a u.s. official told the associated press that flynn was in frequent contact with ambassador sergey kislyak on the day the obama administration slapped sanctions on russia for election-related hacking, as well as at other times during the transition. the kremlin has confirmed that flynn has been in contact with kislyak but denied that they talked about lifting sanctions.konstantin kosachev, chairman of the forei






have not eased sanctions against russia: donald trump


by: pti | washington | published:february 3, 2017 1:46 am us president donald trump (file p o)us president donald trump today refuted reports that his administration has eased sanctions against russia. earlier the treasury department reported that it has amended former president barack obama’s most recent sanctions to allow us technology companies to export products to russia. however, trump refuted the reports.watch: international powerboat race launch dramatically halted by jcb trucks“i haven’t eased anything,” he told reporters when asked if his administration has eased sanctions against russia, which were imposed by the previous obama administration in retaliation of the latter’s alleged ing into the emails and servers of the democratic party and its presidential nominee.white house p






national security adviser flynn, russian amb ador reportedly talked sanctions


national security adviser michael flynn reportedly discussed russia sanctions with the country’s amb ador to the u.s. a month before president trump took office.the washington post reported thursday the conver ions between flynn and russian amb ador sergey kislyak might have been inappropriate and possibly illegal, according to some u.s. officials.the reported talks raised some eyebrows due to the timing. u.s. intelligence agencies were w ping up their investigation into russia’s influence into the 2016 election, which ended with the obama administration imposing sanctions on moscow.the talks between flynn and kislyak started before the election and continued during the trump’s transition into the white house, the post reported, citing unnamed officials. kislyak had confirmed that he talke






trump administration makes tweaks to sanctions against russia


washington — the trump administration tweaked sanctions against russia's intelligence services on thursday, changing sanctions taken by the obama administration in the wake of russia's meddling in the 2016 election. the treasury department announced it would allow u.s. companies to make limited transactions with russia's intelligence service, fsb, that are needed to gain approval to import information technology products into russia. the u.s. intelligence community concluded that fsb and another russian spy agency were behind the ing of democratic politicians and obama slapped sanctions on the organizations before he left office. trump has at times been highly critical of the u.s. intelligence community, and it's remained unclear whether he'll keep the sanctions against russia in place, a






michael flynn did talk to russia about sanctions: report


president trump’s ­now-national security adviser had a private discussion in december about lifting sanctions against russia with its amb ador to the united states, despite repeated denials that he had broached the delicate subject, it was reported thursday.before trump took office and named michael flynn to the post, the former general spoke with amb ador sergey kislyak about the sanctions imposed by barack obama because of moscow’s cyber- ing efforts to influence the us presidential election, according to the washington post.after the discussions, flynn left the russian with “the impression that the sanctions would be revisited at a later time,” the paper said.a spokesman for flynn told the washington post thursday that, although his boss had indicated having no recollection of discussin






us rolls back some sanctions against russia


the us has lifted some sanctions against russia’s intelligence agency — allowing the former kgb access to us “information technology products,” according to a document on the treasury department’s website.the move overturns at least part of the sanctions issued by the obama administration after allegations of russian ing us politicians.“today, the department of the treasury’s office of foreign ets control published cyber-related general license, ‘authorizing certain transactions with the federal security service,’” the notice on the website read.the authorization allows us companies to pay up to $5,000 annually to the fsb — which controls technology imports into russia — to get licenses from the security service and its entities to export information technology products to russia, as long






white house kremlinology - ny daily news


either newly installed national security adviser michael flynn lied about his contacts with russia; or flynn, a lifetime intelligence professional, has a truly terrible memory; or flynn told the truth and his colleagues, including vice president mike pence and press secretary sean spicer, lied to the american people. there is no doubt or dispute that flynn, who has a number of ties to vladimir putin’s russia, had conversations with kremlin officials during the presidential campaign. when campaign turned into transition, and president obama slapped new sanctions on russia as a punishment for its expansive interference in the u.s. election, flynn spoke to the russian ambassador. that’s a no-no: private citizens aren’t supposed to conduct diplomacy. still, it’s unlikely flynn will pay a form






kremlin disagrees with donald trump’s essment of iran: dmitry peskov


by: reuters | moscow | published:february 6, 2017 5:19 pm kremlin press secretary dmitry peskov (file p o)the kremlin said on monday it did not agree with us president donald trump’s essment of iran as “the number one terrorist state” and wanted to deepen what it described as already good ties with tehran.the kremlin was responding to comments trump made to fox news in an interview aired at the weekend in which he complained that iran had “total disregard” for the united states. kremlin spokesman dmitry peskov said in a conference call with reporters that moscow saw things differently.watch what else is in the news“russia has friendly partner-like relations with iran, we cooperate on a wide range of issues, value our trade ties, and hope to develop them further,” said peskov.trump and put






russian lawmakers defend michael flynn, blame u.s. for his exit


russians are rushing to michael flynn’s defense. russian lawmakers backed up the former u.s. national security advisor after he resigned for misleading senior officials about discussions he had with russia’s american ambassador about sanctions. konstantin kosachev, chairman of the foreign affairs committee on the russian parliament’s upper chamber, blamed flynn's sudden exit on xenophobia and incompetence from the trump administration. “either trump hasn't found the necessary independence and he's been driven into a corner... or russophobia has permeated the new administration from top to bottom,” kosachev wrote on facebook.national security council staffer tapped to replace michael flynn he said flynn’s ouster was “not just paranoia but something even worse.” alexei pushkov, kosachev's l






cory bernardi feels the heat over defection


vladimir putin, russia's president. p o: bloomberg






trump dismisses alleged russia ties


us president gives rambling press conference in wake of crisis which resulted in flynn resignationpresident donald trump.washington: us president donald trump on thursday vehemently dismissed the uproar over his administration’s and election campaign’s alleged ties with russia, saying there is nothing to the allegations.“russia is a ruse. i have nothing to do with russia. haven’t made a phone call to russia in years. don’t speak to people from russia,” trump said at a rambling press conference, his first on his own since taking office.trump attacked the media mercilessly and decried press leaks that led to the ousting of his national security adviser michael flynn.flynn stepped down after it was revealed he misled the administration over pre-inauguration talks he held with the russian amba






michael flynn told fbi he had not discussed sanctions with russian envoy


by: reuters | washington | published:february 17, 2017 9:27 am former white house national security advisor michael flynn. (source: reuters)former white house national security adviser michael flynn told fbi agents in an interview last month that he had not discussed sanctions against russia with moscow’s us ambassador before president donald trump took office, the washington post reported on thursday, citing current and former us officials. flynn’s jan. 24 interview with the federal bureau of investigation could expose him to charges, since lying to the agency is a felony, but any decision to prosecute would lie with the justice department.us intelligence agencies intercepted flynn’s call with russian ambassador sergei kislyak after trump’s election, in which the two discussed sanctions,






vladimir putin visits hungary, his 1st trip to eu since us election


by: ap | budapest | published:february 2, 2017 8:46 pm on his first trip to the european union since the us presidential election, russian president vladimir putin on thursday visited hungary, the nation whose leader has cozied up to moscow despite russia-west tensions. (source: ap p o)on his first trip to the european union since the us presidential election, russian president vladimir putin on thursday visited hungary, the nation whose leader has cozied up to moscow despite russia-west tensions. hungarian prime minister viktor orban, a populist dubbed “little putin” by his opponents, has been critical of the us and of eu sanctions imposed on russia for its actions in ukraine.watch what else is in the newsspeaking ahead of putin’s visit, hungarian foreign minister peter szijjarto said th






how a tweak be e a tempest: trump, russia and sanctions


this is the story of how, in the hyperactive age of trump, something that initially appeared to be a major change in policy turned into a nothing-burger.early thursday morning, both political and journalistic antennae s up when the treasury department posted a brief parag h titled “publication of cyber-related general license.” pursuant to last month’s sanctions by the obama administration on russia’s intelligence service for interfering in the u.s. election, it said, “certain transactions” with the service, known as the fsb, were to be authorized.at first glance, the notice appeared to be the first step toward lifting obama-era sanctions on russia, something president trump has indicated he might want to do as he fashioned a new relationship with russian president vladi­mir putin.that int






how a tweak be e a tempest: trump, russia and sanctions


this is the story of how, in the hyperactive age of trump, something that initially appeared to be a major change in policy turned into a nothing-burger.early thursday morning, both political and journalistic antennae s up when the treasury department posted a brief parag h titled “publication of ­cyber-related general license.” pursuant to last month’s sanctions by the obama administration on russia’s intelligence service for interfering in the u.s. election, it said, “certain transactions” with the service, known as the fsb, were to be authorized.at first glance, the notice appeared to be the first step toward lifting obama-era sanctions on russia, something president trump has indicated he might want to do as he fashioned a new relationship with russian president vladi­mir putin.that in






trump administration tweaks sanctions against russia


washington — the trump administration tweaked sanctions against russia's intelligence services on thursday, changing measures taken by the obama administration in the wake of russia's meddling in the 2016 election. the treasury department announced it would allow u.s. companies to make limited transactions with russia's intelligence service, fsb, that are needed to gain approval to import information technology products into russia. the white house disputed the notion that the move was "easing" sanctions, downplaying the change. "we’re not easing sanctions. from what i understand it’s a fairly common practice for the treasury department after sanctions are put in place to look at if there are specific carve-outs," white house press secretary sean spicer said thursday afternoon. "it is a r






mccain bill would require congress' ok to ease russia sanctions


“easing sanctions on russia would send the wrong message as vladimir putin continues to oppress his citizens, murder his political opponents, invade his neighbors, threaten america’s allies, and attempt to undermine our elections,” sen. john mccain said in a statement.(p o: jack gruber/usa today)connectlinkedinemailmorewashington — sen. john mccain joined five other senators to introduce legislation that would require any decision by the trump administration to ease sanctions against russia to be subject to congressional oversight.“easing sanctions on russia would send the wrong message as vladimir putin continues to oppress his citizens, murder his political opponents, invade his neighbors, threaten america’s allies, and attempt to undermine our elections,” mccain said in a statement. “co






trump's national security adviser michael flynn resigns


president trump’s embattled national security adviser michael flynn resigned monday night, fox news reported.flynn, in his resignation letter, wrote that he "inadvertently" briefed  top officials with incomplete information regarding his call with the russian ambassador. "i have sincerely apologized to the president and the vice president, and they have accepted my apology," the letter read.trump has named lt. gen joseph keith kellogg, jr., as his acting national security adviser.the white house earlier said trump was "evaluating the situation" regarding flynn's conversations with russia's ambassador to the u.s., deepening the uncertainty surrounding flynn's future in the new administration.flynn apologized privately for the controversy to vice president mike pence, according to a white ho






flynn in fbi interview denied discussing sanctions with russian ambassador


former national security adviser michael flynn denied to fbi agents in an interview last month that he had discussed u.s. sanctions against russia with that country’s ambassador to the united states before president trump took office, contradicting the contents of intercepted communications collected by intelligence agencies, current and former u.s. officials said.the jan. 24 interview potentially puts flynn in legal jeopardy, as lying to the fbi is a felony, but any decision to prosecute would ultimately lie with the justice department. some officials said bringing a case could prove difficult in part because flynn may attempt to parse the definition of sanctions.a spokesman for flynn said he had no response. the fbi declined to comment.flynn spoke to russian ambassador sergey kislyak fol






russian lawmakers rush to the defense of trump’s ex-national security adviser


moscow — leading russian lawmakers rushed to defend president trump’s former national security adviser on tuesday after he resigned for misleading senior white house officials, including vice president pence, about his contacts with russia.the heads of the foreign affairs committees in both russia’s upper and lower houses of parliament chalked up michael flynn’s resignation to a dark campaign of russophobia in washington, and said it would undermine relations between the white house and the kremlin. konstantin kosachev of the upper house wrote in a post on facebook that readiness for dialogue with moscow was now seen in washington as a “thoughtcrime,” a reference to the george orwell’s dystopian novel 1984. “to force the resignation of the national security adviser for contacts with the ru






gop senate troika looks to ert itself on russia


a group of senators want to make sure president trump can’t roll back sanctions on russia without giving congress a chance to stop him in his tracks.three republican senators are supporting legislation aimed at blocking president trump from dismantling sanctions against russia if the president intends to go down that path.but so far, gop leaders haven’t signed on to the plan.gop sens. lindsey graham (s.c.), john mccain (ariz.) and marco rubio (fla.), the three republican co-sponsors of the measure giving congress a chance to stop the rollback of sanctions, are emerging as a go-to troika on measures to contain russia at a time when trump is being attacked for being far too cozy with president vladimir putin.graham, mccain and rubio are also the three earliest republican co-sponsors of langu






gop senate troika looks to ert itself on russia


president trump and russian president vladimir putin. (don emmert and natalia kolesnikova/afp/getty images)three republican senators are supporting legislation aimed at blocking president trump from dismantling sanctions against russia if the president intends to go down that path.but so far, gop leaders haven’t signed on to the plan.sens. lindsey o. graham (s.c.), john mccain (ariz.) and marco rubio (fla.), the three republican sponsors of the measure giving congress a chance to stop the rollback of sanctions, are emerging as a go-to troika on measures to contain russia at a time when trump faces accu ions that he is acting far too cozy with president vladimir putin.graham, mccain and rubio are also the three earliest republican sponsors of language introduced last month to impose broader






russian lawmakers rush to defend flynn amid resignation


moscow — russian lawmakers are mounting a fierce defense of u.s. president donald trump’s national security adviser, who has resigned following reports that he misled white house officials about his contacts with russia.michael flynn handed in his resignation late monday night, conceding that he gave “incomplete information” about his calls with russia’s ambassador to the u.s.konstantin kosachev, chairman of the foreign affairs committee at the upper chamber of the russian parliament, said in a post on facebook that firing a national security adviser for his contacts with russia is “not just paranoia but something even worse.”kosachev’s counterpart at the lower chamber of the russian parliament, alexei pushkov, tweeted shortly after the announcement that “it was not flynn who was targeted






us eases sanctions on russian intelligence agency


by: ians | washington | published:february 3, 2017 8:16 am us president donald trump speaks by phone with russia’s president vladimir putin in the oval office at the white house in washington, u.s. january 28, 2017. reuters/jonathan ernstthe us treasury department issued a notice easing sanctions on a russian intelligence agency that former president barack obama sanctioned over moscow’s alleged ing activities in last year’s us presidential election. in a statement on thursday, the treasury department authorized certain transactions with the federal security service of the russian federation (fsb) that are needed to request approval for the importation, distribution, or use of certain information technology products in russia, xinhua news agency reported.watch what else is making newslast






us amb ador to un blames russia for new violence in eastern ukraine


by: reuters | united nations | published:february 3, 2017 6:51 amus amb ador to the united nations nikki haley blamed russia on thursday for the recent surge of violence in eastern ukraine and warned ukraine-related sanctions against russia will not be lifted until moscow returns crimea to kiev. “i consider it unfortunate on the occasion of my first appearance here i must condemn the aggressive actions of russia,” haley said, making her first public remarks inside the security council since being sworn in as the united states’ representative to the united nations last month. “it shouldn’t happen, or be that way. we do want to better our relations with russia. however, the dire situation in eastern ukraine is one that demands clear and strong condemnation of russian actions.” her remarks e






white house considering removing sanctions against russia: pence


the white house will decide in "the months ahead" whether to remove sanctions against russia in exchange for coordinating efforts against isis in the middle east, vice president mike pence said sunday. "if we have opportunities to work together, i think the president is looking for an opportunity to begin that relationship anew," pence said on abc's "this week." "but, make no mistake about it, those decisions will await action. and they'll be very dependent on how the russians respond in the days ahead." when asked directly about whether sanctions against russia — with whom trump has been accused of cultivating a cozy relationship — would remain in place "as long as russia is violating the ceasefire in ukraine," pence replied that it "was a question that will be answered in the months ahe






u.s. makes limited exceptions to sanctions on russian spy agency


the u.s. treasury department on thursday adjusted sanctions on russian intelligence agency fsb, making limited exceptions to the measures put in place by former president barack obama over accu ions moscow tried to influence the u.s. presidential election with cyber attacks on political organizations.continue reading belowthe department said in a statement it would allow u.s. companies to make limited transactions with fsb that are needed to gain approval to import information technology products into russia.the treasury department often issues general licenses such as the one announced on thursday to help u.s. companies overcome unintended business consequences of sanctions.sanctions experts and former obama administration officials stressed that the new exceptions do not signal a broader






trump’s russia strategy collides with foreign policy reality in leaked call with


moscow — president trump’s heady paign rhetoric about possible detente with russia is coming to terms with the realities of his chaotic new administration. details emerged thursday about a telephone call held between russian president vladi­mir putin in which trump blasted a treaty negotiated under the obama administration that limits nuclear weapons deployments — after trump reportedly paused the call with putin to ask an aide about the treaty. according to a report by the reuters news agency, trump then denounced the new start treaty as favoring russia. the kremlin on friday refused to comment on the leaked details of the telephone call.“i couldn’t confirm this,” dmitri peskov, a spokesman for putin, said in a phone call with journalists. “we’ve already reported everything that we consid






flynn could face charges for lying to fbi on russia


former national security adviser michael flynn lied to the fbi about discussing sanctions with a russian diplomat ahead of president trump’s inauguration, according to a new report thursday. the denial could mean legal charges — lying to fbi agents is a felony — but the decision to prosecute rests with trump’s department of justice, according to the washington post. flynn for weeks publicly denied that his conversation with russian ambassador sergey kislyak involved u.s. sanctions against russia put in place by the obama administration. the december call was monitored, as is common practice regarding foreign diplomats, and the acting attorney general warned president trump’s team that they were repeating a falsehood.congressman's refusal to investigate flynn is wildly out of order press s






may refuses to bow to israel’s demands for new iran sanctions


netanyahu praises trump sanctions on iran and wants the uk to follow suit






flynn reportedly lied to fbi about sanctions talk with russian envoy


former national security adviser michael flynn denied in an fbi interview last month that he had discussed u.s. sanctions against russia with moscow's ambassador to the united states, contradicting transcripts of intercepted communications between the two men, the washington post reported thursday. flynn, who resigned from president donald trump's administration monday evening, could face criminal charges. however, some officials told the post that bringing a case against him could prove difficult.flynn resigned monday night, admitting in a letter that he had given vice president mike pence and others "incomplete information" about his calls with ambassador sergey kislyak, pence, apparently relying on information from flynn, initially said the national security adviser had not discussed sa






vladimir putin’s hungary visit marks his first trip to eu since us election


by: ap | moscow | published:february 2, 2017 1:41 pm trump on urday had a phone call with putin, which both the white house and the kremlin described in strongly positive terms. (file p o)on his first trip to the european union since the us presidential election, russian president vladimir putin on thursday is heading to hungary, the nation whose leader has cozied up to moscow despite russia-west tensions. hungarian prime minister viktor orban, a populist dubbed “little putin” by his opponents, has been critical of the us and of eu sanctions imposed on russia for its action in ukraine. speaking ahead of putin’s visit, hungarian foreign minister peter szijjarto said the eu sanctions against russia have failed to achieve their objectives and cost hungary some $6.7 billion in export opportun






former ukrainian prime minister says she was re ured by trump


a ukrainian political leader said she received urances from president trump that he would look out for ukraine in its ongoing dispute with russia, according to people briefed in the aftermath of a quick, informal conver ion between the two political figures.former prime minister yulia tymoshenko had a momentary meeting with trump on thursday just before he spoke to the national prayer breakfast at the washington hilton.tymoshenko and a group of supporters who traveled with her from kiev this week quickly relayed word of the exchange, telling allies in washington that trump had said he would not abandon ukraine and would not lift sanctions against russia until ukraine was secure.the white house issued a statement late friday confirming that a brief conver ion had taken place.“the president






frank-walter steinmeier elected german president


berlin: former foreign minister frank-walter steinmeier was elected germany's president on sunday, the 12th person to hold the largely ceremonial post in the post-war era. steinmeier, a social democrat who had served as foreign minister until last month, won 931 of the 1,239 valid votes by lawmakers and representatives of germany's 16 federal states. there 103 abstentions and 14 votes were invalid. after bundestag president norbert lammert announced the results, all representatives held a standing ovation except for a few dozen members of the populist alternative for germany (afd) party. the anti-immigrant afd, which has no lawmakers in the lower house but holds seats in 10 of germany's 16 state parliaments, is forecast to be the third-largest party after a general election on sept. 24. t






donald trump agrees to meet nato leaders in europe in may


west palm beach: president donald trump agreed to meet alliance leaders in europe in may in a phone call on sunday with nato secretary general jens stoltenberg that also touched on the separatist conflict in eastern ukraine, the white house said. trump was elected on a pledge to push nato members to increase their funding to the western alliance to ease the financial burden on the united states. this proposal has drawn opposition from both his fellow republicans as well as democrats and the idea has worried european allies who fear russian president vladimir putin might take a ntage. a white house statement said trump and stoltenberg "discussed how to encourage all nato allies to meet their defense spending commitments." "president trump agreed to join in a meeting of nato leaders in euro






russian federation - why don't the other countries of europe maintain m ive mili


given that these countries spend so much on defense, why do these countries seek us help/alliance to counter russia?because russia has a cheaper military than europe does. according to wikipedia, russia has 3,364,000 members of the military. by your numbers, the united kingdom is second in military spending in that group, but they only have 248,250 members of the military. france is further behind in spending but has 355,250 members of the military. turkey spends the least on that list but has 991,500 members of the military. by spending, these european countries are not that far behind russia. and combined, they spend more. but by personnel, all four combined are still smaller than russia. it's unclear on what russia gets out of having such a large military. by personnel, it's sixth (and






trump’s russia strategy collides with foreign policy reality in leaked call with


moscow — president trump’s heady paign rhetoric about possible detente with russia is coming to terms with the realities of his chaotic new administration. details emerged thursday about a telephone call held between russian president vladi­mir putin in which trump blasted a treaty negotiated under the obama administration that limits nuclear weapons deployments — after trump reportedly paused the call with putin to ask an aide about the treaty. according to a report by the reuters news agency, trump then denounced the new start treaty as favoring russia. [details of trump-putin call raise new white house leak concerns]the kremlin on friday refused to comment on the leaked details of the telephone call.“i couldn’t confirm this,” dmitri peskov, a spokesman for putin, said in a phone call wi






trump suggests obama was too soft on russia, but putin’s friends would disagree


traditional russian wooden dolls depicting president trump and russian president vladimir putin. (dmitri lovetsky/ap)on wednesday, president trump suggested that the obama administration had been too soft on russia.the timing of that observation struck observers as somewhat odd. it came just days after the president's national security adviser, michael flynn, stepped down after potentially illegal contacts with the russian ambassador to the united states were revealed and his misleading senior trump administration officials, including vice president pence, over the nature of those conversations.it's strange, too, because president barack obama was tough on russia. in 2014, the united states and the european union joined forces to punish russia for annexing crimea. at first, those efforts m






flynn misled vice president pence on russia talk: source


washington — when vice president mike pence declared that national security adviser michael flynn didn't talk to the russian amb ador about sanctions before president trump's inauguration, he was repeating what flynn had told him directly, a source in the trump administration tells the daily news. pence said in a jan. 15 appearance on cbs' "face the nation" that flynn's pre-inauguration contacts with russian amb ador sergey kislyak had nothing to do with the obama administration's sanctions punishing russia for its meddling in the 2016 election. that claim has now been directly contradicted by reports in the new york times and washington post that say flynn did discuss the sanctions in december, a potentially illegal move. "they did not discuss anything having to do with the united states