2Early this week, two Senators—Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Chris Murphy (D-CT)—announced that the government of Russia had blocked them from entering the country for a planned official visit. The snub represented an abrupt turn of events, especially for Johnson. Just last year, the Wisconsin Republican had visited Moscow and then worked to set up talks with members of the Russian Duma, people familiar with the outreach told The Daily Beast. Those efforts haven’t blossomed. And neither have U.S.-Russia relations more broadly. The Kremlin’s decision to withhold visas from both Johnson and fellow Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Murphy comes just days after President Donald Trump continued to try and warm relations between the U.S. and Russia, declaring that the latter should be allowed back into the G7 and insisting that Vladimir Putin had outsmarted former President Barack Obama by annexing Crimea in 2014. Trump’s remarks drew rebukes from … [Read more...] about This Senator Tried to Make Nice With Russia. It Shut Him Out.
7 republican senators moscow
Putin-friendly oligarch Oleg Deripaska’s aluminum empire is trying to make nice with the U.S. in a bid to get out from sanctions, and that includes trying to clean up its corporate leadership. But the firm has quietly installed a new board chairman who has expressed support for the Russian aggression that got Deripaska sanctioned in the first place. Last year, the Treasury Department sanctioned Deripaska’s aluminum company, Rusal, in part because of Russia’s occupation of Crimea. Deripaska reduced his holdings in the company in hopes of winning relief from those punishing sanctions. But one of its new leaders has defended Russia’s occupation of Crimea. He’s also become a regular on Russian state TV, pushing a conspiracy theory about chemical weapons in Syria, and asserting that the Russian government couldn’t have been involved in the poisoning of one-time spy Sergei Skripal. That background, which has not been previously detailed, has concerned … [Read more...] about Deripaska’s Rusal Flouts Sanctions Pledge With New Kremlin Stooge
In the morning of April 21, 2016, a staffer at the Center for the National Interest, a Washington D.C., think tank, wandered into the office of Dimitri Simes, the group’s president. The staffer saw a pile of papers on the desk titled “FOREIGN POLICY AND DEFENSE OUTLINE.” The staffer realized the papers were the detailed outline, in bullet-pointed paragraphs, of a major foreign-policy address that then-candidate Donald Trump was set to deliver six days later as a guest of the center. The staffer used a cellphone to snap pictures of all five pages of the document. More than two years later, Maria Butina, who once wrote for the center’s magazine and occasionally emailed with Simes, was arrested as an accused Kremlin agent. Subsequently, the person provided the photos to The Daily Beast. The photos’ metadata confirm they were taken on a cellphone on the morning of April 21, 2016. A second former staffer told The Daily Beast that he saw the same documents on … [Read more...] about D.C. Wise Man Had Early Access to Trump’s Pro-Russia Speech
MOSCOW—Over the past 25 years, local Russian businessmen have learned that they all need one thing to survive: a krysha, or “roof,” or, in the ever-applicable mafia parlance, protection. Three years ago, on March 6, 2014, the U.S. Treasury Department authorized sanctions against a host of Russian institutions and officials for violating the territorial integrity of Ukraine. The most influential companies—Gazprom, Alfa Bank, Novatek, all of them loyal to or controlled by the Kremlin—rushed to hire well-connected lobbyists in Washington to try to get them off a financially crippling blacklist. That is, to get them the protection they needed. There was no shortage of money offered, since nobody could predict at the time how bad the tensions of a renascent Cold War would grow. The question was which doors the hired American strategists could unlock for Moscow. With his decades of experience, Republican party bona fides, and a global team at McLarty Associates, … [Read more...] about The Kremlin’s Oil Company Has a Man in Trumpland