US, Russia Agree to Talk Again, Meet in Sochi

Posted: May 14, 2019, 2:53 pm

US, Russia Agree to Talk Again, Meet in Sochi Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, pose for a photo before their talks in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, southern Russia, May 14, 2019. MOSCOW — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov agreed to work to normalize strained relations and restore bilateral channels of communication following talks Tuesday at the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
Although Pompeo and Lavrov discussed a wide range of bilateral and international problems, including the situations in Iran, North Korea, Ukraine, Syria and Venezuela, there were no major breakthroughs on any of those issues.
It is Pompeo’s first visit to Russia as secretary of state. After his meeting with Lavrov the American diplomat met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, accompanied by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, meets with U.S. Secretary of State at the Bocharov Ruchei re..

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US Recalls Ukraine Ambassador; Democrats Cry ‘Hit Job’

Posted: May 7, 2019, 3:15 pm

US Recalls Ukraine Ambassador; Democrats Cry 'Hit Job' U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch attends a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kyiv, Ukraine, March 6, 2019. Yovanovitch directed scathing criticism at the Ukrainian government, urging authorities to replace a senior anti-corruption official. WASHINGTON — The U.S. has recalled career diplomat Marie (Masha) Yovanovitch from her post as ambassador to Ukraine, timing the State Department says was aligned with the coming presidential transition in Kyiv.
But two key Democratic lawmakers claim the move was “a political hit job” with roots in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
The State Department said the 60-year-old Yovanovitch, appointed by former President Barack Obama, is completing her three-year tenure in Ukraine “as planned,” although her term actually extended to Aug. 20.
The State Department said her return coincides with the planned June inauguration of comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy as..

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China, Climate, Russia to Dominate Pompeo Europe Tour

Posted: May 5, 2019, 7:15 pm

China, Climate, Russia to Dominate Pompeo Europe Tour FILE – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference, April 22, 2019, at the Department of State in Washington. WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is energizing its campaign to counter China's growing global influence as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo heads to Europe this week on a four-nation trip that will also highlight disputes with Russia over Venezuela and elsewhere as well as deep U.S. isolation on the cause and impact of climate change.
With China seeking a greater presence throughout the continent, U.S. officials said Pompeo will renew warnings over the use of advanced Chinese telecommunications technology as well as blunt Beijing's aspirations to play a significant role in the Arctic, a region that is rapidly opening up to development and commerce as temperatures warm and sea ice melts. He departs on Sunday just hours after President Donald Trump threatened to boost tariffs on Chinese imports ..

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NYT: Potential Russian Meddling in 2020 US Election Sensitive Issue for Trump

Posted: April 24, 2019, 2:17 pm

NYT: Potential Russian Meddling in 2020 US Election Sensitive Issue for Trump FILE – Voting booths are seen in New York primary elections at a polling station in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, April 19, 2016. WASHINGTON — Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded that Russia engaged in “sweeping and systematic” interference in the 2016 U.S. election to help Donald Trump become president, but a new account says the issue is still too sensitive to discuss in front of Trump as it relates to what Moscow might do when he runs for re-election in 2020.
Former Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen tried to focus the attention of top U.S. officials on combating Russian influence in next year's election in the months before Trump forced her to resign in early April after protracted conflict over immigration policies, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
But the newspaper quoted an unnamed senior Trump administration official as saying that acting White House chief of staff Mic..

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After Mueller Report Details Kremlin Election Interference, Blanket Denials from Moscow

Posted: April 23, 2019, 11:34 am

Russian officials continue denying Moscow interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, brushing aside hundreds of pages of evidence in the Mueller report by saying the document contained no proof. Experts in Moscow told VOA’s Igor Tsikhanenka they don’t believe the Russian government will ever acknowledge any wrongdoing, nor do they think the Kremlin and the White House will be able to establish rapprochement in the near future

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Mueller Report Draws Blanket Denials From Moscow 

Posted: April 19, 2019, 5:58 pm

Mueller Report Draws Blanket Denials From Moscow FILE – Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov attends a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow, March 26, 2018. MOSCOW — Russian officials Friday continued to deny that Moscow tried to influence the 2016 U.S. election, brushing aside hundreds of pages of evidence released in special counsel Robert Muller's report by saying it contained no proof.
“We still do not accept accusations of that sort,” Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters in a conference call. He said Russia has insisted from the very beginning of the two-year probe that “whatever investigators did, they would find no [Russian] meddling, because there was no meddling.”
In the United States, there is consensus among the nation's intelligence community, and details published in the Mueller report, on how Moscow used a variety of tactics and people to try to influence Americans' political opinions, hurt political ..

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Trump Slams Democrats, ‘Dirty Cops’ Ahead of Mueller Report Release

Posted: April 16, 2019, 11:24 am

Trump Slams Democrats, 'Dirty Cops' Ahead of Mueller Report Release FILE – A sign of the Office of the Attorney General is displayed on the Department of Justice building the day after Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivered his report into Russia's role in the 2016 U.S. election, March 23, 2019. WASHINGTON — The U.S. Justice Department will release on Thursday a redacted version of the nearly 400-page report of special counsel Robert Mueller on Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election aimed at helping Donald Trump win the presidency.
In a steady drumbeat against the Mueller investigation, Trump claimed again Tuesday that he has already been exonerated of wrongdoing linked to the election, even as he and the American public await details of the prosecutor's 22-month investigation.
“No Collusion – No Obstruction!” Trump said on Twitter.
On Monday, the U.S. leader contended that “these crimes were committed” by his 2016 opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, the De..

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Trump: ‘I Know Nothing About WikiLeaks’; US Seeks Assange Extradition

Posted: April 12, 2019, 3:15 am

Trump: ‘I Know Nothing About WikiLeaks’; US Seeks Assange Extradition WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrives at the Westminster Magistrates Court, after he was arrested in London, Britain, April 11, 2019. LONDON — U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday he has no knowledge of the website WikiLeaks, after the whistleblowing site’s founder, Julian Assange, was arrested in Britain.
The 47-year-old Australian national had been living in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012, but was ejected Thursday and taken into custody by British police.
Ecuador said Assange had broken asylum conventions by continuing to interfere in other countries’ affairs through the publishing of confidential information.
WATCH: Trump Denies Knowledge of WikiLeaks
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Kyiv Renames Street in Honor of Late US Senator McCain

Posted: April 4, 2019, 2:18 pm

Kyiv Renames Street in Honor of Late US Senator McCain FILE – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko greets Cindy McCain at the Presidential Palace in Kyiv, Ukraine, April 1, 2019. KYIV — Kyiv on Thursday renamed one of its streets after John McCain, in a gesture of honor to the late U.S. senator who supported Ukraine's pro-Western leadership in the standoff with Russia.
McCain, who died last year at age 81, backed Kyiv's popular uprising which in 2014 ousted Ukraine's pro-Kremlin president as well as supported sanctions over Moscow's annexation of Crimea.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko praised McCain, who was a frequent visitor to the country, as “a great friend and advocate of Ukraine.”
He noted McCain's “historic importance” in building a “new independent Ukraine” during the meeting with his widow Cindy McCain on Monday in Kyiv.
On Thursday, Kyiv City Council decided to rename one of the streets in the Ukrainian capital after McCain.
Seventy-one Kyi..

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The Future of US-Russian Relations After Mueller Report

Posted: April 3, 2019, 10:18 am

When U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report found that neither Donald Trump nor any of his aides colluded with Russia during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, some thought it could mark the beginning of a new era for Trump's presidency, especially when it comes to Vladimir Putin. But will the White House and the Kremlin have a rapprochement after the Mueller report? Experts who gathered in Moscow to discuss the U.S.-Russian relations told VOA's Igor Tsikhanenka that is unlikely.

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