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  • North Caucasus Suicide Bombing Highlights Russia's Islamist Terrorism Problem

    The suicide bombing on August 19 in the North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia in Russia is a tragic reminder of increasing extremist violence in this troubled region. The suicide bomber targeted participants in the funeral of the police officer killed in a shooting incident the day before. The explosion killed … More

    Russia and the World Trade Organization: Congress Should Not Sacrifice Human Rights

    Yesterday, the House Ways and Means Committee approved H.R. 6156, the Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal Act of 2012, by voice vote with only one “nay.” This is a step in the right direction, given that Russia will join the World Trade Organization (WTO) on August 22. The 1974 Jackson–Vanik … More

    Duma to Crack Down Against Foreign-Funded NGOs

    Last Friday, Russia’s Kommersant, a leading newspaper, reported that United Russia, the ruling political party, is about to submit a bill in the Duma that would tighten the activity of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) financed by foreign funds. This step is likely to severely curb freedom of speech in Russia. Under … More

    Magnitsky Act: Congress Should Uphold America’s Commitment to Human Rights

    On Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relation Committee unanimously passed the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, which would ban Russian officials involved in Magnitsky’s death from entering the U.S. and using U.S. financial institutions. The bill was cleared earlier this month by a House committee. Russian deputy foreign minister … More

    Congressional Hearing Highlights the Need to Pass Magnitsky, PNTR to Russia

    Yesterday and today, the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee held hearings on Russia’s abysmal human rights record and its looming accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). The Obama Administration wants Congress to provide permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) to Russia and scrap the 1974 Cold … More

    Dialogue of the Deaf: Obama and Putin at the G-20 Meeting

    Today, President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin are meeting at the G-20 summit in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. This meeting is likely will be tense, as the two leaders have fundamentally different agendas regarding some of the most pressing international problems. While President Obama is worried about his … More

    Russia, PNTR, and Human Rights

    Progress on the ability of U.S. firms to take advantage of new business opportunities when Russia joins the World Trade Organization (WTO) took a step forward yesterday when Senate leaders acknowledged that legislation to promote human rights will be a condition needed for permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) to move … More

    The Magnitsky Act: The Moment of Truth

    ?his Thursday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee will put the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act up for a vote. The bill seeks “to impose sanctions on persons responsible for the detention, abuse, or death of Sergei Magnitsky, and for other gross violations of human rights in the Russian … More

    From Lenin's Birthplace to NATO's Logistical Hub

    The recent NATO summit in Chicago failed to produce a U.S.–Pakistan transit agreement. The agreement sought would have allowed U.S. forces and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to transport supplies via Pakistan safely and cost effectively, and it would have guaranteed that in 2013–2014, Pakistan would be the safe … More

    Putin and Obama Won't Visit Each Other Any More

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has cited the need to complete the formation of new cabinet ministers to excuse himself from attending the G-8 summit at Camp David. In an apparent retaliation, the White House announced that President Obama will not participate in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, scheduled to … More