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  • OPINION

    Putin lacks the clout to cut isles deal with Abe

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 24/01/2019

    » The window of opportunity for Russia and Japan to officially end World War II with a peace treaty narrowed again after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Moscow on Tuesday failed to end in a breakthrough. There's still time for Mr Abe to secure his legacy, but a lot depends on President Vladimir Putin's increasingly shaky domestic standing.

  • OPINION

    Merkel tries not to go out with a bang

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 16/11/2018

    » It could have been a call for decisive action by a leader no longer tethered by domestic politics. But German Chancellor Angela Merkel's appearance at the European Parliament on Tuesday was nothing of the sort: Ms Merkel unbound is the same cautious, gradualist Merkel.

  • OPINION

    No, separatism isn't the continent's next major crisis

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 03/11/2017

    » Those who are always on the lookout for the next European crisis -- Brexiters not least among them -- have latched on to Catalonia's symbolic "secession" as another sign that Europe isn't working well. The Catalan events, however, merely confirm that today, Western European countries are secession-proof -- too fat to fail. Belgium, the country where ousted Catalan First Minister Carles Puigdemont is hiding out from prosecution (or, to Catalan secessionists, leading a government in exile) is another example.

  • OPINION

    The UK should be very wary of a Trump trade deal

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 27/07/2017

    » President Donald Trump tweeted on Tuesday that he was working on a potentially "very big & exciting" trade deal with the UK that would shame the "very protectionist" European Union. He's right that such a deal could be politically advantageous for both governments. For UK consumers, though, it might deliver little more than chlorinated chicken.

  • OPINION

    Time to avoid Google and Facebook

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 09/02/2017

    » A Philadelphia court has made the unfortunate decision to reopen the legal debate on whether the US has the right to access e-mails stored on foreign servers if they belong to US companies. If Magistrate Thomas Rueter's ruling stands, anyone using US-based internet companies will have to live with the knowledge that, as far as the US government is concerned, it's America wherever they operate.

  • OPINION

    A new Russia policy requires Exxon CEO's skills

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 14/12/2016

    » If Donald Trump chooses Exxon Mobil Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson as his secretary of state, it will be proof that his administration will take a new approach to US policy toward Russia, as he hinted during the campaign. The dismay about that shift in the expert and intelligence community may be a good sign: The same experts and spies have led the Obama administration into a series of missteps that have embarrassed the US and helped advance President Vladimir Putin's agenda.

  • OPINION

    US-EU trade negotiations getting hung up on politics

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 31/08/2016

    » Germany's vice-chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, says talks about a major trade deal between the European Union and the US have failed, though "nobody is really admitting it". That statement should be taken with a grain of salt, but the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) appears to be doomed, at least until after elections in the US and major European countries.

  • OPINION

    Saudis attack Russia's oil markets

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 19/10/2015

    » As President Vladimir Putin tries to restore Russia as a major player in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is starting to attack Russia's traditional stomping ground by supplying lower-priced crude oil to Poland.

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