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Oct 26, 2013

Ex-Soviet Georgia enters new era with presidential poll

TBILISI (Reuters) – Georgia elects a new president on Sunday in a vote that will end Mikheil Saakashvili’s decade-long rule and test confidence in the ruling Georgian Dream coalition led by billionaire Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili.

The front-runner to replace Saakashvili, a pro-U.S. leader who fought a war with Russia and has served the maximum two terms, is Georgy Margvelashvili, a member of the coalition which ousted the president’s cabinet in an election a year ago.

Oct 25, 2013

Georgian PM promises not to try to jail Saakashvili

TBILISI (Reuters) – Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, hoping to ease fears of instability, says he will not try to jail President Mikheil Saakashvili when his rival steps down after Sunday’s election.

In an interview with Reuters on Friday, he reaffirmed a plan to quit as the former Soviet republic’s premier in the weeks after Sunday’s vote and revealed he would nominate a member of his government to replace him, but gave no name.

Oct 9, 2013

High stakes for Putin as his Olympic dream nears

SOCHI/MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has staked his personal and political prestige on February’s Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi, yet despite the $50-billion price tag the Games could still be an embarrassing flop.

If all goes to plan, the costliest Games in history will be a showcase for Russia’s achievements under Putin, the vindication of a six-year vanity project on a truly Soviet scale.

Sep 25, 2013

U.S. shift needed for Syria peace deal: Putin ally

MOSCOW (Reuters) – World leaders will be able to secure a peace deal in Syria only if Washington drops demands for President Bashar al-Assad’s removal and the threat of air strikes, an ally of President Vladimir Putin said.

Russia, Assad’s main backer, has portrayed itself as the peacemaker in Syria since winning Washington’s support for a proposal that Damascus give up its chemical arms to avert U.S. military intervention over a poison gas attack.

Sep 23, 2013

Russia sends new warning to Ukraine over EU deals

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia issued a new warning to Ukraine on Monday that Moscow could respond with protectionist barriers if its former Soviet ally joins a free trade pact with the European Union.

Russia is worried it will be flooded by European goods if Ukraine removes import duties with the EU under agreements likely to be signed in November, but also fears Kiev is making a pivotal shift away from Moscow.

Sep 12, 2013

“Putin the peacemaker” tries talking to the U.S. public

MOSCOW, Sept 12 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin
has found many ways and places to browbeat the United States
over the years.

Munich was the venue for a 2007 speech in which he changed
the tone of Russian foreign policy by railing against U.S.
“global supremacy”. The May military parade on Red Square has
become a yearly platform to warn against U.S. hegemony and his
annual news conferences are laced with anti-American bluster.

Sep 10, 2013

Impromptu or scripted, Syria plan lets Russia play the peacemaker

MOSCOW, Sept 10 (Reuters) – If it really was just an offhand
remark by the U.S. Secretary of State that gave Russia the
chance to play peacemaker in the Syrian conflict, Moscow is
certainly not letting on.

Instead it is presenting this week’s proposal for Syria to
put its chemical arms under international control as an approach
worked out with the United States, a position that might help
U.S. President Barack Obama endorse it.

Sep 6, 2013

World leaders pressure Obama over Syria at G20 summit

PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama faced growing pressure from Russia’s Vladimir Putin and other world leaders on Thursday to decide against launching military strikes in Syria, which many of them fear would hurt the global economy and push up oil prices.

At a summit of the Group of 20 (G20) developed and developing economies in St. Petersburg, Putin greeted Obama with a thin smile and a businesslike handshake, a clear sign of the strains between them over how to respond to a chemical weapons attack in Syria.

Sep 5, 2013

Pressure mounts on Obama over Syria at G20 summit

PETERSBURG, Russia, Sept 5 (Reuters) – U.S. President
Barack Obama faced growing pressure from world leaders not to
launch military strikes in Syria on Thursday at a summit on the
global economy that was eclipsed by the conflict.

The Group of 20 (G20) developed and developing economies met
in St. Petersburg to try forge a united front on economic
growth, trade, banking transparency and fighting tax evasion.

Sep 5, 2013

China backs Russia over Syria at G20 summit

PETERSBURG, Russia, Sept 5 (Reuters) – China warned on
Thursday that military intervention in Syria would hurt the
world economy and push up oil prices, reinforcing Vladimir
Putin’s attempts to talk U.S. President Barack Obama out of air

The rift over Syria could overshadow a summit of the Group
of 20 (G20) developed and developing economies in St. Petersburg
at which global leaders want to forge a united front on growth,
trade, banking transparency and fighting tax evasion.

    • About Timothy

      "Timothy Heritage is Brussels Bureau Chief and European Affairs Editor, responsible for coverage of the European Union. He has previously been based in Moscow, Jerusalem, Paris, London, Warsaw and Belgrade, covering events ranging from the fall of Communism and conflict in the Balkans and Middle East to the euro zone debt crisis."
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