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Kremlin Condemns U.S. Roster of Russian Elite


Council on Foreign Relations Newsletter If you are unable to see the message below, click here to view. January 30, 2018 Daily News Brief   TOP OF THE AGENDA Kremlin Condemns U.S. Roster of Russian Elite The Kremlin has condemned a list published by the U.S. Treasury of more than two hundred Russian businesspeople and officials whom the United States says benefit from their close relationships (FT) with the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Treasury was required to compile the list, which was released late on Monday, after Congress passed legislation in August to impose sanctions on Iran, North Korea, and Russia. The individuals named in the report are not subject to new sanctions (BBC), but the Treasury said it could use the report to decide on future sanctions. The move could further strain relations with Russia, which called the list a roster of "enemies" of the United States (WSJ). ANALYSIS "The minimal sanctions applied thus far have failed to send a sufficiently strong message [to Moscow]," Robert D. Blackwill and Philip H. Gordon write for Foreign Affairs. "All in all, the report is disappointing in its lack of insight, reading as a 'who is who' of the Russian political and business establishment, without any attempt to establish whether any of them are actually involved in corruption or any activity detrimental to U.S. interests," writes Alina Ryzhonkova for the Moscow Times. "Russia's political war against the West has been going strong for decades and shows no signs of abating," Alina Polyakova writes for Axios. PACIFIC RIM North Korea Calls Off Pre-Olympic Event With South North Korea has canceled a joint cultural event with the South that was to be held at a North Korean resort ahead of the Winter Olympics, citing "insulting" press coverage (NYT). Seoul called on Pyongyang to follow through (Korea Times) on other inter-Korean agreements. CFR's Scott A. Snyder lays out what South Korea could gain as host of the winter games. CHINA: The nongovernmental American Chamber of Commerce in China said on Tuesday that U.S. businesses are feeling less welcome in the country (WaPo), noting that Beijing said it will retaliate against new U.S. tariffs or restrictions on imports to the United States. SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA U.S. Censors Some Afghan War Intelligence In a first, the U.S. Defense Department has withheld some sensitive information (FT) reported by the U.S. special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction. Information redacted from a recent report includes data on how much of the country is controlled by militants. This CFR timeline lays out the U.S. war in Afghanistan. UZBEKISTAN: A top U.S. envoy to Central and South Asia will meet Uzbek authorities in Tashkent (RFE/RL) this week to review recent reforms under President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA Politician From Minor Egyptian Party to Run Against Sisi A little-known political figure from a party that supports President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has registered as the incumbent's sole challenger (Guardian) in an upcoming presidential election. All other potential opponents have either dropped out of the race (WSJ) or been detained by police. QATAR: The defense minister said that Qatar will expand its Al Udeid Air Base (Al Jazeera), which hosts about ten thousand U.S. troops, to include hundreds of additional family housing units. SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA New Liberian President Cuts Own Salary President George Weah, sworn in last week, pledged in a nationwide address on Monday to cut his own salary by 25 percent (Reuters). Weah called his country’s economy "broken" and said its currency is in free fall. MOZAMBIQUE: The state prosecutor has opened a case against managers at state-owned firms accused of hiding loans to the government (FT) worth $2 billion. EUROPE Ireland to Hold Plebiscite on Legalizing Abortion Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said Ireland will hold a referendum by the end of May on repealing a constitutional ban on abortion (NYT). Varadkar also said his health minister is preparing legislation to permit abortion in all cases through the first twelve weeks of pregnancy and in some cases after that. TURKEY: More than three hundred people have been arrested for comments on social media (BBC) that were critical of an ongoing Turkish military offensive in Syria's Afrin, according to the Turkish government. In the Atlantic, CFR's Steven A. Cook discusses why Turkey is attacking Afrin. AMERICAS Colombia Suspends Peace Talks With ELN President Juan Manuel Santos has suspended year-old peace talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN), a Marxist rebel group in Colombia, after weekend attacks by the group that killed seven police officers (LAHT). Santos said talks can resume only when he sees "coherence" in the group's "words and actions." ARGENTINA: President Mauricio Macri has announced new restrictions (BBC) on government jobs, including banning employment of ministers' family members and ending a quarter of minister-appointed positions. UNITED STATES FEMA to End Food, Water Aid to Puerto Rico The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced it will end food and water deliveries in Puerto Rico on Wednesday, four months after Hurricane Maria devastated the U.S. territory (NPR).         Council on Foreign Relations — 58 East 68th Street — New York, NY 10065 CFR does not share email addresses with third parties. Forward This Email | Subscribe to CFR Newsletters | Unsubscribe - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  


Date: January 30, 2018 at 11:10PM