Patrick Armstrong is a former political counselor at Canadian Embassy in Moscow
PUTIN PALACE. Here’s a palace actually built on his orders. And here’s how the richest man in the world spends his time. (But it’s gotta be Putin’s: here’s a photoshop of him in the pool). More rubbish.
COVID. A WHO representative thinks Russia’s getting it under control. Moscow is opening up.
INTERESTING. Zakharova: "The most popular comment I receive from Americans on my personal social media accounts is how to get Russian citizenship". I doubt much will come of this – but… Russia, land of the free and home of the brave. Has a ring to it, hasn’t it? There are some Americans there.
OPEN SKIES. Moscow is preparing to leave after failing to get assurances that US allies won’t share information with Washington. But, if Washington changes its mind, it will too.
NAVALNIY. Navalniy returns on plane filled with Western reporters and supporters, arrested and, after bail hearing, jailed for 30 days. (Broke probation terms on fraud conviction). Great excuse to sanction Nord Stream! Demos around Russia on Sunday – see video of 14-year old. Usual stuff, usual coverage. Meanwhile both Sweden and Germany keep information about his so-called poisoning from Russia.
NAVALNIY, COCKROACHES AND PISTOLS. I’d heard he’d called Muslims cockroaches but I didn’t know there was a video. Here it is with English subtitles. Definitely Nobel Prize material. Did Washington really want to suggest that he is an "ally”?
PUTIN-BIDEN. They had their first phonecall. Interesting to compare the Kremlin’s record with the White House’s: but Biden has to talk tough, Putin doesn’t. But "interference in the 2020 United States election”? Really? Wasn’t it the most secure ever? Does Biden really want to raise that subject?
SAUCE, GOOSE, GANDER. RFE/RL has been fined for not admitting it’s a foreign agent.
AMERICA-HYSTERICA. While START will likely be extended for another five years which is good, we can otherwise expect more of the same: Clinton and Pelosi suggest Trump was following Putin’s orders and Biden mentioned bounties, Solarwinds and Navalniy.
FAKE NEWS. The NYT printed over 3000 items on the bogus Trump/Russia story. That’s two a day!
NEW NWO. European poll. Everything has changed: "Most Europeans rejoiced at Joe Biden’s victory in the November US presidential election, but they do not think he can help America make a comeback as the pre-eminent global leader… Majorities in key member states now think the US political system is broken, and that Europe cannot just rely on the US to defend it… look to Berlin rather than Washington as the most important partner… A majority believe that China will be more powerful than the US within a decade and would want their country to stay neutral in a conflict between the two superpowers. Two-thirds of respondents thought the EU should develop its defence capacities… Washington cannot take European alignment against China for granted. Public opinion will have a bigger effect on the relationship than it once did, and needs to be taken into account.” Another time when Trump exposed the emptiness behind the curtain. Note the reference to having to pay attention to "public opinion” – the dreaded populism appears.
EUROPEANS ARE REVOLTING. One of the Trump Administration’s last actions was to impose more sanctions on Nord Stream 2. The chair of the relevant German parliament committee said the sanctions were "unacceptable” and suggested penal duties on US gas. I doubt Biden will change the policy.
UKRAINE. Only 10% of Ukrainians think things are going in the right direction. In a curious parallel, given the US involvement in destroying Ukraine, only 14% of Americans think their country is.
© Patrick Armstrong Analysis, Canada Russia Observer