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June 22, 2012


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Alexander Mercouris

Dear Patrick,

As always a mastery summary of recent Russian news.

I did a short posting on my blog about Russian policy on Syria and the differences between the US and Russia over Syria.

I did not touch in the post on the dismal record of "humanitarian interventions" to date.

Just to other quick points:

1. I am sure I am not the only one who thinks in the end the protests have worked to Putin's advantage. The impossible and even extremist nature of the demands the leaders of the protests make (eg. for a rerun of the recent elections and for Putin's resignation)make them appear marginal and out of touch whilst at the same time they fill the space that might be occupied by a serious opposition. This is a great pity. As I often say, Russia has a clever government but is let down by a stupid (and disloyal) opposition.

3. The Magnitsky List is a monstrosity. It prejudges people who have not yet been tried and usurps the functions of the Russian courts with the US Congress in effect declaring itself more competent to decide who in Russia is guilty of what than than Russian courts. If the US does not wish to admit into the US any individual that is no more than its right but to pass a law of this sort is grotesque. However as Eugene Ivanov says Russia must take part of the blame for this. If it had bothered to organise a halfways decent lobby in the US such a law would not have got past first base.

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