Vladimir Putin with the Night Wolves in Russia in 2011.

Vladimir Putin’s biker friends. Photo of Putin with the Night Wolves motorcycle club from The Guardian.

How trolling could become the new international language of diplomacy.

Long read: Looks like Cisco may have been violating the sanctions against Russia.

Russia has had a number of failures of its space technology lately. Are they pushing old technology too hard?

Why Narva is not next, from the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute, with a pretty photo of the castles facing each other across the Narva River. Many of these comments, like that residents, as a part of Estonia and thus able to travel both to the EU and to Russia, may not see a reason to join Russia, are applicable to Latvia as well. So the Times’s scary article about the Latgale region of Latvia probably isn’t credible either. I’ve observed that far too much reporting on the Baltic states relies on a common wisdom derived from Russian propaganda: that Russian-speakers in those countries are treated badly and therefore would like to join up with Mother Russia. That doesn’t fit with my experience and real data.

Russians see Ukraine as an illegitimate state. Interesting data, although two of the graphs are impossible to read, for me anyway. More from those same polls: Russians are rallying around the leader.

Long read but a short history of the EU’s relationship with Russia, by Carl Bildt. The problem that arose when Russia’s relationship with both the EU and NATO was that Russia was willing to be a member, but only on its own terms, which meant restructuring both those organizations. Since many nations had agreed on those structures, changing them for one nation was not in the cards.

An interview with Rose Gottemoeller on the issues of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference: number of nukes, talking to Russia, de-alerting, and more.

This article is being discussed as though Khamenei has put an absolute ban on allowing Iranian nuclear scientists to talk to the IAEA. But every negative seems to be qualified. For one example: “We will not allow the privacy of our nuclear scientists or any other important issue to be violated.” Fair enough. How about if an interview is voluntary and does not violate a scientist’s privacy? It’s entirely possible that Khamenei means all this in absolute terms, but the words can be interpreted in more than one way. And I’m not working from the Persian, nor do the reporters seem to be. Negotiations are in progress again, so this may just be posturing. We will find out June 30.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards support the nuclear deal. We’ll see, but they have been quiet. More about reaction in Iran.

The rulers in the Gulf outsourced their Iran policy to Binyamin Netanyahu, and now they are paying for it. Also, they are unlikely to get their own nukes.

The NRC investigates the transformer fire at the Indian Point nuclear plant.


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