US sanctions on Russian oligarchs miss richest of rich
The term Russian oligarch conjures images of posh London mansions, gold-plated Bentleys and sleek superyachts in the Mediterranean, their decks draped with partiers dripping in jewels. U.S. sanctions target Russian President Vladmir Putin and a handful of individuals believed to be among his closest security advisers, including Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Citing the concerns of European allies, the U.S. also didn’t impose what was seen as the harshest punishment at its disposal, banning Russia from SWIFT, the international financial system that banks use to move money around the world.news.yahoo.com
First Biden-Putin call shows both cautious on big concerns
FILE - In this March 10, 2011, file photo, then-Vice President Joe Biden, left, shakes hands with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia. The Kremlin, meanwhile, focused on Putin’s response to Biden’s proposal to extend the last remaining U.S.-Russia arms control treaty. Before he spoke to Putin, Biden also called NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg to pledge U.S. commitment to the decades-old alliance founded as a bulwark against Russian aggression. Biden’s team has already reacted strongly to the crackdown on the protests, in which more than 3,700 people were arrested across Russia, including more than 1,400 in Moscow. Just from the public accounts, Biden's discussion with Putin appeared diametrically opposed to Trump's relationship with the Russian president.
Science and politics tied up in global race for a vaccine
But it also underscored how, like the space race, the competition to have the first vaccine is about international rivalries as well as science. To be the first one out of the block with a coronavirus vaccine would be a real pardon the pun shot in the arm for the Kremlin," said Timothy Frye, a political science professor at Columbia University who specializes in post-Soviet politics. The U.S., Britain and Canada l ast month accused hackers working for Russian intelligence of trying to steal information about a coronavirus vaccine from academic and pharmaceutical research institutions. In any case, the public is eager for a vaccine as global deaths from the virus surpass 730,000. The Russian president may face similar doubts at home.