ZipDialog’s Roundup of News Beyond the Front Page . . International Focus today on Friday, February 3

Hand-picked and farm-fresh–
Linked articles in bold purple

 Nikki Haley, new US ambassador to United Nations: blunt talk to Russia over Ukraine (CNN)

The United States continues to condemn and call for an immediate end to the Russian occupation of Crimea.

Crimea is a part of Ukraine. Our Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns control over the peninsula to Ukraine. –Amb. Nikki Haley

Comment: There is zero chance that the Putin regime will pull out of Crimea and slim-to-none that any successor regime would.

Here’s my interpretation: The sanctions stay until Putin gives up something significant to Trump. My assumption here is that Trump is transactional and ready to bargain, but he will never give up anything without full compensation. Same for Tillerson. Big difference from Obama and Kerry. 

 “Decline, Not Collapse: The Bleak Prospects for Russia’s Economy” Important new paper from the Carnegie Foundation’s Moscow Center

Russia faces bleak economic prospects for the next few years. It may be a case of managed decline in which the government appeases social and political demands by tapping the big reserves it accumulated during the boom years with oil and gas exports. But there is also a smaller possibility of a more serious economic breakdown or collapse. –Andrey Movchan at Carnegie’s Moscow Center

 UK Prime Minister Theresa May strongly supports NATO. Now, she will press Europeans to contribute more (BBC)

Britain’s strategic ambition to act as a bridge between Europe and the United States long predates Brexit, but it has now become a central component of the government’s hopes of keeping and building influence in the world.

But pressing for higher defence spending looks like a tough ask.

And her hopes of becoming a bridge – or honest broker – between the EU and the US won’t be easily fulfilled either. –BBC

 Comment: This bridge needs building, but it cannot be built from the middle pier. It must have a strong anchor in Washington and buy-in, literally, from European nations that have been paying too little.

 Wall Street Journal reports that Trump Administration will sanction 25 Iranian entities for its missile test and provocations by regional proxies

Comment: Washington’s simple message to Iran’s mullahs: “Under New Management”


The Free Market. It’s like Uber, But for Everything.” –Robert Tracinski


 Sarah Silverman goes off the rails, calls for a military coup. She does it on Twitter. Perfect for a bird-brain idea

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