DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis April 18, 2014
The Kerry-Lavrov “de-escalation” recipe for Ukraine, concluded in Geneva Thursday, April 17, consists of the same ingredients as their previous deals: a slick-sounding compromise that the US and Russian can more or less live with; a gloss over the real elements at issue between them; and a deal that goes over the heads of the prime movers involved in the conflict. By Friday, the two rival camps in Ukraine were digging in their heels against it. Though threatened with sanctions, Vladimir Putin is waiting to see if the West makes the Kiev government moderate its positions.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 10, 2014
Moscow would prefer a Ukraine federation respecting provincial minority rights to a Russian invasion.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 14, 2014
The profound West-Russian discord on Ukraine was accentuated rather than eased by the six hours of talks held by US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in London Friday, March 14. Still poles apart – “no single vision” - they addressed reporters separately. Moscow would not consider calling off Sunday’s Crimean referendum, which the US and Europe judges illegal and for which Kerry warned there would be “consequences.” Putin will not decide on his next steps on Ukraine until the “will of the Crimean people” is known.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 13, 2014
The last Western hope for averting the Crimean referendum Sunday and a major showdown between the two world powers rested with Chancellor Angela Merkel. But even she failed to sway Putin.
Russia launches paratroop exercise east of Ukraine. Moscow tycoons move assets from West to Far East
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 11, 2014
The clash between Russia and the West over the Ukraine crisis is heating up militarily, economically and verbally in the countdown to the Crimean referendum on secession on Sunday March 16. Tuesday, March 11, Russia launched its biggest military exercise in 20 years. It encompasses command elements, rapid deployment forces and paratroops and takes place in western Russia not far from the Ukraine border. As the West started working on sanctions, debkafile reports that tycoons close to President Putin shifted assets to the Far East two months ago.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 7, 2014
Netanyahu persuaded Obama to back Israel’s raid on an Iranian missile ship to improve his soft image and possibly deter Putin from further military action in Ukraine.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 28, 2014
Thirteen giant Ilyushin-76 air transports (NATO codenamed IL-76 Candid) flew into the Crimea Friday night, Feb. 28, and landed some 2,000 fresh Russian troops at a military airfield near Sebastopol. debkafile’s military sources report the new intake belonged to the Russian Rapid Intervention Force. They arrived as the UN Security Council in New York discussed the Kiev government’s protest against the Russian military invasion of Ukraine. Armed Russian troops earlier took control of the runways of Crimea’s two main airports at Simferopol and Sevastopol.
Yanukovych refuses to resign - and goes missing in E. Ukraine. Tymoshenko seizes opposition center stage in Kiev
DEBKAfile Special Report February 22, 2014
Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych went on the air Saturday, Feb. 22, to say he has no plans to resign. From Kharkiv, he accused ”armed extremists and gangsters” of staging a coup comparable to the Nazi putsch in Berlin of 1933. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called on the German, French and Polish foreign ministers to step in and take responsibility for the deal they helped the rivals forge Friday, warning that Ukrainian sovereignty was threatened. The crisis is falling into the lines of a split between opposition Kiev and pro-Yanukovych Kharkiv.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 31, 2014
“The biggest diplomatic fraud in a decade" was how one Syria watcher called Geneva-2 which was staged as an exercise in misdirection to conceal the real conference in Bern with Iran at center stage.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 20, 2013
The post-Geneva elation has faded into pessimism and skepticism in Washington and Tehran where the hardline opposition threatens to extinguish nuclear diplomacy.
DEBKAfile Special Report November 24, 2013
After all-night talks, a first-step nuclear deal was struck before dawn Sunday, Nov. 24, in Geneva between Iran and the six powers. It was announced by President Barack Obama and confirmed by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. Obama said key aspects of Iran’s nuclear program will be rolled back for limited sanctions relief. The US president said he understood the concerns of Israel and the Persian Gulf nations. He would closely follow Iran’s compliance and as commander-in-chief of US armed forces maintain the option for military action.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 23, 2013
After four days of haggling the six-power nuclear talks with Iran were still hanging in the balance as even John Kerry and Sergey Lavrov failed to bridge the gaps.
Lavrov to confirm Russian air defense system, surface missiles for Egypt, Russian Navy facilities at Alexandria
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 12, 2013
During their two-day visit to Cairo starting Wednesday, Nov. 13, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu will finalize an advanced Russian weaponry deal for the Egyptian army. debkafile: Egypt will receive a double-layered system for defensive and offensive needs: a shield against stealth airplane, drone and cruise missile attack, as well as missiles able to reach any part of the Middle East, including Iran. The Russian Navy may gain Mediterranean port facilities and a foothold opposite the Saudi coast.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 19, 2013
As the Kerry-Lavrov deal unravels and Obama’s Iran diplomacy progresses, Syria looks like keeping the bulk of its chemical weapons and Iran its nuclear program.
DEBKAfile Special Report September 14, 2013
The accord for destroying Syria’s chemical stockpiles, which US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov presented in Geneva Saturday, Sept 14, leaves important issues unaddressed. Assad stays in power long term with responsibility for its implementation while waging war – a highly dubious prospect. Kerry will not find it easy to convince Israel leaders when he arrives Sunday that Syria won’t divert some its chemical weapons to Hizballah, away from international control, or that the Syrian chemical deal is not a template for Iran’s nuclear program.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 12, 2013
Rouhani has appointed a hardliner to head of the national security council which controls Iran’s posture in nuclear negotiations with world powers.
Obama says no decision yet on strike on Syria. DEBKA: He stalls for deal with Putin on softened strike
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 29, 2013
Although Barack Obama had decided to attack Syria over its use of chemical weapons – either Friday-Saturday, Aug. 31, or after Labor Day of Sept. 2 - he now says there is no decision yet. debkafile: Obama is stalling in order to buy time for Secretary of State John Kerry to strike a secret deal with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: the US would soften its strike on Syria, reducing it to a token blow, following which the US and Russian presidents would announce the convening of Geneva-2 for ending the civil war.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 5, 2013
The Islamist downfall in Cairo suits the plans of Moscow and Beijing and their against the encroachments of radical Islam. It is also welcomed as a comedown for Barack Obama in the Middle East.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 18, 2013
Iran confirms it is prepared to halt enrichment of 20-percent uranium, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reported Tuesday, June 18. He urged Western nations to reciprocate by lifting sanctions. debkafile: It was not clear whether this is a temporary or absolute stoppage - or a dodge for getting sanctions eased to help the new Iranian president find his economic feet. Jerusalem was not convinced by Lavrov’s arguments because Iran has accumulated enough low-grade 5.3 percent uranium for rapid conversion to 20 percent.