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The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Russia Update: September 28, 2015

Publication: Russia Update
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The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Putin Addresses the United Nations. Our First Reactions

Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken the stage.

Putin said that the 70th anniversary of the UN is a good time to "take stock of history." He referenced the Yalta conference which helped bring down Hitler, a conference made possible, Putin said, by Russian blood.

"It is true that lately the UN has been widely criticized for not being efficient enough" because of "fundamental differences in the UN Security Council." "There have always been differences," Putin says, and veto power has been used by all powers. Differences of opinion were anticipated and are important to the nature of the UN. Any attempt to change this is a "violation of international law." Putin then claims that after the end of the Cold War a single power took over the world, challenging the mission of the UN through unilateral action.

Russia "stands ready to work with our partners on the basis of consensus," and, Putin says, attempts to change this are "dangerous."


"No one has to conform to a single development model," Putin says, seemingly a reference to the European Union. Putin then said that a lesson of the Soviet Union is that such "social experiments" led to failure. "So-called democratic revolutions" in the Middle East and "elsewhere" are signs that these experiments continue, and the violence and poverty in places touched by these revolutions are signs that this method does not work.
Putin immediately moves to talking about Iraq, blaming the US actions after the Iraq invasion in 2003 for the creation of ISIS. "The Islamic State was established" as a hedge against "undesirable secular states," Putin says, seemingly inferring that ISIS was created by an external power in order to topple Assad.

There's no evidence, Putin says, that efforts to arm "supposedly more moderate" forces, presumably in Syria, are working. Putin then claimed that external forces are funding terrorism.

Putin then says that Russia is supporting the Syrian and Iraqi governments in order to combat ISIS, the only forces which are fighting ISIS "and other terrorists organizations in Syria."

"This is not about Russia's ambitions, but it is about the fact that we can no longer tolerate the status quo in the world." He then praised the idea of the creation of a "generally broad coalition," "similar to the anti-Hitler coalition." Putin then asked that Muslim states join Russia's efforts.

Putin then says that the key strategy here is to strengthen statehood "where it still exists" and supply military support to "sovereign states" which are combating terrorism.

"It is crucial to restore government in Libya, support the government of Iraq, and supply support to the legitimate government of Syria."

Putin then criticized the expansion of NATO despite the fall of the Soviet Union, presenting former Soviet nations with a "false choice" of west vs. east. "This is exactly what happened in Ukraine." Putin claims that the revolution in Ukraine was "orchestrated from the outside." He said that the solution to the Ukraine crisis remains adherence to the Minsk agreements, which Moscow helped to broker.

"Unilateral sanctions have become commonplace," Putin says, which are really designed to limit competition.

Putin then praised the creation of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Chinese "silk road," which, Putin argues, can be "harmonized" with the European Union.


Putin then pledged to continue to make progress on reducing carbon emissions, and calls upon the UN to create a special forum to confront these threats.

Putin then recalled the UN's first session. He referenced the core beliefs of the United Nations as stated then, and stressed that the UN needed to continue to adhere to those core values.

Of course, Putin makes no reference to the fact that the United Nations in its current form has allowed Russia to wage war in Ukraine while Russia's veto has ensured that the Syrian regime has stayed in place.

-- James Miller, Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Jordan's King Abdullah Speaks To the UN About "7 Steps" To End Crisis Across The World

Jordan's King Abdullah, speaking in English, is addressing the UN. He started his statements with a blanket condemnation of the threat of radical religious forces who are committing the worst atrocities across the globe.


King Abdullah then outlined 7 steps to combating this threat:

1. Respect for all people, sects, and creeds.

2. Change of tone to highlight positivity and common ground.

3. Integrate core beliefs like love and compassion into action.

4. "Amplify the voice of moderation... we must not let our streams, broadband, and social media be dominated by those who spread hate."

5. Recognize deceit -- "hunger for power and control of people, of land."

6. Be intolerant of intolerance -- "moderation does not mean accepting those who trample others."

7. Hyperconnectivity -- "the internet of humanity," connecting all humans together by common beliefs and "common cores."This will offer more opportunity, "particularly to young people," and ultimately solutions.

Abdullah then spoke to the cutback of UN programs which help refugees. "Today, Syrian refugees alone consistent 20% of my countries population... your support for our country has been a small fraction of the cost we have endured." Abdullah stressed that global action and support for countries like Jordan and Lebanon were needed. 

-- James Miller

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
China's Xi Jinping's "Multipolar World"

China's leader, President Xi Jinping, is now speaking at the UN. Jinping started by praising the historical accomplishment of the establishment of the United Nations, Jinping praised the Chinese people who sacrificed so much to defeat Japanese imperial powers in World War II, the conflict which gave rise to the UN.

Jinping also praised the rise of a "multipolar world," a world where no one power imposes its will, which Jinping says are in accordance with the mission of the UN. Of course this is also the buzzword Russia uses whenever the United States or Europe complains about Russian or Chinese wrong-doing in any part of the world. 

Jinping went on to say that all countries should have the right to choose "development paths... should be upheld." He makes no mention, of course, of Chinese interference in the territorial integrity of both Japan and Vietnam.

Jinping then gets to a key point -- the UN Security Council is crucial to the maintenance of this balance. In other words, he opposes changes to the UN charter.

Jinping, the ruler of a state-controlled economy, also criticized capitalism for creating social problems and economic instability. While his comments were echoed by leaders of capitalist countries, including Barack Obama, Jinping seems to be inferring that the Chinese model is part of the solution to these problems, a contention some would disagree with.

Jinping pledged $1 billion over ten years to support the UN's work, and desires to create a permanent peacekeeping force.

-- James Miller




The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Polish President Describes Breakdown Of International Law At UN General Assembly

Andrzej Duda, President of Poland, has begun his remarks to the UNGA. Few countries have been more concerned with Russia's revanchism and open militarism in Eastern Europe, as Poland borders the Russian territory of Kaliningrad, as well as Belarus and Ukraine.

President Duda said "peace and law" are the foundations of the UN. He recalled the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939 during World War II, noting that the Soviet Union invaded after that and "Poland disappeared from the map."

International law, however, continues to be broken. Duda then continued to infer that, without mentioning Russia by name, a country has violated treaties, invaded neighbors, and abused its UN Security Council veto power. Duda said he supports a French proposal which would curb the ability to use a veto to block a response to genocide.

He mentions states which use proxy fighters to wage wars, states which try to create spheres of influence, states which violate territorial integrity... yet Duda never mentions Russia by name.

Duda did, however, mention Ukraine -- in particular, the family members who have lost their loved ones in war, and the need for the international community to provide support to the survivors.

Poland offered greater support for efforts to fight global climate change, but Duda also offered more support for peacekeeping missions through the UN.

-- James Miller

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Putin To Speak To The United Nations General Assembly

US President Barack Obama is currently speaking on the floor of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Russia, Iran, and Syria have been major issues at play in his address.

We will be analyzing Obama's remarks soon.

Soon, Russian President Vladimir Putin will be taking the floor. Watch the video here and stay tuned for real-time analysis:

24 Hour Live and pre-recorded Programming

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), principal judicial organ of the UN, holds hearings in the case concerning Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia) from 28 September to 2 October 2015, at the Peace Palace in The Hague, the seat of the Court.

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Sep 28, 2015 18:54 (GMT)
-- James Miller
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