US intel chief thinking 'optimistically' for Ukraine forces
The head of U.S. intelligence says fighting in Russia’s war in Ukraine is running at a “reduced tempo” and suggests Ukrainian forces could have brighter prospects in coming months. Avril Haines alluded to past allegations by some that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s advisers could be shielding him from bad news — for Russia — about war developments, and said he “is becoming more informed of the challenges that the military faces in Russia.” “But it’s still not clear to us that he has a full picture of at this stage of just how challenged they are,” the U.S. director of national intelligence said late Saturday at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California.news.yahoo.com
US diplomat: Mediterranean gas pipeline to Europe not viable
A senior U.S. diplomat says a proposed pipeline to deliver natural gas from deposits in the east Mediterranean to European markets is too expensive, not economically viable and will take too long to help countries seeking alternatives to Russian gas any time soon.
Biden: “Severe consequences” for Putin if he attacks Ukraine
U.S. President Joe Biden says that he has warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that Moscow will face a severe economic pain if it tries to attack Ukraine, but promised prospective talks to address Russia’s concerns about NATO’s expansion.
US, Germany seal deal on contentious Russian gas pipeline
The United States and Germany have reached a deal that will allow the completion of a controversial Russian gas pipeline to Europe without the imposition of further U.S. sanctions, a senior U.S. official said Wednesday. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland told Congress that the two governments would shortly announce details of the pact that is intended to address U.S. and eastern and central European concerns about the impact of the Nord Stream 2 project. Like the Trump administration before it, the Biden administration also opposes the pipeline but it insists that sanctions won't stop it.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.
Biden fills out State Department team with Obama veterans
Biden will nominate Wendy Sherman as deputy secretary of state and Victoria Nuland as undersecretary of state for political affairs — the second- and third-highest ranking posts, respectively. They were among the 11 officials announced to serve under the incoming secretary of state, Antony Blinken. America is back.”Among the others are:—longtime Biden Senate aide Brian McKeon, to be deputy secretary of state for management. —Derek Chollet, a familiar Democratic foreign policy hand, to be State Department counselor. Price and Porter intend to return to the practice of holding daily State Department press briefings, officials said.