Worries about nuclear treaty after spy arrests, as Russia says US law enforcement is "out of hand" (+ analysis); Turkey expresses frustration at Iran; New Aquino sworn in as Philippines president; German elections put Merkel's government at risk; and more

Top of the Agenda: Russia, US Worry about Spy Ring Fallout

Russian and US officials attempted to limit the potential diplomatic fallout from the US bust of an alleged Russian spy ring (WSJ). Russia's Foreign Ministry called the arrests an unjustified throwback to the Cold War, while the State Department said the US-Russia relationship was evolving, which meant the two countries did not always agree. Russian officials asked that their citizens have access to Russian consular officials and lawyers. Russian officials and analysts said they thought hawkish elements within the US government engineered and timed the arrests to embarrass President Barack Obama and undermine the US-Russian "reset." The scandal could hinder or delay the Senate's ratification of the new START treaty between the United States and Russia on reducing their nuclear arsenals.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said at the start of a meeting with former president Bill Clinton that the case showed that US law enforcement agencies "have gotten out of hand" and that he hopes US relations "will not be damaged" (WashPost).

Analysis:

A Financial Times editorial says it would be a shame for improved Russian relations with the United States, Central Europe, and Britain to wither over a spy mission that looks "more farcical than sinister."

In the Guardian, David Hearst says having a spy ring uncovered before it could do any work is embarrassing for Russia. It also harms Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's image as a modernizer.

 

PACIFIC RIM: New Philippine President Sworn in

Benigno Aquino III was sworn in (NYT) as the fifteenth president of the Philippines and pledged sweeping reforms to improve citizens' quality of life.

China-Taiwan: Taiwanese analysts fear the sweeping trade agreement between China and Taiwan (AFP) could undermine their hard-won de facto independence.

 

ELSEWHERE:

- Turkey Asks Iran to Renegotiate
- Taliban Attacks Afghan NATO Base
- German Elections Threaten Merkel

 

This is an excerpt of the CFR.org Daily News Brief. The full version is available on CFR.org

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