Russia in the Middle East | Jordan Times

Amer Al Sabaileh

Over the last few years, the Middle East started to witness the presence of new political protagonists: Russia, a very strong, evident player, Germany, a strong but latent player, and China, a strong economic power.

Many reported that Russia’s support for Syria was limited and unreliable. And yet, Russia has successfully engaged in the region and over recent years has proved reliable to its allies. Now, as Russia has become central to everything, from regional security to the peace process, regional countries must change their approach and recognise its influence and importance.

Russian diplomacy has been instrumental to creating the potential for an end to the Syrian crisis.

Russia’s influence in the region is spreading. Russia is now allied with both Israel and Syria.

Source: Russia in the Middle East | Jordan Times

amersabaileh@yahoo.com

U.S. bans use of Kaspersky software in federal agencies amid concerns of Russian espionage

The Department of Homeland Security issued a directive barring use of the Russian company’s product.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke ordered that Kaspersky Lab software be barred from federal government networks while giving agencies a timeline to get rid of it.

Source: U.S. bans use of Kaspersky software in federal agencies amid concerns of Russian espionage

4 meetings with Russians disclosed by Jared Kushner | WPXI

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, disclosed in a statement to members of Congress four distinct interactions with Russians during the presidential campaign and transition period. The 11-page statement provides his first detailed account of meetings over the last year with the Russian ambassador to the United States, a Russian lawyer and a Russian banker.

Source: 4 meetings with Russians disclosed by Jared Kushner | WPXI

Scaramucci cites anonymous source on Russia, admits Trump is source – Business Insider

It was an awkward moment for an administration that consistently slams anonymous sourcing.

New White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci named President Donald Trump as the anonymous source casting doubt on the intelligence community’s consensus that Russia interferedin the 2016 election during a CNN interview on Sunday.

Source: Scaramucci cites anonymous source on Russia, admits Trump is source – Business Insider

Congress strikes deal on Russia sanctions, despite Trump objection

The bill mandates congressional review if Trump attempts to ease or end punitive measures against Moscow.

The package punishes Russia for meddling in the U.S. presidential elections and for its military aggression in Ukraine and Syria.

The White House had objected to a key section of the bill that would mandate a congressional review if Trump attempted to ease or end the sanctions.

Source: Congress strikes deal on Russia sanctions, despite Trump objection

Trump to nominate Jon Huntsman as ambassador to Russia

Former Utah governor and ambassador to China is picked amid tense relations with Moscow.

The nomination comes amid what could be a thaw in U.S. relations with Russia following the first face-to-face meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladi­mir Putin at the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany this month. The Trump administration is also under fire amid a widening investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and the possible collusion of Trump campaign associates.

Source: Trump to nominate Jon Huntsman as ambassador to Russia

United Barred From Russian Airspace ‘For Diplomatic Reasons’ | The Daily Caller

Flight from San Fran to Shanghai forced to refuel in Japan

Those diplomatic concerns forced the flight to refuel at Tokyo’s Narita airport, the flight’s captain told passengers, several of whom posted about it on social media.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2017/04/12/united-airlines-barred-from-russian-airspace-for-diplomatic-reasons-pilot-announces/#ixzz4e7FIFqGk

Source: United Barred From Russian Airspace ‘For Diplomatic Reasons’ | The Daily Caller

Report: FBI granted FISA warrant to surveil ex-Trump aide Carter Page | TheHill

House and Senate Intelligence committees both have ongoing investigations into whether Trump associates worked with the Kremlin in an attempt to help Trump win the election.

Page has been at the center of speculation about links between Trump aides and Russia because of his ties to the country and a trip to Moscow in July.

Page and the White House have denied all allegations of improper communications.

Source: Report: FBI granted FISA warrant to surveil ex-Trump aide Carter Page | TheHill