Vladimir Putin

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Journalists waiting for a meeting of the four-way summit on eastern Ukraine in Minsk, Belarus, on Tuesday. Photograph: Reuters/Vasily Fedosenko

Western powers have vowed swiftly to toughen their stance against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine if they judge that today’s peace talks are a fa(...)

Egyptian relatives of the members of security forces killed in North Sinai province during an attack arrive at Cairo military airport in  Egypt. Photograph: Mohamed El-Shahed/AFP/Getty Images

The highways between town and Cairo’s international airport were yesterday flanked with posters welcoming Russian president Vladimir Putin, visiting a(...)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the Ukraine government cannot defeat Russia militarily in their conflict over the eastern part of the country. Th(...)

Angela Merkel and Barack Obama: after meetings about  Ukraine and other topics at the White House. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Barack Obama has thrown his support behind German diplomatic efforts to contain Russia in Ukraine, hinting that military alternatives under considerat(...)

Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, right, speaks during a news conference with US president Barack Obama in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

US president Barack Obama made clear he was some way from a decision on whether to arm Ukraine in its conflict against Russian-backed rebels, saying o(...)

Miners dig for diamons in Zimbabwe. As a compact, stable, and transferable store of value, diamonds offer enormous advantages to smugglers, money launderers, and tax evaders.

In the spring of 2005, Erez Daleyot, a Belgian-Israeli diamond tycoon with some dubious connections, paid a visit to his Swiss bankers at HSBC Private(...)

The Turkish Stream plan announced by Russian president Vladimir Putin  in Ankara last month would see 63 billion cubic metres of natural gas carried under the Black Sea to Turkey each year

An audacious new plan to pipe Russian gas to Europe has thrown light on Turkey’s emerging and potentially crucial role in getting gas to the energy-hu(...)

 Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko, German chancellor Angela Merkel and US vice-president Joe Biden prior to a Friday meeting of  the Munich Security Conference. Photograph: Matthias Schrader/AP

German chancellor Angela Merkel will press US president Barack Obama today to postpone a decision on sending defensive arms to Ukraine pending a fresh(...)

The smart money is clearly on a negotiated settlement, but only after a good bit of sabre-rattling. Photograph: Getty Images

It is said that the reason universities are such snake pits of political intrigue is that the stakes involved in most academic arguments are trivial. (...)

Ukraine’s Petro Poroshenko holds up Russian passports as proof that Russian troops are present in the conflict at talks in Munich at the weekend. Photograph: Tobias Hase

It was -3 degrees in Munich over the weekend and, inside the 51st Security Conference, there was an unmistakable cold war chill. For three days the Ba(...)

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