The Russian Allies and Trump’s First Foreign Policy Speech
The Center for the National Interest, former Nixon Center, a hosting institution for Trump’s first foreign policy speech and the adviser who helped writing the speech have multiple long-term ties to the Kremlin.
1. DIMITRY SIMES: FIFTY SHADES OF RED — FROM LENIN TO PUTIN AND TRUMP, VIA NIXON
The president of The Center for the National Interest (formerly, The Nixon Center) and publisher of the foreign policy journal The National Interest, Russian-born and raised Dimitri Simes, (aka Simis) received his degree at the elite Moscow State University in 1967 and worked at the prestigious Institute of the World Economy and International Relationship while also serving as the deputy secretary of the Young Leninist League (VLKSM).
Study and work at such high-profile party controlled institutions required not only a Communist party membership but, often, collaboration with the KGB. It was practically impossible for the Soviet Jews to work in the international relationship area at the time. Simes, however, was advancing his career at a breathtaking speed, specializing in political ideology — the working class movement in the US — when he suddenly took a decision to emigrate from the USSR.
He arrived in the US in 1973 and quickly made a career, becoming an informal policy adviser to Richard Nixon. In 1994 Nixon appointed Simes to lead the Nixon Center.
In 2005 two English-language Russian sources, a Russian-American newspaper Kommersant and Moscow Times reported (NOTE: THE LINK DISAPPEARED AFTER THIS ARTICLE WAS PUBLISHED) that Simes had met with the Kremlin adviser Gleb Pavlovsky and Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska — Putin’s close ally, a man on FBI organized crime list and Paul Manafort’s former business partner — to discuss forming a Russian-funded think tank. The Nixon Center denied the story.
On March 8, 2011, the Nixon Center was renamed to The Center of The National Interest and separated from the the Richard Nixon Family Foundation as, according to Politico, Simes had become an embarrassment to the Nixon family name due to promoting Putin’s autocracy.
In 2013, Simes attended Valdai International Discussion Club alongside Putin, where both took part in a two-hour panel discussion. Other participants were Germany’s former defense minister and prime ministers of France and Italy — so Simes’s presence raised some eyebrows.
Putin meets Valdai Club’s participants every year since 2004. Among many other Kremlin officials attending Valdai meetings are Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister; Sergei Ivanov, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office; Sergei Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Sergei Shoigu, Defense Minister and more. However, the meetings are also attended by the Russian oligarchs and figures strategically important to the Kremlin.
2. RICHARD BURT: AMBASSADOR WITH A POOR CHOICE IN FRIENDS
Richard Burt helped to draft Trump’s first policy speech at The National Interest in April 2016. A former German ambassador and a member of the Center’s board of directors and the chairman of the advisory council for The National Interest, Burt is also a former member of the senior advisory board of Alfa Bank and currently a Board member of Letter One. Alfa Bank is a part of Alfa Group, financial and industrial consortium created and owned by the Russian oligarchs Mikhail Fridman and Petr Aven.
Petr Aven and Mikhail Fridman of Alfa Group and Letter One are close and long-term allies of Putin. The 2007 report of the global intelligence company Stratfor which has a reputation of being a “shadow CIA” and is trusted by many national governments, connects Fridman and Aven to Solntsevo mafia.
Burt is also a member of Advisory Board and from 2002 to 2007 served as an Executive Chairman of Diligence LLC, a Washington-based, private global intelligence firm with William Webster, former director of the CIA and FBI on its advisory board.
A stake in Diligence is owned by Oleg Deripaska’s business partner, Nathaniel Rothschild, according to the New York Times. Dilligence was reported to offer Deripaska corporate intelligence gathering, the US visa lobbying through considerable GOP connections and, crucially, help in obtaining a $150 million World Bank/European Bank for Reconstruction and Development loan .
In 2007, Diligence LLC was charged over allegations of corporate espionage in a case that involved Alfa Group Consortium.
In 2016, Alfa Bank was involved in the scandal with Trump’s server. An article in Slate revealed allegations of the sustained relationship between a server registered to the Trump Organization and two servers registered to an entity called Alfa Bank.
Fridman and Aven are mentioned in Steele’s dossier.
In 2016, while helping Trump to draft the speech, Burt allegedly worked for New European Pipeline AG, now fully owned by the Russian state-owned and Putin controlled company Gazprom.
3. THE CENTER: AMERICA FIRST? VALDAI SECOND.
On February 27, 2017, The National Center hosted a talk on The Future of U.S. — Russia Relations.
The speaker, Dr. Sushentsov, works for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is a managing partner with Moscow’s Foreign Policy Advisory Group, and a program director of the above mentioned Valdai Foundation.
4. DID TRUMP MEET THE RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR DURING THE CAMPAIGN?
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