Trumps New Russia Adviser Has Deep Ties to Kremlins Gazprom
A globe-trotting American investment banker who\\\'s built a career on deals with Russia and its state-run gas company, Carter Page says his business has suffered directly from the U.S. economic sanctions imposed after Russia\\\'s escalating involvement in the Ukraine.
When Donald Trump named him last week as one of his foreign-policy advisers, Page says his e-mail inbox filled up with positive notes from Russian contacts. “So many people who I know and have worked with have been so adversely affected by the sanctions policy,” Page said in a two-hour interview last week. “There\\\'s a lot of excitement in terms of the possibilities for creating a better situation.”
Over the course of his campaign, Trump has been a contrarian on Russia, floating the idea of reducing the American commitment to NATO and calling Russian President Vladimir Putin a “strong leader.” “I think I would have a very good relationship with Putin,” he said last year. So it makes sense that Trump tapped Page for his foreign-policy team. In writings posted online, Page is a reliable defender of Russian intentions, and portrays U.S. policymakers as stuck in an outdated Cold War mindset.
Page’s career path, too, seems to mesh with Trump’s philosophy. A billionaire developer and entertainer with no government experience, Trump isn’t hiring the typical Washington policy wonks as he pursues the Republican presidential nomination. Instead, he favors advisers with what one of his staffers described to the New York Times as “real world” experience.That background also carries risks, as Page, 44, readily acknowledges. Page says his parallel career as a foreign-policy expert has occasionally faced skepticism over his business ties to Russia and his favorable view of its leadership.
“It is a question I get so frequently—I lost count many decades ago,” he said. “There\\\'s a very negative conventional wisdom that these are all crooks and bad guys.”
Page said his experience advising Russian companies and pitching deals in places like Turkmenistan will offer Trump a more practical perspective than what’s available from “people from afar, sitting in the comfort of their think tanks in Washington.”
Page wouldn’t discuss his policy views in detail, saying that his work with the Trump campaign is at an early stage and that he doesn\\\'t want to speak out of turn. He wouldn’t say whether he’s met or spoken with the candidate yet, or how they connected. But he described a career marked by a lifelong fascination with Russia and Central Asia, and a determination to drum up business there even in the face of political headwinds.
Page left little doubt that he favors deeper engagement with Russia. But he insisted that his work on the Trump campaign isn’t likely to benefit his business interests, and one project may even need to be put on hold because of it. “I spend my evenings and weekends working on ideas, as opposed to trying to make the next buck,” he said.
Page’s interest in Russia dates to his youth in New York’s Hudson Valley. Watching a TV news program on arms control talks, he says he noticed that the adviser sitting behind President Ronald Reagan wore a Navy uniform. A few years later, Page enrolled in the U.S. Naval Academy. He later worked in arms control at the Pentagon and completed a fellowship at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Over his career, he\\\'s earned three graduate degrees, including a Ph.D from SOAS University of London.
In 2000, Page took up investment banking, getting a job at Merrill Lynch’s capital-markets group in London. After impressing a colleague with his relationship with Victor Pinchuk, a Ukrainian billionaire, he says he was dispatched to help open the firm’s Moscow office in 2004.
In Russia, Page developed relationships with executives at Gazprom, the former Soviet gas ministry that was partially privatized in the 1990s. By the time Page arrived, Putin was consolidating his grip on the country\\\'s economy, and in 2005 the government boosted its stake so that it again owned a majority of the stock.
Page says he advised Gazprom on its largest deals during this period, such as buying of a stake in the Sakhalin oil and gas field in the Sea of Okhotsk. He also helped the company court Western investors, assisting in setting up the first regular meetings with shareholders in New York and London. Before he moved back to New York in 2007, he says, many of its top officials showed up at his going-away party, at a restaurant near the Kremlin.
Page gets mixed reviews from former bosses. Bernie Sucher, Merrill’s country head in that era, said Page “has a nuanced and subtle appreciation of the interplay of politics and energy.” But Sergey Aleksashenko, another top Merrill executive in Russia at the time and now an outspoken Kremlin critic, described him as a junior banker with little understanding of the country. “I could not imagine Carter as an adviser on foreign policy,” Aleksashenko said. “It\\\'s really surprising.”
After returning to New York, Page says he took a buyout from Merrill in 2008 to start his own firm, known as Global Energy Capital LLC. He traveled to Turkmenistan that year, talking about raising a $1 billion private equity fund to buy assets in the former Soviet republic, and meeting with top government officials.The fund never materialized—the global financial crisis struck later that year—and since then, Page says he’s mostly done low-profile advisory assignments, such as counseling foreign investors on buying assets in Russia. In some of the deals, he’s worked with Sergey Yatsenko, a former deputy chief financial officer at Gazprom who is now an official adviser to Page’s firm.
“He understands what\\\'s going on in Russia,” Yatsenko says. “He doesn’t make strong judgments.”Yatsenko says he worked with Page on helping a Russian investor explore an oil investment in Iraqi Kurdistan, and advising a Chinese investor looking to buy Russian oil assets in Eastern Siberia. Page wouldn’t discuss specific deals.
Obama Wants More Pampering of Needy
The White House wants to tackle the so-called \\\"diaper gap\\\" with the help of the private sector by providing low-income families a chance to purchase diapers at discounted prices, reported The Hill.President Barack Obama will talk about the initiative during his appearance at the South by Southwest festival on Friday. Diaper manufacturer First Quality and online retailer Jet.com are joining in the effort to help create, purchase and ship the cheaper diapers to needy families, said The Hill.
\\\"Nearly one in three families struggle to afford diapers for their babies,\\\" said the White House blog. \\\"In some cases, moms and dads stretch the time between diaper changes to make their limited resources last.\\\" \\\"This can lead to serious health problems for babies and parents. Young children can end up hospitalized with problems like urinary tract or staph infections. Imagine the stress of not being able to afford the basics that your baby needs – not a small matter for struggling parents and caregivers.\\\"
CNN Money said First Quality, the makers of Cuties baby diapers, have created simpler packaging for the new diapers to cut cost and passed the savings on to participating nonprofits. Jet.com, meanwhile, will offer free two-day shipping to nonprofits and will help them purchase the reduced-price diapers.CNN said the efforts could make the diapers purchased in the White House plan 25 percent cheaper than what is on the current market.
Huggies said in a Thursday press release that it was donating 22 million free diapers to the National Diaper Bank Network in response to the White House\\\'s efforts.\\\"We want every baby to grow up healthy and feel comfortable, safe and secure,\\\" said Giusy Buonfantino, president of Kimberly-Clark baby and child care North America.
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We are pleased to see the issue is receiving national attention from the White House and will continue to do our part as a leader in the effort to combat diaper need.\\\"Some celebrities showed their support for the effort on social media.
Privilege motion notice against Irani submitted in Rajya Sabha
New Delhi: A notice to bring a privilege motion against Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani was submitted to Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari on Tuesday, a day after a similar notice was submitted in the Lok Sabha.
\\\"We have given a privilege motion against the HRD minister. The other day, HRD minister misled the house while discussing matters related to Hyderabad university. The minister has misled the nation through this parliament so we have moved a privilege against her,\\\" Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the opposition had no response to the HRD minister\\\'s reply.
\\\"I want to tell the leader of opposition, the discussion that happened, the reply was given with facts. You have no answer to that. You do not have any valid arguments so you ar giving invalid arguments,\\\" Naqvi said.
Azad was backed by other opposition members, and Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav said: \\\"This is a serious issue, and we support it.\\\"
Rajya Sabha\\\'s Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien then said the notice is under consideration of Chairman Ansari.
\\\"The notice has been received. It is under the consideration of honourable chairman,\\\" said the deputy chairman.
Naqvi hit out at the opposition saying: \\\"It is not right that you are trying to suppress someone\\\'s voice through privilege (motion).\\\"
The opposition members wanted to debate the issue, but the chair pointed out that it cannot be done unless the notice is admitted.
With AIADMK members protesting near the chairman\\\'s podium over former finance minister P.Chidambaram\\\'s son Karti, the house was soon after adjourned till 3 p.m.
Bids Soar For Gun Used To Kill Trayvon Martin, With Some Likely Bogus
Bidding in an online auction for the pistol George Zimmerman used in the 2012 shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin topped $65 million on Friday, though the amount appeared to be inflated by fake buyers with names such as “Racist McShootFace.”Zimmerman drew wide criticism on Thursday after announcing the sale of the gun, a Kel-Tec PF9 9mm, which the former neighborhood watch volunteer described in the auction listing as “an American Firearm Icon” that he used to defend his life and “end the brutal attack” from Martin four years ago.The death of the 17-year-old black teenager in Florida sparked nationwide civil rights protests and debate over “stand your ground” laws, which allow people to use deadly force without a duty to retreat if they are in fear of being harmed. Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in the case.
On Friday morning, bidders in the auction on the United Gun Group’s website included “shaniqua bonifa” and “Tamir Rice,” the same name as the 12-year-old black boy shot dead by a white police officer in Cleveland in 2014.
USA Today reported that the bid by “Racist McShootFace” was later deleted.The auction began Thursday afternoon after the first site on which Zimmerman attempted to sell the gun rejected the listing. The site, GunBroker.com, said in a statement it wanted no part in the auction or the attendant publicity.A listing for the gun then appeared on UnitedGunGroup.com, with a starting price of $5,000.
“United Gun Group’s stance is that as long as Mr. Zimmerman … is obeying the letter of the law, his personal firearm sale will be permitted on our network,” the group said on its Facebook page.Some U.S. media said the listing was taken down Thursday night, but the auction was active on Friday and had received slightly more than 1,000 bids.
In the listing, Zimmerman said he would use money from the sale to counter violence against law enforcement officers by Black Lives Matter, a movement that grew out of Martin’s shooting. Proceeds would also go toward fighting Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton’s “anti-firearm rhetoric,” Zimmerman said.The listing closed with a Latin phrase, “Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum,” that translates to “if you wish peace, prepare for war.”A lawyer for Martin’s family called the auction offensive but said it would not distract the family from their work advocating against gun violence.
വായനക്കാരുടെ അഭിപ്രായങ്ങള് താഴെ എഴുതാവുന്നതാണ്.
ദയവായി അവഹേളനപരവും വ്യക്തിപരമായ അധിക്ഷേപങ്ങളും അശ്ളീല പദപ്രയോഗങ്ങളും ഒഴിവാക്കുക.
വായനക്കാരുടെ അഭിപ്രായ പ്രകടനങ്ങള്ക്കോ അധിക്ഷേപങ്ങള്ക്കോ അശ്ളീല പദപ്രയോഗങ്ങള്ക്കോ 24ന്യൂസ്ലൈവ്.കോം , അമ്മത്തൊട്ടിൽ.കോം ഉത്തരവാദിയായിരിക്കില്ല.