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Russia, Putin lead the big winners’ list of U.S. magazine

January 18, 3:49 UTC+3 18
Iran is second in the list
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MOSCOW, January 18 (Itar-Tass) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia found themselves atop of the list of 2013 big winners compiled by the U.S. magazine The American Interest.

The magazine’s observer, professor of foreign affairs and the humanities at Bard College, Walter Russell Mead, said the list included only those who really deserved it, and the magazine didn’t make moral judgments” making “a realist calculation, looking at who gained power during the year and who lost”.

AI magazine explained Putin’s leadership in the ranking with the affair of former contractor for the CIA Edward Snowden which became “Russia’s biggest embarrassment of the United States since the fall of the Soviet Union”. Other points that gave Russia additional scores are Russia’s stance on Syria and the EU’s defeat in the “battle” for Ukraine.

Iran is second in the list. The magazine says it has expanded its sphere of influence and “strengthened its presence in Iraq”, while “painting itself as an increasingly moderate and conciliatory state”. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad closes the top three.

Other lucky winners on the AI’s rating are Japan, Saudi Arabia, Germany. Britain is the last country that made its way to the list as it somewhat dominates the European Union, despite domestic issues because of the upcoming independence referendum in Scotland and shaky membership in the EU.

The magazine was founded in 2005 by several authors of another magazine, The National Interest, whose editor-in-chief was Francis Fukuyama. The American Interest was initiated by former national security advisor to the U.S. President, Zbigniew Brzezinski, laureate of the Nobel Prize in economic sciences, liberal Douglass North, professor of economics Glenn Loury and sociologist Peter Berger.

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