Foreign Press Review (05.12-11.12)

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While experts continue to look for a future strategy and common ground in the Russia-US relations, US officials have become obsessed with debating Russia’s alleged meddling in the US presidential elections. In the meantime, President-elect Donald Trump came into direct confrontation with leading congressmen, who are to launch a wide-ranging investigation into Russia’s alleged activities, and intelligence agencies. According to the Washington Post and the New York Times, CIA changed its opinion and concluded in a secret assessment that Russia had not only interfered with the electoral process but also aimed at helping Mr Trump win the presidency. It is worth noting that ahead of the elections the US intel community did not find any connections between Trump and Russia, sharing a version that Russia’s aim was to undermine Americans’ faith in country’s democracy.

The Battle for Syria

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The international dimension of the Syrian conflict is usually seen as the reluctance of the USA to get engaged, and Russia’s readiness to do just the opposite – while many other regional players get lost in the background. In order to establish different patterns and to articulate the plurality of motives that guided international actors, Rethinking Russia spoke to Christopher Phillips – senior lecturer at the School of Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary University and associate fellow at the Middle East and North Africa programme at Chatham House, who just published a meticulously researched book “The Battle for Syria: International Rivalry in the New Middle East” that documents the international dimension of the conflict.

International law is not a means of exercising global ideological pressure by “civilized” states

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Talking to Politanalitika, Oleg Denisov, lawyer and political commentator, explained how Russia can bring together international law and principles of political realism, that can once again become popular taking into account the situation in the international arena. Oleg Denisov noticed that the statements that Vladimir Putin made talking to the NTV are in line with the Foreign Policy Concept that he signed December 1, 2016.

Foreign Press Review (28.11-04.12)

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Last week Vladimir Putin delivered the Annual Presidential Address to the Russia’s Federal Assembly. The foreign media noted that most of the speech was devoted to domestic issues instead of foreign affairs, with Mr Putin focusing on Russia’s economic development. The President pointed out the optimistic signs in the country’s economy, such as high growth in agriculture and high-tech and record-low inflation rates. Moreover, Vladimir Putin claimed that he had directed “the Government, together with the leading business associations, no later than May 2017, to develop a detailed plan of action through 2025, the implementation of which will make it possible to achieve economic growth rates higher than in the [rest of the] world as early as 2019−2020, and therefore strengthen Russia’s positions in the global economy”.

A Few Words on Real Russia

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Vladimir Putin delivered his Annual Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly at St. George’s Hall of the Great Kremlin Palace on December 1. The state-of-the-nation address is regarded as a major speech over a 12-month period. It usually recounts the progress and outlines national priorities and the development agenda for the near future. This format is not unique, but it tends to command attention of the general public at home and abroad as well as of parliamentarians to whom, judging by its very name, it is addressed.

Primakov Readings

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The International Primakov Readings Forum took place November 29-30, 2016, in commemoration of Yevgeny Primakov. In his address to the Forum, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin argued that Primakov had succeeded in predicting the events unfolding in today’s world, especially in the Middle East.