Vyacheslav Volodin Visits Seoul: on the Way towards Parliamentary Diplomacy Consolidation

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The Speaker of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin paid his official two-day visit to the Republic of Korea where the Second Meeting of Speakers of Eurasian Countries’ Parliaments took place. Rethinking Russia Director Alexander Konkov noticed that Vyacheslav Volodin’s visit to Seoul is another example of parliamentary diplomacy consolidation in Russia.

Trump’s Political Future: the Russia Factor

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The US Constitution vests the president, the head of the executive branch, with considerable power to formulate the country’s foreign policy. Regardless of the proactive stance of some Congressmen in dealing with external issues, America’s foreign policy has historically been shaped by presidents, their temperament, experience, ideological leanings, and quite often it has been affected by their domestic policy. The latter can be central to understanding and forecasting the Trump administration’s steps related to Russia.

Foreign Press Review (19.06-25.06)

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Last week new US sanctions against Russia became one of the most popular topics. Ahead of the meeting between the US and Ukrainian presidents Trump’s administration announced imposition of new Ukraine-related sanctions on 38 individuals and entities, which, according to the White House, are involved in tightening the Russian grip on the Crimea and the Donbass regions.

June 22: History and Memory

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Each state has many memorable dates that serve as landmarks of the historical memory and provide retrospect with a cyclical character. June 22, the day when the Great Patriotic War began, holds a specific place. In contrast to the Victory Day, June 22 is the day of the great tragedy. This particular day divides the whole history both of the Soviet Union and Russia of the 20th century into “before” and “after” – into “before the war” and “after the war began”.

Future of Syrian Skies

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When the US-led coalition announced on 19 June that a Syrian Su-22 jet had been shot down by a US Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet the day before, Russia suspended a pact preventing clashes in the Syrian flight zone. In his interview for Rethinking Russia, Alexey Khlebnikov, an expert on the Middle East and Russian foreign policy, comments on the situation and its possible implications.

Foreign Press Review (12.06-18.06)

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Last week one of the main topics concerning Russia in the foreign media was protests that occurred on June, 12, when Russia celebrated its national holiday. Foreign journalists focused mostly on several points. First of all, they tried to emphasize that there had been many youths among demonstrators. Secondly, the media highlighted actions of the police, which had reportedly detained about 1000 protesters. These actions were predictably condemned by the US and EU as threatening “the fundamental freedoms of expression”. Russian authorities pointed to the provocative character of the protests since the leaders of the opposition had changed the authorized place to Tverskaya street, which was central to Russia Day celebrations.

UK Election was Theresa May’s Personal Defeat

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Britain’s Conservatives lost their majority in general election. No party managed to secure an outright majority of seats in the House of Commons, meaning that Westminster will have its second hung parliament in the last seven years.
Shorn of the 326 desired mandates, the Conservatives will have either to engage in talks to form a coalition government or to opt for a parliamentary minority government. However, the latter will fail to deliver stable rule.