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

Featured Image

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

Featured Image

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.

Future of Syrian Skies

Featured Image

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.

UK Election was Theresa May’s Personal Defeat

Featured Image

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.

Difficult Context – Bright Prospects. Outcomes of Russian Parliamentarians’ Visit to Serbia

Featured Image

The parliamentary delegation’s trip came at a difficult time. Even though a need for stronger Russian-Serbian relations still exists, certain challenges related to Brussels’ policy and the changing geostrategic situation in the Balkans impede substantial progress. A closer inter-parliamentary dialogue can offer a way forward. Increased interaction between specialized parliamentary commissions can result in new initiatives, in particular for small- and medium-sized businesses, which will contribute to cooperation between Serbia and Russian regions. It may become a driving force for Russian-Serbian relations for the years to come.

Goodwill toward Men? Ukraine’s Autocephalous Orthodox Churches

Featured Image

Ukraine’s legislative initiatives to establish state control over religion have recently brought the fate of the Orthodox Church back into the limelight. Despite the delayed vote, the bill can be back on the Parliament’s agenda any time soon. The incumbent government voices its disapproval of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC – Moscow Patriarchate), the only canonical church in the country. This offers hope to several non-canonical religious institutions, which aspire to obtain the status of autocephalous (self-governed) churches.

The President and the Pontiff: not yet friends, still not enemies

Featured Image

The attempts of the head of the White House to interpret the meeting with the Holy Father as nothing but the talks with the head of the Vatican and moral authority who can listen to the story about the anti-famine efforts can complicate the dialogue with the world’s biggest denomination. The US president cannot afford to forget that the Pontiff guides not only some abstract Catholics all over the world, but also 20% of its own citizens.